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 firstname.lastname@example.org. For further information on how to submit items for the listings, see Picks.
The Diary of Anne Frank Next Stage, 1620 Gough; 1-800-838-3006, www.custommade.org. $10-28. Previews Fri/26-Sat/27, 8pm; Sun/28, 7pm. Opens Tues/30, 8pm. Runs Thurs-Sat, 8pm; Sun, 7pm. Through May 1. Custom Made performs Wendy Kesselman’s modern take on the classic.
An Enemy of the People Randall Museum Theatre, 199 Museum Wy; http://sffct.wordpress.com. Free. Opens Fri/26, 7:30pm. Runs Sat/28, 7:30pm; Sun/28, 3pm. Also: Eureka Valley Recreation Center Auditorium, 100 Collingwood. April 2-3 and 9-10, 7:30pm; April 11, 3pm. Through April 11. San Francisco Free Civic Theatre performs Henrik Ibsen’s drama.
Othello African American Art and Culture Complex, 762 Fulton; 1-800-838-3006, www.african-americanshakes.org. $20-30. Previews Thurs/25, 10am. Opens Fri/26, 8pm. Runs Wed-Thurs, 10am (school matinees); Sat/27, April 10, and April 17, 8pm; Sun/28, April 3, April 11, and April 18, 3pm. Through April 18. African-American Shakespeare Company closes its 15th season with this adaptation of Shakespeare’s play, set during a modern-day military tribunal in Iraq.
A Seagull in the Hamptons Ashby Stage, 1901 Ashby, Berk; www.shotgunplayers.org. $15-30. Previews Thurs/24-Fri/25, 8pm. Opens Sat/26, 8pm. Runs Wed, 7pm; Thurs-Sat, 8pm; Sun, 5pm. Through April 25. Shotgun Players perform Emily Mann’s fresh spin on Chekhov’s The Seagull.
*…And Jesus Moonwalks the Mississippi Cutting Ball Theater, 277 Taylor; 1-800-838-3006, www.cuttingball.com. $15-30. Thurs-Sat, 8pm; Sun, 5pm. Through April 11. Amid the tumult of the American Civil War, a former slave named Damascus (a subtle, commanding Aldo Billingslea) searches for his daughter, desperate to pass on his song to her lest it be forgotten. Plucked from a tree and a noose by a god moved to see him get a second chance, he searches on, now as a woman named Demeter, until he finds a white family called the Verses, served by a downhome Shakespearean schemer named Brer Bit (Martin F. Grizzell, Jr.) and headed by a bitter matriarch (Jeanette Harrison) in the absence of the paterfamilias (David Sinaiko), a deserter-turned-scavenger making his way back with a Yankee bugler (Zac Schuman) in tow. Twin daughters Blanche (Sarah Mitchell) and Free (Erika A. McCrary), meanwhile, are not so very identical, and Demeter suspects that Free whose imaginary friend is an African American Jesus with a decidedly 20th-centruy mojo (played by a beautifully deadpan-beatific David Westley Skillman) is actually his/her own kin. In this inspired poetical-historical counter-narrative from Bay Area playwright Marcus Gardley, Greek mythology, African American folklore, personal family history, and Christian theology are all drawn irresistibly along in a great sweep of wild and incisive humor, passion, pathos and rousing gospel music as buoyant and wide as the Mississippi or rather Miss Sippi (the impressive Nicole C. Julien), personification of the mighty and flighty river, backed by a chorus of blue-gowned sisters (Rebecca Frank, Halili Knox, Erica Richardson). The Cutting BallPlaywrights Foundation coproduction, lovingly directed by Amy Mueller, sports exquisite design touches from Cutting Ball regulars like Michael Locher, whose gorgeous plank-wood set serves as the ideal platform for a work both magnificently simple and eloquently evocative. (Avila)
Baby: A Musical Off-Market Theatres, 965 Mission; 1-800-838-3006, www.roltheatre.com. $20-32. Thurs-Sat, 8pm; Sun, 2pm. Through April 18. Ray of Light Theatre performs a comedy about pregnancy.
Caddyshack: Live! Dark Room, 2263 Mission; 401-7987, www.brownpapertickets.com/event/99361. $20. Fri/26-Sat/27, 8pm. The Dark Room presents Jim Fourniadis’ live adaptation of the iconic movie.
Death Play EXIT Theatre, 156 Eddy; 673-3847, www.theexit.org. $15-20. Thurs/25-Sat/27, 8pm. Thunderbird Theatre Company presents the third installment in the comedy series by Sang S. Kim.
*Den of Thieves SF Playhouse, 533 Sutter; 677-9596, www.sfplayhouse.org. $40. Tues, 7pm; Wed-Sat, 8pm (also Sat, 3pm). Through April 17. Stephen Adly Guirgis has been good to SF Playhouse. The company already scored big with two of the New Yorker’s gritty, dark and sharply funny plays, Our Lady of 121st Street and Jesus Hopped the ‘A’ Train. Director Susi Damilano continues the streak with SF Playhouse’s latest, the less heavy but very funny Den of Thieves, about an unlikely foursome of inept bandits caught trying to heist a Mafioso’s safe under a discotheque in Queens a simple tale that gives plenty of scope to Guirgis’s muscular way with dialogue and the clash of characters. The story opens on a depressed recovering kleptomaniac, Maggie (an affectingly understated Kathryn Tkel), and her 12-step sponsor Paul (the excellent Casey Jackson), a nerdy fast-talking mixed-race former safecracker, whose Jewish grandfather headed up a famous crime ring that robin-hooded their take to library construction for kids in the neighborhood. Enter Maggie’s former boyfriend, a Puerto Rican tough named Flaco (a hilariously spot-on Chad Deverman), with his new squeeze, erotic dancer Boochie (a deftly comic Corinne Proctor), and a lead on a large traceless sum of cash. Suddenly the smell of big money sends recovery out the window and makes uneasy bedfellows of the motley, hostile bunch. Enter angry but softhearted mobster Little Tuna (Ashkon Davaran), his sadistic sidekick Sal (Peter Ruocco), and big gun Big Tuna (Joe Madero). Facing mob vengeance, it’s time for some fast-talking and deal making among the mini-den, and all bets are off. The ending seems to have eluded Guirgis a little, but the way there makes for meaty comedy, while the exceptional cast sells the conceit so beautifully they make it a crime to miss. (Avila)
Desperate Affection Royce Gallery, 2901 Mariposa; www.expressionproductions.com. $28. Thurs-Sat, 8pm. Through April 10. Expression Productions presents a dark comedy by Bruce Graham.
Eat, Pray, Laugh! Off-Market Theaters, 965 Mission; www.brownpapertickets.com. $20. Wed, 8pm. Through April 28. Off-Market Theaters presents stand up comic and solo artist Alicia Dattner in her award-winning solo show.
KML Preaches to the Choir Jewish Theater, 470 Florida; www.killingmyblobster.com. $15-20. Thurs/25-Fri/26, 8pm; Sat/27, 7 and 10pm; Sun/28, 7pm. The award-winning sketch comedy group takes aim at the higher powers in this piece directed by Paco Romane.
*Loveland The Marsh, 1074 Valencia; 826-5750, www.themarsh.org. $15-50. Sat, 8:30pm; Sun, 7pm. Through April 25. Starting May 8, runs Sat, 5pm and Sun, 2pm at the Marsh Berkeley, 2120 Allston, Berk. Through June 13. Los Angelesbased 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. (Avila)
Now and at the Hour EXIT Stage Left, 156 Eddy; 673-3847, www.theexit.org. $15-25. Fri/26-Sat/27, 8pm. EXIT presents the subtly unnerving show by theatrical magician Christian Cagigal.
Pearls Over Shanghai Hypnodrome, 575 Tenth St.; 1-800-838-3006, www.thrillpeddlers.com. $30-69. Sat, 8pm; Sun, 7pm. Through April 24. Thrillpeddlers presents this revival of the legendary Cockettes’ 1970 musical extravaganza.
Ramble-Ations: A One D’Lo Show Brava Theater Center, 2781 24th St; 647-2822, www.brava.org. $10-25. Thurs-Sat, 8pm; Sun, 3pm. Through April 3. Performance artist D’Lo offers up a comedic solo show from a unique (gay, Hindi, Sri Lankan, SoCal, hip-hop) perspective.
The Real Americans The Marsh, 1062 Valencia; 826-5750, www.themarsh.org. $18-50. Wed-Fri, 8pm (April 16, show at 9pm; starting April 24, no Fri shows except May 28, 8pm); Sat, 5pm; Sun, 3pm. Through May 30. The Marsh presents the world premiere of Dan Hoyle’s new solo show.
Shopping! The Musical Shelton Theater, 533 Sutter; 1-800-838-3006, www.brownpapertickets.com. $27-29. Fri-Sat, 8pm. The musical is now in its fifth year at Shelton Theater.
Something You Might Want Stagewerx Theatre, 533 Sutter; www.catchynametheatre.org. $16. Fri/26-Sat/27, 8pm; Sun/28, 3pm. CatchyNameTheatre presents this dark comedy written and directed by Jim Strope.
Suddenly Last Summer Actors Theatre, 855 Bush; 345-1287, www.actorstheatresf.org. $15-35. Thurs-Sat, 8pm. Through April 10. Actors Theatre presents one of Tennessee Williams’ finest and most famous plays.
The Sugar Witch New Conservatory Theatre Center, 25 Van Ness; 861-4914, www.nctcsf.org.
Wed-Sat, 8 pm; Sun, 2pm. Through April 4. NCTC presents the premiere of Nathan Sanders’ crime story.
Truce Noh Space, 2840 Mariposa; 826-1958. $10-25. Wed-Sat, 8pm. Through April 3. Playwright-performer Marilee Talkington stars in Vanguardian Productions’ presentation of her autobiographical work about a woman struggling with impending blindness.
What Mama Said About Down There Our Little Theater, 287 Ellis; 820-3250, www.theatrebayarea.org. $15-25. Thurs-Sun, 8pm. Through July 30. Writer-performer-activist Sia Amma presents this largely political, a bit clinical, inherently sexual, and utterly unforgettable performance piece.
Concerning Strange Devices from the Distant West Roda Theatre, 2015 Addison, Berk; (510) 647-2949, berkeleyrep.org. $13.50-27. Days and times vary. Through April 11. Berkeley Rep presents a sexy and intriguing new show from Naomi Iizuka.
*East 14th: True Tales of a Reluctant Player Marsh Berkeley, 2120 Allston, Berk; www.themarsh.org. $20-35. Fri/26, April 9, 16, 30, and May 7, 9pm; Sun/28, 7pm; April 10, May 1, and May 8, 8pm; April 18 and 25, 2pm. Don Reed’s solo play, making its Oakland debut after an acclaimed New York run, is truly a welcome homecoming twice over. (Avila)
Handless Central Stage, 5221 Central, Richmond; 1-800-838-3006, www.raggedwing.org. $15-30. Thurs/25-Sat/27, 8pm. Ragged Wing Ensemble presents Amy Sass’ re-invention of the folk-tale The Handless Maiden.
*Learn to be Latina La Val’s Subterranean, 1834 Euclid, Berk. impacttheatre.com. $10-20. Thurs/25-Sat/27, 8pm. Impact Theatre continues its 14th season with the world premiere of Enrique Urueta’s play.
"Act Wright Performance" Bayanihan Community Center, 1010 Mission; 239-0249. Wed, 8pm. $10. Kularts presents this ensemble theater showcase directed by Anthem Salgado.
Alicia Dattner Off-Market Theatre, 965 Mission; 538-9232, www.cafearts.com. Wed, 8pm, $20. The comedian performs her solo show.
"Funny That Way" Actors’ Theatre, 855 Bush; www.brownpapertickets.com/event/102787. Sun, 7pm. $8. Bay Area comedians perform to raise money for anti-poverty organization Tripura Foundation.
"King Tut: The Boy Who Would Be King" Bayview Opera House, 4705 Third St; 824-0386. Fri-Sat, 8pm (also Sat, 2:30pm); Sun, 4pm. $10-20. Farah Dews’ play recreates King Tut’s coronation.
"Naked Comedy!" Clubhouse, 414 Mason, Ste 502; 921-2051. Sat, 9pm. $12-15. Will Franken headlines.
PianoFight Studio 250 at Off-Market, 965 Mission; www.pianofight.com. Mon, 8pm. $20. The female-driven variety show Monday Night ForePlays returns with brand-new sketches, dance numbers, and musical performances.
"Sheherezade X: A Year in Review (2009)" Phoenix Theatre, 414 Mason; 885-8526. Fri-Sat, 8pm. $25. Short plays by local writers take on topics as varied as Muni and Bernie Madoff.
Virgin Play Series Magic Theatre, Fort Mason Center, Bldg D, Marina at Laguna, SF; 240-4454, http://magictheatre.org. Mon, 6pm. Free (reservations recommended). Magic Theatre presents Martha Heasley Cox’s series of staged readings of works currently in development.
"Dance Anywhere" Various locations; www.danceanywhere.org. Fri, noon. This worldwide conceptual art piece celebrates the power of dance. Check website for local events.
"ODC Pilot 56: My Young Nostalgic Life" ODC Dance Commons, Studio B, 351 Shotwell; 863-9834. Sat-Sun, 8pm (also Sun, 5pm). $12. Six emerging choreographers present new works.
Ballet Folklórico de México de Amalia Fernandez Marin Center, 10 Avenue of the Flags, San Rafael; www.marincenter.rorg. Fri, 8pm. $25-65. The distinguished company performs traditional dance from Mexico.
Merce Cunningham Dance Company Zellerbach Hall, UC Berkeley, Bancroft at Telegraph, Berk; (510) 642-9988, www.calperformances.org. Fri-Sat, 8pm. $30-50. The company presents the late legend’s final work, Nearly 90².