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.
Audition – A Play Exit Theater, 156 Eddy; (800) 838-3006, www.brownpapertickets.com. Call for price. Opens Thurs/20, 8pm. Runs Thurs and Sat, 8pm; Sun, 3pm. GenerationTheatre presents a comedy of the absurd by Roland David Valayre.
Bone to Pick and Diadem Exit on Taylor, 277 Taylor; (800) 838-3006, www.cuttingball.com. $15-50. Opens Thurs/20, 8pm. Runs Thurs-Sat, 8pm; Sun, 5pm. Cutting Ball Theatre presents a pair of plays by Eugenie Chan.
The Companion Piece Z Space at Theatre Artaud, 450 Florida; (800) 838-3006, www.zspace.org. $20-40. Call for price. Previews Wed/19-Thurs/20, 7pm; Fri/21, 8pm. Opens Sat/22, 8pm. Runs Thurs 7pm; Fri-Sat, 8pm; Sun, 5pm. Through Feb 13. Z Space presents the world premiere of a new play by Mark Jackson, with Beth Wilmurt and Christopher Kuckenbaker.
Out of Sight The Marsh, 1062 Valencia; (800) 838-3006, www.themarsh.org. $15-35. Previews Thurs/20, 8pm. Opens Sat/22, 8pm. Runs Thurs and Sat, 8pm; Sun, 3pm. Through Feb 13. The Marsh presents a new solo show by Sara Felder.
Spalding Gray: Stories Left to Tell Gough Street Playhouse, 1620 Gough; (510) 207-5774, www.custommade.org. $10-25. Previews Fri/21-Sat/22, 8pm. Opens Tues/25, 8pm. Runs Thurs-Sat, 8pm. Through Feb 19. Custom Made Theatre presents stories by the late writer and performer.
The 39 Steps TheatreWorks at the Mountain View Center for the Performing Arts, 500 Castro, Mtn View; (650) 463-1960, www.theatreworks.org. $24-79. Previews Wed/19, 7:30pm; Thurs/20-Fri/21, 8pm. Opens Sat/22, 8pm. Runs Tues-Wed, 7:30pm; Thurs-Fri, 8pm; Sat, 2 and 8pm; Sun, 2 and 7pm. TheatreWorks presents Patrick Barlow’s comic adaptation of the book and movie of the same name.
Treefall New Conservatory Theatre Center, 25 Van Ness; 861-8972, www.nctsf.org. $24-40. Previews Fri/21-Sat/22, 8pm; Sun/23, 2pm; Jan 26-28, 8pm. Opens Jan 29, 8pm. Through Feb 27. New Conservatory Theatre Center presents a tale of erotic attraction by Henry Murray.
The Agony and the Ecstasy of Steve Jobs Berkeley Rep, Thrust Stage, 2025 Addison, Berk; (510) 647-2949, www.berkeleyrep.org. $14.50-73. Previews Thurs/20-Sat/22, 8pm. Opens Sun/23, 7pm. Call for dates and times. Through Feb 27. Storyteller Mike Daisey spins a yarn about the Apple head.
Heartbreak House Live Oak Theatre, 1301 Shattuck, Berk; (510) 649-0999, www.berkeleyrep.org. $12-15. Opens Fri/21, 8pm. Runs Fri-Sat, 8pm (also Feb 13, 2pm; Feb, 17, 8pm). Through Feb 19.Actors Ensemble of Berkeley presents the George Bernard Shaw comedy set just before World War I.
Clue Boxcar Playhouse, 505 Natoma; 776-1747, www.boxcartheatre.org. $15-35. Wed-Fri, 8pm; Sat, 7 and 10pm. Through Feb 19. Boxcar Theatre presents a play based on a movie based on a board game.
No Good Deed Pear Avenue Theatre, 1220 Pear, Mtn View; (650) 254-1148, www.thepear.org. $15-30. Thurs-Fri, 8pm; Sat, 8pm; Sun, 2pm. Pear Avenue Theatre presents a world premiere noir-inflected play by Paul Braverman.
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.
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.
The Last Cargo Cult Berkeley Repertory Theatre, Thrust Stage, 2025 Addison, Berk; (510) 647-2949, www.berkeleyrep.org. $14.50-73. Call for dates and times. Through Feb 20. Mike Daisey stars in a one-man show about obsession with commerce.
*Of the Earth – The Salt Plays Ashby Stage, 1901 Ashby; (510) 841-6500, www.shotgunplayers.org. $17-30. Thurs-Sat, 8pm; Sun, 5pm. Through Jan 30. If those whom the gods favor die young, it’s probably just as well for Odysseus (Dan Bruno) that Zeus (Rami Margron) happens to be irked at him. That Zeus occasionally manifests as a scary nurse with a penchant for ballroom dance is one of but many mysterious angles Jon Tracy teases out of the standard Odysseus myth. Another involves the instant-messaging potential of paper planes; a third, a blunt addiction metaphor for warmongering. In what must surely be a happy coincidence, the design elements and staging of Of the Earth are curiously similar to those of the recent Cutting Ball production of The Tempest. Characters leaping about from floor-to-ceiling ladders to physically embody shipwrecks and monsters, a handful of actors playing multiple roles, watery video installations, even the allusion to mental illness and modern psychiatry are threads that tie the two productions, however unsuspectingly, together. Happily for The Shotgun Players, their version floats above the comparison with a host of extra tension-drivers—the sinuously menacing fighting-style of Posiedon (Anna Ishida), the heart-throb pounding of Taiko drums, the sensual machinations of Circe (Charisse Loriaux), the clever usage of Penelope’s (Lexie Papedo) “tapestry” to weave together the action. And though at times the thread is broken mid-scene, we are finally given to understand that this epic tale of war’s fallout is first and finally a story of love. (Gluckstern)
Strange Travel Suggestions The Marsh Berkeley, Cabaret, 2120 Allston Way, Berk; (800) 838-3006, www.themarsh.org. $15-35. Thurs-Fri, 8pm; Sat, 5pm. Through Feb 19. Jeff Greenwald stars in a one-man show about the vagaries of wanderlust.
World’s Funniest Bubble Show The Marsh Berkeley, 2120 Allston Way, Berk; (800) 838-3006, www.themarsh.org. $8-11. Sun, 11am. Through April 3. The Amazing Bubble Man extends the bubble-making celebration.
Gush Brava Theater, 2783 24th St; 6470-2822, www.brava.org. Call for dates and times (through Jan 29). $15-35. Brava presents a dance series curated by Joe Goode.
A Hand in Desire Viracocha, 998 Valencia; (800) 838-3006, www.brownpapertickets.com. $20. Fri-Sat, 8pm (through Jan 29). EmSpace Dance presents a “remix” of A Streetcar Named Desire.
Women of the Way Festival Shotwell Studios, 3252-A Shotwell; and The Garage, 975 Howard; (800) 838-3006, www.ftloose.org. Call for dates and times (through Jan 30). $15-20. The dance festival celebrates it 11th anniversary with 23 new shows.
Marga’s Funny Mondays The Cabaret at The Marsh Berkeley, 2120 Allston; (800) 838-3006, www.themarsh.org. Mon/24, 8pm. $10. Marga Gomez kicks off a Monday night comedy series.
Tango Buenos Aires Zellerbach Hall, UC Berkeley campus, Berk; (510) 642-9988, www.calperformances.org. Fri/21, 8pm. $22-52. The dance company visits the Bay Area as part of a ten-week tour of North America.