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. For complete listings, see www.sfbg.com.
*Candid Dance Mission Theater, 3316 24th St; 273-4633, www.sweetcanproductions.com. $15-60. Call for dates and times. Through Jan 9. Sweet Can’s cosy pocket-circus at Dance Mission holds plenty of big-tent talent in its five-person cast (Jamie Coventry, Natasha Kaluza, Kerri Kresinski, Nobutaka Mochimaru, Matt White), backed by the ample multi-instrumental musicianship of Eric “EO” Oberthaler. This fleet 60-minute charmer (directed with strong ensemble choreography by Zaccho Dance Theatre’s Joanna Haigood) finds opportunities for creative expression and dazzling feats with whatever comes to hand (including using hands as feet). Performers dance around in trashcans, make hay with newspaper, or get seriously Fred Astaire with a broom (in White’s wowing solo). Goofy, family appropriate, but widely appealing and frequently eye-popping (Kaluza rocking 20 hula hoops, for inst, or Kresinski’s powerful aerial dance), Candid is can-do entertainment. (Avila)
Cavalia: A Magical Encounter Between Horse and Human White Big Top, 4th St at China Basin; 9866) 999-8111, www.cavalia.net. $69-144. Call for dates and times. Through Tues/4. A show with horses, aerial performers, actobats, and more.
Dirty Little Showtunes! A Parody Musical Revue New Conservatory Theatre Center, 25 Van Ness; 861-8972, www.nctcsf.org. $24-40. Wed-Sat, 8pm; Sun, 2pm. Through Jan 16. Tom Orr’s adults-only holiday show returns, with direction by F. Allen Sawyer and musical direction by Scrumbly Koldewyn.
*Forever Tango Marines’ Memorial Theatre, 609 Sutter; 771-6900; www.marinesmemorialtheatre.com. $45-100. Call for dates and times. Through Jan 12. Luis Bravo’s atmospheric showcase is a slick, showy mélange of music and dancing whose fluid precision and assemblage of talent make it hard to resist. Cheryl Burke heads up an amazing 13-member ensemble of very stylishly draped dancers (exquisite costuming by Argemira Affonso) who singularly, all together, and of course in dramatic couplings, blend supreme control and dramatic restraint with unabashed sexual allure and volcanic energy. The orchestra, meanwhile, under direction of Eduardo Miceli, creates the intoxicating ether that sets everything in motion. (Avila)
Joyful Noise: A Gospel Celebration of Christmas Southside Theater, Fort Mason Center; 345-7575, www.LHTSF.org. $25-50. Call for dates and times. Through Fri/31. Lorraine Hansberry Theatre presents a rechristened version of their Black Nativity production.
The Lion in Winter Actors Theatre, 855 Bush; 345-1287, www.ticketweb.com. $26-38. Wed-Sat, 8pm. Through Jan 15. Actors Theatre of SF presents James Goldman’s play of palace intrigue.
Mr. YooWho’s Holiday NOHspace, 2840 Mariposa; (800) 838-3006, www.brownpapertickets.com. $10-18. Fri-Sat, 8pm; Sun, 2pm. Through Sun/2. European clown Moshe Cohen returns to SF for a third run at NOHspace.
Party of 2 – The New Mating Musical Shelton Theater, 533 Sutter; (800) 838-3006, www.partyof2themusical.com. $27-29. Sun, 3pm. Open-ended. A musical about relationships by Shopping! The Musical author Morris Bobrow.
*Pearls Over Shanghai Thrillpeddlers’ Hypnodrome, 575 Tenth St; 1-800-838-3006, www.brownpapertickets.com. $30-69. Sat, 8pm. Through April 9. Thrillpeddlers’ acclaimed production of the Cockettes musical continues its successful run.
Santaland Diaries Eureka Theatre, 215 Jackson; (800) 838-3006, www.brownpapertickets.com. $20-30. Nightly, 8pm. Through Thurs/30. David Sinaiko returns as Crumpet in Combined Artform’s ninth annual production of the David Sedaris play.
Shrek The Musical Orpheum Theatre, 1192 Market; (888) SHN-1799, www.shnsf.com. $30-99. Tues, 8pm, Wed, 2 and 8pm; Thurs-Fri, 8pm; Sat, 2 and 8pm; Sun, 2pm (no performance Fri/31). Through Sun/2. Eric Petersen stars in the stage version of the animated blockbuster.
Siddhartha, the Bright Path The Marsh Studio Theater, 1074 Valencia; (800) 838-3006, www.themarsh.org. $15-35. Call for dates and times. Through Jan 9. Marsh Youth Theater presents a holiday celebration, directed by Lisa Quoresimo.
Arabian Nights Berkeley Repertory Theatre, Thrust Stage, 2025 Addison, Berk; (510) 647-2549, www.berkeleyrep.org. $34-73. Call for dates and times. Through Thurs/30. Tony-winning Mary Zimmerman’s production makes a return to Berkeley Rep.
Becoming Julia Morgan Berkeley City Club, 2315 Durant, Berk; (510) 984-3864, www.brownpapertickets.com. $24-30. Fri-Sat, 8pm; Sun, 5pm. Through Jan 9. Janis Stevens stars in Belinda Taylor’s play about the trailblazing architect.
East 14th – True Tales of a Reluctant Player The Marsh Berkeley, 2120 Allston Way, Berk; (800) 838-3006, www.themarsh.org. $20-50. Call for times. Through Feb 13. Don Reed’s one-man show continues its extended run.
Lemony Snicket’s The Composer is Dead Berkeley Repertory Theatre, Roda Theatre, 2015 Addison, Berk; (510) 647-2949, www.berkeleyrep.org. Call for dates and times. Through Jan 15. Berkeley Rep premieres the new musical, written by Lemony Snicket, with music by Nathaniel Stookey.
Naughty and Nice: A Meg and Billy Christmas Aurora Theatre Company, 2081 Addison, Berk; (510) 843-4822, www.auroratheatre.org. $23-25. Call for dates and times. Through Thurs/30. Bay Area husband and wife cabaret duo Meg Mackay and Billy Philadelphia return with a holiday show.
Of the Earth – The Salt Plays: Part 2 Ashby Stage, 1901 Ashby; (510) 841-6500, www.shotgunplayers.org. $17-30. Thurs-Sat, 8pm; Sun, 5pm. Through Jan 30. Shotgun Players present the second half of writer and director Jon Tracy’s Odyssey-inspired tale, with music by Brendan West.
The World’s Funniest Bubble Show The Marsh Berkeley, 2120 Allston, Berk; (800) 838-3006, www.themarsh.org. $8-50. Wed-Thurs, 11am). Through Thurs/30. The Amazing Bubble Man’s show presents flying saucer bubbles and other wonders.
Cheapest and Greatest New Year’s Eve Stand-Up Show Phoenix Theatre, 414 Mason; (800) 838-3006, www.brownpapertickets.com. Thurs/30, 7pm; Fri/31, 7 and 9:30pm. Stand-up comedy by W. Kamau Bell, Janine Brito, and Dwayne Kennedy.
Clown Cabaret TJT The Jewish Theatre, 470 Florida; 522-0786, www.climatetheater.org. Mon/3, 7 and 9pm. $15. The Clown Conservatory and others gather to perform.
Forking II: A Merry Forking! Christmas Off-Market Theatres, 965 Mission; (800) 838-3006, www.pianofight.com. Call for dates and times (through Thurs/30). PianoFight presents a holiday-themed choose-your-own-adventure play.
Frisco Fred’s Magic and More New Year’s Eve Show Actors Theater, 855 Bush; 646-0776, www.comedyonthesquare.com. Fri/31, 7:30pm. $40. The comedian-juggler presents a New Year’s show.
Mr. Nifty’s News Year’s Eve Vaudeville Extravaganza USF Presentation Theater, 2350 Turk; (800) 838-3006, www.brownpapertickets.com. Fri/31, 9pm. $25. Trainwreck Riders, Dr. Science, and others ring in 2011.
New Year’s Eve Mayhem with Michael Meehan and His Merrymakers Actors Theater, 855 Bush; 646-0776, www.comedyonthesquare.com. Fri/31, 10pm. $40. The stand-up comedian leads the countdown to midnight.
Not Your Normal New Year’s Eve Herbst Theatre, 401 Van Ness; 392-4400, www.NYNYE.com. Fri/31, 8-10pm. Stand-up comedy from Brent Weinbach, Moshe Kasher, and others.
Romane Event Comedy Show Make Out Room, 3225 22nd St; 647-2888, www.pacoromane.com. Wed/29, 8pm. $7. The comedian hosts Joe Tobin and others.
Big Fat Year End Kiss Off Comedy Show XVII Rhythmix Cultural Works, 2513 Blanding, Alameda; (510) 865-5060, www.rhythmix.org. Fri/31, 7 and 10pm. $25-35. Will Durst, Johnny Steele, and others perform.
Striking 12 TheatreWorks at Lucie Stern Theatre, 1305 Middlefield, Palo Alto; (650) 463-1960, www.theatreworks.org. Call for dates and times (through Fri/31). $56-75. Indie pop group GrooveLily ushers in the new year a rewired version of Hans Christian Andersen’s The Little Match Girl.