Theater Listings: September 4 - 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 email@example.com.
Acid Test: The Many Incarnations of Ram Dass Marsh San Francisco, 1062 Valencia, SF; www.themarsh.org. $15-50. Opens Fri/6, 8pm. Runs 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.
"San Francisco Fringe Festival" Exit Theatreplex, 156 Eddy, SF; www.sffringe.org. $12.99 or less (passes, $45-75). Sept 6-21. The 22nd SF Fringe presents 36 shows that explore the boundaries of theater and performance.
Ella, the Musical Center REPertory Company, 1601 Civic, Walnut Creek; (925) 943-SHOW. $37-64. Previews Fri/6-Sat/7, 8pm; Sun/8, 2:30pm. Opens Tue/10, 7:30pm. Runs 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.
Woman in Black — A Ghost Play Douglas Morrison Theatre, 22311 N. Third St, Hayward; www.dmtonline.org. $10-29. Previews Thu/5, 8pm. Opens Fri/6, 8pm. Runs Fri-Sat and Sept 26, 8pm (also Sept 21, 2pm); Sun, 2pm. Through Sept 29. Douglas Morrison Theatre performs Stephen Mallatratt's adaptation of Susan Hill's spooky story.
American Dream New Conservatory Theatre Center, 25 Van Ness, SF; www.nctcsf.org. $35-45. Wed-Sat, 8pm; Sun, 2pm. Through Sept 15. 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; www.themarsh.org. $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.
Can You Dig It? Back Down East 14th — the 60s and Beyond Marsh San Francisco, 1062 Valencia, SF; www.themarsh.org. $15-50. Sat/7, 8:30pm; Sun/8, 7pm. (Runs Sept 14-Oct 27 at the Marsh Berkeley.) 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)
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.
In Friendship: Stories By Zona Gale Z Below, 470 Florida, SF; www.zspace.org. $20-50. Wed-Thu, 7pm (also Sept 11, 3pm); Fri-Sat, 8pm; Sun, 3pm. Extended through Sept 13. Word for Word performs Zona Gale's "comedy of American manners."
God of Carnage Shelton Theater, 533 Sutter, SF; www.sheltontheater.com. $26-38. Thu/5-Sat/7, 8pm. Shelton Theater performs Yasmina Reza's award-winning play about class and parenting.
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.
Macbeth Fort Point, end of Marine Dr, Presidio of San Francisco, SF; www.weplayers.org. $30-60. Opens Thu/5, 6pm. Runs 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; www.sfshakes.org. Free. Sat-Sun, 2pm. Through Sept 15. In its 31st season, Free Shakespeare in the Park also takes on one of the Bard's major tragedies.
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. (Avila)
After the Revolution Aurora Theatre, 2081 Addison, Berk; www.auroratheatre.org. $32-60. Previews Wed/4, 8pm. Opens Thu/5, 8pm. Runs Tue, 7pm; Wed-Sat, 8pm; Sun, 2 and 7pm. Through Sept 29. Aurora Theatre opens its 22nd season with the Bay Area premiere of Amy Herzog's family drama.
All's Well That Ends Well Forest Meadows Amphitheater, 890 Bella, Dominican University of California, San Rafael; www.marinshakespeare.org. $20-37.50. Presented in repertory Fri-Sun through Sept 28; visit website for performance schedule. Marin Shakespeare Company continues its outdoor season with the Bard's classic romance.
A Comedy of Errors Forest Meadows Amphitheater, 890 Bella, Dominican University of California, San Rafael; www.marinshakespeare.org. $20-37.50. Presented in repertory Fri-Sun through Sept 29; visit website for performance schedule. Marin Shakespeare Company presents a cowboy-themed spin on the Bard's classic.
Good People Marin Theatre Company, 397 Miller, Mill Valley; www.marintheatre.org. $37-58. Tue and Thu-Sat, 8pm (also Thu/5, 1pm; Sept 14, 2pm); Wed, 7:30pm; Sun, 2 and 7pm. Through Sept 15. Marin Theatre Company performs the Bay Area premiere of David Lindsay-Abaire's Broadway triumph about class and poverty.
Lady Windermere's Fan Bruns Amphitheater, 100 California Shakespeare Theater Way, Orinda; www.calshakes.org. $35-62. Wed/4-Thu/5, 7:30pm; Fri/6-Sat/7, 8pm (also Sat/7, 2pm); Sun/8, 4pm. California Shakespeare Theater performs Oscar Wilde's comedy.
Orlando Live Oak Theatre, 1301 Shattuck, Berk; www.theatrefirst.com. $10-30. Thu-Sat, 8pm; Sun, 5pm. Through Sept 15. TheatreFIRST performs Sarah Ruhl's gender-shifting comedy, which takes place over a span of 300 years.
Other Desert Cities Mountain View Center for the Performing Arts, 500 Castro, Mtn View; www.theatreworks.org. $19-73. Tue-Wed, 7:30pm; Thu-Sat, 8pm (also Sat, 2pm); Sun, 2 and 7pm. Through Sept 15. TheatreWorks performs Jon Robin Baitz's family dramedy, a Broadway hit making its regional premiere here.
Caroline Lugo and Carolé Acuña's Ballet Flamenco Peña Pachamama, 1630 Powell, SF; www.carolinalugo.com. Sat/7, Sept 15, 21, Oct 6, 12, 20, 26, 6:15pm. $15-19. Flamenco performance by the mother-daughter dance company, featuring live musicians.
Christine Ebersole Feinstein's at the Nikko, Hotel Nikko, 222 Mason, SF; www.ticketweb.com. Thu/5-Fri/6, 8pm; Sat/7, 7pm. $40-85. The two-time Tony winner performs classic standards and Broadway favorites.
"Mission Position Live" Cinecave, 1034 Valencia, SF; www.missionpositionlive.com. Thu, 8pm. Ongoing. $10. Stand-up comedy with rotating performers.
"Okeanos Intimate" Aquarium of the Bay, Pier 39, SF; www.capacitor.org. 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)
"Padme: The Lotus" CounterPULSE, 1310 Mission, SF; www.counterpulse.org. Sat/7, 8pm; Sun/8, 7pm. $15-25. The 25-member Vishwa Shanthi Dance Company, choreographed by Shreelata Suresh, explores the symbolism of the lotus via south Indian classical dance form Bharatantyam.
"Pandora Boxx: Lick This Boxx!" Rebel, 1760 Market, SF; www.brownpapertickets.com. Fri/6-Sun/8, 7:30 and 10pm. $22.50. The RuPaul's Drag Race alum performs an evening of comedy, stories, and song.
"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.
"Traditions" CounterPULSE, 1310 Mission, SF; www.counterpulse.org. Fri/6, 8pm. $20. Dancer Ganesh Vasudeva presents a solo exploration of south Indian classical dance form Bharatantyam.
"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. *
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