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.
God of Carnage Shelton Theater, 533 Sutter, SF; www.sheltontheater.com. $26-38. Opens Thu/27, 8pm. Runs Thu-Sat, 8pm. Through Sept 7. Shelton Theater peforms Yasmina Reza’s award-winning play about class and parenting.
In A Daughter’s Eyes Brava Theater Center, 2781 24th St, SF; www.brava.org. $15. Previews Thu/27-Fri/28, 8pm. Opens Sat/29, 8pm. Runs Thu-Sat, 8pm; Sun, 3pm. Through July 14. Brava! For Women in the Arts and Black Artists Contemporary Cultural Experience presents the West Coast premiere of A. Zell Williams’ tale of two women: the daughter of a man on death row, and the daughter of the man he’s been convicted of killing.
Sea of Reeds Ashby Stage, 1901 Ashby, Berk; www.shotgunplayers.org. $20-35. Previews July 2-4, 8pm. Opens July 5, 8pm. Runs Wed-Thu, 7pm; Fri-Sat, 8pm; Sun, 5pm. Through Aug 18. Josh Kornbluth’s brand new comedy — it involves atheism, oboes, and the Book of Exodus — opens at Shotgun Players “before it goes on Torah.”
Superior Donuts Pear Avenue Theatre, 1220 Pear, Mtn View; www.thepear.org. $10-30. Previews Thu/27, 8pm. Opens Fri/28, 8pm. Runs July 3 and Thu-Sat, 8pm (no show July 4); Sun, 2pm. Through July 14. Pear Avenue Theatre performs Tracy Letts’ comedy about the redemptive power of friendship.
Abigail’s Party San Francisco Playhouse, 450 Post, SF; www.sfplayhouse.org. $30-100. Tue-Thu, 7pm; Fri-Sat, 8pm (also Sat, 3pm). Through July 6. Although it’s tempting to compare Mike Leigh’s Abigail’s Party to Edward Albee’s rancorous Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf, Abigail‘s escalating nastiness skews emphatically British, giving it as much in common with televised exports such as Fawlty Towers and the Ricky Gervais version of The Office. As with these, the humor in Abigail’s Party is of the bleakest and cruelest kind, and there are moments when the five Americans onstage don’t quite convey the wit that lurks beneath the ire, but when they do the results are hysterical and uncomfortable in equal measure. Though the party we witness is not Abigail’s (she’s having a teenage house party next door, the music of which keeps throbbing through the walls of Bill English’s attractively-appointed set) the adults-only cocktail party is just as awkward as any high school mixer. Hosted by the fiercely self-absorbed Beverly (Susi Damilano) and her obnoxiously classist husband Laurence (Remi Sandri), the guest list includes the mousy Angela (Allison Jean White), her monosyllabic husband Tony (Patrick Kelley Jones), and Abigail’s ill-at-ease mum, Susan (Julia Brothers), who’s agreed to keep out of the house during her daughter’s wild soiree. The acting — as well as Brendan Aanes’ sound design, Jacqueline Scott’s props, and Tatjana Genser’s costuming — is pitch perfect, but unless you haven’t already been to enough bad parties, you might find it difficult to sit through this one. If you do, don’t be surprised if you find yourself secretly envying Laurence by the end of the play — at least he finds a way out. (Gluckstern)
The Ape Woman: A Rock Opera Exit Studio, 156 Eddy, SF; www.theapewoman.com. $15-30. Wed/26-Sat/29, 8pm. Dark Pork Theatre presents May van Oskan’s rock opera, inspired by a Victorian-era circus performer.
Betrayal Phoenix Theatre, 414 Mason, Sixth Flr, SF; www.offbroadwaywest.org. $40. Thu-Sat, 8pm. Through July 20. Off Broadway West Theatre Company performs Harold Pinter’s out-of-sequence drama about an unfaithful married couple.
Birds of a Feather New Conservatory Theatre Center, 25 Van Ness, SF; www.nctcsf.org. $25-45. Fri/28-Sat/29, 8pm (also Sat/29, 2pm). New Conservatory Theatre Center performs the San Francisco premiere of Marc Acito’s tale inspired by two gay penguins at the Central Park Zoo.
Can You Dig It? Back Down East 14th — the 60s and Beyond Marsh San Francisco, 1062 Valencia, SF; www.themarsh.org. $15-50. Sat, 8:30pm; Sun, 7pm. Through Aug 25. Solo performer Don Reed returns with a prequel to his autobiographical coming-of-age hits, East 14th and The Kipling Hotel.
Darling, A New Musical Children’s Creativity Museum, 221 Fourth St, SF; www.act-sf.org. $20. Wed/26-Sat/29, 7:30pm (also Sat/29, 2pm). American Conservatory Theater’s Young Conservatory performs Ryan Scott Oliver and Brett Ryback’s jazz-age musical.
The Divine Sister New Conservatory Theatre Center, 25 Van Ness, SF; www.nctcsf.org. $25-45. Fri/28-Sat/29, 8pm. Charles Busch’s latest comedy pays tribute to Hollywood films involving nuns.
Foodies! The Musical Shelton Theater, 533 Sutter, SF; www.foodiesthemusical.com. $30-34. Fri-Sat, 8pm. Open-ended. AWAT Productions presents Morris Bobrow’s musical comedy revue all about food.
410[GONE] Thick House, 1695 18th St, SF; www.crowdedfire.org. $10-35. Wed/26-Sat/29, 8pm. Crowded Fire Theater presents the world premiere of Frances Ya-Chu Cowhig’s fanciful, Chinese folklore-inspired look at the underworld.
Frisco Fred’s Magic and More Alcove Theater, 414 Mason, Ste 502, SF; www.thealcovetheater.com. $35-50. Thu/27-Sat/29, 7pm. Performer Fred Anderson presents his latest family-friendly show, complete with magic, juggling, and “crazy stunts.”
Hedwig and the Angry Inch Boxcar Theatre, 505 Natoma, SF; www.boxcartheatre.org. $27-43. Thu-Sat, 8pm. Open-ended. John Cameron Mitchell’s cult musical comes to life with director Nick A. Olivero’s ever-rotating cast.
Into the Woods Eureka Theatre, 215 Jackson, SF; www.rayoflighttheatre.com. $25-36. Thu/27-Sat/29, 8pm (also Sat/29, 2pm). Ray of Light Theatre performs Stephen Sondheim’s fairy-tale mash-up.
Pansy New Conservatory Theater Center, 25 Van Ness, SF; www.nctcsf.org. $25-45. Fri/28-Sat/29, 8pm. Feeling isolated and angry in a queer culture seemingly shy of commitment and thin on the meaning of community, a lonely young man stumbles over a box of old VHS tapes in the basement and makes a powerful connection to his doppelganger, a San Francisco club maven named Peter Pansy, who died of AIDS in 1993. From this synchronicity (based on a true story), actor-playwright Evan Johnson and director-collaborator Ben Randle take the measure of a generational divide and an attendant cultural amnesia, as the narrative spins two parallel arcs 20 years apart but now in open conversation with each other. That conversation is most powerful in moments that prove largely dialogue-free, as in the excellent interplay between Peter and his shadow, which reinforces a sense that the dialogue in general could benefit by being more succinct or elliptical. At the same, Johnson (actor-playwright behind 2010’s outstanding solo play about Jeffrey Dahmer, Don’t Feel) has a commanding presence as he cuts nimbly back and forth between 2013’s Michael and 1993’s Peter, tracing ever subtler lines of pride and alienation, utopian dissent and quotidian oppressions, until the import of the recent but heretofore hazy past offers itself as a quiet but profound afflatus. (Avila)
Sex and the City: LIVE! Rebel, 1760 Market, SF; trannyshack.com/sexandthecity. $25. Wed, 7 and 9pm. Open-ended. It seems a no-brainer. Not just the HBO series itself — that’s definitely missing some gray matter — but putting it onstage as a drag show. Mais naturellement! Why was Sex and the City not conceived of as a drag show in the first place? Making the sordid not exactly palatable but somehow, I don’t know, friendlier (and the canned a little cannier), Velvet Rage Productions mounts two verbatim episodes from the widely adored cable show, with Trannyshack’s Heklina in a smashing portrayal of SJP’s Carrie; D’Arcy Drollinger stealing much of the show as ever-randy Samantha (already more or less a gay man trapped in a woman’s body); Lady Bear as an endearingly out-to-lunch Miranda; and ever assured, quick-witted Trixxie Carr as pent-up Charlotte. There’s also a solid and enjoyable supporting cast courtesy of Cookie Dough, Jordan Wheeler, and Leigh Crow (as Mr. Big). That’s some heavyweight talent trodding the straining boards of bar Rebel’s tiny stage. The show’s still two-dimensional, even in 3D, but noticeably bigger than your 50″ plasma flat panel. Update: new episodes began May 15. (Avila)
Steve Seabrook: Better Than You Marsh San Francisco, 1062 Valencia, SF; www.themarsh.org. $15-50. Sat, 8:30pm. Extended through August 24. Self-awareness, self-actualization, self-aggrandizement — for these things we turn to the professionals: the self-empowerment coaches, the self-help authors and motivational speakers. What’s the good of having a “self” unless someone shows you how to use it? Writer-performer Kurt Bodden’s Steve Seabrook wants to sell you on a better you, but his “Better Than You” weekend seminar (and tie-in book series, assorted CDs, and other paraphernalia) belies a certain divided loyalty in its own self-flattering title. The bitter fruit of the personal growth industry may sound overly ripe for the picking, but Bodden’s deftly executed “seminar” and its behind-the-scenes reveals, directed by Mark Kenward, explore the terrain with panache, cool wit, and shrewd characterization. As both writer and performer, Bodden keeps his Steve Seabrook just this side of overly sensational or maudlin, a believable figure, finally, whose all-too-ordinary life ends up something of a modest model of its own. (Avila)
Sylvia Fort Mason Theater, Fort Mason Center, Bldg C, Rm 300, Marina at Laguna, SF; sylvia.brownpapertickets.com. $20-45. Thu/27-Sat/29, 8pm; Sun/30, 7pm. Independent Cabaret Productions and Shakespeare at Stinton present AR Gurney’s midlife-crisis comedy.
Tinsel Tarts in a Hot Coma: The Next Cockettes Musical Hypnodrome, 575 10th St, SF; www.thrillpeddlers.com. $30-35. Thu-Sat, 8pm. Extended through July 27. Thrillpeddlers and director Russell Blackwood continue their Theatre of the Ridiculous series with this 1971 musical from San Francisco’s famed glitter-bearded acid queens, the Cockettes, revamped with a slew of new musical material by original member Scrumbly Koldewyn, and a freshly re-minted book co-written by Koldewyn and “Sweet Pam” Tent — both of whom join the large rotating cast of Thrillpeddler favorites alongside a third original Cockette, Rumi Missabu (playing diner waitress Brenda Breakfast like a deliciously unhinged scramble of Lucille Ball and Bette Davis). This is Thrillpeddlers’ third Cockettes revival, a winning streak that started with Pearls Over Shanghai. While not quite as frisky or imaginative as the production of Pearls, it easily charms with its fine songs, nifty routines, exquisite costumes, steady flashes of wit, less consistent flashes of flesh, and de rigueur irreverence. The plot may not be very easy to follow, but then, except perhaps for the bubbly accounting of the notorious New York flop of the same show 42 years ago by Tent (as poisoned-pen gossip columnist Vedda Viper), it hardly matters. (Avila)
The World’s Funniest Bubble Show Marsh San Francisco, 1062 Valencia, SF; www.themarsh.org. $8-50. Sun, 11am. Through July 21. Louis “The Amazing Bubble Man” Pearl returns after a month-long hiatus with his popular, kid-friendly bubble show.
Dear Elizabeth Berkeley Rep’s Roda Theatre, 2015 Addison, Berk; www.berkeleyrep.org. $24-77. Wed and Sun, 7pm (also Sun and July 3, 2pm); Thu-Sat, 8pm (also Sat and Thu/6, 2pm; no show July 4). Through July 7. Berkeley Rep performs Sarah Ruhl’s play written in the form of letters between Elizabeth Bishop and Robert Lowell.
George Gershwin Alone Berkeley Repertory Theatre, Thrust Stage, 2025 Addison, Berk; www.berkeleyrep.org. $29-77. Tue and Thu-Sat, 8pm (also Sat, 2pm; no show July 4); Wed and Sun, 7pm (also Sun and July 3, 2pm). Extended through July 7. Hershey Felder stars in his celebration of the music and life of composer George Gershwin.
This Is How It Goes Aurora Theatre, 2081 Addison, Berk; www.auroratheatre.org. $32-60. Tue and Sun, 7pm (also Sun, 2pm); Wed-Sat, 8pm. Through July 21. Aurora Theatre Company performs the Bay Area premiere of Neil LaBute’s edgy comedy about an interracial couple.
Wild With Happy TheatreWorks at the Mountain View Center for the Performing Arts, 500 Castro, Mtn View; www.theatreworks.org. $23-73. Wed/26, 7:30pm; Thu/27-Sat/29, 8pm (also Sat/29, 2pm); Sun/30, 2 and 7pm. TheatreWorks presents the West Coast premiere of Colman Domingo’s new comedy, starring the playwright himself.
BATS Improv Bayfront Theater, B350 Fort Mason Center, SF; www.improv.org. “Director’s Cut!” Fri/28, 8pm, $20. “Improvised Noir Musical,” Sat/29, 8pm, $20.
Caroline Lugo and Carolé Acuña’s Ballet Flamenco Peña Pachamama, 1630 Powell, SF; www.carolinalugo.com. Sun/30, July 13, 21, and 27, 6:15pm. $15-19. Flamenco performance by the mother-daughter dance company, featuring live musicians.
“Dream Queens Revue” Aunt Charlie’s Lounge, 133 Turk, SF; www.dreamqueensrevue.com. Wed/26, 9:30-11:30pm. Free. Drag with Collette LeGrand, Diva LaFever, Sophilya Leggz, and more.
“Harvey Milk 2013” Nourse Theatre, 201-299 Hayes, SF; www.sfgmc.org. Wed/26-Fri/28, 8pm. $25-60. The San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus presents its 35th anniversary celebration concert, featuring the world premiere of Andrew Lippa’s new choral work I Am Harvey Milk.
Kathy Mata Ballet City College of San Francisco, 50 Phelan, SF; www.kathymataballet.com. Sat/29, 3 and 7:30pm. Free. The company presents its “Summer Showcase” performance, featuring new works as well as classics in a variety of dance styles.
“Minced Meat” CounterPULSE, 1310 Mission, SF; www.counterpulse.org. Fri/28-Sat/29, 8pm. $20. The Thick Rich Ones use movement, music, and theater to explore the question “What are we really hungry for?”
“Mission Position Live” Cinecave, 1034 Valencia, SF; www.missionpositionlive.com. Thu, 8pm. Ongoing. $10. Stand-up comedy with rotating performers.
“Randy Roberts: Live!” Alcove Theater, 414 Mason, Ste 502, SF; www.thealcovetheater.com. Fri/28-Sat/29 and July 9, 16, and 23, 9pm. $30. The famed female impersonator takes on Cher, Better Midler, and other stars.
Red Hots Burlesque El Rio, 3158 Mission, SF; www.redhotsburlesque.com. Wed, 7:30-9pm. Ongoing. $5-10. Come for the burlesque show, stay for OMG! Karaoke starting at 8pm (no cover for karaoke).
“San Francisco Ethnic Dance Festival: Weekend Four” Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, Lam Research Theater, 700 Howard, SF; www.sfethnicdancefestival.org. Sat/29, 2 and 8pm; Sun/30, 3pm. $18-58. With Bolivia Corazón de América, Charlotte Moraga, Lowiczanie Polish Folk Ensemble of San Francisco, and more.
“San Francisco Magic Parlor” Chancellor Hotel Union Square, 433 Powell, SF; www.sfmagicparlor.com. Thu-Sat, 8pm. Ongoing. $40. Magic vignettes with conjurer and storyteller Walt Anthony.
“Union Square Live” Union Square, between Post, Geary, Powell, and Stockton, SF; www.unionsquarelive.org. Through Oct 9. Free. Music, dance, circus arts, film, and more; dates and times vary, so check website for the latest.
“Yerba Buena Gardens Festival” Yerba Buena Gardens, Mission between 3rd and 4th Sts, SF; www.ybgfestival.org. Through Oct 15. Free. This week: Circus Bella’s Shine (Fri/28, noon-1pm; Sat/29, 2:15-3:15pm); Estonian Dance Festival (Sun/30, 12:30-3pm).
“You Can’t Hire Me: Live!” Stage Werx Theater, 446 Valencia, SF; youcanthireme.bpt.me. Sun/30, 7pm. $15. Comedy about “awful cover letters and unemployment,” with readings by Paolo Sambrano (creator of the Tumblr You Can’t Hire Me) and stories by Marc Abirgo and Nikki Thayer.
“Praise Dance Conference and Festival” Conference: Sat/29, 8:30am-4:30pm, email firstname.lastname@example.org for registration information, Malonga Casquelourd Center, 1428 Alice, Oakl; www.rossdance.com. Dance Festival: Sun/30, 7pm, $15-30, Holy Names University, 3500 Mountain Blvd, Oakl; www.rossdance.com. Christian praise dance company Ross Dance Company presents its fifth annual conference and performance festival. *