Theater Listings: June 4 – 10, 2014

Pub date June 3, 2014

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 For complete stage listings, see



Brahmin/I: A One-Hijra Stand-Up Comedy Show Thick House, 1695 18th St, SF; $15-35. Previews Thu/5-Sat/7, 8pm. Opens Mon/9, 8pm. Runs Wed-Sat, 8pm. Through June 28. Crowded Fire Theater presents Aditi Brennan Kapil’s “outrageous play masquerading as a stand-up comedy routine.”

God Fights the Plague Marsh San Francisco Studio Theater, 1062 Valencia, SF; $15-100. Previews Sat/7 and June 14, 8:30pm; Sun/8 and June 15, 7pm. Opens June 21, 8:30pm. Runs Sat, 8:30pm; Sun, 7pm. Through Aug 10. The Marsh presents a solo show written by and starring 18-year-old theater phenom Dezi Gallegos.

In the Tree of Smoke Great Star Theater, 636 Jackson, SF; $25. Opens Thu/5, 8pm. Runs Thu-Sat, 8pm. Through June 28. Circus Automatic performs an new evening of immersive, experimental circus.

The Orphan of Zhao ACT’s Geary Theater, 415 Geary, SF; $20-120. Previews Wed/4-Sat/7 and Tue/10, 8pm (also Sat/7, 2pm); Sun/8, 2pm. Opens June 11, 8pm. Runs Wed-Sat and June 24, 8pm (also Wed and Sat, 2pm); June 17, 7pm. Through June 29. Tony winner BD Wong stars in James Fenton’s acclaimed Chinese-legend adaptation at American Conservatory Theater.

“Sheherezade 14” Exit Theater, 156 Eddy, SF; $25. Opens Fri/6, 8pm. Runs Thu-Sat, 8pm. Through June 21. The Playwrights’ Center of SF and Wily West Productions host this annual festival of fully-produced short plays.


Dead Man’s Cell Phone Masquers Playhouse, 105 Park Place, Point Richmond; $22. Opens Fri/30, 8pm. Runs Fri-Sat, 8pm; Sun/8, 15, and 22, 2pm. Through June 28. Masquers Playhouse performs Sarah Ruhl’s imaginative comedy.

Failure: A Love Story Marin Theatre Company, 397 Miller, Mill Valley; $37-58. Previews Thu/5-Sat/7, 8pm; Sun/8, 7pm. Opens Tue/10, 8pm. Runs Tue and Thu-Sat, 8pm (also June 14 and 28, 2pm; June 19, 1pm); Wed, 7:30pm; Sun, 2 and 7pm. Through June 29. Marin Theatre Company performs Philip Dawkins’ play about love and loss, with puppets and live music.

Hershey Felder as Leonard Bernstein in Maestro Berkeley Repertory Theatre, Thrust Stage, 2025 Addison, Berk; $29-87. Previews Thu/5, 8pm. Opens Fri/6, 8pm. Runs Tue and Thu-Sat, 8pm (also Sat, 2pm); Wed and Sun, 7pm (also Sun, 2pm). Through June 22. Juno-winning actor and musician Hershey Felder (George Gershwin Alone) performs his latest solo show.

Marry Me A Little Mountain View Center for the Performing Arts, 500 Castro, Mtn View; $19-73. Previews Wed/4-Fri/6, 8pm. Opens Sat/7, 8pm. Runs Tue-Wed, 7:30pm; Thu-Sat, 8pm (also Sat, 8pm); Sun, 2 and 7pm. Through June 29. TheatreWorks performs Stephen Sondheim’s intimate musical.


The Crucible Gough Street Playhouse, 1620 Gough, SF; $10-35. Thu-Sat, 8pm; Sun, 7pm. Through June 15. Custom Made Theatre Co. performs Arthur Miller’s drama.

Devil Boys From Beyond New Conservatory Theatre Center, 25 Van Ness, SF; $25-45. Wed-Sat, 8pm; Sun, 2pm. Through June 28. New Conservatory Theatre Center performs Buddy Thomas and Kenneth Elliot’s campy sci-fi saga.

Each and Every Thing Marsh San Francisco Main Stage, 1062 Valencia, SF; $20-50. Previews Thu/5-Fri/6 and June 12-13, 8pm; Sat/7, 8:30pm. Opens June 14, 8:30pm. Runs Thu-Fri, 8pm; Sat, 8:30pm. Through July 12. Dan Hoyle presents his latest solo show, about the search for real-world connections in a tech-crazed world.

Feisty Old Jew Marsh San Francisco Main Stage, 1062 Valencia, SF; $25-100. Sat-Sun, 5pm. Extended through July 13. Charlie Varon performs his latest solo show, a fictional comedy about “a 20th century man living in a 21st century city.”

Homo File CounterPULSE, 1310 Mission, SF; $20-35. Fri-Sat, 8pm; Sun, 7pm. Through June 15. Eye Zen and CounterPULSE present Seth Eisen’s interdisciplinary performance about queer author and tattoo artist Sam Steward.

The Homosexuals New Conservatory Theatre Center, Decker Theatre, 25 Van Ness, SF; $25-45. Wed-Sat, 8pm; Sun, 2pm. Through June 28. New Conservatory Theatre Center performs Philip Dawkins’ play about a young man struggling with his identity amid a new group of friends.

Macbeth Fort Point (beneath the Golden Gate Bridge), SF; $30-75. Thu-Sun, 7pm. Through June 29. We Players performs the Shakespeare classic at the historic fortress at Fort Point.

Pearls Over Shanghai Hypnodrome Theatre, 575 10th St, SF; $30-35. Thu-Sat, 8pm. Extended through June 28. Five years ago, Thrillpeddlers breathed new life into a glitter-dusted piece of Sixties flotsam, beautifully reimagining the Cockettes’ raunchy mock-operetta Pearls Over Shanghai (in collaboration with several surviving members of San Francisco’s storied acid-drag troupe) and running it for a whopping 22 months. Written by Cockette Link Martin as a carefree interpretation of a 1926 Broadway play, the baldly stereotyped Shanghai Gesture, it was the perfectly lurid vehicle for irreverence in all directions. It’s back in this revival, once again helmed by artistic director Russell Blackwood with musical direction by Cockette and local favorite Scrumbly Koldewyn. But despite the frisson of featuring some original-original cast members — including “Sweet Pam” Tent (who with Koldewyn also contributes some new dialogue) and Rumi Missabu (regally reprising the role of Madam Gin Sling) — there’s less fire the second time around as the production straddles the line between carefully slick and appropriately sloppy. Nevertheless, there are some fine musical numbers and moments throughout. Among these, Zelda Koznofsky, Birdie-Bob Watt, and Jesse Cortez consistently hit high notes as the singing Andrews Sisters-like trio of Americans thrown into white slavery; Bonni Suval’s Lottie Wu is a fierce vixen; and Noah Haydon (as the sultry Petrushka) is a class act. Koldewyn’s musical direction and piano accompaniment, meanwhile, provide strong and sure momentum as well as exquisite atmosphere. (Avila)

Savage in Limbo Phoenix Theatre, 414 Mason, SF; $25. Wed/4-Fri/6, 8pm; Sun/7, 2pm. Rabbit Hole Theater Company performs John Patrick Shanley’s Bronx-set drama.

Seminar San Francisco Playhouse, 450 Post, Second Flr, SF; $20-100. Tue-Thu, 7pm; Fri-Sat, 8pm (also Sat, 3pm); Sun/8, 2pm. Through June 14. San Francisco Playhouse performs Theresa Rebeck’s biting comedy.

Shit & Champagne Rebel, 1772 Market, SF; $25. Fri-Sat, 8pm. Open-ended. D’Arcy Drollinger is Champagne White, bodacious blond innocent with a wicked left hook in this cross-dressing ’70s-style white-sploitation flick, played out live on Rebel’s intimate but action-packed barroom stage. Written by Drollinger and co-directed with Laurie Bushman, this high-octane camp send-up of a favored formula comes dependably stocked with stock characters and delightfully protracted by a convoluted plot — all of it played to the hilt by an excellent cast. (Avila)

The Speakeasy Undisclosed location (ticket buyers receive a text with directions), SF; $65-100 (gambling chips, $7-10 extra; after-hours admission, $10). Wed-Sat, 7:30, 7:40, 7:50, 8pm, and 9pm admittance times. Extended through June 21. Boxcar Theater’s most ambitious project to date is also one of the more involved and impressively orchestrated theatrical experiences on any Bay Area stage just now. An immersive time-tripping environmental work, The Speakeasy takes place amid a period-specific cocktail lounge, cabaret, and gambling den inhabited by dozens of Prohibition-era characters and scenarios that unfold around an audience ultimately invited to wander around at will. At one level, this is an invitation to pure dress-up social entertainment. But there are artistic aims here too. Intentionally designed as a fractured super-narrative, there’s a way the piece becomes specifically and ever more subtly about time itself. (Avila)

36 Stories by Sam Shepard Z Below, 470 Florida, SF; $35-55. Wed-Thu, 7pm; Fri-Sat, 8pm; Sun, 3pm. Through June 22. Word for Word performs director Amy Kossow’s original adaptation of Shepard’s poetry and fiction.

Too Much Light Makes the Baby Go Blind Boxcar Theatre, 505 Natoma, SF; $11-16. Fri-Sat, 9pm. Ongoing. The Neo-Futurists perform Greg Allen’s spontaneous, ever-changing show that crams 30 plays into 60 minutes.

Triassic Parq Eureka Theater, 215 Jackson, SF; $25-36. Wed-Sat, 8pm (also June 21 and 28, 2pm). Through June 28. Ray of Light Theatre presents the Bay Area premiere of Marshall Pailet’s musical involving “dinosaurs, show tunes, and sex changes.”

Walk Like A Man Costume Shop, 1117 Market, SF; $15-35. Wed-Sat, 8pm; Sun, 3pm. Through June 15. Falling in love with your boss, surviving child abuse, losing a loved one in war, dealing with your straight daughter’s shame around her mom’s butch wardrobe — these are only a few of the circumstances encountered in a raucous and affecting evening of celebrating desire and being true to yourself, as Theatre Rhinoceros presents ten stories of love and sex among a diverse set of African American women. Culled from the titular collection of erotic fiction by Atlanta-based author Laurinda D. Brown, the evening unfolds with a pert and playful finesse thanks to director John Fisher and a strong, charismatic five-women ensemble (made up of Alexaendrai Bond, Kelli Crump, Nkechi Emeruwa, Daile Mitchum, and Desiree Rogers). Sexy and brazen, raunchy and wrenching, this series of vignettes, spread out over two acts, comes with nary a dull moment and plenty of climaxes. (Avila)


The Crazed Berkeley City Club, 2315 Durant, Berk; $15-28. Thu-Sat, 8pm; Sun, 5pm. Through June 23. Central Works performs Sally Dawidoff’s play, based on Ha Jin’s novel about coming of age in Communist China.

Daylighting: The Berkeley Stories Project Ashby Stage, 1901 Ashby, Berk; $20-35. Wed-Thu, 7pm; Fri-Sat, 8pm; Sun, 5pm (June 22, show at 2pm). Through June 22. Shotgun Players present Dan Wolf’s new play inspired by real-life tales from Berkeley residents past and present.

The Intelligent Homosexual’s Guide to Capitalism and Socialism with a Key to the Scriptures Berkeley Repertory Theatre, Roda Theatre, 2015 Addison, Berk; $14.50-89. Tue, Thu-Sat, 7:30pm (also Sat and June 26, 2pm); Wed and Sun, 7pm (also Sun, 2pm). Through June 29. Berkeley Rep performs the West Coast premiere of Tony Kushner’s latest play.

The Letters Harry’s UpStage, Aurora Theatre Company, 2081 Addison, Berk; $28-32. Wed/4-Sat/7, 8pm; Sun/8, 2pm. American playwright John W. Lowell’s The Letters harkens back to Stalinist days and some unspecified ministry, where a dutiful staff goes about censoring the personal and openly homoerotic correspondence of an iconic Russian composer (Tchaikovsky). Directed by Mark Jackson for Aurora Theater’s new upstairs black box, the two-hander is cleverly crafted for the most part. Unfortunately, as a cat and mouse game the stakes, and the arc of the story, feel more fantastical then pressingly contemporary. (Avila)

Mutt: Let’s All Talk About Race La Val’s Subterranean, 1834 Euclid, Berk; $10-20. Thu/5-Sat/7, 8pm; Sun/8, 7pm. Impact Theatre and Ferocious Lotus Theatre Company present the world premiere of Christopher Chen’s political satire.

Nantucket Marsh Berkeley MainStage, 2120 Allston, Berk; $25-100 (all tickets include a picnic dinner). Thu and Sat, 7pm. Through June 14. Acclaimed solo performer Mark Kenward presents his “haunting yet hilarious” autobiographical show about growing up on Nantucket. *