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.
Baby: A Musical Off-Market Theatres, 965 Mission; 1-800-838-3006, www.roltheatre.com. $20-32. Previews Thurs/18, 8pm. Opens Fri/19, 8pm. Runs Thurs-Sat, 8pm; Sun, 2pm. Through April 18. Ray of Light Theatre performs a comedy about pregnancy.
Ramble-Ations: A One D'Lo Show Brava Theater Center, 2781 24th St; 647-2822, www.brava.org. $10-25. Opens Wed/17, 8pm. Runs Thurs-Sat, 8pm; Sun, 3pm. Through April 3. Performance artist D'Lo offers up a comedic solo show from a unique (gay, Hindi, Sri Lankan, SoCal, hip-hop) perspective.
Truce Noh Space, 2840 Mariposa; 826-1958. $10-25. Previews Wed/17, 8pm. Opens Thurs/18, 8pm. Runs Wed-Sat, 8pm. Through April 3. Playwright-performer Marilee Talkington stars in Vanguardian Productions' presentation of her autobiographical work about a woman struggling with impending blindness.
...And Jesus Moonwalks the Mississippi Cutting Ball Theater, 277 Taylor; 1-800-838-3006, www.cuttingball.com. $15-30. Opens Fri/19, 8pm. Runs Thurs-Sat, 8pm; Sun, 5pm. Through April 11. Cutting Ball presents this deeply personal fantasy play inspired by the myth of Demeter and Persephone and directed by Amy Mueller.
Caddyshack: Live! Dark Room, 2263 Mission; 401-7987, www.brownpapertickets.com/event/99361. $20. Fri-Sat, 8pm. Through March 27. The Dark Room presents Jim Fourniadis' live adaptation of the iconic movie.
Death Play EXIT Theatre, 156 Eddy; 673-3847, www.theexit.org. $15-20. Thurs-Sat, 8pm. Through March 27. Thunderbird Theatre Company presents the third installment in the comedy series by Sang S. Kim.
*Den of Thieves SF Playhouse, 533 Sutter; 677-9596, www.sfplayhouse.org. $40. Tues, 7pm; Wed-Sat, 8pm (also Sat, 3pm). Through April 17. Stephen Adly Guirgis has been good to SF Playhouse. The company already scored big with two of the New Yorker's gritty, dark and sharply funny plays, Our Lady of 121st Street and Jesus Hopped the 'A' Train. Director Susi Damilano continues the streak with SF Playhouse's latest, the less heavy but very funny Den of Thieves, about an unlikely foursome of inept bandits caught trying to heist a Mafioso's safe under a discotheque in Queens a simple tale that gives plenty of scope to Guirgis's muscular way with dialogue and the clash of characters. The story opens on a depressed recovering kleptomaniac, Maggie (an affectingly understated Kathryn Tkel), and her 12-step sponsor Paul (the excellent Casey Jackson), a nerdy fast-talking mixed-race former safecracker, whose Jewish grandfather headed up a famous crime ring that robin-hooded their take to library construction for kids in the neighborhood. Enter Maggie's former boyfriend, a Puerto Rican tough named Flaco (a hilariously spot-on Chad Deverman), with his new squeeze, erotic dancer Boochie (a deftly comic Corinne Proctor), and a lead on a large traceless sum of cash. Suddenly the smell of big money sends recovery out the window and makes uneasy bedfellows of the motley, hostile bunch. Enter angry but softhearted mobster Little Tuna (Ashkon Davaran), his sadistic sidekick Sal (Peter Ruocco), and big gun Big Tuna (Joe Madero). Facing mob vengeance, it's time for some fast-talking and deal making among the mini-den, and all bets are off. The ending seems to have eluded Guirgis a little, but the way there makes for meaty comedy, while the exceptional cast sells the conceit so beautifully they make it a crime to miss. (Avila)
Desperate Affection Royce Gallery, 2901 Mariposa; www.expressionproductions.com. $28. Thurs-Sat, 8pm. Through April 10. Expression Productions presents a dark comedy by Bruce Graham.
Eat, Pray, Laugh! Off-Market Theaters, 965 Mission; www.brownpapertickets.com. $20. Wed, 8pm. Through April 28. Off-Market Theaters presents stand up comic and solo artist Alicia Dattner in her award-winning solo show.
*Juliet Little Theatre, Creative Arts Bldg, San Francisco State University, 1600 Holloway; http://creativearts.sfsu.edu/events/1412/juliet. $8-12. Thurs/18-Sat/20, 8pm; Sun/21, 2pm. Can a cast of seven Juliets a Romeo and Juliet make? Very much so. In fact, this devised work, directed by Mark Jackson and beautifully brought to life by an exceptional student cast from SF State's theater department, conveys not just the poetry but the sheer energy, surprise, and shock of living at the very heart of the work better than any recent straight-ahead production in recent memory. This vibrant, movement-based, and repeatedly stunning postmodern Juliet retains the dramatic arc of Shakespeare's tragedy, yet runs another parallel arc of its own, exploring the perspective of Juliet as an extremely intelligent, vital and growing young woman by ingeniously refracting her through the lives and memories of seven actors, six female (Arisa Bega, Charlotte Gulezian, Meredith, Frannie Morrison, Megan Trout, Mai Kou Vang) and one male (Dara Yazdani). The results are not to be missed, providing something truly unique as well as one of the most compelling ways into a text that refuses to die despite a million bad productions. Excellent scenic and lighting designs (by Hannah Murray and Clyde Sheets, respectively) and a truly outstanding sound design by Matt Stines offer fine mood-casting support throughout. (Avila)
KML Preaches to the Choir Jewish Theater, 470 Florida; www.killingmyblobster.com. $15-20. Thurs-Fri, 8pm; Sat, 7 and 10pm; Sun, 7pm. Through March 28. The award-winning sketch comedy group takes aim at the higher powers in this piece directed by Paco Romane.
*Loveland The Marsh, 1074 Valencia; 826-5750, www.themarsh.org. $15-50. Sat, 8:30pm; Sun, 7pm. Through April 11. Los Angelesbased writer-performer Ann Randolph returns to the Marsh with a new solo play partly developed during last year's Marsh run of her memorable Squeeze Box. Randolph plays loner Frannie Potts, a rambunctious, cranky, and libidinous individual of decidedly odd mien, who is flying back home to Ohio after the death of her beloved mother. The flight is occasion for Frannie's own flights of memory, exotic behavior in the aisle, and unabashed advances toward the flight deck brought on by the seductively confident strains of the captain's commentary. The singular personality and mother-daughter relationship that unfurls along the way is riotously demented and brilliantly humane. (Avila)
*Mirrors In Every Corner Intersection for the Arts, 446 Valencia; 626-2787, www.theintersection.org. $15-25. Thurs/18-Sun/21, 8pm. Try to ask someone who's ever felt marked by the color (any color) of their skin if they believe in a post-racial society, and see what kind of a response you elicit. That there is no tidy answer to this potentially messy question is a conundrum well-illustrated by playwrite Chinaka Hodge's hypothetical fable of a white-skinned baby born into an African-American family. Each member of the family has a different reaction to and relationship with the mysterious blonde-haired changeling Miranda, dubbed "Random". Her father, who dies when she is young, is reported to have hated her. Her oldest brother Watts (Daveed Diggs) claims to understand her best, but in trying to get her to unravel what it means to be "black" vs. "white", reveals himself to be as confused as anyone by the lack of a single definition. Her mother Willieplayed tough and no-nonsense by Margo Hall (who also plays the teenaged Miranda)loves her unconditionally, yet ultimately sacrifices her for the well-being of the greater family unit. Hodge's first full-length play, Mirrors succeeds in strong performance, warm humor, and crackling, poetic dialogue, but fails to adequately resolve how it is that the otherwise uncompromising Willie lets the low card of an unfortunate accident trump her otherwise strong hand of "colorblind" maternal loyalty. With Dwight Huntsman and Traci Tolmaire. (Gluckstern)
Now and at the Hour EXIT Stage Left, 156 Eddy; 673-3847, www.theexit.org. $15-25. Fri-Sat, 8pm. Through March 27. EXIT presents the subtly unnerving show by theatrical magician Christian Cagigal.
Pearls Over Shanghai Hypnodrome, 575 Tenth St.; 1-800-838-3006, www.thrillpeddlers.com. $30-69. Sat, 8pm; Sun, 7pm. Through April 24. Thrillpeddlers presents this revival of the legendary Cockettes' 1970 musical extravaganza.
The Real Americans The Marsh, 1062 Valencia; 826-5750, www.themarsh.org. $18-50. Wed-Fri, 8pm (April 16, show at 9pm; starting April 24, no Fri shows except May 28, 8pm); Sat, 5pm; Sun, 3pm. Through May 30. The Marsh presents the world premiere of Dan Hoyle's new solo show.
Shopping! The Musical Shelton Theater, 533 Sutter; 1-800-838-3006, www.brownpapertickets.com. $27-29. Fri-Sat, 8pm. The musical is now in its fifth year at Shelton Theater.
Something You Might Want Stagewerx Theatre, 533 Sutter; www.catchynametheatre.org. $16. Fri-Sat, 8pm; Sun, 3pm. Through March 28. CatchyNameTheatre presents this dark comedy written and directed by Jim Strope.
Suddenly Last Summer Actors Theatre, 855 Bush; 345-1287, www.actorstheatresf.org. $15-35. Thurs-Sat, 8pm. Through March 27. Actors Theatre presents one of Tennessee Williams' finest and most famous plays.
The Sugar Witch New Conservatory Theatre Center, 25 Van Ness; 861-4914, www.nctcsf.org.
Wed-Sat, 8 pm; Sun, 2pm. Through April 4. NCTC presents the premiere of Nathan Sanders' crime story.
What Mama Said About Down There Our Little Theater, 287 Ellis; 820-3250, www.theatrebayarea.org. $15-25. Thurs-Sun, 8pm. Through July 30. Writer-performer-activist Sia Amma presents this largely political, a bit clinical, inherently sexual, and utterly unforgettable performance piece.
Concerning Strange Devices from the Distant West Roda Theatre, 2015 Addison, Berk; (510) 647-2949, berkeleyrep.org. $13.50-27. Days and times vary. Through April 11. Berkeley Rep presents a sexy and intriguing new show from Naomi Iizuka.
*East 14th Laney College Theatre, 900 Fallon St, Oakl; www.east14thoak.eventbrite.com. $10-50. Fri-Sat, 8:30pm. Through March 28. Also at the the Marsh Berkeley in March. Don Reed's solo play, making its Oakland debut after an acclaimed New York run, is truly a welcome homecoming twice over. (Avila)
Handless Central Stage, 5221 Central, Richmond; 1-800-838-3006, www.raggedwing.org. $15-30. Thurs-Sat, 8pm. Through March 27. Ragged Wing Ensemble presents Amy Sass' re-invention of the folk-tale The Handless Maiden.
*Learn to be Latina La Val's Subterranean, 1834 Euclid, Berk. impacttheatre.com. $10-20. Thurs-Sat, 8pm. Through March 27. Impact Theatre continues its 14th season with the world premiere of Enrique Urueta's play.
Singin' in the Rain Julia Morgan Center for the Arts, 2640 College, Berk; (510) 665-5565, www.berkeleyplayhouse.org. $19-28. Fri/19, 7:30pm; Sat/20, 2 and 7pm; Sun/21, 1 and 6pm. Berkeley Playhouse presents this classic musical.
"All Star Magic & More" SF Playhouse, Stage Two, 533 Sutter; 646-0776, www.comedyonthesquare.com. Sun, 7pm. Ongoing. $20. Magician RJ Owens hosts the longest running magic show in San Francisco.
"Bananaritis!" CounterPULSE, 1310 Mission; 1-800-838-3006, www.brownpapertickets.com. Sat, 8pm. $20. Tim Rubel Human Shakes presents a performance piece that examines queer relationships.
BATS Improv Theatre Bayfront Theater, Fort Mason Center, B350 Fort Mason; 474-6776, www.improv.org. Fri-Sat, 8pm. $17-20. The Theatresports show format treats audiences to an entertaining and engaging night of theater and comedy presented as a competition.
"The Cat's Pajamas" Make-Out Room, 3225 22nd St; www.makeoutroom.com. Mon, 8pm. $5. This month's installment of the performance series hosts the Revolutionary Poets Brigade, among other acts.
"HyperReal" Yerba Buena Center for the Arts Forum, 701 Mission; 978-ARTS, www.ybca.org. Thurs-Sat, 8pm. $25. Bay Area artist Sara Kraft debuts her tech-vs-mind exploration, a fusion of text, song, sound, movement, and video.
PianoFight Studio 250 at Off-Market, 965 Mission; www.pianofight.com. Mon, 8pm. Through March 29. $20. The female-driven variety show Monday Night ForePlays returns with brand-new sketches, dance numbers, and musical performances.
"Sheherezade X: A Year in Review (2009)" Phoenix Theatre, 414 Mason; 885-8526. Fri-Sat, 8pm. Through March 27. $25. Short plays by local writers take on topics as varied as Muni and Bernie Madoff.
"Two on a Party" Artaud Theater, 450 Florida; 1-800-838-3006. Sat-Sun, 8pm. $18-20. Word for Word performs the Tennessee Williams work before they head off to present it in France.
VergeFest Garage, 975 Howard; 885-4006. Fri-Sun, 8pm. $10-20. Featuring contemporary dance, improvisation, and performance.
Virgin Play Series Magic Theatre, Fort Mason Center, Bldg D, Marina at Laguna, SF; 240-4454, http://magictheatre.org. Mon, 6pm. Free (reservations recommended). Through March 29. Magic Theatre presents Martha Heasley Cox's series of staged readings of works currently in development. This week: Ryan Purcell's Brazilian musical Marinheiro.
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