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.
Lottie’s Ghosts Brava Theater Center, 2781 24th St, SF; www.brava.org. $20. Previews Thu/20, 8pm. Opens Fri/21, 8pm. Runs Thu-Sat, 8pm (no show March 28); Sun, 3pm. Through April 6. Dancer, storyteller, and Brava artist-in-residence Shakiri presents a new work based on her novel of the same name.
Pearls Over Shanghai Hypnodrome Theatre, 575 10th St, SF; www.thrillpeddlers.com. $30-35. Opens Thu/20, 8pm. Runs Thu-Sat, 8pm. Through May 31. Thrillpeddlers present the fifth anniversary revival production of its enormously popular take on the 1971 Cockettes musical.
She Rode Horses Like the Stock Exchange Thick House, 1695 18th St, SF; www.crowdedfire.org. $15-35. Previews Thu/20-Sat/22, 8pm. Opens Mon/24, 8pm. Runs Wed-Sat, 8pm. Through April 12. Crowded Fire kicks off its 2014 season with the world premiere of Amelia Roper’s dry comedy about financial disaster.
The Two Chairs Bindlestiff Studios, 185 Sixth St, SF; www.performersunderstress.com. $10-30. Previews Thu/20-Fri/21, 8pm. Opens Sat/22, 8pm. Runs Thu-Sat, 8pm; Sun, 2pm. Through April 13. Performers Under Stress performs Charles Pike’s new play, described as “No Exit as a love story set in Napa on the Silverado Trail.”
Venus in Fur Geary Theater, 415 Geary, SF; www.act-sf.org. $20-120. Previews Wed/19-Sat/22 and Tue/25, 8pm (also Sat/22, 2pm); Sun/23, 7pm. Opens March 26, 8pm. Runs Wed-Sat and Tue, 8pm (also Sat, 2pm; April 1, show at 7pm); Sun, 7pm. Through April 13. American Conservatory Theater performs a new production of David Ives’ 2012 Tony-nominated play.
The Coast of Utopia Ashby Stage, 1901 Ashby, Berk; www.shotgunplayers.org. $20-35 (three-show marathon days, $100-125). Previews March 20-28. Opens March 29. Part Three: Salvage runs March 20-April 27; Part One: Voyage runs March 26-April 17; Part Two: Shipwreck runs March 27-April 19. Three-play marathon, April 5 and 26. Through April 27. Check website for showtime info. Shotgun Players performs Tom Stoppard’s epic The Coast of Utopia trilogy, with all three plays performed in repertory.
Bauer San Francisco Playhouse, 450 Post, SF; www.sfplayhouse.org. Previews Wed/19-Fri/21, 8pm. Opens Sat/22, 8pm. Runs Tue-Thu, 7pm; Fri-Sat, 8pm (also Sat, 3pm); Sun/23 and April 13, 2pm. Through April 19. San Francisco Playhouse presents the world premiere of Lauren Gunderson’s drama about artist Rudolf Bauer.
Children Are Forever (All Sales are Final!) Stage Werx Theatre, 446 Valencia, SF; www.brownpapertickets.com. $15. Fri/21-Sat/22, 8pm. Writer-performer and comedian Julia Jackson’s well acted and consistently funny autobiographical solo show details her and her female partner’s attempt to adopt a newborn girl from a young African American mother in Florida. Along the way, Jackson’s smart script details the trials, red tape, and unexpected market incentives in the field of adoption for a same-sex, interracial couple. If the generally involving story nevertheless attenuates a little across its two-act structure, Coke Nakamoto’s precise direction (which builds on original direction by W. Kamau Bell) offers a lively framework for Jackson’s excellent characterizations as well as her frank and interesting commentary on the social, political messiness of certain natural urges. (Avila)
Crystal Springs Eureka Theatre, 215 Jackson, SF; www.crystalspringstheplay.com. $20-65. Fri/21-Sat/22, 8pm; Sun/23, 2pm. Eureka Theatre presents Kathy Rucker’s world-premiere drama about parenting in the digital age.
Feisty Old Jew Marsh San Francisco Main Stage, 1062 Valencia, SF; www.themarsh.org. $25-100. Sat, 8pm; Sun, 7pm (March 30 show at 2pm). Extended through May 4. Charlie Varon performs his latest solo show, a fictional comedy about “a 20th century man living in a 21st century city.”
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.
Hundred Days Z Space, 450 Florida, SF; www.zspace.org. $10-100. Wed and Sun, 7pm; Thu-Sat, 8pm. Through April 6. Married musical duo the Bengsons (Abigail and Shaun) provide the real-life inspiration and guiding rock ‘n’ roll heart for this uneven but at times genuinely rousing indie musical drama, a self-referential meta-theater piece relating the story of a young couple in 1940s America who fall madly in love only to discover one of them is terminally ill. As an exploration of love, mortality, and the nature of time, the story of Sarah and Will (doubled by the Bengsons and, in movement sequences and more dramatically detailed scenes, by chorus members Amy Lizardo and Reggie D. White) draws force from the potent musical performances and songwriting of composer-creators Abigail and Shaun Bengson (augmented here by the appealing acting-singing chorus and backup band that also feature El Beh, Melissa Kaitlyn Carter, Geneva Harrison, Kate Kilbane, Jo Lampert, Delane Mason, Joshua Pollock). Playwright Kate E. Ryan’s book, however, proves too straightforward, implausible, and sentimental to feel like an adequate vessel for the music’s exuberant, urgent emotion and lilting, longing introspection. Other trappings of director Anne Kauffman’s elaborate production (including an inspired set design by Kris Stone that echoes the raw industrial shell of the theater; and less-than-inspired choreography by the otherwise endlessly inventive Joe Goode) can add texture at times but also prove either neutral figures or distracting minuses in conveying what truth and heft there is in the material. Ultimately, this still evolving world premiere has a strong musical beat at its core, which has a palpable force of its own, even if it’s yet to settle into the right combination of story and staging. (Avila)
Lovebirds Marsh San Francisco Studio, 1062 Valencia, SF; www.themarsh.org. $15-50. Thu-Fri, 8pm; Sat, 8:30pm. Extended through April 12. Theater artist and comedian Marga Gomez presents the world premiere of her 10th solo show, described as “a rollicking tale of incurable romantics.”
Mommy Queerest Exit Studio, 156 Eddy, SF; www.divafest.info. $15-25. Fri-Sat, 8pm. Through March 29. Sex scenes in solo shows might sound a little onanistic, but in the right circumstances a door jam or a love seat can serve as a fine co-star. Stand-up comic and actor Kat Evasco demonstrates as much in this raunchy and high-spirited story of her sexual awakening as a lesbian-identifying bisexual, coming out in a household dominated by her closeted mother, a Filipina American drama queen with a long-term female companion she insists is the “gay” one. Presented by Guerrilla Rep and the Exit Theatre’s DIVAfest, and directed by Guerrilla Rep’s John Caldon (who co-wrote the play with Evasco), the story follows a familiar and predictable arc in some ways — familial hypocrisy giving way to inspirational cross-generational understanding — and the characterizations and set-ups (including a family feud on Jerry Springer) come with not always inspired choices. Moreover not all the jokes land where they should in a performance that starts as stand-up but immediately shifts into the style of a solo-play confessional. (A more thoroughgoing subversion of the stand-up format might have produced more complex, less foreseeable results.) At the same time, there’s no denying Evasco’s charm and energy, or her buoyant comedic talent, which makes it easier to forgive the play’s structural shortcomings. (Avila)
“Risk Is This … The Cutting Ball New Experimental Plays Festival” Exit on Taylor, 277 Taylor, SF; www.cuttingball.com. Free ($20 donation for reserved seating). Fri-Sat, 8pm. Through March 29. Five new works in staged readings, including two from Cutting Ball resident playwright Andrew Saito.
The Scion Marsh San Francisco, 1062 Valencia, SF; www.themarsh.org. $15-60. Thu-Fri, 8pm; Sat, 5pm. Through April 18. In his latest solo show, Brian Copeland (Not a Genuine Black Man; The Waiting Period) explores an infamous crime in his hometown of San Leandro: the 2000 murder of three government meat inspectors by Stuart Alexander, owner of the Santos Linguisa Factory. The story is personal history for Copeland, at least indirectly, as the successful comedian and TV host recounts growing up nearby under the common stricture that “rules are rules,” despite evidence all around that equity, fairness, and justice are in fact deeply skewed by privilege. Developed with director David Ford, the multiple-character monologue (delivered with fitful humor on a bare-bones stage with supportive sound design by David Hines) contrasts Copeland’s own youthful experiences as a target of racial profiling with the way wealthy and white neighbor Stuart Alexander, a serial bully and thug, consistently evaded punishment and even police attention along his path to becoming the “Sausage King,” a mayoral candidate, and a multiple murderer (Alexander died in 2005 at San Quentin). The story takes some meandering turns in making its points, and not all of Copeland’s characterizations are equally compelling. The subject matter is timely enough, however, though ironically it is government that seems to set itself further than ever above the law as much as wealthy individuals or the bogus “legal persons” of the corporate world. The results of such concentrated power are indeed unhealthy, and literally so — Copeland’s grandmother (one of his more persuasive characterizations) harbors a deep distrust of processed food that is nothing if not prescient —but The Scion’s tale of two San Leandrans leaves one hungry for more complexity. (Avila)
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)
The Speakeasy Undisclosed location (ticket buyers receive a text with directions), SF; www.thespeakeasysf.com. $70 (gambling chips, $5-10 extra; after-hours admission, $10). Thu-Sat, 7:40, 7:50, and 8pm admittance times. Extended through May 24. Boxcar Theater’s most ambitious project to date is also one of the more involved and impressively orchestrated theatrical experiences on any Bay Area stage just now. An immersive time-tripping environmental work, The Speakeasy takes place in an “undisclosed location” (in fact, a wonderfully redesigned version of the company’s Hyde Street theater complex) amid a period-specific cocktail lounge, cabaret, and gambling den inhabited by dozens of Prohibition-era characters and scenarios that unfold around an audience ultimately invited to wander around at will. At one level, this is an invitation to pure dress-up social entertainment. But there are artistic aims here too. Intentionally designed (by co-director and creator Nick A. Olivero with co-director Peter Ruocco) as a fractured super-narrative — in which audiences perceive snatches of overheard stories rather than complete arcs, and can follow those of their own choosing — there’s a way the piece becomes specifically and ever more subtly about time itself. This is most pointedly demonstrated in the opening vignettes in the cocktail lounge, where even the ticking of Joe’s Clock Shop (the “cover” storefront for the illicit 1920s den inside) can be heard underscoring conversations (deeply ironic in historical hindsight) about war, loss, and regained hope for the future. For a San Francisco currently gripped by a kind of historical double-recurrence of the roaring Twenties and dire Thirties at once, The Speakeasy is not a bad place to sit and ponder the simulacra of our elusive moment. (Avila)
Tipped & Tipsy Marsh Studio Theater, 1062 Valencia, SF; www.themarsh.org. $15-50. Sat, 5pm; Sun, 7pm. Through April 6. Last fall’s San Francisco Fringe Festival began on a high note with Jill Vice’s witty and deft solo, Tipped & Tipsy, and the Best of Fringe winner is now enjoying another round at solo theater outpost the Marsh. Without set or costume changes, Vice (who developed the piece with Dave Dennison and David Ford) brings the querulous regulars of a skid-row bar to life both vividly and with real quasi–Depression-Era charm. She’s a protean physical performer, seamlessly inhabiting the series of oddball outcasts lined up each day at Happy’s before bartender Candy — two names as loaded as the clientele. After some hilarious expert summarizing of the do’s and don’ts of bar culture, a story unfolds around a battered former boxer and his avuncular relationship with Candy, who tries to cut him off in light of his clearly deteriorating health. Her stance causes much consternation, and even fear, in his barfly associates, while provoking a dangerous showdown with the bar’s self-aggrandizing sleaze-ball owner, Rico. With a love of the underdog and strong writing and acting at its core, Tipsy breezes by, leaving a superlative buzz. (Avila)
Twisted Fairy Tales Shelton Theater, 533 Sutter, SF; www.leftcoasttheatreco.org. $15-25. Thu-Sat, 8pm. Through April 5. Left Coast Theatre Co. performs the world premiere of seven one-act LGBT-themed plays based on classic children’s stories.
The World of Paradox Garage, 715 Bryant, SF; www.paradoxmagic.com. $12-15. Mon, 8pm. Through April 7. Footloose presents David Facer in his solo show, a mix of magic and theater.
Wrestling Jerusalem Intersection for the Arts, 925 Mission, SF; www.theintersection.org. $20-30. Thu-Sat, 7:30pm; Sun, 2pm. Through April 6. Intersection for the Arts presents Aaron Davidman in his multicharacter solo performance piece about Israel and Palestine.
Yellow New Conservatory Theatre Center, 25 Van Ness, SF; www.nctcsf.org. $25-45. Wed/19-Sat/22, 8pm; Sun/23, 2pm. Playwright Del Shores (Sordid Lives, Southern Baptist Sissies) returns to his native South — while detouring from previous camp-comedy treatments — with this affirming family drama set in Vicksburg, Miss., about a progressive white couple whose marriage and family are rocked in the wake of their son’s illness. Kate (Dana Zook) and Bobby (Andrew Nance) are celebrating 19 years together. Their oldest son, Dayne (Damion Matthews), is a handsome high school senior and football star; their daughter, Gracie (Ali Haas), is his high-strung younger sister, a drama devotee in more ways than one with plans to be the next Meryl Streep. Gracie’s best friend, Kendall (Maurice André San-Chez), is an effeminate young man with a golden singing voice but a strict fundamentalist mother (Linsay Rousseau) from whom he must hide his plan to join Gracie in the school’s production of Oklahoma! Kendall’s fractured family encourages his tight orbit around Gracie’s — including Dayne, on whom Kendall has an impossible-to-disguise crush — all of whom accept the closeted, innocent youth unequivocally. But when Dayne comes down with a rare liver disease (the title has nothing to do with race, which is not explored here, but references, at a literal level, the sickly color that overcomes Dayne at one point), the seemingly ideal family itself fractures along lines of a deeply buried secret regarding his paternity. Amid their worry for Dayne’s future, and the painful dynamic opened between Kate and Bobby, Kendall’s mother moves in with proselyting zeal, alienating her son to the point of total rejection, but also adding to an already volatile tension between his adoptive parents. Helmed by New Conservatory Theatre Center’s founding artistic director, Ed Decker, the production achieves (after some initial warming up) decent performances across the cast, which, along with Shores’ careful plotting and consistent humor, helps keep this sentimental, somewhat too neat story involving until the end. (Avila)
Accidental Death of an Anarchist Berkeley Repertory Theatre, Roda Theatre, 2015 Addison, Berk; www.berkeleyrep.org. $29-99. Tue and Thu-Sat, 8pm (no show April 18; additional 2pm shows Thu/20 and April 17; also Sat, 2pm, but no matinee Sat/22); Sun, 2 and 7pm. Through April 20. Berkeley Rep presents comic actor Steven Epp in Dario Fo’s explosive political farce, directed by Christopher Bayes,
Arms and the Man Barn Theatre, 30 Sir Francis Drake, Ross; www.rossvalleyplayers.com. $13-26. Thu, 7:30pm; Fri-Sat, 8pm; Sun, 2pm. Through April 13. Ross Valley Players perform George Bernard Shaw’s romantic comedy.
Bread and Circuses La Val’s Subterranean, 1834 Euclid, Berk; www.impacttheatre.com. $20-25. Thu-Sat, 8pm; Sun, 7pm. Through April 6. Impact Theatre performs “a cavalcade of brutal and bloody new short plays” by various contemporary playwrights.
Fool For Love Pear Avenue Theatre, 1220 Pear, Mtn View; www.thepear.org. $10-35. Thu-Sat, 8pm; Sun, 2pm. Through April 6. Pear Avenue Theatre performs Sam Shepard’s iconic play, about a pair of former lovers who reunite at a lonely desert motel.
Geezer Marsh Berkeley, 2120 Allston, Berk; www.themarsh.org. $25-50. Thu, 8pm; Sat, 5pm. Through April 26. Geoff Hoyle moves his hit comedy about aging to the East Bay.
The Lion and the Fox Berkeley City Club, 2315 Durant, Berk; www.centralworks.org. $15-28. Thu-Sat, 8pm; Sun, 5pm. Through March 30. Central Works performs a prequel to its 2009 hit, Machiavelli’s The Prince, which depicts a face-off between Niccolo Machiavelli and Cesare Borgia.
The Music Man Julia Morgan Theater, 2640 College, Berk; www.berkeleyplayhouse.org. $17-60. Thu/20-Fri/21, 7pm; Sat/22, 1 and 6pm; Sun/23, noon and 5pm. There’s trouble in River City! See it unfold amid all those trombones at Berkeley Playhouse.
Once On This Island Lucie Stern Theatre, 1305 Middlefield, Palo Alto; www.theatreworks.org. $19-73. Tue-Wed, 7:30pm; Thu-Sat, 8pm (also Sat, 2pm); Sun, 2 and 7pm. Through March 30. TheatreWorks performs the Tony-nominated musical about a star-crossed love affair in the tropics, inspired by Hans Christian Andersen’s The Little Mermaid.
“Attractive Camp” Lost Weekend Video, 1034 Valencia, SF; www.eventbrite.com. Sun/23, 8pm. $10. Stand-up comedy, sketch comedy, and short films with Greg Edwards, Sean Keane, Lydia Popovich, and others.
“Awaiting Dawn” Dennis Gallagher Arts Pavilion, 66 Page, SF; internationalsf.org/awaiting_dawn. Thu/20-Sat/22 and March 27-28, 7pm; March 29, 2pm. $10-30. The French-American International School presents this series of performances exploring the intersections of art, education, and democracy.
Caroline Lugo and Carolé Acuña’s Ballet Flamenco Peña Pachamama, 1630 Powell, SF; www.carolinalugo.com. Sat/22, March 30, April 6, 12, 19, and 30, 6:15pm. $15-19. Flamenco performance by the mother-daughter dance company, featuring live musicians.
“Comedy Returns to El Rio” El Rio, 3158 Mission, SF; www.brownpapertickets.com. Thu/20, 8pm. $7-20. Stand-up with Steve Lee, Bob McIntyre, Johan Miranda, Kat Evasco, and Lisa Geduldig.
Feinstein’s at the Nikko Hotel Nikko, 222 Mason, SF; www.feinsteinssf.com. This week: Jason Grae’s “49 1/2 Shades of Grae,” Thu/20, 8pm, $25-35; Vonda Shepard, Fri/21, 8pm, $40-55.
Flamenco Del Oro Emerald Tablet, 80 Fresno, SF; www.emtab.org. Fri/21, 8pm. $15 suggested donation. Flamenco dance and music.
“Izzies Dance Awards” Brava Theater Center, 2781 24th St, SF; www.brava.org. Mon/24, 6-8pm. Free. The 28th annual Isadora Duncan Dance Awards honors achievements by members of the Bay Area dance community, with awards for choreography, performance, visual design, and other categories.
Richard Lewis Cobb’s Comedy Club, 915 Columbus, SF; www.cobbscomedyclub.com. Fri/21, 8pm; Sat/22-Sun/23, 7pm (also Sat/22, 9:15pm). $25. The comedian performs.
“Luster: An American Songbook” Davies Symphony Hall, 201 Van Ness, SF; www.sfgmc.org. March 25-26, 8pm. $25-75. San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus performs works by Gershwin, Porter, Ellington, and Berlin, as well as the world premiere of a tribute to Tyler Clementi.
“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.
Mona Khan Company Garage, 715 Bryant, SF; ticketfly.com/event/475517. Sun/23 and March 30, 7:30pm (also March 30, 5:30pm). $20. The Indian contemporary dance company presents Soch, a night of vignettes.
“The Naked Stage” Bayfront Theater, B350 Fort Mason Center, SF; www.improv.org. Sat, 8pm. Through March 29. $20. BATS Improv performs a completely improvised play.
“ODC/Dance Downtown” Yerba Buena Center for the Arts Theater, 700 Howard, SF; www.ybca.org. Thu/20-Sat/22 and March 28-29, 8pm; Sun/23 and March 30, 4pm; March 26-27, 7:30pm. $20-75. The acclaimed contemporary dance company marks its 43rd season with world premiere boulders and bones, inspired by the work of artist Andy Goldsworthy, among other works.
“Paper Wing” NOHspace, 2840 Mariposa, SF; www.theatreofyugen.org. Fri/21-Sat/22, 8pm. $15-35. Sculptural costume artist Sha Sha Higby presents a new solo performance.
“Point Break Live!” DNA Lounge, 373 11th St, SF; www.dnalounge.com. April 4, 7:30 and 11pm. $25-50. Dude, Point Break Live! is like dropping into a monster wave, or holding up a bank, like, just a pure adrenaline rush, man. Ahem. Sorry, but I really can’t help but channel Keanu Reeves and his Johnny Utah character when thinking about the awesomely bad 1991 movie Point Break or its equally yummily cheesy stage adaptation. And if you do an even better Keanu impression than me — the trick is in the vacant stare and stoner drawl — then you can play his starring role amid a cast of solid actors, reading from cue cards from a hilarious production assistant in order to more closely approximate Keanu’s acting ability. This play is just so much fun, even better now at DNA Lounge than it was a couple years ago at CELLspace. But definitely buy the poncho pack and wear it, because the blood, spit, and surf spray really do make this a fully immersive experience. (Steven T. Jones)
“Sausage Fest Comedy Show” Club OMG, 43 Sixth St, SF; www.clubomgsf.com. Tue/25, 8pm. $10. Charlie Ballard hosts this night of shirtless comedy, with Mark Smalls, Hayden Greif-Neill, Mark Burg, Noah Gain, and others.
Sidra Bell Dance New York Dance Mission Theater, 3316 24th St, SF; www.dancemission.com. Fri/21-Sun/23, 8pm. $12-20. The NYC-based movement arts company performs garment and STELLA as part of its San Francisco season.
“Silenced” and “The CONTACT Project” CounterPULSE, 1310 Mission, SF; www.counterpulse.org. Thu/20-Sat/22, 8pm; Sun/23, 2pm. Counterpulse’s Artist Residency Commissioning Program presents a double bill by its winter residents. Dancer-choreographer Charya Burt’s Silenced blends traditional and modern dance as well as live music in a pointed homage to Cambodian pop star Ros Sereysothea, an iconic face and voice of the swinging Cambodian Sixties who ended up among the two million Cambodians murdered during the genocide under Pol Pot and the Khmer Rouge (1975–1979). Backed by dancers Sandra Ruano and Ravy Mey and guitarist Nahuel Bronzini, Burt creates charming moments within a limited narrative arc, embodying in dance and song the artistry and resilience of her subject, who brought Cambodian sensibilities to Western popular musical forms. An enveloping montage of archival images by video designer Olivia Ting and a period score of Sereysothea’s hits supplemented by composer Alexis Alrich add further context and atmosphere. Choreographer Krista DeNio’s The CONTACT project reconfigures the theater space in an intimate exploration of the experiences and perspectives of male and female American military veterans. Created in collaboration with the performers (Daniel Bear Davis, Sonia Decker, Katarina Eriksson, Remi Frazier, Stephen Funk, Hope Hutman, Daniel Lippel, William McQueen, Utam Moses, Susan Pfeffer, Misty Rose Snyder, and Tina Taylor), some of whom are actual veterans, the piece is perhaps necessarily jagged in shape and execution, but DeNio offers connective tissue in the form of group movement and staging. Some of this brings audience members into the fold and even literally following in the steps of the vets, here the subjects and agents of an artificial and unraveling conformity. The emphasis on validating the personal experience of veterans is a political act in itself, and can make for some emotionally potent moments, although the rough balance strived for here can also inhibit a more rigorous political understanding and critique of ever-expanding American militarism. (Avila)
“Sister Spit 2014” Elbo Room, 647 Valencia, SF; www.radarproductions.org. Wed/19, 8pm. $10. Also Thu/20, 8pm, free, Mills College, Student Union, 5000 MacArthur, Oakl. Also Fri/21, 8pm, $10, Rock Paper Scissors Collective, 2278 Telegraph, Oakl. Michelle Tea hosts the 2014 “spring fling” performances by the groundbreaking queer and feminist literature series. Performers include Rhiannon Argo, Dia Felix, Chinaka Hodge, Beth Lisick, Jerry Lee Abram, and Virgie Tovar, plus special guests.
“Sorya! 2014: We Are Still At It” NOHspace, 2840 Mariposa, SF: www.brownpapertickets.com. Sat/22-Sun/23, 2pm; Mon/24, 7pm. Theatre of Yugen presents its 35th anniversary season with a performance by founder Yuriko Doi in the kyogen play Kawakami.
“Fleetwood Mask: The Ultimate Tribute to Fleetwood Mac” Live Oak Theatre, 1301 Shattuck, Berk; www.theatrefirst.com. Sat/22, 8pm; Sun/23, 2pm. $30. Theatrical tribute to the iconic rock band.
“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.
Pilobolus Marin Veterans’ Memorial Auditorium, 10 Avenue of the Flags, San Rafael; www.marincenter.org. Sat/22, 8pm. $20-75. The dance company performs an eclectic program of past work and three Bay Area premieres.
“Poetry Express” Himalayan Flavors, 1585 University, Berk; poetryexpressberkeley.blogspot.com. Mon, 7pm. Free. Ongoing. This week: Ambrose Mohler, plus open mic. *