Stage listings

Pub date September 10, 2013

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



Band Fags! New Conservatory Theatre Center, 25 Van Ness, SF; $25-45. Opens Fri/13, 8pm. Runs Wed-Sat, 8pm; Sun, 2pm. Through Oct 13. New Conservatory Theatre Center performs the West Coast premiere of Frank Anthony Polito’s coming-of-age tale, set in 1980s Detroit.

“Bay One Acts Festival” Tides Theatre, 533 Sutter, SF; $20-40. Opens Sat/14, 8pm. Programs One and Two run in repertory Wed-Sun, 8pm. Through Oct 5. The 2013 BOA fest presents the world premieres of 13 short plays in partnership with 13 Bay Area theater companies.

Buried Child Magic Theatre, Fort Mason Center, Bldg D, Third Flr, SF; $20-60. Previews Wed/11-Sat/14, 8pm; Sun/15, 2:30pm; Mon/16, 7pm. Opens Tue/17, 8pm. Runs Tue, 7pm; Wed-Sat, 8pm; Sun, 2:30. Through Oct 6. Magic Theatre performs a revival of Sam Shepard’s Pulitzer-winning classic.

The Golden Dragon ACT’s Costume Shop, 1117 Market, SF; $15. Opens Fri/13, 9:30pm. Runs Thu-Sat, 9:30pm. Through Sept 28. Do It Live! Productions presents Roland Schimmelpfennig’s tragicomic take on globalization, set in and around an Asian restaurant.

1776 ACT’s Geary Theater, 415 Geary, SF; $20-160. Previews Wed/11-Sat/14 and Tue/17, 8pm (also Sat/14, 2pm); Sun/15, 7pm. Opens Thu/19, 8pm. Runs Tue-Sat, 8pm (also Wed and Sat, 2pm; Sept 24, show at 7pm); Sun, 2pm. Through Oct 6. American Conservatory Theater performs the West Coast premiere of Frank Galati’s new staging of the patriotic musical.

The Shakespeare Bug Stage Werx Theatre, 446 Valencia, SF; $15-30. Previews Thu/12-Fri/13, 8pm. Opens Sat/14, 8pm. Runs Thu-Sun, 8pm. Through Sept 29. Killing My Lobster in association with PlayGround perform Ken Slattery’s world-premiere comedy.


Acid Test: The Many Incarnations of Ram Dass Marsh San Francisco, 1062 Valencia, SF; $15-50. Fri, 8pm; Sat, 8:30pm. Through Oct 12. Lynne Kaufman’s acclaimed play returns to the Marsh, with Warren David Keith reprising the titular role.

American Dream New Conservatory Theatre Center, 25 Van Ness, SF; $35-45. Wed/11-Sat/14, 8pm; Sun/15, 2pm. A recently divorced and recently out architect falls in love with his Spanish teacher — and tries to bring him from Mexico to California — in this world premiere by Brad Erickson at the New Conservatory Theatre Center.

BoomerAging: From LSD to OMG Marsh San Francisco, 1062 Valencia, SF; $15-50. Tue, 8pm. Extended through Oct 29. Will Durst’s hit solo show looks at baby boomers grappling with life in the 21st century.

Foodies! The Musical Shelton Theater, 533 Sutter, SF; $30-34. Fri-Sat, 8pm. Open-ended. AWAT Productions presents Morris Bobrow’s musical comedy revue all about food.

In Friendship: Stories By Zona Gale Z Below, 470 Florida, SF; $20-50. Wed/11-Thu/12, 7pm (also Wed/11, 3pm); Fri/13, 8pm. Word for Word performs Zona Gale’s “comedy of American manners.”

Hedwig and the Angry Inch Boxcar Theatre, 505 Natoma, SF; $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.

Macbeth Fort Point, end of Marine Dr, Presidio of San Francisco, SF; $30-60. Thu-Sun, 6pm. Through Oct 6. We Players perform the Shakespeare classic amid Fort Point’s Civil War-era fortress.

Macbeth Main Post Parade Ground Lawn, Presidio of San Francisco, SF; Free. Sat/14-Sun/15, 2pm. In its 31st season, Free Shakespeare in the Park also takes on one of the Bard’s major tragedies.

“San Francisco Fringe Festival” Exit Theatreplex, 156 Eddy, SF; $12.99 or less (passes, $45-75). Through Sept 21. The 22nd SF Fringe presents 36 shows that explore the boundaries of theater and performance.

Sex and the City: LIVE! Rebel, 1760 Market, SF; $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. (Avila)


After the Revolution Aurora Theatre, 2081 Addison, Berk; $32-60. Tue, 7pm; Wed-Sat, 8pm; Sun, 2 and 7pm. Extended through Oct 6. Aurora Theatre opens its 22nd season with the Bay Area premiere of Amy Herzog’s family drama.

Can You Dig It? Back Down East 14th — the 60s and Beyond Marsh Berkeley, 2120 Allston, Berk; $15-50. Opens Sat/14, 8:30pm. Runs Sat, 8:30pm; Sun, 7pm. Through Oct 27. Don Reed’s new show offers more stories from his colorful upbringing in East Oakland in the 1960s and ’70s. More hilarious and heartfelt depictions of his exceptional parents, independent siblings, and his mostly African American but ethnically mixed working-class community — punctuated with period pop, Motown, and funk classics, to which Reed shimmies and spins with effortless grace. And of course there’s more too of the expert physical comedy and charm that made long-running hits of Reed’s last two solo shows, East 14th and The Kipling Hotel (both launched, like this newest, at the Marsh). Can You Dig It? reaches, for the most part, into the “early” early years, Reed’s grammar-school days, before the events depicted in East 14th or Kipling Hotel came to pass. But in nearly two hours of material, not all of it of equal value or impact, there’s inevitably some overlap and indeed some recycling. Reed, who also directs the show, may start whittling it down as the run continues. But, as is, there are at least 20 unnecessary minutes diluting the overall impact of the piece, which is thin on plot already — much more a series of often very enjoyable vignettes and some painful but largely unexplored observations, wrapped up at the end in a sentimental moral that, while sincere, feels rushed and inadequate. (Avila)

Ella, the Musical Center REPertory Company, 1601 Civic, Walnut Creek; (925) 943-SHOW. $37-64. Wed, 7:30pm; Thu-Sat, 8pm (also Sept 28 and Oct 12, 2:30pm); Sun, 2:30pm. Through Oct 12. Yvette Cason portrays the legendary Ella Fitzgerald in this Center REP presentation.

Good People Marin Theatre Company, 397 Miller, Mill Valley; $37-58. Wed/11, 7:30pm; Thu/12-Sat/14, 8pm (also Sat/14, 2pm); Sun/15, 2 and 7pm. Marin Theatre Company performs the Bay Area premiere of David Lindsay-Abaire’s Broadway triumph about class and poverty.

Orlando Live Oak Theatre, 1301 Shattuck, Berk; $10-30. Thu/12-Sat/14, 8pm; Sun/15, 5pm. TheatreFIRST performs Sarah Ruhl’s gender-shifting comedy, which takes place over a span of 300 years.


“Broadway Bingo” Feinstein’s at the Nikko, Hotel Nikko, 222 Mason, SF; Wed, 7-9pm. Ongoing. Free. Countess Katya Smirnoff-Skyy and Joe Wicht host this Broadway-flavored night of games and performance.

Caroline Lugo and Carolé Acuña’s Ballet Flamenco Peña Pachamama, 1630 Powell, SF; Sun/15, Sept 21, Oct 6, 12, 20, 26, 6:15pm. $15-19. Flamenco performance by the mother-daughter dance company, featuring live musicians.

“Dancing Poetry Festival” Florence Gould Theater, California Palace of the Legion of Honor, 100 34th Ave, F; (510) 235-0361. Sat/14, noon-4pm. $6-15. Now in its 20th year, this festival combines poetry and dance, with companies from across Northern California lending their talents.

“Faux Queen Pageant 2013: Sisters Grimm” Slim’s, 333 11th St, SF; Sat/14, 7pm. $20. “Drag Queens trapped in women’s bodies” compete for supremacy at this contest, a benefit for local charities including Mickaboo Companion Bird Rescue, SaveABunny, and Women Organized To Make Abuse Nonexistent, Inc.

“Here and Then” ODC Studio B, 351 Shotwell, SF; Sat/14-Sun/15, 8-9:30pm (no admission after 8:45pm). $17-20. Tim Rubel Human Shakes performs a dance installation dedicated to Harvey Milk and other human rights workers.

Kathleen Madigan Yoshi’s San Francisco, 1330 Fillmore, SF; Sat/14, 8 and 10pm. $45. The comedian performs.

“Maestros of the Movies” Davies Symphony Hall, 201 Van Ness, SF; Mon/16, 8pm. $15-152. John Williams conducts SF Symphony for this tribute to his iconic film scores. Frequent collaborator Steven Spielberg co-hosts the performance.

“A Match Made in Hell” Bindlestiff Studio, 185 Sixth St, SF; Fri/13-Sat/14, 8pm. $15-20. Max Weinbach’s original musical follows a couple brought together by the Devil.

“Mission Position Live” Cinecave, 1034 Valencia, SF; Thu, 8pm. Ongoing. $10. Stand-up comedy with rotating performers.

“Monkey Gone to Heaven” CounterPULSE, 1310 Mission, SF; Fri/13-Sat/14 and Sept 19-21, 8pm; Sun/15 and Sept 22, 7pm. $20. EmSpace Dance performs the world premiere of a dance-theater work inspired by the relationship between primates and prayer.

“Okeanos Intimate” Aquarium of the Bay, Pier 39, SF; Sat, 7pm. Through Sept 28. $20-30 (free aquarium ticket with show ticket). Choreographer Jodi Lomask and her company, Capacitor, revive 2012’s Okeanos — a cirque-dance piece exploring the wonder and fragility of our innate connection to the world’s oceans — in a special “intimate” version designed for the mid-size theater at Pier 39’s Aquarium of the Bay. The show, developed in collaboration with scientists and engineers, comes preceded by a short talk by a guest expert — for a recent Saturday performance it was a down-to-earth and truly fascinating local ecological history lesson by the Bay Institute’s Marc Holmes. In addition to its Cirque du Soleil-like blend of quasi-representational modern dance and circus acrobatics — powered by a synth-heavy blend of atmospheric pop music — Okeanos makes use of some stunning underwater photography and an intermittent narrative that includes testimonials from the likes of marine biologist and filmmaker Dr. Tierney Thys. The performers, including contortionists, also interact with some original physical properties hanging from the flies — a swirling vortex and a spherical shell — as they wrap and warp their bodies in a kind of metamorphic homage to the capacity and resiliency of evolution, the varied ingenuity of all life forms. If the movement vocabulary can seem limited at times, and too derivative, the show also feels a little cramped on the Aquarium Theater stage, whose proscenium arrangement does the piece few favors aesthetically. Nevertheless, the family-oriented Okeanos Intimate spurs a conversation with the ocean that is nothing if not urgent. (Avila)

“Signaling Arcana” Z Space, 450 Florida, SF; Thu/11-Sat/14, 8pm (also Sat/14, 2pm); Sun/15, 5pm. $25. Cinematic shadow theater with 3D effects and original music from director-inventor Christine Marie and composter Dan Cantrell.

“Swingin’ Back Home” Feinstein’s at the Nikko, Hotel Nikko, 222 Mason, SF; Wed/11 and Fri/13, 8pm; Sat/14-Sun/15, 7pm. $30-65. Michael Feinstein performs his new tribute to popular songs. *