Stage listings

Stage listings are compiled by Molly Freedenberg. Performance times may change; call venues to confirm. Reviewers are Robert Avila, Rita Felciano, and Nicole Gluckstern. Submit items for the listings at listings@sfbg.com.

THEATER

OPENING

The 39 Steps Curran Theater, 1192 Market; 551-2020, www.shnsf.com. $35-$80. Previews Wed/9. Runs Tues, 8pm; Wed, 2 and 8pm; Thurs, 8pm; Fri, -Sat, 2 and 8pm; Sun, 2pm. Through Jan 3. The SHN Best of Broadway series kicks off with Alfred Hitchcock’s Tony Award-winning whodunit comedy.

Cinderella African American Art and Culture Complex, 762 Fulton; (800) 8383-3006, www.african-americanshakes.org. $20-$30. Previews Thurs/10. Opens Fri/11. Runs Sat/13, 3 and 8pm; Sun, 3pm; Dec 19, 8pm. Through Dec 27. The African-American Shakespeare Company presents an enchanting production of the classic fairytale, re-set on the bayous of Louisiana.

Dames at Sea New Conservatory Theatre Center, 25 Van Ness; 861-8972, www.nctcsf.org. $22-$40. Previews Wed/8-Fri/11. Opens Sat/12. Runs Wed-Sat, 8pm; Sun, 2pm. Through Jan 17. NCTC presents the Off-Broadway musical hit.

Fun-derful Holidaze The Marsh, 1062 Valencia; (800) 838-3006, www.themarsh.org. $7-$12. Opens Sat/12-Sun/13. Runs Sat-Sun, 2pm. Through Jan 3. The Marsh presents Unique Derique in a fun-filled feast of frivolity for all ages.

Katya’s Holiday Spectacular New Conservatory Theatre Center, 25 Van Ness; 861-8972, www.nctcsf.org. $22-$32. Previews Wed/9-Thurs/10. Opens Fri/11. Runs various days, 8pm, through Jan 2. NCTC presents a special winter cabaret starring Katya Smirnoff-Skyy.

BAY AREA

Aurelia’s Oratorio Berkeley Repertory Theatre, Roda Theatre, 2015 Addison, Berk; (510) 647-2949, berkeleyrep.org. $33-$71. Opens Wed/9. Runs Tues, Thurs, Fri, and Sat, 8pm; Wed, 7pm; Sun, 2 and 7pm. Through Jan 24. Berkeley Rep presents Victoria Thierree Chaplin’s dazzling display of stage illusion.

The Coverlettes Cover Christmas Aurora Theatre, 2081 Addison, Berk; (510) 843-4822, auroratheatre.org. $25-$28. Opens Tues/15. Runs Mon-Sat, 8pm; Sun, 7pm. Through Dec 27. Aurora Theatre Company rocks the holiday season in the style of 1960’s girl groups.

The Stone Wife Berkeley City Club, 2315 Durant, Berk; 730-2901. $15-$20. Opens Fri/11. Runs Fri-Sat, 8pm; Sun, 6pm. Through Dec 20. The Berkeley City Club presents this award-winning play written and directed by Helen Pau.

ONGOING

Beautiful Thing New Conservatory Theatre Center, 25 Van Ness; 861-8972. $22-40. Wed-Sat, 8pm; Sun, 2pm. Through Jan 3. New Conservatory Theatre Center performs Jonathan Harvey’s story of romance between two London teens.

Better Homes and Ammo (a post apocalyptic suburban tale) EXIT Stage Left, 156 Eddy; www.brownpapertickets.com/event/86070. $15-$19. Thurs-Sat, 8pm. Through Dec 19. No Nude Men Productions presents the end-of-the-world premiere of sketchy comedy veteran Wylie Herman’s first full length play.

The Bright River Climate Theater, 285 9th St; (800) 838-3006, thebrightriver.com. $15-$25. Runs Thurs-Sat, 8pm; Sun, 7pm. Through Dec 27. Climate presents this mesmerizing hip-hop retelling of Dante’s Inferno by Tim Brarsky.

A Christmas Carol American Conservatory Theater, 415 Geary; 749-2228, www.act-sf.org. $14-$102. Days and times vary. Through Dec 27. A.C.T. presents the sparkling, music-infused celebration of goodwill by Charles Dickens.

Cotton Patch Gospel Next Stage, 1620 Gough; (800) 838-3006, www.custommade.org. $10-$28. Thurs-Sat, 8pm; Sun, 7pm. Through Dec 19. Custom Made presents Harry Chapin’s progressive and musically joyous look at the Jesus story through a modern lens.

*East 14th Marsh, 1062 Valencia; 1-800-838-3006, www.themarsh.org. $20-35. Fri, 9pm; Sat, 8:30pm. Through Dec 19. Don Reed’s solo play, making its local premiere at the Marsh after an acclaimed New York run, is truly a welcome homecoming twice over. It returns the Bay Area native to the place of his vibrant, physically dynamic, consistently hilarious coming-of-age story, set in 1970s Oakland between two poles of East 14th Street’s African American neighborhood: one defined by his mother’s strict ass-whooping home, dominated by his uptight Jehovah’s Witness stepfather; the other by his biological father’s madcap but utterly non-judgmental party house. The latter—shared by two stepbrothers, one a player and the other flamboyantly gay, under a pimped-out, bighearted patriarch whose only rule is “be yourself”—becomes the teenage Reed’s refuge from a boyhood bereft of Christmas and filled with weekend door-to-door proselytizing. Still, much about the facts of life in the ghetto initially eludes the hormonal and naïve young Reed, including his own flamboyant, ever-flush father’s occupation: “I just thought he was really into hats.” But dad—along with each of the characters Reed deftly incarnates in this very engaging, loving but never hokey tribute—has something to teach the talented kid whose excellence in speech and writing at school marked him out, correctly, as a future “somebody.” (Avila)

Eccentrics of San Francisco’s Barbary Coast: A Magical Escapade San Francisco Magic Parlor, Chancellor Hotel Union Square, 433 Powell; 1-800-838-3006. $30. Fri-Sat, 8pm. Ongoing. This show celebrates real-life characters from San Francisco’s colorful and notorious past.

I Heart Hamas: And Other Things I’m Afraid to Tell You Off Market Theaters, 965 Mission; www.ihearthamas.com. $20. Thurs/10 and Sat/12, 8pm. An American woman of Palestinian descent, San Francisco actor Jennifer Jajeh grew up with a kind of double consciousness familiar to many minorities. But hers—conflated and charged with the history and politics of the Middle East—arguably carried a particular burden. Addressing her largely non–Middle Eastern audience in a good-natured tone of knowing tolerance, the first half of her autobiographical comedy-drama, set in the U.S., evokes an American teen badgered by unwelcome difference but canny about coping with it. The second, set in her ancestral home of Ramallah, is a journey of self-discovery and a political awakening at once. The fairly familiar dramatic arc comes peppered with some unexpected asides—and director W. Kamau Bell nicely exploits the show’s potential for enlightening irreverence (one of the cleverer conceits involves a “telepathic Q&A” with the audience, premised on the predictable questions lobbed at anyone identifying with “the other”). The play is decidedly not a history lesson on the colonial project known as “the Israeli-Palestinian conflict” or, for that matter, Hamas. But as the laudably mischievous title suggests, Jajeh is out to upset some staid opinions, stereotypes and confusions that carry increasingly significant moral and political consequences for us all. (Avila)

I SF South of Market home stage, 505 Natoma; (800) 838-3006, www.boxcartheatre.org. Thurs-Sat, 8pm. Through Dec 19. Boxcar Theatre presents an improvised unabashed stage poem to all things San Francisco.

Jubilee Eureka Theatre, 215 Jackson; 255-8207, www.42ndstmoon.org. $34-$44. Wed/9, 7pm; Thurs/10-Fri/11, 8pm; Sat/12, 6pm; Sun/13, 3pm. 42nd Street Moon presents this tune-filled 1935 musical spoof of royalty, revolution, and ribald rivalries.

Let It Snow! SF Playhouse Stage 2, 533 Sutter; 677-9596, www.sfplayhouse.org. $8-$20. Thurs-Fri, 8pm; Sat, 3 and 8pm. Through Dec 19. The Un-scripted Theater Company lovingly presents an entirely new musical every night based on audience participation.

The Life of Brian Dark Room Theater, 2263 Mission; 401-7987, darkroomsf.com. $20. Fri-Sat, 8pm. Through Dec 19. The Dark Room Theater presents a movie parody turned into a theatrical parody.

*Loveland The Marsh, 1074 Valencia; 826-5750, www.themarsh.org. $15-$50. Thurs/10, 8pm; Sat/12, 5pm. Los Angeles–based writer-performer Ann Randolph returns to the Marsh with a new solo play partly developed during last year’s Marsh run of her memorable Squeeze Box. Randolph plays loner Frannie Potts, a rambunctious, cranky and libidinous individual of decidedly odd mien, who is flying back home to Ohio after the death of her beloved mother. The flight is occasion for Frannie’s own flights of memory, exotic behavior in the aisle, and unabashed advances toward the flight deck brought on by the seductively confident strains of the captain’s commentary. The singular personality and mother-daughter relationship that unfurls along the way is riotously demented and brilliantly humane. Not to be missed, Randolph is a rare caliber of solo performer whose gifts are brought generously front and center under Matt Roth’s reliable direction, while her writing is also something special—fully capable of combining the twisted and macabre, the hilariously absurd, and the genuinely heartbreaking in the exact same moment. Frannie Potts’s hysteria at 30,000 feet, as intimate as a middle seat in coach (and with all the interpersonal terror that implies), is a first-class ride. (Avila)

Ovo Grand Chapiteau, AT&T Park; (800) 450-1480, www.cirquedusoleil.com. $45.50-$135. Tues-Thurs, 8pm; Fri-Sat, 4 and 8pm; Sun, 1 and 5pm. Through Jan 24. The U.S. premiere of Cirque du Soleil’s latest extravaganza, written and directed by Deborah Colker, dependably sports several fine acts enmeshed in a visually buzzing insect theme. Highlights include a delighting set of juggling ants, twirling huge wedges of kiwi with their synchronized tootsies, very adorable and almost unbelievably deft; a mesmerizing and freely romantic airborne “Spanish Web” duet; and a spider traversing a “slackwire” web with jaw-dropping strength, balance and agility. The whisper-thin plot, thin even by Cirque standards, is nearly summed up in the title (Portuguese for “egg”). A very large “ovo” takes up most of the stage as the audience enters the tent. This is miraculously replaced in a flash by a smaller, though still ample one lugged around by one of three clowns (by the standards of past years, not a very inspired or absorbing bunch these three), and then snatched away amid a throng of insect types. An endoplasmic reticulum, or something, hovers a floor or two high toward the back of the stage, where the live band churns the familiar trans-inducing Euro-beats. The baseline entertainment value is solid, though the usual high jinx and overall charm are at somewhat lower ebb compared with recent years. (Avila)

Pearls Over Shanghai Hypnodrome, 575 Tenth St.; 1-800-838-3006, www.thrillpeddlers.com. $30-69. Sat, 8pm; Sun, 7pm. Through Jan 23. Thrillpeddlers presents this revival of the legendary Cockettes’ 1970 musical extravaganza.

Pulp Scripture Off Market Theater, 965 Mission; www.pulpscripture.com. $20. Sat/12, 10:30pm; Sun/13, 4pm. Original Sin Productions and PianoFight bring the bad side of the Good Book back to live in William Bivins’ comedy.

Rabbi Sam The Marsh, 1062 Valencia; (800) 838-3006, www.themarsh.org. $25-$50. Sat/12, 8pm. Charlie Varons’ runaway hit show returns to the Marsh.

“ReOrient 2009” Thick House, 1695 18th St; 626-4061, www.goldenthread.org. $12-$25. Thurs/10-Sat/12, 8pm; Sun/13, 5pm. Golden Thread Productions celebrates the tenth anniversary of its festival of short plays exploring the Middle East.

Santaland Diaries Off Market Theater, 965 Mission; (800) 838-3006, www.brownpapertickets.com/event/89315. $25. Mon-Sun, 8 and 10pm. Through Dec 30. Combined Artform and Beck-n-Call present the annual production of David Sedaris’ story, starring John Michael Beck and David Sinaiko.

Shanghai San Francisco One Telegraph Hill; 1-877-384-7843, www.shanghaisanfrancisco.com. $40. Sat, 1pm. Ongoing. To be Shanghaied: “to be kidnapped for compulsory service aboard a ship&ldots;to be induced or compelled to do something, especially by fraud or force”. Once the scene of many an “involuntary” job interview, San Francisco’s Barbary Coast is now the staging ground for Shanghai San Francisco, a performance piece slash improv slash scavenger hunt through the still-beating hearts of North Beach and Chinatown, to the edge of the Tendernob. Beginning at the base of Coit Tower, participants meet the first of several characters who set up the action and dispense clues, before sending the audience off on a self-paced jaunt through the aforementioned neighborhoods, induced and compelled (though not by force) to search for a kidnapped member of the revived San Francisco Committee of Vigilance. It’s a fine notion and a fun stroll on a sunny afternoon, but ultimately succeeds far better as a walking tour than as theatre. Because the actors are spread rather thinly on the ground, they’re unable to take better advantage of their superior vantage by stalking groups a little more closely, staging distractions along the way, and generally engaging the audience as such a little more frequently. But since Shanghai San Francisco is a constantly evolving project, maybe next time they’ll do just that. (Gluckstern)

She Stoops to Comedy SF Playhouse, 533 Sutter; 677-9596, www.sfplayhouse.org. $30-$40. Tues, 7pm; Wed-Fri, 8pm; Sat, 3 and 8pm. Through Jan 9. SF Playhouse continues their seventh season with the Bay Area premiere of David Greenspan’s gender-bending romp.

Under the Gypsy Moon Teatro ZinZanni, Pier 29; 438-2668, www.zinzanni.org. $117-$145. Wed-Sat, 6pm; Sun, 5pm. Through Jan 1. Teatro ZinZanni presents a bewitching evening of European cabaret, cirque, theatrical spectacle, and original live music, blended with a five-course gourmet dinner.

Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? Actors Theatre of SF, 855 Bush; 345-1287, www.actorstheatresf.org. $26-$40. Thurs-Sat, 8pm; Sun, 2pm. Through Dec 19. Before throwing around terms like “dysfunctional, bi-polar, codependent,” to describe the human condition became fodder for every talk show host and reality TV star, people with problems were expected to keep them tight to the chest, like war medals, to be brought out in the privacy of the homestead for the occasional airing. For George and Martha, the sort of middle-aged, academically-entrenched couple you might see on any small University campus, personal trauma is much more than a memory—it’s a lifestyle, and their commitment to receiving and inflicting said trauma is unparalleled. The claws-out audacity of mercurial Martha (Rachel Klyce) is superbly balanced by a calmly furious George (Christian Phillips), and their almost vaudevillian energy easily bowls over boy genius Biologist, Nick (Alessandro Garcia) and his gormless, “slim-hipped” wife Honey (Jessica Coghill), who at times exhibit such preternatural stillness they seem very much like the toys their game-playing hosts are using them as to wage their private war of attrition; their nervous reactions, though well-timed, coming off as mechanical in comparison to the practiced ease with which Klyce and Phillips relentlessly tear down the walls of illusion. But thanks to George and Martha’s menacing intensity, and self-immoutf8g love, this Virginia Woolf does not fail to hold the attentions of its audience captive, despite being a grueling (though never tedious) three-and-a-half hours long. (Gluckstern)

Wicked Orpheum Theatre, 1182 Market; 512-7770, www.shnsf.com. $30-$99. Tues, 8pm; Wed, 2pm; Thurs-Fri, 8pm; Sat, 2 and 8pm; Sun, 2pm. Ongoing. Assuming you don’t mind the music, which is too TV-theme–sounding in general for me, or the rather gaudy décor, spectacle rules the stage as ever, supported by sharp performances from a winning cast. (Avila)

BAY AREA

*FAT PIG Aurora Theatre, 2081 Addison, Berk; (510) 843-4822, auroratheatre.org. $15-$55. Wed/9-Sat/12, 8pm; Sun/13, 2 and 7pm. Playwright Neil LaBute has a reputation for cruelty—or rather the unflinching study thereof—but as much as everyday sociopathy is central to Fat Pig, this fine, deceptively straightforward play’s real subject is human frailty: the terrible difficulty of being good when it means going decidedly against the values and opinions of your peers. Aurora Theatre’s current production makes the point with satirical flair and insight, animated by a faultless ensemble directed with snap and fire by Barbara Damashek. A conventionally handsome businessman named Tom (a brilliantly canny, vulnerable and sympathetic Jud Williford) falls for a bright, beautiful woman of more than average size named Helen (Liliane Klein, radiantly reprising the role after a production for Boston’s Speakeasy Stage). It’s the most important relationship either has had. Alone together they’re very happy. At work, however, Tom contends with relentless pressure from his coworkers, Carter (a penetrating Peter Ruocco, savoring the sadism of the locker room) and onetime dating partner Jeannie (Alexandra Creighton, devastatingly sharp at being semi-hinged). As ambivalent as Tom is about both, he feebly attempts to hide his new love from them. The separation of public and private selves leads to conflict, and the plot will turn on how Tom resolves it. Needless to say, the title’s inherent viciousness points not at Helen—by far the most advanced personality on stage—but at those who would intone the phrase as well as those, like Tom, who tacitly let it work its dark magic. (Avila)

*Large Animal Games La Val’s Subterranean, 1834 Euclid, Berk; www.impacttheatre.com. $10-20. Thurs/10-Sat/12, 8pm. Impact Theatre co-presents (with Atlanta’s Dad’s Garage) the world premiere of a new play by Atlanta-based Steve Yockey. The 75-minute comedy mingles three separate subplots among a group of friends, all refracted through a mysterious lingerie shop run by an affable, somewhat impish tailor (Jai Sahai) offering new skins for exploring inner selves. There’s the spoiled rich-girl (Marissa Keltie) horrified to discover her perfect fiancé’s (Timothy Redmond) secret penchant for donning feminine undergarments; a pair of best friends (Cindy Im and Elissa Dunn) who fall out over the sexy no-English matador-type (Roy Landaverde) one brings home from a Spanish holiday; and there’s an African American woman (Leontyne Mbele-Mbong) who goes on an African safari as the logical extension of her obsession with guns. Briskly but shrewdly directed by Melissa Hillman, the agreeable cast knows what to do with Yockey’s well-honed, true-to-life repartee. The play has a touch of the magical dimension familiar to audiences who saw Skin or Octopus (both produced by Encore Theatre) but it operates here in a less self-conscious, more lighthearted way, while still nicely augmenting the subtly related themes of animal-lust, competition, self-image and possession cleverly at work under the frilly, scanty surface. (Avila)

“Shakes ‘Super’ Intensive + Bronte Series” Berkeley Unitarian Fellowship, 1924 Cedar, Berk; (510) 275-3871. $8. Mon/14, 7:30pm. Subterranean Shakespeare presents weekly staged readings of classic Shakespeare plays, followed by a staged reading of Jon O’Keefe’s complete play about the Bronte sisters.

*The Threepenny Opera Ashby Stage, 1901 Ashby, Berk; www.shotgunplayers.org. $18-$30. Thurs-Sat, 8pm; Sun, 5pm. Through Jan 17. Wednesday performances begin Jan 6. Shotgun Players present Bertolt Brecht’s beggar’s opera.

DANCE

“Dance Along Nutcracker” Yerba Buena Center for the Arts Forum, 701 Mission; 978-2787, www.dancealongnutcracker.org. Sat, 2:30 and 7pm; Sun, 11am and 3pm. $16-$50. The San Francisco Lesbian/Gay Freedom Band plays at this family-friendly holiday show, featuring performances interspersed with audience dancing.

“Double Dance Bill” ODC Dance Commons, 351 Shotwell; www.odctheater.org. Sat-Sun, 8pm. $15-$18. ODC Theater presents world and local premieres by Kate Weare Company and project agora.

“Fiesta Flamenca” Baobab Village, 3372 19th St; 970-0362, www.latania-flamenco.com. Sun, 7:30pm. $15. Bollyhood Café presents this monthly evening with La Tania and Cuadro Aljibe, Roberto Zamora, and Roberto Aguilar.

Funsch Dance Experience Legion of Honor, 34th Ave and Clement; 902-5371, www.funschdance.org. Sun, 4pm. The nine dancers of Christy Funsch’s company present Funsch Solos Volume II: Water Solos, performances that take place outside around the water fountain.

“Lightning Never Strikes the Same Place Twice” SOMArts Cultural Center, 934 Brannan; www.sffs.org. Sat-Sun, 8pm. $15-$18. San Francisco Film Society presents the KinoTek program Catherine Galasso, a multimedia dance, theater, and projected video performance.

Lily Cai Dance Company Cowell Theater, Fort Mason Center; 345-7575, www.fortmason.org. Thurs, 8pm. $28-$35. The dance company and Melody of China present an evening of contemporary dance and music.

“A Queer 20th Anniversary” Locations vary. www.circozero.org. Various days and times, Dec. 9 – Jan. 31. Zero Performance presents a retrospective of two seminal pieces performed by Keith Hennessy and company, including a restaging of Saliva at the original site under a freeway South of Market.

Mark Foehringer Dance Project/SF Zeum Theater, 221 Fourth St; 433-1235, www.tixbayarea.org. Dec 12, 13, 19, and 20, 11am and 2pm. $25. The dance project presents a unique rendition of The Nutcracker at Zeum, featuring the Magik*Magik Orchestra performing live.

Presidio Dance Theatre Junior Company Palace of Fine Arts Theatre, 3301 Lyon; www.presidiodance.org. Sun, 3pm. $35-$100. Sherene Melania presents the company’s annual benefit holiday show.

“The Revolutionary Nutcracker Sweetie” Brava Theater, 2781 24th St; 273-4633, www.dancemission.com. Sat, 2 and 7pm; Sun, 2 and 6pm. Dance Brigade’s Dance Mission Theater’s Youth Program takes Clara on a magical journey with the Freedom Fighting Nutcracker.

“The Velveteen Rabbit” Novellus Theater, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, 700 Howard; 978-2787, www.ybca.org. Through Sun. $10-$45. This year’s installment of a favorite Bay Area holiday tradition features dancing by ODC/Dance, recorded narration by Geoff Hoyle, design by Brian Wildsmith, and a musical score by Benjamin Britten.

BAY AREA

“The Hard Nut” Zellerbach Hall, UC Berkeley, Berk; cpinfo.berkeley.edu. Days and times vary, Dec 11-20. $36-$62. Mark Morris Dance Group and Berkeley Symphony Orchestra present this retelling of The Nutcracker.

PERFORMANCE

“All of Me” Marines Memorial Theatre, 609 Sutter; 771-6900, www.marinesmemorialtheatre.com. Fri-Sat, 8pm. $47.50-$77.50. Linda Eder kicks off the Rrazz Concert Series with an evening of signature songs and holiday favorites.

“Amahl and the Night Visitors” Community Music Center, 544 Capp; 826-8670. Sun, 11:30am. Free. The Ina Chalis Opera Ensemble presents this one-hour family-friendly Christmas opera by Gian-Carlo Menotti.

“Bijou” Martuni’s, Four Valencia; 241-0205, www.dragatmartunis.com. Sun, 7pm. $5. An eclectic weekly cabaret.

On Broadway Dinner Theater 435 Broadway; 291-0333, www.broadwaystudios.com. Thurs-Sat, 7pm. Ongoing. SF’s most talented singers, artists, and performers combine interactive shows with dining and dessert.

“A Cathedral Christmas” Grace Cathedral, 1100 California; 392-4400, www.cityboxoffice.com. Sat-Sun, 3pm; Dec 21, 7pm. Through Dec 21. $15-$50. Celebrate the season with the Choir of Men and boys with orchestra, featuring their signature performances of favorite carols, along with sacred masterpieces and yuletide classics.

“A Chanticleer Christmas” St. Ignatius Church, 650 Parker; 392-4400, www.chanticleer.org. Sun, 8pm. Check Web for ticket prices. Also performances Sat in Oakland, Tues in Petaluma, Wed in Berkeley, and Dec 19 in San Francisco. The internationally renowned 12-man a cappella singing ensemble returns home with its critically acclaimed holiday concert.

“A Christmas Memory” Theatre Artaud, 450 Florida; 552-4100, www.therhino.org. Mon, 7pm. Check Web for price. Theatre Rhinoceros in collaboration with Word-for-Word presents Truman Capote’s humorous and heart-breaking tale.

“Cora’s Holiday Hotpad” EXIT Theatre, 156 Eddy; 673-3847, www.theexit.org. Thurs-Sat, 8pm. $15-$20. EXIT Theatre’s writer/performer-in-residence Sean Owens returns as Cora Values.

“An Evening with Lucie Arnaz” Rrazz Room, Hotel Nikko, 222 Mason; (866) 468-3399, www.therrazzroom.com. Wed-Sun, 7pm. $45-$50. The daughter of Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz brings her new show to SF.

Full Spectrum Improvisation The Marsh, 1062 Valencia; 564-4115, www.themarsh.org. Tues, 7:30pm. $10-$15. Lucky Dog Theatre performs in its ongoing series of spontaneous theatre shows.

“Ghosts Walks” Yerba Buena Center for the Arts Forum, 701 Mission; www.ybca.org. Thurs, 7:30pm. Free. As part of the San Francisco Mime Troupe 50th Anniversary Exhibition Birthday Bash, the mime troupe will revive Ghosts, seen only once at the December 1981 opening of the Moscone Center.

“The Greatest Bubble Show on Earth” The Marsh, 1062 Valencia; (800) 838-3006, www.themarsh.org. $7-$10. Dec 13, 20, and 27, 11am. The Marsh Presents Louis Pearl, the Amazing Bubble Man, in this fun show suitable for all ages.

“Mission Dolores Basilica Choir’s 18th Candlelight Christmas Concert” Mission Dolores Basilica, 3321 16th St; 621-8203, www.missiondolores.org. Sun, 5pm. $15-$25. The choir will perform a stirring and inspiring experience that promises to be the perfect way to usher in the season.

“Monday Night ForePlays” Studio250, Off-Market, 965 Mission; www.pianofight.com. Mon, 8pm. Through Dec 21. $20. PinaoFight’s female-driven variety show extends into December with new sketches, dance numbers, and musical performances.

New Zealand Choir and Orchestra St. Mary’s Cathedral, 1111 Gough; 567-2020 ext 213, www.cathedral.org.nz. Tues, 7:30pm. 50 members of the Choir and Orchestra of the Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament, Christchurch, New Zealand, will present Part One of Handel’s Messiah.

“Nocturnal Butterflies” Z Space at Theater Artaud, 450 Florida; (434) 535-2896, www.avykproductions.com. Thurs-Sat, 8pm. Check Web for price. Erika Tsimbrovsky/Avy K Productions presents this multimedia dance performance dedicated to Vaslav Nijinsky.

“The Whirling Dervishes” Palace of Fine Arts Theatre, 3301 Lyon; 563-6504, www.palaceoffinearts.org. Fri, 8pm. $25-$45. California Institute of Integral Studies presents these master musicians from Turkey led by Jelaleddin Loras.

“Tony and Tina’s Wedding” Hornblowre Cruises. 788-8866, www.hornblower.com. $25-$129. Fri, 7:30pm. Hornblower hosts the popular Italian-wedding themed dinner theater show.

BAY AREA

Cantare Con Vivo Merritt College Student Lounge, 12500 Campus Drive, Oakl; www.cantareconvivo.org. Sat, 5 and 7:30pm. $50. The 23-voice Cantare Chamber Ensemble will present an array of Christmas art songs, soothing lullabies, and festive carols while listeners enjoy a catered dinner by candlelight.

“The Christmas Revels” Scottis Rite Theater, 1547 Lakeside, Oakl; (510) 452-8800, www.calrevels.org. Fri, 7:30pm; Sat-Sun, 1 and 5pm. Through Dec 20. $12-$50. Experience the music, dance, and folklore of 19th century Bavaria with this beloved Bay Area holiday tradition.

“Clerestory: Cancion de Navidad” St. Mark’s Episcopal Church, 2300 Bancroft, Berk; clerestory.org. Sat, 8pm. (Also Sun in SF). $10-$17. The Bay Area’s acclaimed male vocal ensemble performs festive Christmas songs and familiar carols from Spain and the Americas.

“Hubba Hubba Revue” Uptown, 1928 Telegraph, Oakl; www.hubbahubbarevue.com. Mon, 10pm. Ongoing. $5. Scantily clad ladies shake their stuff at this weekly burlesque showcase.

“Let Us Break Bread Together” Paramount Theatre, 2025 Broadway, Oakl; (510) 836-1981, www.oebs.org. Sun, 4pm. $10-$40. Oakland East Bay Symphony presents its annual holiday concert.

“Old Chestnuts, New Fire!” St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, 114 Montecito, Oakl; 979-5779, www.stpaulsoakland.org. Sun, 4pm. $19-$30. San Francisco Choral Artists present a tantalizing alternative to traditional December choral concerts.

“Special Centennial Christmas Concert” First Church of Christ, Scientist, 2619 Dwight, Berk; www.1stchurchberkeley.org. Sun, 2:30pm. Free. Organist William Ludtke, three soloists, the chamber choir, and hand bell quartet will celebrate Bernard Maybeck’s masterpiece church building with a full scale Christmas concert.

“Traditional Marimba” La Pena Cultural Center, 3105 Shattuck, Berk; (510) 849-2568, www.anaitmar.com. Sat, 7:30pm. $12-$15. Singer Ana Nitmar and Guatemalan Folkoric Dance Groups perform traditional marimba music at this event also featuring a nativity scene exhibit and holiday drinks.

COMEDY

Annie’s Social Club 917 Folsom, SF; www.sfstandup.com. Tues, 6:30pm, ongoing. Free. Comedy Speakeasy is a weekly stand-up comedy show with Jeff Cleary and Chad Lehrman.

“Big City Improv” Shelton Theater, 533 Sutter; (510) 595-5597, www.bigcityimprov.com. Fri, 10pm, ongoing. $15-$20. Big City Improv performs comedy in the style of “Whose Line Is It Anyway?”

Brainwash 1122 Folsom; 861-3663. Thurs, 7pm, ongoing. Free. Tony Sparks hosts San Francisco’s longest running comedy open mike.

Club Deluxe 1511 Haight; 552-6949, www.clubdeluxesf.com. Mon, 9pm, ongoing. Free. Various local favorites perform at this weekly show.

Clubhouse 414 Mason; www.clubhousecomedy.com. Prices vary. Scantily Clad Comedy Fri, 9pm. Stand-up Project’s Pro Workout Sat, 7pm. Naked Comedy Sat, 9pm. Frisco Improv Show and Jam Sun, 7pm. Ongoing.

Cobbs 915 Columbus; 928-4320. Fri-Sat, 8 and 10:15pm. $22.50. Featuring Greg Giraldo from “Friday Night Stand-Up” and “Root of All Evil.”

“Comedy Master Series” Blue Macaw, 2565 Mission; www.comedymasterseries.com. Mon, 6pm. Ongoing. $20. The new improv comedy workshop includes training by Debi Durst, Michael Bossier, and John Elk.

“Comedy on the Square” SF Playhouse, 533 Sutter; 646-0776, www.comedyonthesquare.com. Sun, 8:30pm, through Dec. Tony Sparks and Frisco Fred host this weekly stand-up comedy showcase.

“Comedy Returns” El Rio, 3158 Mission; www.koshercomedy.com. Mon, 8pm. $7-$20. Comedian/comedy producer Lisa Geduldig presents this weekly multicultural, multi-everything comedy show.

Danny Dechi & Friends Rockit Room, 406 Clement; 387-6343. Tues, 8pm. Ongoing. Free.

“Improv Society” Shelton Theater, 533 Sutter; www.improvsociety.com. Sat, 10pm, ongoing, $15. Improv Society presents comic and musical theater.

Punch Line San Francisco 444 Battery; www.punchlinecomedyclub.com. Check Website for times and prices.

Purple Onion 140 Columbus; 1-800-838-3006, www.purpleonionlive.com. Call for days and times.

Rrazz Room Hotel Nikko, 222 Mason; (866) 468-3399, www.therrazzroom.com."

“Raw Stand-up Project” SFCC, 414 Mason, Fifth Flr; www.sfcomedycollege.com. Sat, 7pm, ongoing. “Scott Capurro” SF Playhouse, 533 Sutter; 677-9596, www.sfplayhouse.org. Sun, 7:30pm. $20. The stand up comic and star of She Stoops to Comedy presents this one-night-only event.

BAY AREA “Bill Santiago’s The Immaculate Big Bang” La Pena Cultural Center, 3105 Shattuck, Berk; www.billsantiago.com. Fri, 8pm. $10-$12. Comedian Bill Santiago goes in search of God. “Comedy Off Broadway Oakland” Washington Inn, 495 10th St, Oakl; (510) 452-1776, www.comedyoffbroadwayoakland.com. Fri, 9pm. Ongoing. $8-$10. Comedians featured on Comedy Central, HBO, BET, and more perform every week. SPOKEN WORD Anselm Berrigan with Norma Cole City Lights Bookstore, 261 Columbus; 362-1901, www.citylights.com. Thurs, 7pm. The poet will read from Free Cell. “Does the Secret Mind Whisper” Koret Auditorium, 100 Larkin. Sun, 1pm. Free. Justin Desmangles hosts a celebration of the life, mission, and legacy of poet Bob Kaufman. Writers with Drinks Make-Out Room, 3225 22nd St; www.writerswithdrinks.com. Sat, 7:30pm. $3-$5. Charlie Jane Anders hosts this monthly event, this time featuring Dan Fante, Joshua Mohr, Mark Coggins, Mollena Williams, and Seanan McGuire.