Stage Listings

Pub date February 16, 2010

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 For further information on how to submit items for the listings, see Picks. For the complete listings, go to



Bay One Acts Festival Boxcar Theatre, 505 Natoma; 776-7427, $12-$24. Dates and times vary. Opens Thurs/18. Runs through March 13. Three Wise Monkeys presents eleven short plays by Bay Area playwrights, including Cris Barth, Stuart Bousel, and Lauren Yee.

The Gilded Thick House, 1695 18th St. $18-$30. Opens Thurs/18. Runs Thurs, 7pm; Fri-Sat, 8pm; Sun, 2pm. Through March 7. The Curiouser Group presents a new musical by Reynaldi Lolong.

Mahalia Lorraine Hansberry Theatre, 450 Post; 474-8800, $18-$40. Previews Thurs/18-Fri/19. Opens Sat/20. Runs Thurs-Sat, 8pm; Sun, 4pm. Through Feb 28. Lorraine Hansberry Theatre presents the inaugural production of Tom Stolz’s gospel musical.

Suddenly Last Summer Actors Theatre, 855 Bush; 345-1287, $15-$35. Opens Thurs/19. Runs Thurs-Sat, 8pm. Through March 27. Actors Theatre presents one of Tennessee Williams’ finest and most famous plays.

What Just Happened? The Marsh, 1062 Valencia; (800) 838-3006, $20-$50. Opens Fri/19. Runs Fri-Sat, 8pm. Through March 13. The Marsh presents Nina Wise’s improvisation-based sow about personal and political events which have transpired over the previous 24 hours.



An Anonymous Story by Anton Chekhov Berkeley City Club, 2315 Durant, Berk; (510) 558-1381, $14-$25. Previews Fri/19. Opens Sat/20. Runs Thurs-Sat, 8pm; Sun, 5pm. Central Works presents a new play adapted from the Checkhov novella.

*East 14th Laney College Theatre, 900 Fallon St, Oakl. $10-$50. Opens Fri/19. Runs Fri-Sat, 8:30pm. Through Feb 27. Also at the the Marsh Berkeley in March. Don Reed’s solo play, making its Oakland debut 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)

Learn to be Latina La Val’s Subterrnean, 1834 Euclid, Berk. $10-$20. Previews Thurs/18-Fri/19. Opens Sat/20. Runs Thurs-Sat, 8pm. Impact Theatre continues its 14th season with the world premiere of Enrique Urueta’s play.



Animals Out of Paper SF Playhouse, 533 Sutter; 677-9596, $30-$40. Tues, 7pm; Wed-Fri, 8pm; Sat, 3 and 8pm. Through Feb 27. SF Playhouse presents Rajiv Joseph’s quirky comedy.

Beauty of the Father Phoenix Theatre, 414 Mason; (800) 838-3006, $30. Thurs-Sat, 8pm. Through March 13. Off Broadway West Theatre Company presents Nilo Cruz’s Pulitzer Prize-winner.

Bright River Brava Theater Center, 2781 24th St; (800) 838-3006, Thurs/18-Sat/20, 8pm. From the imagination of Tim Barsky comes a journey through a dystopian uderworld.

Eat, Pray, Laugh! Off-Market Theaters, 965 Mission; $20. Wed, 8pm. Through Feb 24. Off-Market Theaters presents stand up comic and solo artist Alicia Dattner in her award-winning solo show.

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.

Fabrik: The Legend of M. Rabinowitz Jewish Theatre, 470 Florida; 292-1233, $20-$45. Thurs-Sat, 8pm; Sun, 2 and 7pm. Through Feb 28. The Jewish Theatre San Francisco presents a Wakka Wakka Productions presentation of this story of a Polish Jew who immigrated to Norway, told with hand-and-rod puppets, masks, and original music.

Fiddler on the Roof Golden Gate Theatre, 1 Taylor; 512-7770, $30-$99. Wed/17-Sat/20, 8pm; Wed/20, Sat/21, 2pm. Harvey Fierstein, who played Tevye in the recent critically acclaimed Broadway production, reprises the role as part of the Best of Broadway series.

Fiorello! Eureka Theatre, 215 Jackson; 392-4400, $10-$30. Sat/20, 2pm. The San Francisco Arts Education Project celebrates the ninth year of its musical theater company with three weekend performances of Broadway’s Pulitzer Prize winning play.

The Greatest Bubble Show on Earth Marsh, 1062 Valencia. (800) 838-3006, $7-$50. Sun, 11am. Through April 3. The Amazing Bubble Man returns with his extraordinary family-friendly show.

Hearts on Fire Teatro ZinZanni, Pier 29; 438-2668, $117-$145. Wed-Sat, 6pm; Sun, 5pm. Through May 16. Teatro ZinZanni celebrates its 10th anniversary with this special presentation featuring Thelma Houston, El Vez, and Christine Deaver.

*Loveland The Marsh, 1074 Valencia; 826-5750, $15-$50. Sat, 8:30pm; Sun, 7pm. Through April 11. 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)

Oedipus el Rey Magic Theatre, Building D, Fort Mason Center; 441-8822, $20-$55. Days and times vary. Through Feb 28. Luis Alfaro transforms Sophocles’ ancient tale into an electrifying myth, directed by Loretta Greco.

Pearls Over Shanghai Hypnodrome, 575 Tenth St.; 1-800-838-3006, $30-69. Sat, 8pm; Sun, 7pm. Through April 24. Thrillpeddlers presents this revival of the legendary Cockettes’ 1970 musical extravaganza.

*The Position Studio 250, 965 Mission; $20. Thurs-Sat, 8pm; Sun, 7pm. Through Feb 28. From the ready pen of notable local playwright William Bivins comes a witty dystopic thriller too good not to be (essentially) true: In the USA’s not-too-distant future, after “the Great Downturn,” there’s 80% unemployment, the population lives by scavenging, despair is in the water and air, and there are no more dogs (those little four-legged ambassadors of hope). But there are still one or two job openings in the ultra-powerful, totemic, life-giving corporate universe of The Concern. A recent search has narrowed the candidates down to six (types played to perfection, while imbued with palpable soul, by Kate Jones, Asher Lyons, Gabi Patacsil, Eric Reid, Dan Williams, and Laura Zimmerman). They’re flown to an exclusive island, paradisial in its accommodations and distance from dismal American society at large, totalitarian in its panoptic surveillance and haughty obscurantism. Greeted by the icy hot Mrs. Radcliffe (Jessica Cortese) and her deliriously accommodating man-servant Baylian (a joyously loopy Even Winchester)—both nattily futuristic in coordinated turquoise business wear—the candidates find there are no rules but two over the course of the evaluation, and no explanation of what they might be evaluated on. The contest begins and, in PianoFight’s low-budgeted but high-spirited production, it makes no difference how familiar might be the themes or the scenario—very adeptly riffing on classics new and hoary, from “Survivor” and “The Apprentice” to “The Most Dangerous Game”—”The Position” never feels merely derivative, let alone dull or predictable. Instead, it’s inspired, rebellious lovemaking with our doom-clouded moment, realized by an engrossing cast unerringly directed by PianoFight’s Christy Crowley. Assume nothing, not even “the position,” unless it be that of butt-to-seat—this is a great ride. (Avila)

Ramona Quimby Zeum: San Francisco Children’s Museum, 221 Fourth St; (510) 296-4433, $14-$18. Sat/20-Sun/21, 2 and 4:30pm. Active Arts Theatre for Young Audiences presents a theatrical production based on the novels of Beverly Cleary.

The Real Americans The Marsh, 1062 Valencia; 826-5750, $15-$50. Thurs-Fri, 8pm; Sat, 5pm. Through April 18. The Marsh presents the world premiere of Dan Hoyle’s new solo show.

Red Light Winter Next Stage, 1620 Gough; (800) 838-3006, $18-$28. Thurs/18-Sat/20, 8pm. There’s a moment in the second act of Red Light Winter that eerily recalls the plotline of Fugard’s Coming Home, currently playing the Berkeley Rep, but unlike Fugard, playwright Adam Rapp can’t help but to ratchet up the despair without tempering it with a shred of hope, and the resultant script comes off more like misery porn than an authentic exploration of the human spirit. You can’t fault the fearless cast of Custom Made Theatre’s production of it for the script’s overall flaws though; they inhabit their characters wholly, firing off volleys of “dude-speak” “nerd-speak” and “unrequited love-lament” without a hitch, imbuing each scene with subtle quirk and nervous tension. Steve Budd, as Davis, channels the restless energies of a hedonistic jackass (whose brash exterior sadly does not hide a heart of gold), and the neurotic, OCD sorrows of the hopelessly heartbroken Matt are brought to acutely uncomfortable life by Daveed Diggs. But it is the shape-shifting, name-changing, unreliable Christina (powerfully rendered by Britanny K. McGregor) who remains the play’s greatest enigma and bears the brunt of Rapp’s punishing pen, like the weary subject of a Tom Waits ballad, minus the comfort of a redemptive moment, or even just a bottle of whiskey. (Gluckstern)

Rent Southside Theatre, Fort Mason Center; $25-$35. Fri/19, 8pm; Sat/20-Sun/21, 2 and 8pm. The Royal Underground presents A Jerica Productions Company rendition of Jonathan Larson’s Tony Award and Pulitzer Prize-winning rock opera.

Tick, Tick … Boom! Eureka Theatre, 215 Jackson. (800) 838-3006, $15-$30. Wed-Sat, 8pm; Sun, 3pm. Through Feb 28.Theatre Rhinoceros presents Jonathan Larson’s rock musical.

What Mama Said About ‘Down There Our Little Theater, 287 Ellis; 820-3250, $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.

Wicked Orpheum Theatre, 1182 Market; 512-7770, $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)



Antigone Live Oak Theatre, 1301 Shattuck, Berk; (510) 649-5999, $12-$15. Fri/19-Sat/20, 8pm. Actors Ensemble of Berkeley presents Jean Anouilh’s adaptation of the ancient Greek tragedy.

Coming Home Thrust Stage, Berkeley Repertory Theatre, 2025 Addison; (510) 647-2917, Tues, 8pm; Wed, 7pm; Thurs-Sat, 8pm; Sun, 2 and 7pm. Through Feb 28. $33-$71. The rags to riches fantasy of the small town girl who hits the big time after abandoning her hometown for the brighter lights of a big city is one of the most well-worn yet perennially beloved plotlines. Less popular are the tales of the girls who return to their hometowns years later still in rags, their big city dreams crumbled and spent. Such a tale is Athol Fugard’s Coming Home, a cautious sequel to Valley Song, which follows Veronica Jonkers (a versatile Roslyn Ruff) to her childhood home in the Karoo, her own small child in tow and little else. The tragedy of her ignominious return is further compounded by her secret knowledge that she is HIV-positive, and her young son’s future therefore precarious. The slow-moving yet tenacious script stretches over a period of four years, following both the progression of Veronica’s dread decline in health, and the flowering intellectual development of her son, Mannetjie (played by Kohle T. Bolton and Jaden Malik Wiggins), who keeps his “big words” in his deceased Oupa’s pumpkin seed tin. Almost superfluous appearances by the ghost of Oupa (Lou Ferguson) are made enjoyable by Ferguson’s quiet mastery of the role, and Thomas Silcott parlays great empathy and range in his performance as Veronica’s irrepressible childhood companion and circumstantial caretaker Alfred Witbooi. (Gluckstern)

The First Grade Aurora Theatre, 2081 Addison, Berk; (510) 843-4822, $15-$55. Tues, 7pm; Wed-Sat, 8pm; Sun, 2 and 7pm. Through Feb 28. Aurora Theatre Company presents the world premiere of Joel Drake Johnson’s new play.


Akram Khan Company YBCA, 700 Howard; 978-2787, Thurs-Sat, 8pm. $22-$27. YBCA presents bahok, a profound meditation on national identity.

“The Butterfly Lovers” Palace of Fine Arts Theatre; 392-4400, Wed, 7:30pm. $35-$70. Chinus Cultural Productions and China Arts and Entertainment Group present the U.S. premiere of China’s Romeo and Juliet, performed by the Beijing

Dancemakers’ Forum San Francisco Conservatory of Dance, 301 Eighth St. Sun, 2pm. Free. Alyce Finwall Dance Theater hosts this workshop and showing of works-in-progress.

“It Never Gets Old” The Garage, 975 Howard; (510) 684-4294, Thurs, 7pm. $25-$250. Dance/Theater Shannon presents an evening length performance exploring how different relationships provide context to intentions of touch.

“When Dreams are Interrupted” City Hall Rotunda. Wed, noon. Through Feb 24. Purple Moon Dance Project presents a special performance of this inspiring work about the forced removal of Japanese Americans in San Francisco.



“Ecstatic Dance” Sweets Historic Ballroom, 1933 Broadway, Oakl; 505-1112, Sun, 9:30am; Wed, 7pm. Ongoing. Move however you feel inspired with this freeform journey of movement.

“here, look” Shawl-Anderson Dance Center, 2704 Alcatraz, Berk; (510) 654-5921, Fri-Sat, 8pm; Sun, 6pm. Through Feb 28. The Shawl-Anderson’s Dance Up Close/East Bay Series, ahdanco, presents an evening of new works by Abigail Hosein.

“Saints and Angels” Temescal Arts Center, 511 48th St, Oakl. Fri, 6:30 and 9pm. Through Feb 26. Dance Elixir presents an evening of beautiful, austere, athletic, and comic contemporary dance.



“All Star Magic & More” SF Playhouse, Stage 2, 533 Sutter; 646-0776, Sun, 7pm. Ongoing. Magician RJ Owens hosts the longest running magic show in San Francisco.

30th Anniversary Celebration of New Works African American Art and Culture complex, 762 Fulton; 292-1850, Thurs-Sat, 8pm; Sun, 3pm. Through March 14. $20. In celebration of Black History Month and National Women’s Month, Cultural Odyssey presents a festival featuring The Love Project, The Breach, and Dancing with the Clown of Love.

“Barbary Coast Comedy” Shine, 1337 Mission. www.barbarycoastcomedycom. Sun, 7:30pm. Ongoing. $5. The popular weekly production spotlights the best comedians in the Bay Area.

BATS Improv Theatre Bayfront Theater, Fort Mason Center, B350 Fort Mason; 474-6776, Fri-Sat, 8pm. $17-$20. The Theatresports show format treats audiences to an entertaining and engaging night of theater and comedy presented as a competition.

Bijou Martuni’s, 4 Valencia; 241-0205, Sun, 7pm. $5. The eclectic live cabaret showcase features a night of love songs in honor of Valentine’s Day.

City Solo Off-Market Theaters, 965 Mission. Sun, 7pm. $20. Off-Market Theaters presents an all new show featuring a culturally diverse collection of the finest solo artists in the Bay Area.

“Cora’s Recipe for Love” EXIT Theatre, 156 Eddy; 673-3847, Fri-Sat, 8pm. $15-$25. Sean Owens’ wacky alter ego returns to address love and longing through the eyes of Gas and Gulp regulars.

“Fauxgirls!” Kimo’s Penthouse Lounge, 1351 Polk; 885-4535, Sat, 10pm. The producers of En Drag present this female impersonation revue.

“Happy Forever: The Life and Death of an Italian Cat” Dark Room Theater, 2263 Mission; 401-7987. Tues, 7, 8, and 9pm. $10. Dark Room Theater presents a play by Spy Emerson and narrated by Hal Robins.

“Hot Summer Night” Eureka Theatre, 215 Jackson. Mon, 7pm. Donations accepted. Theatre Rhinoceros and Grooviness Productions presents a reading of Jerry Metzker’s impertinent and queerified adaptation of Shakespeare’s Midsummer Night’s Dream.

“Kids of Emily and Walt” Make-Out Room, 3225 22nd St; 647-2888, Thurs, 7pm. Jack Foley, Sharon Doubiago, Whitman McGown, Margery Snyder, Marvin Hiemstra, and Ingrid Keir present a night of poetry and music honoring Walt Whitman and Emily Dickinson.

“Le Petit Mort: The Sex Show” Verdi Club, 2424 Mission; 861-9199, Mon, 7pm. $15-$25. Porchlight presents stories from Bawdy Storytelling Series maven Dixie de La Tour and more.

“The Lieutenant Governor from the State of Confusion” Rrazz Room, Hotel Nikko, 222 Mason; 781-0306, Mon, 8pm. $25. Will Durst is back with his quiver chock full of fresh topical barbs.

“No Holds Barrio” Magic Theatre, Fort Mason Center; 441-8822, Fri, 10pm. $25. Luis Alfaro performs an evening of poetry, performance, and tequila slamming.

PianoFight Studio 250 at Off-Market, 965 Mission; Mon, 8pm. Through March 29. $20. The female-driven variety show Monday Night ForePlays returns with brand new sketches, dance numbers, and musical performances.

“Unscripted: unscripted” Off-Market Theater, Studio 205, 965 Mission; 869-5384, Thurs-Sat, 8pm. Through March 13. The Un-Scripted Theater Company kicks off its eighth season with an improvised improv show.



“Death as a Salesman” Jellyfish Gallery, 1286 Folsom. Humanist Hall,, Oakl. Sat, 7:30pm. Also March 12-13 in San Francisco. Teahouse Productions presents Douglass Truth’s one-woman show.

“Eve Ensler: I am an Emotional Creature” King Middle School, 1781 Rose, Berk; (510) 644-6280, Thurs, 7pm. $12-$15. KPFA Radio 94.1 presents the bestselling author of The Vagina Monologues .

“Once Upon a Mattress” Julia Morgan Center for the Arts, 2640 College Ave, Berk; (510) 595-5514, Feb 20, 26, and 27, 7:30pm; Feb 21, 27, 2pm; Feb 28, 3pm. $10-$20. Young Musical Theater Company presents the Broadway classic.

Upright Citizens Brigade Pan Theater, 2135 Broadway, Oakl; Fri, 8 and 9:10pm. Ongoing. $14-$18. Upright Citizens Brigade Touring Co. brings the NYC funny to Oakland with this improve comedy show with guest performing troupes.



“4 Ever Laughing with the Nutballs” SF Playhouse, 533 Sutter; 646-0776, Sun, 8:30pm. $20. SF Playhouse presents refreshingly offbeat alternative comedy including impressions, stories, sound effects, and videos.

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

“All Star Comedy and More with Tony Sparks” SF Playhouse, 533 Sutter; 646-0776, Sun, 8:30pm. Ongoing. SF’s favorite comedy host brings a showcase of the Bay’s best stand-up comedy and variety.

“Big City Improv” Shelton Theater, 533 Sutter; (510) 595-5597, 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, Mon, 9pm, ongoing. Free. Various local favorites perform at this weekly show.

Clubhouse 414 Mason; 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. Thurs, 8pm; Fri, 8 and 10:15pm. $20.

“Comedy For a Cause” San Francisco Comedy college, 414 Mason. Wed, 8pm. $15-$50. The best comedians in the Bay Area have come together to raise money for the Bonnie J Addario Lung Cancer Foundation.

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

“Danny Dechi and Friends” Rockit Room, 406 Clement; 387-6343. Tues, 8pm. Free. Danny Dechi hosts this weekly comedy showcase through October.

“Frisco Fred’s Comedy Hour” Chancellor Hotel in the Luques Restaurant, 433 Powell; 646-0776, Sat, 7 and 8:30pm. Through March 27. $25. Frisco Fred presents this fun-filled hour of comedy, magic, crazy stunts and special guests.

“Galeria de la Laughter: Comedy Showcase” Galeria de la Raza, 2857 24th St; (209) 740-7522, Wed, 8pm. $5. Evert Villasenor, Nato Green, Jabari Davis, Aundre the Wonderwoman, and Tony Sparks join up for socially conscious comedy.

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

Punch Line San Francisco 444 Battery; Featuring Jim Jeffries Wed-Sat.

Purple Onion 140 Columbus; (800) 838-3006,

Rrazz Room Hotel Nikko, 222 Mason; 781-0306,

“Raw Stand-up Project SFCC, 414 Mason, Fifth Flr; Sat, 7pm, ongoing. $12-15. SFCC presents its premier stand-up comedy troupe in a series of weekly showcases.

BAY AREA “Comedy Off Broadway Oakland” Ms. Pearl’s Jam House, 1 Broadway, Oakl; (510) 452-1776, Thurs-Fri, 9pm. Ongoing. $8-$10. Comedians featured on Comedy Central, HBO, BET, and more perform every week.