Theater Listings:August 6 - 12, 2014
Stage listings are compiled by Guardian staff. Performance times may change; call venues to confirm. Reviewers are Robert Avila, Rita Felciano, and Nicole Gluckstern. Submit items for the listings at email@example.com.
From Red to Black ACT Costume Shop, 1119 Market, SF; www.sfplayhouse.org. $7.50-20. Previews Thu/7-Fri/8, 8pm. Opens Sat/9, 8pm. Runs Wed-Thu, 7pm; Fri-Sat, 8pm. Through Aug 30. San Francisco Playhouse performs Rhett Rossi's detective drama as part of its Sandbox Series.
Millicent Scowlworthy Thick House Theatre, 1695 18th St, SF; www.99stockproductions.org. $20. Previews Fri/8, 8pm. Opens Sat/9, 8pm. Runs Thu-Sat, 8pm. Through Aug 30. 99 Stock Productions presents Rob Handel's spooky tale that cautions against burying tragic events in the past.
Pleiades Phoenix Theatre, 414 Mason, Sixth Flr, SF; http://pleiadessf.wordpress.com. $20-25. Previews Thu/7-Fri/8, 8pm. Opens Sat/9, 8pm. Runs Thu-Sat, 8pm. Through Aug 30. Marissa Skudlarek's world premiere re-imagines the Greek myth of the seven Pleiades sisters as a story about Baby Boomers in their youth.
Catch Me If You Can Woodminster Amphitheater, Joaquin Miller Park, 3300 Joaquin Miller, Oakl; www.woodminster.com. $18-59. Previews Thu/7, 8pm. Opens Fri/8, 8pm. Runs Sun/10 and Aug 14-17, 8pm. Through Aug 17. Woodminster Summer Musicals presents the musical based on the film about notorious con artist Frank Abagnale, Jr.
Cops and Robbers Marsh Berkeley, 2120 Allison, Berk; www.themarsh.org. $20-100. Previews Fri/8-Sat/9 and Aug 15, 8pm. Opens Sat/16, 8pm. Runs Fri, 8pm; Sat, 8:30pm. Through Sept 13. Hip-hop artist and law enforcement officer Jinho "The Piper" Ferreira performs his 17-character solo show.
"TheatreWorks New Works Festival" Lucie Stern Theatre, 1305 Middlefield, Palo Alto; www.theatreworks.org. $19. Opens Sat/9, 8pm. Runs Sun/10, Aug 12-17, 8pm (also Sun/10, 2pm; Aug 15, 10:30pm; Aug 16-17, noon and 4pm) . Through Aug 17. TheatreWorks presents this festival of staged readings of in-development plays and musicals.
Each and Every Thing Marsh San Francisco Main Stage, 1062 Valencia, SF; www.themarsh.org. $20-50. Thu-Fri, 8pm; Sat, 8:30pm. Extended through Aug 24. The latest solo show from celebrated writer-performer Dan Hoyle (Tings Dey Happen, The Real Americans) winds a more random course than usual across the country and abroad but then that's the idea — or at least Hoyle warns us, right after an opening encounter with a touchy young white supremacist, that the trip he's taking us on is a subtle one. Displaying again his exceptional gifts as a writer and protean performer, Hoyle deftly embodies a set of real-life encounters as a means of exploring the primacy and predicament of face-to-face communication in the age of Facebook. With the help of director Charlie Varon (who co-developed the piece with Hoyle and Maureen Towey), this comes across in an entertaining and swift-flowing 75-minute act that includes a witty rap about "phone zombies" and a Dylan-esque screed at a digital detox center. But the purported subject of connection, or lack there of, in our gadget-bound and atomized society is neither very original nor very deeply explored — nor is it necessarily very provocative in a theater, before an audience already primed for the live encounter. Far more interesting and central here is Hoyle's relationship with his old college buddy Pratim, an Indian American in post-9/11 America whose words are filled with laid-back wisdom and wry humor. Also intriguing is the passing glimpse of early family life in the Hoyle household with Dan's celebrated artist father, and working-class socialist, Geoff Hoyle. These relationships, rather than the sketches of strangers (albeit very graceful ones), seem the worthier subjects to mine for truth and meaning. Indeed, there's a line spoken by Pratim that could sum up the essence of Hoyle's particular art: "It's so much better," he says, "when you find yourself in other people than when you just find yourself." Hoyle's real frontier could end up being much more personal terrain, much closer to home. (Avila)
Foodies! The Musical Shelton Theater, 533 Sutter, SF; www.foodiesthemusical.com. $32-34. Fri-Sat, 8pm. Open-ended. AWAT Productions presents Morris Bobrow's musical comedy revue all about food.
God Fights the Plague Marsh San Francisco Studio Theater, 1062 Valencia, SF; www.themarsh.org. $15-100. Sat/9, 8:30pm; Sun/10, 7pm. The Marsh presents a solo show written by and starring 18-year-old theater phenom Dezi Gallegos.
The Habit of Art Eureka Theatre, 215 Jackson, SF; www.therhino.org. $15-25. Wed-Sat, 8pm (also Sat, 3pm). Through Aug 23. Theatre Rhinoceros presents the return engagement of Alan Bennett's "very British comedy" about a meeting between Benjamin Britten, W.H. Auden, and other figures from throughout time, including their future biographer.
Into the Woods San Francisco Playhouse, 450 Post, SF; www.sfplayhouse.org. $20-120. Tue-Thu, 7pm; Fri-Sat, 8pm (also Sat, 3pm); Sun, 2pm. Through Sept 6. SF Playhouse performs Stephen Sondheim's fractured fairy-tale musical.
Noises Off! Shelton Theater, 533 Sutter, SF; www.sheltontheater.org. $38. Thu-Sat, 8pm. Through Oct 25. Shelton Theater performs Michael Frayn's outrageous backstage comedy.
Patterns Dennis Gallagher Arts Pavilion (in the French American International High School), 66 Page, SF; www.thenewstage.com. $30. Wed-Sat, 8pm. Through Aug 16. The New Stage's premiere of company founder Amy Munz's solo work is one of the more intelligent and sophisticated debuts (by both a new company and a young artist) in recent memory. It's an ambitious and notably subtle, serious, unsentimental exploration of love, in which a dynamic Munz — on a wide bare stage bounded on three sides by her own wonderfully evocative three-channel video-scape — plays several characters, and three in particular: Amot, Abigail, and Ava, whose stories are slyly interwoven. Amot, the principal focus across two discrete acts, is a young woman raised by her widowed father in his butcher shop, who later falls in love with a young man. But her story, like that of the other young women, comes to us in a form more like the stream of consciousness, fractured and expansive in the disjuncture and interplay between Munz's ardently committed performance and the shrewd audio and visual environment surrounding the audience — a manufactured landscape of memory, desire, and role-playing in which to some extent the audience is free to find its own way and discover its own truths. Part two further integrates the voices of the other young women, Abigail and Ava, forming a mesh of narratives and associations stimulating in their intellectual, visual, and aural juxtapositions. This is a work that demands a kind of letting go, but also invites full participation of the viewer's imagination, as the rich mise-en-scène and Munz's intense, unflinching performance unfold with unexpected abundance. (Avila)
The Scion Marsh San Francisco, 1062 Valencia, SF; www.themarsh.org.$30-100. Sat, 5pm. Through Aug 23. Brian Copeland's hit solo show, "a tale of privilege, murder, and sausage," returns to the Marsh.
Sex and the City: Live!! Victoria Theatre, 2961 16th St, SF; sexandthecitylive.eventbrite.com. $30. Thu/7-Sat/9, 8pm; Sun/10, 7pm. Velvet Rage Productions presents two new live episodes of the hit HBO show, with an all-star drag cast (Lady Bear, Heklina, D'Arcy Drollinger, and RuPaul's Drag Race runner-up Alaska).
Shit & Champagne Rebel, 1772 Market, SF; shitandchampagne.eventbrite.com. $25. Fri-Sat, 8pm. Open-ended. D'Arcy Drollinger is Champagne White, bodacious blond innocent with a wicked left hook in this cross-dressing '70s-style white-sploitation flick, played out live on Rebel's intimate but action-packed barroom stage. Written by Drollinger and co-directed with Laurie Bushman (with high-flying choreography by John Paolillo, Drollinger, and Matthew Martin), this high-octane camp send-up of a favored formula comes dependably stocked with stock characters and delightfully protracted by a convoluted plot (involving, among other things, a certain street drug that's triggered an epidemic of poopy pants) — all of it played to the hilt by an excellent cast that includes Martin as Dixie Stampede, an evil corporate dominatrix at the head of some sinister front for world domination called Mal*Wart; Alex Brown as Detective Jack Hammer, rough-hewn cop on the case and ambivalent love interest; Rotimi Agbabiaka as Sergio, gay Puerto Rican impresario and confidante; Steven Lemay as Brandy, high-end calf model and Champagne's (much) beloved roommate; and Nancy French as Rod, Champagne's doomed fiancé. Sprawling often literally across two buxom acts, the show maintains admirable consistency: The energy never flags and the brow stays decidedly low. (Avila)
Show Down! Exit Theatre, 156 Eddy, SF; www.thunderbirdtheatre.com. $15-25. Thu-Sat, 8pm; Sun, 3pm. Through Aug 16. Thunderbird Theatre performs an original comedy, set amid a war against technology at the last all-live TV station left in the United States.
Too Much Light Makes the Baby Go Blind Boxcar Theatre, 505 Natoma, SF; www.sfneofuturists.com. $11-16. Fri-Sat, 9pm. Ongoing. The Neo-Futurists perform Greg Allen's spontaneous, ever-changing show that crams 30 plays into 60 minutes.
As You Like It Forest Meadows Amphitheater, 890 Belle, Dominican University of California, San Rafael; www.marinshakespeare.org. Donations accepted. Fri/8-Sun/10, 8pm. Marin Shakespeare kicks off its 25th season with a classic production of the Bard's gender-bending comedy.
Dracula Inquest Berkeley City Club, 2315 Durant, Berk; www.centralworks.org. $15-28. Thu-Sat, 8pm; Sun, 5pm. Through Aug 17. Central Works performs Gary Graves' mystery inspired by the Bram Stoker vampire classic.
Monsieur Chopin Berkeley Repertory Theatre, 2025 Addison, Shattuck; www.berkeleyrep.org. $29-87. Wed/6 and Sun/10, 7pm (also Wed/6, 2pm); Thu/7-Sat/9, 8pm (also Sat/9, 2pm). Hershey Felder stars in his musical biography of legendary composer Chopin.
Old Money Barn Theatre, 30 Sir Francis Drake, Ross; www.rossvalleyplayers.com. $10-26. Thu, 7:30pm; Fri-Sat, 8pm; Sun, 2pm. Through Aug 17. Ross Valley Players performs Wendy Wasserstein's New York City-set comedy.
The Ripple Effect This week: Lakeside Park, Edoff Memorial Band Stand, 468 Perkins, Oakl; www.sfmt.org. Wed/6-Thu/7, 7pm. Free (donations accepted). Also Sat/9-Sun/10, 3pm, San Lorenzo Park, Santa Cruz. Through Sept 1 at various NorCal venues. The veteran San Francisco Mime Troupe stays current by skewering San Francisco's ever-dividing economy; think rising rents, tech-bus protests, and (natch) Glassholes.
Romeo and Juliet Forest Meadows Amphitheater, 890 Belle, Dominican University of California, San Rafael; www.marinshakespeare.org. $12-35. Runs in repertory Fri-Sun through Sept 28; visit website for specific performance dates and times. Marin Shakespeare continues its 25th season with the Bard's timeless tragedy.
Semi-Famous: Hollywood Hell Tales from the Middle Marsh Berkeley Main Stage, 2120 Allison, Berk; www.themarsh.org. $20-100. Sat, 5pm; Sun, 7pm. Through Sept 7. Don Reed's new solo show shares tales from his career in entertainment.
"Splathouse Double Feature" La Val's Subterranean, 1834 Euclid, Berk; http://impacttheatre.com. $10-25. Thu/7-Sat/9, 8pm. Impact Theatre performs The Sadist and Eegah!, film and live performance blends inspired by the classic exploitation movies.
The Taming of the Shrew Sequoia High School grounds, 1201 Brewster, Redwood City; www.sfshakes.org. Free. Sat, 7:30pm; Sun, 4pm. This location and schedule through Aug 24. Continues through Sept 21 at various Bay Area venues. Free Shakespeare in the Park presents this take on the Bard's barb-filled romance.
12th Night Ashby Stage, 1901 Ashby, Berk; www.shotgunplayers.org. $20-35. Wed-Thu, 7pm; Fri-Sat, 8pm; Sun, 5pm. Through Aug 17. Shotgun Players take a fresh approach to the Shakespeare classic, using folk music and other twists.
"BATS Summer Improv Festival" Bayfront Theater, B350 Fort Mason, SF; www.improv.org. Through Sept 20. $20. This week: "Improvised Shakespeare: 25th Anniversary Edition!," Fri/8-Sat/9, 8pm.
"Bay Area Now 7 Performance Festival" Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, 701 Mission, SF; www.ybca.org. Thu/7-Sat/9, 8-10pm. $25-30. A multidisciplinary fest of boundary-pushing artists, including Antique Naked Soul, Katie Faulkner/little seismic dance company, Lenora Lee Dance, Eddie Madril/Sewam American Indian Dance, sfSound, and many more.
Caroline Lugo and Carolé Acuña's Ballet Flamenco Peña Pachamama, 1630 Powell, SF; www.carolinalugo.com. Sat/9, Aug 24, 30, Sept 6, 13, 21, 28, Oct 4, 11, 18, 26, 6:30pm. $15-19. Flamenco performance by the mother-daughter dance company, featuring live musicians.
"Dash: Improv in a Flash" Un-Scripted Theater Company, 533 Sutter, Second Flr, SF; www.un-scripted.com. Sat, 10pm. Through Aug 30. $15. A late-night, free-form improv show with Un-Scripted Theater Company.
"Deaf Louder: The Second Bay Area Deaf Dance Festival" Dance Mission Theater, 3316 24th St, SF; www.dancemission.com. Fri/8-Sat/9, 8pm; Sun/10, 4pm. $15-25. Celebrating the talents of hearing-impaired performing artists, as well as collaborations between hearing and deaf artists. Participants include Antoine Hunter (the fest's artistic director), Def Motion, Michelle Banks, Fred Beam, Half N Half, and more.
Emote Dance and Marlena E. Zahm Garage SF, 715 Bryant, SF; www.ticketfly.com. Fri/8-Sat/9, 8pm. $10-20. New dance works exploring individuality and vulnerability.
Feinstein's at the Nikko 222 Mason, SF; www.feinsteinssf.com. This week: "Operation Opera," Thu/7-Fri/8, 8pm; Sat/9-Sun/10, 7pm, $35-50.
"Flying Five High" Yerba Buena Center for the Arts Theater, 700 Howard, SF; www.postballet.org. Thu/7-Sat/9, 8pm. $30-65. Post: Ballet, under the director of choreographer Robert Dekkers, launches its fifth season with an evening-length program containing world premiere ourevolution.
"The Glass Menagerie" Beverly Hills Playhouse of SF, 414 Mason, Fifth Flr, SF; www.overcasttheatre.com. Fri/8-Sat/9, 8pm; Sun/10, 5pm. $14-16. Overcast Theatre performs the Tennessee Williams drama.
"Magic at the Rex" Hotel Rex, 562 Sutter, SF; www.magicattherex.com. Sat, 8pm. Ongoing. $25. Magic and mystery with Adam Sachs and mentalist Sebastian Boswell III.
"Music Moves Festival" ODC Theater, 3153 17th St, SF; www.odctheater.org. Through Aug 24, most performances at 8pm. $25-45. Diverse performances celebrating the relationship between music and dance, with Bandelion, Kate Weare Company, San Jose Taiko, and more.
Jim Norton Cobb's Comedy Club, 915 Columbus, SF; www.cobbscomedyclub.com. Thu/7-Fri/8, 8pm (also Fri/8, 10:15pm); Sat/9, 7:30 and 9:45pm. $27. The comedian and talk show host performs.
"Out of Line Improv" Stage Werx, 446 Valencia, SF; outoflineimprov.brownpapertickets.com. Sat, 10:30pm. Ongoing. $12. A new, completely improvised show every week.
"People in Plazas" Various locations, SF; www.peopleinplazas.org. Through Oct 3. Free. Lunchtime concerts in various downtown locations showcasing jazz, world, funk, and other styles of music.
"San Francisco Comedy College" Purple Onion at Kells, 530 Jackson, SF; www.purpleonionatkells.com. Ongoing. $5-15. "New Talent Show," Wed-Thu, 7; "Purple Onion All-Stars," Wed-Thu, 8:15; "The Later Show," Wed-Thu, 10. Check website for Fri-Sat shows and schedule updates.
"Summer Camp!" DNA Lounge, 375 11th St, SF; www.dnalounge.com. Fri/8, 9:30pm. $15-30. Hubba Hubba Revue performs burlesque with a campers-and-counselors theme.
"Terminator Too: Judgment Play" and "Point Break LIVE!" DNA Lounge, 375 11th St, SF; www.dnalounge.com. Sept 5, Oct 3, Nov 7, and Dec 5, Terminator at 7:30pm; Break at 11pm. $20-50. The raucous, interactive staged recreations of two of 1991's greatest action films return to the DNA Lounge.
"Tough" Z Below, 470 Florida, SF; www.zspace.org. Thu/7-Sat/9, 8pm. $20-25. Bay Area choreographer-dancer Chris Black comes out swinging, rolling, singing and more in this beautifully tailored solo take on the concepts of strength, couched in the biographical particulars of legendary bare-knuckle (and gloved) boxing champ John L. Sullivan (1858–1918). Black (natty in a three-piece period-style men's suit) presents herself in friendly but decidedly composed fashion to her arriving audience, distributing some simple instructions to a few willing participants who together relate the rules of the game — namely, old-school 19th-century boxing. But Black is also, in a sense, relating the terms of the piece, which unfolds as something of a conversation between the audience and herself/Sullivan on the nature of the transitory. Black's precision and control throughout echo the storied power of her purported subject, and the double identity she assumes as herself and Sullivan casts a particular light on the life of a dancer even as she is enveloped in the aura and atmosphere of the Boston-born Irish American and his times. The smooth evocation of those life and times — brought about with the help of some pungent, chiseled dialogue (carved from historical sources as well as an original text by Courtney Moreno) as well as delicately crafted sound and lighting designs from Hannah Birch Carl and Heather Basarab, respectively — can seem at times too cool and well-ordered a world for the kind of fragility and uncertainty also being explored here. But it casts its own spell, and there's no denying either its poise or the power to which that can speak. (Avila)
"Yerba Buena Gardens Festival" Yerba Buena Gardens, 760 Howard, SF; www.ybgfestival.org. Through Oct 26. Free. This week: Tiffany Austin Quintet, Thu/7, 12:30pm; Pi Clowns, Fri/8, 11am and 12:15pm; Pistahan Festival celebrating Filipino and Filipino American arts and culture (more info at www.pistahan.net), Sat/9-Sun/10, 11am-5pm.
"Free Comedy Night" Bayfair Center, Center Court, 15555 E. 14th St, San Leandro; www.shopbayfair.com. Sat/9, 7pm. Free. Stand-up comedy with local performers and host Mark Pitta (of FOX's Totally Hidden Video).
Nick Griffin Rooster T. Feathers, 157 W. El Camino Real, Sunnyvale; www.roostertfeathers.com. Thu/7-Sun/10, 8pm (also Sat/9, 10:30pm). $13-19. The veteran comedian performs.
"Knights of Revery" Flight Deck, 1540 Broadway, Oakl; www.eventbrite.com/e/knights-of-revery-laughter-dreams-august-8-9-10-15-16-tickets-12259096287. Fri/8-Sun/10 and Aug 15-16, 8pm. $20. Variety show starring Sir Psycho and Sir Pomp, who "travel with you between the realms of the conscious and unconscious, between fact and fiction, between here and now, between our creamy peanut butter and your smooth jelly."
"MarshJam Improv Comedy Show" Marsh Berkeley, 2120 Allston, Berk; www.themarsh.org. Fri, 8pm. Ongoing. $10. Improv comedy with local legends and drop-in guests.
"National Poetry Slam" Various venues, Oakl; www.nationalpoetryslam.com. Through Sat/9. $15-125. The National Poetry Slam celebrates its 25th anniversary with a full schedule of events, with 500 poets representing 72 slam teams from across the US and Canada (and including seven from the Bay Area).
"The Pirates of Penzance" Mountain View Center for the Performing Arts, 500 Castro, Mtn View; www.lamplighters.org. Sat/9-Sun/10, 2pm (also Sat/9, 8pm). $20-59. Also Aug 14-16, 8pm (also Aug 16, 2pm); Aug 17, 2pm. Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, 700 Howard, SF. Also Aug 23-24, 2pm (also Aug 23, 8pm), Bankhead Theatre, 2400 First St, Livermore. Lamplighters Music Theatre performs the Gilbert & Sullivan classic. *