Stage listings

Pub date March 3, 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



Caddyshack: Live! Dark Room, 2263 Mission; 401-7987, $5-$20. Opens Fri/5. Runs Fri-Sat, 8pm. Through March 27. The Dark Room presents Jim Fourniadis’ live adaptation of the iconic movie.

Death Play EXIT Theatre, 156 Eddy; 289-6766, $15-$20. Opens Sun/7. Runs Thurs-Sat, 8pm. Through March 27. Thunderbird Theatre Company presents the third installment in the critically acclaimed sketch comedy series "Serve By Expiration" by Sang S. Kim.

Men Who Have Fallen In and Out of Love with Me Off-Market Theatre, 965 Mission; Opens Fri/5. Runs Fri-Sat, 8pm. Through March 20. Award-winning SF playwright and journalist Beth Soloway teams up with her daughter for the world premiere of this comedy about romance.

Now and at the Hour EXIT Stage Left, 156 Eddy; 673-3847, $15-$25. Opens Fri/5. Runs Fri-Sat, 8pm. Through March 27. EXIT presents the subtly unnerving show by theatrical magician Christian Cagigal.

Something You Might Want Stagewerx Theatre, 533 Sutter; $16. Opens Fri/5. Runs Fri-Sat, 8pm; Sun, 3pm. Through March 28. CatchyNameTheatre presents this dark comedy written and directed by Jim Strope.

The Sugar Witch New Conservatory Theatre Center, 25 Van Ness; 861-4914,

Opens Sat/6. Runs various days and times through April 4. NCTC presents the premiere of Nathan Sanders’ crime story.


Singin’ in the Rain Julia Morgan Center for the Arts, 2640 College Ave, Berk; Opens Sun/7. Runs Fri-Sun, times vary. Through March 21. Berkeley Playhouse presents an exciting stage adaptation of the ’20s classic.


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

Beauty of the Father Phoenix Theatre, 414 Mason; (800) 838-3006, $30. Thurs-Sat, 8pm. Through March 13. Off-Broadway West’s season opener offers the Bay Area a first look at the somewhat messy but ultimately rewarding 2006 drama by Cuban American Pulitzer Prize–winner Nilo Cruz ("Anna in the Tropics"). Set in contemporary Andalusia, in the south of Spain, it’s the story of an aging painter named Emiliano (Durand Garcia) whose best friend and near-constant companion is the ghost of Federico García Lorca (Michael Carlisi), poet and playwright long ago murdered by the fascists during the Spanish Civil War. Emiliano also lives with his mostly platonic sweetheart (Jeanette Sarmiento), whom he plans to marry after she divorces his other housemate, a young Moroccan immigrant named Karim (Chris Holland) who is tied to her for the green card but is also Emiliano’s sometime lover. When his long-estranged ex-wife back in the U.S. dies, he invites his grown daughter (Natasha Chacon) to come live with him, feeling the urge "to father her" again. She arrives for an indefinite stay instead, shedding the gloom of her mother’s death in the embrace of life under the Andalucian sun—and a smitten Karim in particular. There’s some piquancy to the unraveling of this romantic ménage, and real poetry in the language and perspective afforded through the magical realistic presence of Lorca, but despite Cruz’s muscular writing and ambitious thematic canvas, the drama flags at points and sometimes seems unsure of where it would take us or even the proper tone or color to employ. Nevertheless, artistic director Richard Harder helms a strong cast, which helps make the going worthwhile. (Avila)

*The Caucasian Chalk Circle A.C.T., 415 Geary; $10-$82. Tues-Sat, 8pm; Wed, Sat, and Sun, 2pm. Through March 14. After bringing his acclaimed pared-down "Sweeney Todd" to ACT in 2007, director John Doyle returns with Bertolt Brecht’s inspired take on the biblical Judgment of Solomon, a story whose faith in the essential decency of people—especially those not completely corrupted by power over, and under, others—is here counterpart to a damning and rousing dissection of war, politics and the justice system/racket. Newly translated in fresh and piquant tones by Domenique Lozano, the text rings with contemporary significance, including a chiding reference to "change we can believe in" that neatly updates Brecht’s radical insistence on popular action over hopeful acquiescence to powerful leaders. The set is a junk-strewn yard, with various bits of theater rigging doubling as stage properties (like a descending bank of stage lights during a battle sequence). The ensemble cast, meanwhile, sings profusely—a cappella or to its own spare accompaniment—and renders characters in a hodgepodge of accents not entirely arbitrary (rulers talking like New York mobsters, for example, or upper-class war refugees speaking like Southern belles). The comedy can veer distractingly toward the hammy, and there’s probably a bit too much stylized abstraction at the outset (hard to imagine anyone unfamiliar with the story understanding exactly what’s going on from the chorus), but despite faults this is a welcome, timely production, engagingly realized in Doyle’s winkingly "makeshift" staging and the bold, eclectic performances he garners from ACT’s core company members, conservatory students and associates. (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.

The Gilded Thick House, 1695 18th St. $18-$30. Thurs/4, 7pm; Fri/5-Sat/6, 8pm; Sun/7, 2pm. The Curiouser Group presents a new musical by Reynaldi Lolong.

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)

Mirrors In Every Corner Intersection for the Arts, 446 Valencia; 626-2787, Thurs-Sun, 8pm. Through March 21. Intersection for the Arts, Campo Santo, and the Living Word Project present the world premiere of Chinaka Hodge’s provocative show exploring race and identity from new perspectives.

Oedipus el Rey Magic Theatre, Building D, Fort Mason Center; 441-8822, $20-$55. Days and times vary. Through March 14. 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 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.

Suddenly Last Summer Actors Theatre, 855 Bush; 345-1287, $15-$35. 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. 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.

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)


An Anonymous Story by Anton Chekhov Berkeley City Club, 2315 Durant, Berk; (510) 558-1381, $14-$25. Thurs-Sat, 8pm; Sun, 5pm. Through March 28. Central Works presents a new play adapted from the Checkhov novella.

Beebo Brinker Chronicles Brava Theater Center, 2781 24th St; 641-2822, $20-$30. Thurs-Sun, 8pm. Through March 13. The regional premiere of Kate Moira Ryan and Linda S. Chapman’s play adapted from a series of pulp novels.

Concerning Strange Devices from the Distant West Roda Theatre, 2015 Addison, Berk; (510) 647-2949, $13.50-$27. Days and times vary. Through April 11. Berkeley Rep presents a sexy and intriguing new show from Naomi Iizuka.

*East 14th Laney College Theatre, 900 Fallon St, Oakl. $10-$50. Fri-Sat, 8:30pm. Through March 28. 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 Subterranean, 1834 Euclid, Berk. $10-$20. Thurs-Sat, 8pm. Through March 27. Impact Theatre continues its 14th season with the world premiere of Enrique Urueta’s play.


AIRspace Queer Performance Showcase The Garage, 975 Howard; 885-4006, Wed-Thurs, 8pm. $10-$20. Kirk Read, Philip Huang, Baruch Porras-Hernandez, Dominika Bednarska, Jorge De Hoyos, and Awilda Rodriguez Lora perform.

"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.

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.

"Celestial Science" EXIT Theatre, 156 Eddy; 440-8825, Wed-Sat, 8pm. $15-$25. Stallion presents an interstellar voyage designed to empower, enlighten, erich, and encourage.

Don Carbone Dark Room, 2263 Mission; 401-7987, Sat, 10pm. $8. The absurdist writer and performer presents an evening of two award-winning solo performances.

"In the Loop" Space Gallery, 1141 Polk; Sat, 8pm. Space Gallery presents a multi-media event featuring looped photography, video, installations, dance, and music.

"A Musical Seance" Hypnodrome, 575 10th St; Sun-Mon, 7:30pm. $20. Jill Tracy and Paul Mercer present their latest collaboration.

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.

"Reply/catalog for circles and unfinished cities" The Garage, 975 Howard; 885-4006, Fri-Sat, 8pm; Sun, 4pm. $10-$20. RAW presents this performance work by Tableau Stations/Floor of Sky.

"Sex and the Bible: The Opera (Part I)" Community Music Center, 544 Capp; (707) 474-7273, Fri-Sat, 8pm; Sun, 7pm. Through March 14. $10-$15. San Francisco Cabaret Opera presents the world premiere of Mark Alburger’s 8-=minute work-in-progress.

"Slaughter City" Ezellerbach Playhouse, UC Berkeley Campus, Berk; (510) 642-8827, Fri-Sat, 8pm; Sun, 2pm. Through March 14. $10-$15. UC Berkeley’s Department of Theater, Dance, and Performance Studies presents a play by Naomi Wallace.

"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.

Virgin Play Series Locations vary. Mon, 6pm. Through March 29. Magic Theatre presents Martha Heasley Cox’s series of staged readings of works currently in development.

Zambaleta Carnaval Zambaleta, 2929 19th St; Sat, 11am-11pm. Free. San Francisco’s new school for world music and dance will transform its campus into an eclectic all-day jam session celebrating the spirit of Carnaval.


"Hamlet: Blood in the Brain" Oakland Tech Auditorium, 4351 Broadway, Oakl; (510) 548-9666, Mon, 6:30pm. California Shakespeare Theater and Oakland Tech High School host an evening of select scenes from the Advanced Drama Department’s award-winning production moderated by Jonathan Moscone.
"Something to be Proud of" PMCCA, 1428 Alice, Oakl; Sat, 7pm. $10-$20. Malonga Casquelourd Center for the Arts Dimensions Extensions Performance Ensemble presents this youth performance.
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.