July 10, 2002




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Stage listings are compiled by Cheryl Eddy. Performance times may change; call venues to confirm. Reviewers are Robert Avila, Sima Belmar, Rita Felciano, Brad Rosenstein, and Lara Shalson. See 8 Days a Week for information on how to submit items to the listings.



Augustine (Big Hysteria) Exit on Taylor, 227 Taylor; 999-8870, www.theshee.org. $15-20 (pay what you can Fri/12-Sat/13, July 29). Previews Fri/12-Sat/13, Wed/17 (benefit performance with post-play discussion), 8pm. Opens Thurs/18, 8pm. Runs Fri-Sat, Thurs/18, July 29, 8pm. Through July 29. The Shee Theatre presents the U.S. premiere of Anna Furse's play, based on the true tale of a woman plagued by hysteria in late 19th-century Paris.

The Ghost of Molly Malone Venue 9, 252 Ninth St; 289-2000. $12-15. Opens Thurs/11, 8pm. Runs Thurs-Sat and Mon/15 (special actor's benefit, $25), 8pm; July 28, 2pm. Through Aug 3. Three Wise Monkeys Theatre Company and Footloose @ Venue 9 present the world premiere of Aoise Stratford's play about the legendary Irish figure.

Ladies and Gentlemen ... It's B Movie Night! Exit Theatre, 156 Eddy; 387-3163. $12-15. Opens Fri/12, 8pm. Runs Fri-Sat, 8pm. Through Aug 17. Ironworkers Local 202 Theater Company presents four short plays inspired by low-budget genre films.

The Last of the Red-Hot Dadas Exit Cafe, 156 Eddy; 673-3847. $10. Opens Fri/12, 8:30pm. Runs Fri, 8:30pm. Through Aug 9. Christine Augello performs as "the mother of Dada," Baroness Elsa von Freytag-Loringhoven.

Ripped from the News Magic Theatre, Fort Mason Center, Marina at Laguna; 441-8822. $10-37. Previews Wed/10-Thurs/11, 8pm. Opens Fri/12, 8pm. Runs Wed-Sat, 8pm; Sun, 2:30pm. Through July 28. See 8 Days a Week, page 52.

The Stone Trilogy A Traveling Jewish Theatre, 470 Florida; 820-1460. $7-20. Previews Fri/12, 8pm. Runs Fri-Sat, Mon/15, Aug 1, 8pm; July 28, 2pm. Through Aug 3. Second Wind Productions presents Ian Walker's three interrelated one-acts that span Ireland, South Africa, and the United States.

'Summer Shorts: Days and Nights' Exit Stage Left, 156 Eddy; 863-7707, www.ticketweb.com. $10-20. Previews Fri/12, 8pm. Opens Sat/13, 8pm. Runs Fri-Sat, 8pm. Through Aug 17. Isis Arts Collective presents an evening of short plays, including five world premieres by Bay Area writers and three lesser-known works by Christopher Durang and Wendy Wasserstein.

We're Going down the Pub Edinburgh Castle Pub, 950 Geary; 885-4074. $10. Opens Thurs/11, 8pm. Runs Thurs-Sat, 8pm. Through Aug 3. The Edinburgh Castle Pub hosts a live, multimedia comedy show about pub life.

Bay Area

Benefactors Aurora Theatre, 2081 Addison, Berk; (510) 843-4822. $26-35. Previews Fri/12-Sat/13, Wed/17, 8pm; Sun/14, 2pm. Opens Thurs/18, 8pm. Runs Wed-Sat, 8pm; Sun, 2 and 7pm. Through Aug 18. Aurora Theatre Company closes its 10th season with Michael Frayn's tale of two couples over 15 years.

A Chorus Line Kofman Auditorium, 2200 Central, Alameda; (510) 864-2256, www.aclo.com. $14-22. Opens Fri/12, 8pm. Runs Fri-Sat, 8pm; Sun/21 and July 28, 2pm. Through July 28. Alameda Civic Light Opera performs the popular musical.

The Heidi Chronicles Live Oak Theatre, 1301 Shattuck, Berk; (510) 528-5620. $10. Opens Fri/12, 8pm. Runs Fri-Sat and Aug 8, 8pm. Through Aug 10. Actors Ensemble of Berkeley completes its 45th season with a performance of Wendy Wasserstein's Pulitzer-winning play.

Measure for Measure Highway One at Calle del Mar, Stinson Beach; (415) 868-1115, www.shakespeareatstinson.org. $13-23. Opens Fri/12, 7pm. Runs Fri-Sat, 7pm; Sun, 6pm. Shakespeare at Stinson presents Shakespeare's comedy about hypocrisy.

Pericles, Prince of Tyre John Hinkel Park, Southampton and Somerset (just off the Arlington), Berk; (415) 567-1758, www.womanswill.org. Free. At this location Sat/13-Sun/14, 1pm (also Sun/14, 6pm, Centennial Park, near 5353 Sunol, Pleasanton). Through Aug 18; check Web site for full schedule. Woman's Will presents an all-female take on Shakespeare's romance.

A Thousand and One Arabian Nights Forest Meadows Amphitheatre, Grand Ave, Dominican University, San Rafael; (415) 499-4488. $12-22. Opens Fri/12, 8pm. Runs Sat/13-Sun/14, Sun/21, Fri/26, Sun/28, Aug 3-4, Aug 10-11, 16, 18, 24-25, 8pm (also Sun/14, Aug 4, 11 4pm). Through Aug 25. The Marin Shakespeare Company presents a world premiere adaption of the classic tale.


American Buffalo Shelton Theater, 533 Sutter; 433-7875. $20 (Thurs, pay what you can). Thurs-Sun, 8pm. Through July 27. Three small-time crooks plan a robbery and philosophize on the nature of friendship in David Mamet's 1977 play. The action (if we can call a prolonged failure to do anything "action") takes place in a junk shop owned by Donny (Charles Brumm), where he and his buddy "Teach" (Richard Harder) plot to steal a valuable coin. Bobby (Joseph Silva), Donny's gofer, wants in on the action, but the two older men exclude him, half suspecting he might be trying to cheat them himself. Mistrust and self-protection clash against the need for approval ("Are you mad at me?" they each ask at least once) in Mamet's classic fractured dialogue. However, much of the emotional nuance is lost in this production because of a rather flat relationship between Donny and Bobby. Harder, on the other hand, is excellent as Teach (move over Dustin Hoffman) and really carries the play. (Shalson)

Buried Child Geary Theatre, 405 Geary; 749-2ACT, www.ticketweb.com. $15-61. Wed/10-Sat/13, 8pm (also Sat/13, 2pm); Sun/14, 2pm. It's been almost 25 years since Sam Shepard's Buried Child premiered at the Magic Theatre, eventually landing its author a Pulitzer Prize. Dodge (John Seitz) is a rasping hulk who can barely move off the sofa. His wife, Halie (Frances Lee McCain), is on her way out for assignations with the local minister. Their sons are all broken men, from vicious amputee Bradley (Robert Parsons) to shell-shocked Tilden (Marco Barricelli). And when Tilden's son Vince (Neil Hopkins) returns home after years of absence, he's unrecognized by his own flesh and blood. They're a bizarre bunch, but what's so funny and unsettling about the play is how accurately it evokes the ruthless and seductive tug of family ties. (Rosenstein)

*i feel love Intersection for the Arts, 446 Valencia; 626-3311. $9-15. Thurs/10-Mon/15, 8pm. The Ghost of San Francisco Past has haunted several of Erin Cressida Wilson's previous plays, but it becomes the main character in her latest. It's a legacy Wilson and actor Sean San José share and have explored in previous collaborations, yet never quite so intimately. Playing a character plagued by guilt, loss, rage, and a confusingly fluid sense of self, San José revels in streams of darkness and light, often seeming as bemused by his life's wrenching turns as he is pained by them. Before, Wilson had often been guilty of indulging her poetic gifts, falling back on rhetoric to bridge troublesome dramatic gaps; here, much of her work seems grounded literally in flesh and blood, even as it aspires to a condition of funky flight. (Rosenstein)

Mamma Mia! Orpheum Theatre, 1192 Market; 512-7770, www.ticketmaster.com. $38-78. Wed/10-Sat/13, 8pm (also Sat/13, 2pm). ABBA fans, take note: the musical returns to San Francisco.

Of Mice and Men Actors Theatre of San Francisco, 533 Sutter; 296-9179. $15-20. Thurs-Sat, 8pm; Sun, 7pm. Through Aug 31. Actors Theatre of San Francisco presents the John Steinbeck classic.

Roberto Zucco: A Portrait of a Serial Killer Theatre Rhinoceros, 2926 16th St; 861-5079. $12-20 (previews, pay what you can). Thurs-Sun, 8pm. Through July 28. Celebrated French playwright Bernard-Marie Koltès's last play before an early death from AIDS-related illness in 1989 explores the inherent violence of a human-made world devoid of love or liberty. Inspired by the true tale of Italian murderer Roberto Succo, Koltès's lyrical flight sets up sociopath Roberto Zucco (James S. Craft) as an ambiguous hero for our age: the last free man. In a series of short scenes, beginning with Zucco's escape from prison and shimmering with literary and pop-cultural allusions, the outlaw killer alternately menaces and ministers to characters confined to the larger prison house of the law-abiding. Koltès embeds the play's violence in the language and relationships of everyday life as much as in Zucco's brutal egoism, lending the fugitive's most brutal acts a dimension of mercy while complicating our idea of victimhood. Cutting Ball artistic director Rob Melrose's staging, and a sinister light and sound design, make for some memorable images. Royston Coppenger's translation, however, tends to blunt Koltès's violently incandescent prose, while too-earnest renderings of some scenes mute his nihilistic poeticism and absurdist humor. The uneven cast hits the mark more than once but rises inconsistently to proper pitch. (Avila)

*'Russell Simmons Def Poetry Jam' Theatre on the Square, 450 Post; 433-9500. $25-40. Tues-Thurs, 8pm; Fri-Sat, 7 and 10pm; Sun, 5pm. Through July 28. Following on the heels of the HBO series Russell Simmons Presents Def Poetry, this evening of performance poetry features nine rising stars of the slam poetry scene. Among them are Steve Colman, with his scathing sociopolitical commentary, and Mayda del Valle, Black Ice, Georgia Me, and Suheir Hammad, who speak eloquently to issues facing Americans of Latin, African American, and Palestinian descent, to name a few. The evening rocks with energy and passionate intensity, and it's inspiring to see young people tackling major social ills with artful, uncompromising language and Whitmanesque fervor. (Rosenstein)

Sleeping with Straight Men Theatre Rhinoceros Studio, 2926 16th St; 861-5079. $20-25. Fri, 8:30pm; Sat, 6 and 9pm; Sun, 3:30 and 7:30pm. Through Sun/21. Great Scott Productions presents Ronnie Larsen's new play, based on the true tale of a gay man who is murdered after revealing his crush on a straight man on a television talk show; Mink Stole, Dan Renzi (of MTV's Real World: Miami), and Sister Roma (of the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence) star.

Stranger and Stranger Phoenix Theatre, 414 Mason; 289-6808. $12-15. Thurs/11-Sat/13, 8pm. Kinetic Theory Experimental Theatre presents its unique mime comedy, a 2001 San Francisco Fringe Festival favorite.

Summer's Eve Bindlestiff Studio, 185 Sixth St; 974-1167. $12-15. Thurs-Sat, 8pm. Through Sat/20. The Bindlestiff Pinay Collective presents a show that uses comedy, puppets, movement, and other techniques to expose what it's like to grow up Pinay in the United States.

The World Goes 'Round: The Songs of Kander and Ebb New Conservatory Theatre Center, 25 Van Ness; 861-8972. $15-35. Thurs/11-Sat/13, 8pm; Sun/14, 2pm. As part of its third "In Concert" season, the New Conservatory Theatre Center presents this musical revue with tunes from Cabaret, Chicago, and other shows.

Bay Area

Antony and Cleopatra La Val's Subterranean Theatre, 1834 Euclid, Berk; (510) 234-6046. $10-14. Thurs-Sat, 8pm. Through Sat/20. The endlessly playful and aggrandizing Cleopatra (Pamela Wylie) and the waning Roman titan Antony (Stanley Spenger) make quite a pair. Their romance is as political as it is sexual, or rather, it takes the politics of sex to new heights. In Subterranean Shakespeare's production, uneven casting, director Joy Meads's shuffling pace, and the formidable exigencies of the play itself (including its length and innumerable scene changes) can make the action feel disjointed and wearying. But while often falling short, it attains some worthy moments. Spenger displays significant authority and pathos as Antony, and Wylie's mischievous queen basks in the play's sizable comic aspects. (Avila)

Cloud Nine Roda Theatre, 2015 Addison, Berk; (510) 647-2949. $10-54. Tues and Thurs-Sat, 8pm (also Thurs/18 and July 27, 2pm); Wed and Sun, 7pm (also Sun, 2pm). Through July 28. You'd think anything by Caryl Churchill – particularly this feast of social satire bridging the British-dominated Africa of 1880 and the London of 1980 – would be a natural for the Berkeley Repertory Theatre's Tony Taccone, who's been on a roll lately. Instead the director plays the evening mostly for laughs, skimming lightly over the piece's lyricism and depth. It's easy – and misguided – to dismiss Cloud Nine as dated. At its premiere 20 years ago, Cloud Nine was a stunning reflection on the personal cost of Britain's imperialism and its hypocritical Victorian morality. The play's fluid vision of unbridled sexuality seemed liberating then, only to mark the script as an apparent period piece in ensuing years. But today what comes through most potently is not the sex or the politics but the hilarious and painful choices the play's parents and children and lovers (and by extension, governments and citizens and generations) make in dealing with one another. (Rosenstein)

Homebody/Kabul Berkeley Repertory Theatre, Thrust Stage, 2025 Addison, Berk; (510) 647-2949. $38-54. Extended run: Thurs/11-Sat/13, 8pm (also Sat/13, 2pm); Wed/10 and Sun/14, 7pm (also Sun/14, 2pm). While much has been made of Tony Kushner's "prescience" in writing his latest play, Homebody/Kabul, long before Sept. 11, the play is about much more than the events of the moment. The focus begins intimately in the living room of the Homebody (Michelle Morain), an obsessive reader who has settled in with a quaint but informative 1965 travel guide to Kabul. Surprisingly, this armchair traveler decides to go explore the world she has only read about. This three-hour-and-forty-minute evening is absorbing, witty, fierce, and intelligent, but it's hard for Kushner to top the Homebody's astounding opening monologue. Like the script, Tony Taccone's direction has its rough spots, but his work here bristles with attentiveness and dynamism. (Rosenstein)

Macbeth Bruns Memorial Amphitheater, Bruns Memorial Amphitheater, Gateway Blvd exit off Hwy 24, Orinda; (510) 548-9666, www.calshakes.org. $13-46. Tues-Thurs, 7:30pm; Fri-Sat, 8pm (also Sat, 2pm); Sun, 4pm. Through July 28. Shakespeare's tale of the perils of ambition is staged by the California Shakespeare Festival.

*San Francisco Mime Troupe's 'Mr. Smith Goes to Obskuristan' Live Oak Park, Berryman between Shattuck and Walnut, Berk; (415) 285-1717, www.sfmt.org. Free. Runs at this location Sat/13-Sun/14, 2pm. Through Sept 2; check Web site for full schedule. Since it is known for its political lampoons of current events, it's not surprising that the San Francisco Mime Troupe has chosen Sept. 11 and its aftermath for a target this year. Written by Josh Kornbluth (Haiku Tunnel) in collaboration with the troupe, Mr. Smith is a smart and humorous look at what happens to democratic ideals when profits are at stake. Obskuristan is a tiny desert nation that is so "dirt poor" it has to import sand. Jeff Smith is a Sept. 11 firefighter who's been sent to supervise the country's first democratic elections. However, it turns out that the elections are fixed ("Only an American could mistake a fixed election for a real one," candidate Ralif Nadir quips) and that the United States is supporting the corrupt government in order to gain control of Obskuristan's oil resources. On opening weekend the performance fell short of the troupe's usual polish, but there are plenty of much needed laughs and at least a few moments (Ed Holmes as Barbara Bush!) approaching brilliance. (Shalson)

The Winter's Tale Duck Pond Meadow, Lakeside Park, Lake Merritt, near Perkins at Grand, Oakl; www.sfshakes.org. Fri-Sat, 7pm; Sun, 4pm. At this location through Sun/14. The San Francisco Shakespeare Festival celebrates 20 years of Free Shakespeare in the Park with a performance of the Bard's tale of jealousy and forgiveness.


Caroline Lugo's Brisas de España Flamenco Dance Company Eureka Theatre, 215 Jackson; 345-7575. Thurs-Sat, 8pm; Sun, 7pm. Through Sun/21. (Also July 26-27, 8pm, Dean Lesher Regional Center for the Arts, 1601 Civic, Walnut Creek; 925-943-SHOW). Call for price. The flamenco company presents their fifth anniversary season, featuring both new and older works.

'The Dancers' Group Summer Dance Festival presents Range of Motion: Series II' Dance Mission Theatre, 3316 24th St; 920-9181. Fri-Sun, 8pm. $15. See Critic's Choice.

'Summerfest/dance presents West Wave Dance Festival 2002' Cowell Theater, Marina at Laguna; 345-7575. This week: Program One: Thurs-Fri, 8pm; Program Two: Sat-Sun, 8pm. Festival runs through July 28; check www.voiceofdance.org for performance schedule. This festival of contemporary dance features the works of 28 West Coast choreographers. Program One includes Rapt Performance Group, Deborah Slater Dance Theater, KT Nelson, and Amy Stewart; Program Two includes AXIS Dance Company, Kate Weare, Paufve Dance, Della Davidson, Huckabay McAllister Dance, and Michael Cole.


'Bastille Day Variety Show' Hotel Utah Saloon, 500 Fourth St; www.geocities.com/squisheykitty. Sat, 9pm. $7. The Cantankerous Lollies, Kitten on the Keys, Mr. Tinkler, and other cabaret acts highlight this variety show.

'Dadafest 5: The Last Dadafest Ever' SomArts Cultural Center, gallery, 934 Brannan; 861-1554, www.dadafest.com. Fri-Sat, 8pm. $7-10. See 8 Days a Week, page 52.

'The Ghost of Sophia Leicester' Blue Bear School of Music, Fort Mason Center, Bldg B, Second Fl, Marina at Laguna; 626-4603. Fri, 7:30pm. $5. The Playwrights' Center of San Francisco hosts a staged reading of a new play by local writer Vonn Scott Blair.

'Night Light' Yerba Buena Center for the Arts (meet in grand lobby), 701 Mission; 978-ARTS. Wed-Fri, tours leave at 6:30, 6:50, and 7:10pm, free (call for reservations). Artist-in-residence Ann Carlson presents a series of outdoor performance installations that re-create vintage San Francisco photographs.

'Piece of You' Jon Sims Center for the Arts, 1519 Mission; 846-2175. Fri, Sat/20-Sun/21, 8pm. Through Sun/21. $10. Zutiste Productions presents S.M. Peters's play about a 1955 meeting between a rising young actor and an aging heiress.

'Til Friday' Club Rendez-Vous, 1312 Polk; 309-CLUB. Fri, 10:30pm and midnight. Free. A cast of drag performers – including Cockatelia, Gypsy Calabrese, Sonfondaboyz, Manley Lennox, and Karen Kill – takes the stage; this week's theme is "Old Switch-R-U: We Do Each Other."

'Xeno' Xenodrome, 1320 Potrero; 282-XENO. Thurs, 8pm; Fri-Sat, 9pm; Sun, 2pm. Through July 27. $3-25. This performance combines theater, aerial dance, acrobatics, video, and sound.


Punchline 444 Battery; 397-4337. Mon, 9pm: "Hotwataconebread'" sketch comedy, with host William Wesley Walls, $5.

San Francisco LGBT Community Center 1800 Market; 865-5633. Mon, 8pm: "Monday Night Gay Comedy" with host Shari Vasseghi, $8-15.

Venue 9 252 Ninth St; 820-3947. Sun, 8pm: "Seven Sins," comedy and solo performance, $10-15. Through Aug 4.

spoken word

Open mics take place almost every night in cafés throughout the Bay Area. If you want to perform, show up about half an hour before start time to put your name on the list. A day-by- day guide to word events and featured readers:

Wednesday: Cody's Books 2454 Telegraph, Berk; (510) 845-7852. "Poetry Flash," with Carmen Gimenez-Rosello and Dawn Trook, 7:30pm, $2. La Peña Cultural Center La Peña Cultural Center, 3105 Shattuck, Berk; (510) 849-2566. Café Poetry with Kira Allen, 7:30pm, $2.

Thursday: New Langton Arts 1246 Folsom; 626-5416. "Bay Area Award Show" reading with kari edwards, Stephanie Young, and others, 8pm, $4-6. See 8 Days a Week, page 52. Black Box 1928 Telegraph, Oakl; www.oaklandpoetry.net/team.html. "2002 Oakland Battle of the Bay" poetry slam, 9:30pm, $10.

Saturday: Berkeley Art Center 1275 Walnut, Berk; (510) 527-9753. "Rhythm and Muse" with Robin Lewis and open mic, 7pm, free. Café du Nord 2170 Market; www.charlesangers.com. "Writers with Drinks" with Charles Anders, Lori Selke, Gerard Jones, Justin Chin, Miriam Ann Moore, and Jennifer Blowdryer, 6pm, $3-5.

Sunday: Cody's Books 2454 Telegraph, Berk; (510) 845-7852. Poetry and music with M.L. Lieber and Country Joe McDonald, 7:30pm, $2.

Monday: Perry's Joint 1661 Fillmore; 931-5260. "Celebration of the Word," with Don Brennan and host Jeanne Powell, 7pm, free.

Tuesday: World Ground Café 3726 MacArthur, Oakl; (510) 482-2933. "Poetry Diversified" with Eliza Shefler and open mic, 7:30pm, free. Talk of the Town 4481 International, Oakl; (510) 534-TALK. "Tourettes Without Regrets hosts the Battle of the Bay" poetry slam, 8:30pm, $6.