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.
Acid Test: The Many Incarnations of Ram Dass Marsh San Francisco, 1062 Valencia, SF; www.themarsh.org. $15-50. Opens Fri/12, 8pm. Runs Fri, 8pm; Sat, 5pm (May 11, show at 8pm). Through May 18. Lynne Kaufman’s play (starring Warren Keith David as the spiritual seeker) moves from Berkeley to San Francisco.
Boomeraging: From LSD to OMG Marsh San Francisco, 1062 Valencia, SF; www.themarsh.org. $15-50. Opens Tue/16, 8pm. Runs Tue, 8pm. Through May 28. Comedian Will Durst performs his brand-new solo show.
The Expulsion of Malcolm X Southside Theatre, Fort Mason Center, Marina at Laguna, SF; www.fortmason.org. $30-42.50. Opens Fri/12, 8pm. Runs Fri-Sat, 8pm; Sun, 3pm. Through May 5. Colors of Vision Entertainment and GO Productions present Larry Americ Allen’s drama about the relationship between Malcolm X and Elijah Muhammad.
Ghostbusters: Live On Stage Dark Room Theater, 2263 Mission, SF; www.darkroomsf.com. $20. Opens Thu/11, 8pm. Runs Thu-Sat, 8pm. Through April 27. Rhiannastan Productions brings the beloved 1984 comedy to the stage.
How To Make Your Bitterness Work For You Stage Werx Theatre, 446 Valencia, SF; www.bitternesstobetterness.com. $15-25. Opens Sun/14, 2pm. Runs Sun, 2pm. Through May 5. Fred Raker performs his comedy about the self-help industry.
I’m Not OK, Cupid 🙁 Shelton Theatre, 533 Sutter, SF; www.leftcoasttheatreco.org. $15-35. Opens Thu/12, 8pm. Runs Thu-Sat, 8pm. Through May 4. Left Coast Theatre Co. presents a new collection of one-act, LGBT-themed comedies about dating and relationships.
The Lost Folio: Shakespeare’s Musicals Un-Scripted Theater, 533 Sutter, Second Flr, SF; www.un-scripted.com. $10-20. Previews Thu/11, 8pm. Opens Fri/12, 8pm. Runs Thu-Sat, 8pm. Through May 18. Un-Scripted Theater Company performs a fully-improvised, full-length musical inspired by Shakespeare.
Sheherezade 13 Exit Theatre, 156 Eddy, SF; www.wilywestproductions.com. $25. Opens Fri/12, 8pm. Runs Thu-Sat, 8pm. Through April 27. Wily West Productions presents a short play showcase.
Stuck Elevator American Conservatory Theater, 415 Geary, SF; www.act-sf.org. $20-85. Previews Wed/10-Sat/13, 8pm; Sun/14, 2 and 7pm. Opens Tue/16, 8pm. Runs Tue-Sat, 8pm (also Wed and Sat, 2pm); Sun, 2 and 7pm (no evening performances April 21 or 28). Through April 28. American Conservatory Theater presents the world premiere of Byron Au Yong and Aaron Jafferis’ musical (sung in English with Chinese supertitles) about a Chinese immigrant trapped in a Bronx elevator for 81 hours.
A Killer Story Marsh Berkeley, 2120 Allston, Berk; www.themarsh.org. $20-50. Opens Fri/12, 8pm. Runs Thu-Sat, 8pm (pre-show cabaret at 7:15pm). Through May 18. Dan Harder’s film noir-inspired detective tale premieres at the Marsh Berkeley.
Pericles, Prince of Tyre Berkeley Repertory Theatre, 2025 Addison, Berk; www.berkeleyrep.org. $29-77. Previews Fri/12-Sat/13 and Tue/16, 8pm; Sun/14, 7pm. Opens April 17, 8pm. Runs Tue, Thu-Sat, 8pm (also Sat and April 25 and May 23, 2pm; no matinee April 27; no show May 24); Wed and Sun, 7pm (also Sun, 2). Through May 26. Mark Wing-Davey directs Berkeley Rep’s take on the Bard.
The Bereaved Thick House, 1695 18th St, SF; www.crowdedfire.org. $10-35. Wed-Sat, 8pm. Through April 27. Crowded Fire Theater launches its Mainstage season with Thomas Bradshaw’s wicked comedy about "sex, drugs, and the American dream."
The Bus New Conservatory Theatre Center, 25 Van Ness, SF; www.nctcsf.org. $32-45. Wed-Sat, 8pm; Sun, 2pm. Through April 28. NCTC performs James Lantz’s tale of two young men whose meeting place for their secret relationship is a church bus.
Carnival! Eureka Theatre, 215 Jackson, SF; www.42ndstreetmoon.org. $25-75. Wed, 7pm; Thu-Fri, 8pm; Sat, 6pm (also Sat/13, 1pm); Sun, 3pm. Through April 21. 42nd Street Moon performs the Tony Award-winning musical.
Eurydice Gough Street Playhouse, 1622 Gough, SF; www.custommade.org. $25-30. Thu/11-Sat/13, 8pm; Sun/14, 7pm. Custom Made Theatre Co. performs Sarah Ruhl’s inventive take on the Orpheus and Eurydice myth, exploring the story through the heroine’s eyes.
Foodies! The Musical Shelton Theater, 533 Sutter, SF; www.foodiesthemusical.com. $30-34. Fri-Sat, 8pm. Open-ended. AWAT Productions presents Morris Bobrow’s musical comedy revue all about food.
The Happy Ones Magic Theatre, Fort Mason Center, Bldg D, Third Flr, SF; www.magictheatre.org. $22-62. Wed-Sat, 8pm (also Sat, 2:30pm; no matinee April 20); Sun, 2:30pm; Tue, 7pm. Through April 21. An Orange County appliance store owner finds his life turned upside down in Julie Marie Myatt’s drama at Magic Theatre.
reasons to be pretty San Francisco Playhouse, 450 Post, Second Flr, SF; www.sfplayhouse.org. $30-100. Tue-Thu, 7pm; Fri-Sat, 8pm (also Sat, 3pm). Through May 11. San Francisco Playhouse’s tenth season continues with Neil LaBute’s romantic drama.
Sex and the City: LIVE! Rebel, 1760 Market, SF; trannyshack.com/sexandthecity. $25. Wed, 7 and 9pm. Open-ended. It seems a no-brainer. Not just the HBO series itself that’s definitely missing some gray matter but putting it onstage as a drag show. Mais naturellement! Why was Sex and the City not conceived of as a drag show in the first place? Making the sordid not exactly palatable but somehow, I don’t know, friendlier (and the canned a little cannier), Velvet Rage Productions mounts two verbatim episodes from the widely adored cable show, with Trannyshack’s Heklina in a smashing portrayal of SJP’s Carrie; D’Arcy Drollinger stealing much of the show as ever-randy Samantha (already more or less a gay man trapped in a woman’s body); Lady Bear as an endearingly out-to-lunch Miranda; and ever assured, quick-witted Trixxie Carr as pent-up Charlotte. There’s also a solid and enjoyable supporting cast courtesy of Cookie Dough, Jordan Wheeler, and Leigh Crow (as Mr. Big). That’s some heavyweight talent trodding the straining boards of bar Rebel’s tiny stage. The show’s still two-dimensional, even in 3D, but noticeably bigger than your 50" plasma flat panel. (Avila)
Show Me Yours: Songs of Innocence and Experience Alcove Theater, 414 Mason, Ste 502, SF; www.thealcovetheater.com. $27. Thu-Sat, 8pm; Sun, 5pm. Through April 27. New Musical Theater of San Francisco performs a new musical revue written by Pen and Piano, the company’s resident group of writers and composers.
Steve Seabrook: Better Than You Marsh San Francisco, 1062 Valencia, SF; www.themarsh.org. $15-50. Thu, 8pm; Sat, 8:30pm. Extended through May 18. Self-awareness, self-actualization, self-aggrandizement for these things we turn to the professionals: the self-empowerment coaches, the self-help authors and motivational speakers. What’s the good of having a "self" unless someone shows you how to use it? Writer-performer Kurt Bodden’s Steve Seabrook wants to sell you on a better you, but his "Better Than You" weekend seminar (and tie-in book series, assorted CDs, and other paraphernalia) belies a certain divided loyalty in its own self-flattering title. The bitter fruit of the personal growth industry may sound overly ripe for the picking, but Bodden’s deftly executed "seminar" and its behind-the-scenes reveals, directed by Mark Kenward, explore the terrain with panache, cool wit, and shrewd characterization. As both writer and performer, Bodden keeps his Steve Seabrook just this side of overly sensational or maudlin, a believable figure, finally, whose all-too-ordinary life ends up something of a modest model of its own. (Avila)
Tinsel Tarts in a Hot Coma: The Next Cockettes Musical Hypnodrome, 575 10th St, SF; www.thrillpeddlers.com. $30-35. Thu-Sat, 8pm. Through June 1. Thrillpeddlers’ sixth annual Theatre of the Ridiculous Revival presents a restored version of the Cockettes’ 1971 Art Deco-inspired musical extravaganza.
The Arsonists Aurora Theatre, 2081 Addison, Berk; www.auroratheatre.org. $35-60. Previews Wed/10, 8pm. Opens Thu/11, 8pm. Runs Tue and Sun, 7pm (also Sun, 2pm); Wed-Sat, 8pm. Through May 12. Aurora Theatre Company performs Max Frisch’s classic comic parable, translated by Alistair Beaton.
Being Earnest Mountain View Center for the Performing Arts, 500 Castro, Mtn View; www.theatreworks.org. $23-73. Tue-Wed, 7:30pm; Thu-Sat, 8pm (also Sat, 2pm); Sun, 2 and 7pm. Through April 28. TheatreWorks performs the world premiere of Paul Gordon’s musical take on Oscar Wilde’s comedy.
The Coast of Utopia: Voyage & Shipwreck Ashby Stage, 1901 Ashby, Berk; www.shotgunplayers.org. $20-35. Shipwreck runs Wed-Thu, 7pm; Fri-Sat, 8pm; Sun, 5pm. Through May 5. Voyage runs Sat/13, April 20, 27, and May 4, 3pm. Last year in the Shotgun Players’ production of Voyage, the first part of Tom Stoppard’s The Coast of Utopia trilogy (also playing in repertory through May 4), we were introduced to a tight circle of Russian thinkers and dreamers, chafing against the oppressive regime of Nicholas I. In the second part, Shipwrecked, we find them older, perhaps wiser, struggling to keep their revolutionary ideals alive while also juggling familial concerns and personal passions. Focused mainly on Alexander Herzen (Patrick Kelley Jones) and family, Shipwrecked travels from Russia to Germany, France, Italy, and the English Channel, buffeted from all directions by the forces of the uprisings and burgeoning political consciousness of the European proletariat. It’s an unwieldy, sprawling world that Stoppard, and history, have built (made somewhat more so by the Shotgun production’s strangely languid pace during even the most dramatic sequences) but it’s worth making the effort to spend time absorbing the singular world views of Russian émigré Herzen, his impulsively passionate wife Natalie (Caitlyn Louchard), the cantankerous, influential critic Vissarion Belinsky (Nick Medina), professional rabble-rouser Michael Bakunin (Joseph Salazar) and up-and-coming writer Ivan Turgenev (Richard Reinholdt) as they desperately seek to carve out both their personal identities and a greater, cohesive Russian one from the imperfect turmoil of Western philosophy. (Gluckstern)
Fallaci Berkeley Repertory Theatre, 2015 Addison, Berk; www.berkeleyrep.org. $29-89. Tue, Thu-Sat, 8pm (also Sat, 2pm); Wed and Sun, 7pm (also Sun, 2pm). Through April 21. Berkeley Rep performs Pulitzer-winning journalist Lawrence Wright’s new play about Italian journalist Oriana Fallaci.
Love Letters Various Marin County venues; www.porchlight.net. $15-30. Through April 28. Porch Light Theater performs A.R. Gurney’s romantic play at four different Marin venues; check website for addresses and showtimes.
"Pear Slices" Pear Avenue Theatre, 1220 Pear, Mtn View; www.thepear.org. $10-30. Thu-Sat, 8pm; Sun, 2pm. Through April 28. Nine original short plays by members of the Pear Playwrights Guild.
The Whipping Man Marin Theatre Center, 397 Miller, Mill Valley; www.marintheatre.org. $36-57. Tue-Sat, 8pm (also Thu/11, 1pm; April 20, 2pm); Wed, 7:30pm; Sun, 2 and 7pm. Through April 21. Marin Theatre Company performs the Bay Area premiere of Matthew Lopez’s Civil War drama.
Caroline Lugo and Carolé Acuña’s Ballet Flamenco Peña Pachamama, 1630 Powell, SF; www.carolinalugo.com. Sat/13, 6:15pm. $15-19. Flamenco performance by the mother-daughter dance company, featuring live musicians.
CubaCaribe Festival This week: Dance Mission Theater, 3316 24th St, SF; www.cubacaribe.org. Fri/12-Sat/13, 8pm; Sun/14, 3 and 7pm. $10-35. Master artists performing music and dance from the Caribbean Diaspora.
Jamel Debbouze Nob Hill Masonic Auditorium, 1111 California, SF; www.masonicauditorium.com. Fri/12, 8pm. $35.50-125. If you understand French: check out this comedian. If you don’t: probably not the show for you.
"Ecstatic Dance" Regency Ballroom, Sutter Room, 1290 Sutter, SF; www.ecstaticdance.org. Tue/16, 7pm. $15-20. Free-form conscious dance for all.
"Feria with Mision Flamenca" Bissip Baobab, 3388 19th St, SF; www.misionflamenca.com. Sat/13, 7:30pm. $15. Flamenco music and dance.
"KALW presents Heard Here" Victoria Theatre, 2961 16th St, SF; www.victoriatheatre.org. Fri/12, 8pm. Free. Storytelling inspired by real people in the Bay Area.
"Mission Position Live" Cinecave, 1034 Valencia, SF; www.missionpositionlive.com. Thu, 8pm. Ongoing. $10. Stand-up comedy with rotating performers.
"Mortified" DNA Lounge, 375 11th St, SF; www.getmortified.com. Fri/12, 7:30pm. $21. Also Sat/13, 7:30pm, $20, Uptown, 1928 Telegraph, Oakl. Embarrassing tales with an April Fools’ Day theme.
"The Naked Stage" Bayfront Theater, Fort Mason Center, Marina at Laguna, SF; www.improv.org. Sat, 8pm. Through April 27. $20. BATS Improv performs an improvised stage play.
Ophelia Fort Mason Center (starting at the Firehouse), Marina at Laguna, SF; www.carteblanche-sf.com. Thu/11 and Sat/13-Sun/14, 8:30pm. $22. Carte Blanche performs a walk-through performance featuring dance, theater, and interactive video.
Red Hots Burlesque El Rio, 3158 Mission, SF; www.redhotsburlesque.com. Wed, 7:30-9pm. Ongoing. $5-10. Come for the burlesque show, stay for OMG! Karaoke starting at 8pm (no cover for karaoke).
"San Francisco Magic Parlor" Chancellor Hotel Union Square, 433 Powell, SF; www.sfmagicparlor.com. Thu-Sat, 8pm. Ongoing. $40. Magic vignettes with conjurer and storyteller Walt Anthony.
"Take 5" ODC Theater, 3153 17th St, SF; www.odctheater.org. Fri/12, 5pm. $5. Works-in-progress by dance artists Andrea Mock, Nicole Klaymoon, and Rachael Lincoln, with discussion to follow.
"Axis Dance Company Celebrates 25 Years of Inspired Dance" Malonga Casquelourd Center for the Arts, 1428 Alice, Oakl; www.brownpapertickets.com. Fri/12-Sat/13, 8pm; Sun/14, 2pm. $22. The veteran company celebrates 25 years with three works by Victoria Marks, Amy Seiwert, and Sonya Delwaide.
"The Divine Game" Ashby Stage, 1901 Ashby, Berk; www.shotgunplayers.org. Mon/15 and April 29, 8pm. $20. A spur to thought, to reading, to listening, to sparring over the meaning and magnitude of art they’re all there in the brilliantly expansive, acute, and sometimes barbed observations of professor Vladimir Nabokov (a delighting, animated John Mercer), as he expounds on the subject of Russian literature in this simply staged but witty, well-honed dramatic reading from First Person Singular and adapter-director Joe Christiano. Presented as part of Shotgun’s Monday night Cabaret series, The Divine Game, drawing verbatim on Nabokov’s Cornell lectures of the 1950s, is an invitation to a heady walk down several byways in the land of great literary art, and there are few more discerning or inspiring guides whether or not you share in every conclusion about the relative merits and demerits of Chekhov (Joshua Han) or Dostoyevsky (Brian Quackenbush) both of whom appear onstage alongside their idiosyncratic peers Gogol (Colin Johnson) and Tolstoy (Jess Thomas). There’s a frisson of mental joy in a distillation like, "Chekhov’s books are sad books for humorous people," or the sweet-talking yet penetrating pronouncement that, "Of all the great characters that a great artist creates, his readers are the best," and their cumulative impact over the course of 90 minutes offers enough inspiration for several reckless bookstore sprees. (Avila)
"Marin Ballet’s 50th Anniversary Reunion Performance" College of Marin, 835 College, Kentfield; www.marinballet.org. Sat/13, 8pm. $50. Featuring Marin Ballet alumni performing works by Ronn Guidi, Julia Adam, Robert Moses, and more.
"Rhythm of Life" 142 Throckmorton Theatre, 142 Throckmorton, Mill Valley; www.142throckmortontheatre.com. Fri/12, 8pm. $20-30. The cabaret and theater star performs songs from throughout his extensive career.
"Sagala 2013" Brentwood Community Center, 35 Oak, Brentwood; www.philippinearts.org. Sat/13, 3pm. $50. Support the American Center of Philippine Arts’ youth dance and music programs by attending this Sagala parade celebrating springtime, with music by jazz vocalist Mitch Franco.
"UniverSoul Circus" Under the Big Top, 633 Hegenberger, Oakl; www.ticketmaster.com. Wed/10-Fri/12, 10:30am and 7:30pm; Sat/13, noon, 4pm, 7:30pm; Sun/14, 1pm, 4pm, 7pm. $16-40. Circus arts acts from Vietnam, Ethiopia, and the US.