Drunk With Love: A Tribute to Frances Faye New Conservatory Theatre Center, 25 Van Ness; 861-8972, www.nctcsf.org. $15-28. Previews Thurs/14-Fri/15, 8pm. Opens Sat/16, 8pm. Runs Fri-Sat, 8pm; Sun, 2pm. Through Aug 14. The legendary nightclub singer is celebrated by Terese Genecco in this show, part of the New Conservatory Theatre Center's In Concert series.
Killing My Lobster and the Wonderful World of Science Victoria Theatre, 2916 16th St; 558-7721, www.killingmylobster.com. $12-17. Opens Thurs/14, 8pm. Runs Thurs-Fri, 8pm; Sat, 7:30 and 10pm; Sun, 7pm. Through July 24. Also: July 28-29, 8pm; July 30, 7:30 and 10pm; July 31, 7pm, Ashby Stage, 1901 Ashby, Berk. Same phone and price. The sketch comedy group performs a new show "for the chemically minded and the periodically tabled."
Liberties Taken Brava Theatre Center, 2789 24th St; www.rococorisque.com. $15-20. Opens Fri/15, 8pm. Runs Fri-Sat, 8pm. Through July 30. Rococo Risqué Theater Ensemble presents this satirical USO show, which uses song, dance, and comedy to examine wartime politics.
The Knight of the Burning Pestle Forest Meadows Amphitheater, Grand Avenue, Dominican University, San Rafael; (415) 499-4488, www.marinshakespeare.org. $15-26. Opens Fri/15, 8pm. Runs Sat/16, July 22, 24, 30, Aug 5, 7, and 13, 8pm; Sun/17, July 31, and Aug 14, 4pm. Through Aug 14. Marin Shakespeare Company performs this musical farce loosely based on Don Quixote.
Art SF Playhouse, 536 Sutter; 677-9596, www.ticketweb.com. $30-50. Wed-Sat, 8pm (also Sat, 3pm). Through July 30. SF Playhouse closes its second season with playwright Yasmina Reza's sniping comedy about friendship. Old pals Serge (SF Playhouse artistic director Bill English) and Marc (Louis Parnell) start an escalating argument over the value of Serge's new prized possession, a $57,000 modern-art painting that looks very much like a medium-size white canvas. When third musketeer Yvon (Keith Burkland) tries to act as peacemaker, the others read his conciliatory demeanor as typical spinelessness, and attack him. Sorting out what matters from what doesn't ends up being equally important in art and in life, which gets to the metaphorical nature of Reza's moral. Much of the power of Reza's play comes from the opportunities it affords the actors in conveying the tangle of tensions in the room. To this end, director Robin Stanton's cast knows what the play's about. Burkland's alternately admirable and pathetic Yvon has us seeing as many colors as Serge claims for his canvas. English, meanwhile, nicely shades Serge's amusing pretentiousness with a subtle, manic energy and simmering rage, and Parnell's Marc, having fancied himself "mentor" to Serge, expertly suggests a deeply wounded ego as he moves from sympathetic frailty to brutish megalomania and back. (Avila)
Beyond Therapy Shelton Theater, 533 Sutter; 433-1226, www.jeanshelton.com. $20-25. Thurs-Sat, 8pm. Open-ended. The Shelton Theater presents Christopher Durang's comedy about therapists and their patients.
Blood Bucket Ballyhoo Hypnodrome, 575 Tenth St; 248-1900, www.hypnodrome.com. $18-69. Thurs-Sat, 8pm. Open-ended. Life is a macabre array, old chum, judging by the one-act comedy-thrillers brought together in Thrillpeddlers' summer shock show. Co-producer Russell Blackwood directs a game cast in a revue of sideshow horror and kink that begins with Rob Keefe's Lips of the Damned (key terms include rats, poison gas, adultery, and guillotine fetish); followed by Eddie Muller's adaptation of the 1930 thriller The Drug, which opens an eye on a Saigon opium den; and finally pulls out all the stops (via electromagnetism) with Keefe's campy and especially satisfying A Slight Tingling, a piece combining preposterous medical flummery, haunted-house high jinks, and the worst excesses of 1950s sci-fi movies. Done up in semi-rigged surroundings with fervidly hokey fidelity to the Grand Guignol style (named for the famed Paris theater that staged impresario Oscar Méténier's gory "slice of death" melodramas when George A. Romero was just a red vein in his father's eye), Blood Bucket Ballyhoo is a platelet-heavy triplet of tawdry but tantalizing amusements. (Avila)
A Boy and His Soul Thick House, 1695 18th St; 401-8081, www.thickdescription.org. $15-25. Thurs-Sat, 8pm; Sun, 5pm. Through July 31. See "Soul Survivor."
Confessions of a Dope Dealer Climate Theater, 285 Ninth St; (765) 215-1824. $15-20. Fri-Sun, 8pm. Through July 31. Sheldon Norberg presents his autobiographical show, drawn from drug-related experiences good, bad, and ugly.
Crowns Marines Memorial Theatre, 609 Sutter; 771-6900, www.ticketmaster.com. $25-60. Previews Wed/13-Thurs/14, 8pm. Opens Fri/15, 8pm. Runs Tues-Sat, 8pm (also Sat, 2pm); Sun, 2 and 7pm. Through Aug 21. Peninsula company TheatreWorks brings its hit production of Regina Taylor's musical a celebration of African American women and their church hats to San Francisco.
The Elephant Man Shelton Theater, 533 Sutter; 433-1226, www.jeanshelton.com. $25-30. Thurs-Sat, 8pm. Through Aug 20. Shelton Theater presents Bernard Pomerance's play about the life of John Merrick.
*The Goat or, Who Is Sylvia? Geary Theater, 415 Geary; 749-2228, www.act-sf.org. $11-68. Extended run: Wed/13-Sat/16, 8pm (also Sat/16, 2pm); Sun/17, 2pm. A perfect marriage, an ideal family, a highly successful career, a life of privilege and comfort, the approbation of one's peers and the admiration of the public all brought crashing down by an affair. It's an old story, of course, except the part about the goat. And yet Edward Albee's 2002 Tony Award-winner, The Goat or, Who Is Sylvia? which closes American Conservatory Theater's season in a powerhouse Bay Area premiere, courtesy of director Richard E.T. White is theater of remarkable and lingering power, a result of its revivifying examination of classic dramatic structure as much as the unsettling transgression of contemporary norms. The Goat is really several plays at once: a ferocious comedy, a family melodrama, and a modern rendering of Greek tragedy. Throughout, Albee's dialogue and story line are masterfully crystalline, laced with classical and even self-referential allusions, ethical and existential questions, and metaphorical subtleties that continue unfolding long after the curtain falls. White's direction is meticulous and spot-on, and his cast is outstanding. (Avila)
The Golden Hammer: Wounds, Booze, and Forgotten Misconduct Marsh, 1062 Valencia; 1-800-838-3006, www.themarsh.org. $15-22. Sat, 8pm; Sun, 7pm. Through July 31. Who knows what he's like in court, but on stage solo performer and attorney Mark McGoldrick wins over his audience with unpretentious charm and quiet intelligence. His latest monologue weaves together three stories revolving around questions of justice and child sexual abuse, coming across so solidly in director David Ford's serenely unfussy staging that its subtleties register only slowly. The central tale involves his own rocky youth in the suburban desert of Arizona, where as a naïve teen he worked as "grease monkey" in an auto body shop whose owner-operator later faced charges of serial molestation. McGoldrick inter-cuts this with an account of a child molestation case he handled as an Oakland public defender, and another (extra-judicial) case he reluctantly stepped into on behalf of a World War II vet he met on a rafting trip. With ready humor and relaxed bonhomie he regales and unsettles us with the personal, professional, and ethical conundrums that arise, while ultimately eschewing any pat response. Memory remains fallible and vulnerable, and justice is equally elusive. No doubt it's sometimes a relief for an attorney and his audience to be allowed to walk away with only a productive set of reflections. (Avila)
*Hush Up, Sweet Charlotte Lorraine Hansberry Theatre, 620 Sutter; 474-8800, www.ticketweb.com. $27-32. Wed-Sat, 8pm; Sun, 2pm. Through Aug 31. In this summer's second brilliant revival of a 1994 queer theater crossover hit (the other being Medea: The Musical at the Rhino), Make It So Productions and the Lorraine Hansberry Theatre present actor-director Matthew Martin's very funny spoof of the 1964 Bette Davis Southern gothic murder mystery, Hush ... Hush, Sweet Charlotte. Martin's deadpan Davis is dead-on, and as indisputably supreme as ever, in this tale of a cracked Southern belle living in a condemned mansion under a cloud of suspicion, following the death of her lover many years before. Joining Martin at the head of an engaging cast is international drag superstar Varla Jean Merman (a.k.a. Jeffrey Roberson), playing the Olivia de Havilland role of sinister-sweet cousin Miriam, a deft and hilarious turn that does full-figured justice to a canny production (the role passes to Arturo Galster after June 26). Meticulously staged (with shrewd use of the original soundtrack and some choice sound cues in a generally faithful rendering of the movie's plot), the show nicely combines all the lazy comfort of a late-night TV discovery with camp's arch stylizing of Hollywood style into a kind of laid-back American kabuki of comedy. (Avila)
Jimmy Carter was a Democrat Phoenix Arts Association Theatre, 414 Mason, Sixth Fl; 608-4338, www.theshee.org. $15-20. Thurs/14-Sat/16, 8pm. The Shee Theatre Company performs Rinne Groff's drama, which centers around the 1980 election of Ronald Reagan and the concurrent Professional Air Traffic Controllers (PATCO) strike.
Los Big Names Magic Theatre, Fort Mason Center, Marina at Laguna; 441-8822, www.magictheatre.org. $20-38. Opens Wed/13, 8:30pm. Runs Wed-Fri, 8:30pm; Sat, 6 and 9pm; Sun, 3 and 7pm. Through Aug 21. Comedian Marga Gomez premieres her new show, the tale of a Latino family pursuing showbiz dreams in New York in the 1960s and Hollywood in the 1990s.
Macbeth Exit on Taylor, 277 Taylor; 419-3584, www.cuttingball.com. $20-25. Extended run: Fri/15-Sat/16, 8pm. The Cutting Ball Theater presents artistic director Rob Melrose's physically compact, visually striking production of Shakespeare's tragedy, featuring a hardworking cast of six covering, oh, a few dozen parts in all. Michael Locher's set design a simple monochrome dream featuring five white doors and five bare white bulbs, permeated (in Cliff Caruthers's soundscape) by what might be the muffled rage of a distant battle casts a suitably spooky spell for a play that's half ghost story and half waking nightmare. Melrose's staging and Raquel Barreto's costumes (mixing period and contemporary accents) heighten this dreamlike timelessness, while Garth Petal's sly, modern take on the tragic Scot suggests the blood-soaked warrior wouldn't be out of place in a corporate boardroom. And while the intimacy defining their regicidal compact is not entirely persuasive, the cold intelligence and power lust of Lady Macbeth (Paige Rogers) definitely mark her as the CEO of that marriage. The ensemble cast (which includes Keith C. Davis, Andrew Harkins, Daniel Krueger, and Jack Sale) is probably spread a little too thin in general, since performances are uneven, but despite ups and downs, the production climbs to a potent crescendo. (Avila)
*Medea: The Musical Theatre Rhinoceros, 2926 16th St; 861-5079, www.therhino.org. $20-28. Extended run: Fri/15-Sat/16, 8pm; Sun/17, 3pm. John Fisher's shrewd and very amusing Medea: The Musical (now bounding across Theatre Rhinoceros's main stage) shows that even amid the nonstop fun of the play's camp humor, expert staging, and deft comedic acting, sexual politics have a serious place. The revival of artistic director Fisher's award-winning 1994 musical comedy about a querulous and incestuous theater company rehearsing a musical version of Euripides' drama not only updates Greek tragedy for the tragically hip 21st century, it ups the ante for agenda-conscious gay theater by turning love into a political weapon. Plotwise, the situation is simple: the openly gay leading man playing Jason (Nathan Baynard) finds himself falling for his charmingly jagged female costar (Sarah Mitchell), whose romantic advances may or may not be motivated by her desire to rescue Medea from the gay politics of the director (played by real-life writer-director Fisher). The overlapping polarities in the play-within-the-musical-within-the-play get increasingly complex (and hilarious). Along the way we're made to wonder about the mix of opportunism and selflessness in this thing called love, but also about what, if anything, a more unsettled concept of sexuality does to our politics in the first place. (Avila)
Menopause the Musical Theatre 39 at Pier 39, Two Beach St; 433-3939, www.menopausethemusical.com. $46.50. Tues-Sat, 8pm (also Wed, 2pm and Sat, 4pm); Sun, 2pm. Open-ended. Jeanie Linders's musical comedy celebrates women who are facing "the change."
*Les Misérables Curran Theatre, 445 Geary; 512-7770, www.ticketmaster.com. $30-90. Tues-Sat, 8pm (also Wed and Sat, 2pm); Sun, 2pm. Through July 24. We know the revolution will not be televised, but it continues, for now, to be staged with orchestra and elaborate rotating set, as the only national touring company of this internationally long-running musical (which closed on Broadway in 2003 after 16 years) takes its final San Francisco bow. Fair to say it's going out like those Parisian rebels atop their barricades, namely with a bang or rather a volley, given the outstanding cast assembled to animate Alain Boublil and Claude-Michel Schönberg's treatment of Victor Hugo's 19th-century novel. At the head of Les Miz's sweeping epic and a production packed with forcible performances, Randal Keith towers in the role of fugitive hero Jean Valjean, the thief-turned-saint dogged for decades by his indefatigable nemesis, inspector Javert (Robert Hunt), while shepherding the orphaned waif Cosette (Ashley Fox Linton and Leslie Henstock alternate) through three decades of French social and political history. Along the way, nothing short of pure musical theater justice is done to the humor, pathos, romance, and humanist spirit of a great melodrama. (Avila)
*Not a Genuine Black Man Marsh, 1062 Valencia; 826-5750. $15-22. Extended run: Thurs-Fri, 8:30pm; Sat, 5pm. Through Aug 1. What, the unapologetically middle-class Brian Copeland asks, is the real meaning behind the phrase "a genuine black man"? By way of an answer, the stand-up comic and KGO radio host offers up a simultaneously funny and disarmingly frank story about growing up African American in the racist suburb that was San Leandro in the early 1970s. Letting his narrative bounce back and forth between his boyhood memories and a period of depression that overtook him as a parent in 1999 and interlacing the autobiography with verbatim utterances from both sides of the fight his family joined to desegregate the city Copeland brings admirable chops as a comedian to bear on some difficult and disturbing, if ultimately hopeful, material. (Avila)
*Teatro ZinZanni: Love, Chaos, and Dinner Le Palais Nostalgique, Piers 27-29, Embarcadero at Battery; 438-2668, www.teatrozinzanni.org. $110-135. Wed-Sat, 6pm; Sun, 5pm. Open-ended. Buffoonery, butterflies, and dumbstruck awe don't normally characterize fine dining, but Teatro ZinZanni's delectable five-course dinner circus, now in its sixth year in San Francisco, is no mean feast. Especially with Joan Baez as your hostess, fronting an outstanding summer lineup of (big) top performers that includes favorites like Ukrainian comedian and illusionist Eugeniy Voronin (as the mute maître d') and the remarkable contortionist Svetlana, as well as Heather Clemens as the ZinZanni diva, and comedienne Christine Deaver as the quick-witted chef de cuisine. Reprising the role of La Contessa, a gritty gypsy queen with a cockney accent and a velvet singing voice, legendary songstress and social activist Baez rises effortlessly to the occasion fully (if not literally) as high as the "dishwasher" (mesmerizing aerialist Bianca Sapetto), the overhead antics of the "waiter" and "parlor maid" (comic trapeze stars Die Maiers), an equally phenomenal vertical trio of tumbling Frenchmen (Les Petits Frères), or the amazing flying hats of Russian juggling master Sergiy Krutikov. If, miraculously, none of this entertainment ends up in your salad, so much does happen under the plush and intimate spiegeltent pitched at Pier 29 that "love, chaos, and dinner," far from an exaggeration, just about covers it. Joan Baez appears until July 24; actress Sally Kellerman takes over as Mme. ZinZanni from July 27 to Sept. 4. (Avila)
The Tribute to Frank, Sammy, Joey, and Dean Post Street Theatre, 450 Post; 771-6900, www.ticketmaster.com. $30-60. Tues-Sat, 8pm (also Sat, 3pm); Sun, 3 and 7pm. Through Aug 7. The Rat Pack reunites, kind of, in this live tribute show, featuring a slew of standards and a 12-piece orchestra.
V the Ultimate Variety Show V Theater, Pier 39; 39-VSHOW, www.vtheshow.com. $24-44. Nightly, 6 and 8pm. Ongoing. A revolving array of variety acts highlight this family-friendly show, originally produced in Las Vegas.
*What You Will (or 12th Night) Traveling Jewish Theatre, 470 Florida; 1-866-GOT-FURY. $12-30. Thurs/14-Sat/16, 8pm. Director Rod Hipskind's truncated title for foolsFURY's freewheeling take on Shakespeare's Twelfth Night, or What You Will, already points to a unique angle on Shakespeare's zany, somewhat sinister comedy. His vision rides the play's strong undercurrent of contingency, chaos, and sexual ambiguity (all of that and more folded into the original subtitle) to a logical extreme. This includes compounding the play's gender confusion by casting women in two traditionally male roles - the jaded fool Feste (played as female by Davina Cohen), and loudmouth souse Sir Toby Belch (played in male drag by Parker Leventer). There's also a notable amount of improvisation incorporated into an otherwise sharply choreographed representation of volatile desire. The play's intertwining narratives pivot on the story of shipwrecked twin siblings Sebastian (Ryan O'Donnell) and Viola (Csilla Horvath). Separated during a storm at sea, they wind up entangled in the lovesick stratagems and mischievous schemes of Illyria's fairly demented coastal kingdom. At its best, What You Will beautifully meshes the sublime poetry and comedy of the text with bold staging and ebullient but precise performances that draw on the stylized physical theater foolsFURY has used to great effect. (Avila)
What's Wrong with Angry? New Conservatory Theatre Center, 25 Van Ness; 861-8972, www.nctcsf.org. $20-40. Extended run: Wed/13-Sat/16, 8pm; Sun/17, 2pm. The New Conservatory Theatre Center closes its Pride Season with Patrick Wilde's coming-of-age play.
*Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? Actors Theatre San Francisco, 533 Sutter; 296-9179, www.ticketweb.com. $10-40. Thurs-Sat, 8pm; Sun, 7pm. Through Sept 10. The American Dream is a nightmare from which playwright Edward Albee has been trying to wake us all. Four decades before The Goat began pushing past everybody's comfort zones, Albee's most famous play scathingly unmasked the shallow optimism and propriety of the 1950s with a little game of "get the guests." In this domestic, if hardly domesticated, scenario proving as vital as ever in Actors Theatre's taut and terrific production a young biologist (Daniel Hart Donoghue) and his repressed wife (Tara Donoghue) accept a late-night invitation to drinks at the home of a middle-aged couple, George (Christian Phillips) and Martha (Julia McNeal), unwittingly stepping into a marital battle zone of Cold War proportions. Set at a small New England college in "New Carthage," and written the year of the Cuban Missile Crisis, the willful explosion of private lives in a seemingly staid academic home comes freighted with "public" viciousness stretching back centuries. Characters so drunk and yet so wonderfully, savagely articulate, however, don't produce tragedy so much as what Albee himself called "grotesque comedy," while keen direction from Keith Phillips and Kenneth Vandenberg and four perfectly pitched performances play it to the hilt. (Avila)
Doing Good This week: Mill Valley Community Center, 180 Camino Alto, Mill Valley; (415) 285-1717, www.sfmt.org. Free. Thurs/14, 7pm. Also: Sat/16, 2pm, Precita Park, Precita at Harrison, SF. Sun/17, 5pm, Mitchell Park, 600 E. Meadow, Palo Alto. Continues at various Bay Area venues through Oct 2. The San Francisco Mime Troupe performs its annual traveling show; this year's play is set against the backdrop of post-World War II US foreign policy, and is inspired by John Perkins's Confessions of an Economic Hit Man.
Dostoevesky's The Grand Inquisitor Berkeley City Club, 2315 Durant, Berk; (510) 558-1381, www.centralworks.org. $9-25. Thurs-Sat, 8pm; Sun, 5pm. Through July 31. Central Works presents Gary Graves's adaptation of the story-within-a-story from the Brothers Karamazov. The play is set during the height of the Spanish Inquisition in the chamber of the Grand Inquisitor, the most powerful man in Spain, whose executioner would "put the question" to the king if the Inquisition demanded it. Graves stars as the Inquisitor, delivering a complex portrayal of a sinister and world-weary man on the brink of insanity. David Skillman stars opposite him, transitioning easily through four different characters in the series of dialogues that make up this intimate and haunting production. Suffering from delusions and nightmares, the Inquisitor never leaves his chamber and relies upon his servant for details of the executions taking place outside. When he learns of a stranger who purportedly performs miracles and is heralded by the populace as "Him," the question becomes: Could the Inquisition withstand the return of the Messiah? In a gripping final scene, the Grand Inquisitor interrogates Him. Skillman performs the stranger in silent dignity, leaving Graves, as the Inquisitor, to circle his own doubt and pronounce his own stunning conclusions regarding the existence of God and the role of the church. (Shalson)
Livin' Fat Historic Sweets Ballroom, 1933 Broadway, Oakl; (510) 233-9222. $12.50-35. Fri-Sat, 8pm (also Sat, 2pm); Sun, 4pm. Through July 30. Omega 'N' Essence Productions, Inc. presents Judi Ann Mason's comedy about an African American family "struggling over a financial blessing."
New Wrinkles Seafood Peddler, 100 Yacht Club Dr, San Rafael; (415) 460-6669. $30-60. Fri and Sun, call for times. Through July 24. This "satirical coming-of-middle-age musical revue" features songs and sketches by Rita Abrams, Morris Bobrow, and Gerald Nachman.
Of Mice and Men Belrose Dinner Theatre, 1415 Fifth Ave, San Rafael; (415) 454-6422. $25 ($37.50 with dinner). Fri-Sat, 7:45pm (optional dinner at 7:15pm). Through July 30. Belrose Dinner Theatre performs John Steinbeck's classic American drama.
Richard III John Hinkel Park, Southampton at Somerset, Berk; (510) 420-0813, www.womanswill.org. Free. Sat/16-Sun/17, 1pm. Continues at various Bay Area venues through Aug 14. Woman's Will performs an all-female version of Shakespeare's historical drama.
*The Thousandth Night Aurora Theatre, 2081 Addison, Berk; (510) 843-4822, www.auroratheatre.org. $28-45. Wed-Sat, 8pm; Sun, 2 and 7pm. Through July 24. Solo performer extraordinaire Ron Campbell (Buckminster Fuller; The Bone Man of Benares) closes Aurora Theatre's season with the Bay Area premiere of this 38-character, one-man show. Set in 1943 in occupied France, Campbell plays Guy de Bonheur, a fictional actor from the historical Café Scheherazade in Paris, who performs stories from The 1001 Nights for French gendarmes at a railway station in a desperate attempt to escape deportation to a German concentration camp as a purveyor of "subversive" material. Without his fellow actors, Guy (teetering between panic, exhaustion, a guilty conscience, and a formidable ebullient professionalism) must play all the parts himself. Since playwright-historian Carol Wolf wrote The Thousandth Night especially for the protean actor, original collaborator Jessica Kubzansky again directs, and Campbell has Aurora's intimate thrust stage and expert design team to work with, one
might expect this to be a perfect vehicle for the accomplished soloist. Of course, one would be right. But the 1993 play is timely too. As Guy's story and stories resonate with our own, we recognize both the folly and last hope for a man who, faced with encroaching tyranny, found it "so easy to do nothing; so easy to be afraid." (Avila)
Thunderbabe Altarena Playhouse, 1409 High, Alameda; (510) 523-1553, www.altarena.org. $12-15. Fri/15-Sat/16, 8pm; Sun/17, 2pm. Bobbi Fagone stars in her comedy-adventure play about a superhero-turned-soccer mom who comes out of retirement to battle her evil nemesis.
Two Gentlemen of Verona Forest Meadows Amphitheater, Grand
Avenue, Dominican University, San Rafael; (415) 499-4488, www.marinshakespeare.org.
$15-26. July 17, 23, 29, 31, Aug 6, 12, and 14, 8pm; July 24 and Aug 7,
4pm. Through Aug 14. Marin Shakespeare Company performs the Bard's
classic with a Fellini-inspired twist. dance
Mna Rua Dance Productions Jon Sims Center for the Arts, 1519 Mission; 554-0402, ext 1. Fri-Sat, 8pm. $12-15 (no one turned away for lack of funds). Tara Brandel directs a new dance theater piece, Family Values: Some Queer Views on Love.
'West Wave Dance Festival' ODC Theater, 3153 17th St; 863-9834,
www.summerfestdance.org. Program Two: Thurs-Fri, 8pm. Program Three: Sat,
8pm. Program Four: Sun, 8pm. Festival runs through July 31. $18-20
(festival passes $16-100). The 14th annual festival features 23 world
premieres and works by over 40 West Coast choreographers. performance
BATS Improv Bayfront Theater, Fort Mason Center, Bldg B, Marina at Laguna; 474-8935, www.improv.org. Fri-Sat, 8pm: "Battle of the Bay Theatresports," $12-15. Sun, 8pm: "Sunday Player Theatresports," $8.
'Be Seen and Heard' Buriel Clay Theatre, 762 Fulton; www.aaacc.org. Fri, 8-11pm. $5. This event combines a talent showcase with a discussion of community issues.
Big City Improv Shelton Theater, 533 Sutter (510) 595-5597, www.bigcityimprov.com. Fri, 10pm. Ongoing. $15. The improv troop performs.
'Blue Blanket Bust-Up' 50 Mason Comedy Lounge, 50 Mason; www.blueblanketimprov.com. Thurs, 8pm. $10. Blue Blanket Improv performs.
'Boxcar Bertha' Exit Theatre, 156 Eddy; 673-3847. Fri-Sat, 8:30pm. Through July 30. $10. LaborFest 2005 presents Kerry Reid's solo play (starring Christina Augello) about a Depression-era woman living on the rails.
C.A.F.E. Off-Market Theater and Studio, 965 Mission; www.cafearts.com. Thurs, 8pm. $5-10. Christopher Hayes hosts "Improv Revolution All-Star Jam."
'Dirty Little Secret' Empire Plush Room, 940 Sutter; 885-2800, www.empireplushroom.com. Ongoing. Fri-Sat, 11pm. $25. This evening of performance is a "roaring twenties revue."
'Ignite!' 2255 Third St; 284-9400, www.genart.org. Sat, 8pm. $25-35. Gen Art hosts this multimedia event, featuring works by new-media artists, performances, and a short film showcase.
'Jewels in the Square' Union Square, Powell at Geary; 693-0583. Free. Sun, 2pm: Neighborhood Bass Coalition performs.
'Live Art' New Langton Arts, 1246 Folsom; 626-5416, www.newlangtonarts.org. Tues, 8pm. $6-8. Solo performers James Bewley (Back to Life) and Nao Bustamante (Let Me) take the stage.
'Puppets on the Rooftop' Yerba Buena Gardens, Children's Rooftop Garden, 760 Howard; 543-1718, www.ybgf.org. Sat, noon and 1pm. Free. Mascaritas Puppet Theatre performs.
'San Francisco Improv Festival 2005' Next Stage Theatre, 1620 Gough; 368-9909, www.sfimprovfestival.com. Thurs-Sat, 8pm. $12-15. The festival closes with performances by San Jose's 15-Minutes and New York City's Upright Citizens Brigade Touring Company.
'Sleeper (A Chronicle of the Return of the Remarkable)' Bindlestiff Studio, 505 Natoma; 255-0440, www.bindelstiffstudio.org (reservation required). Thurs-Fri, 8pm; Sat, 7:30 and 9:30pm. $9-25. Bindlestiff Studio and the Asian American Theater Company produce Samantha Chanse's play about a young woman on a paranormal journey.
'Touched by Cancer: Humoring the Tumor' New College of California Theater, 777 Valencia; www.dramatherapist.com. Fri-Sat, 6:30pm. $10 (no one turned away for lack of funds). The ARACELI Theatre Project performs a bilingual piece based on the experiences of cancer survivors.
'Los Vientos de Marzo (The Winds of March)' Exit Theatre, 156 Eddy; 673-3847. Fri-Sat, 7pm. $10 (no one turned away for lack of funds). LaborFest 2005 presents Lynn Werner in an original solo theater piece about labor and human rights abuses in Colombia.
'Bastille Day Celebration: An Evening of French Cabaret' 142 Throckmorton Theatre, 142 Throckmorton, Mill Valley; (415) 383-9600. Thurs, 8pm (7:30pm for reception). $25 (reception, $30). Chanteuse Moana Diamond heads up this French cabaret celebration, with music, can-can dancers, a puppet show, and more.
'Culture Shock Live' Maxwell's, 341 13th St, Oakl; www.cultureshocknews.com. Wed, 6-9pm. $5. This event features spoken word and live music by Joe Shakarchi, Stephen Kent, and Manose, plus open mic.
'The Domestic Crusaders' Berkeley Rep's Thrust Stage, 2025
Addison, Berk; (510) 647-2949. Fri-Sat, 8pm (also Sat, 2pm). $20-35. Before
Columbus Foundation presents Wajahat Ali's play about a Pakistani-American
Muslim family dealing with the aftermath of 9/11. comedy
Brainwash 1122 Folsom; 861-3663. Thurs, 7pm: "Brainwash Comedy Open Mic," with host Tony Sparks, free.
Canvas Gallery 1200 Ninth Ave; 504-0010. Tues, 8pm: "Comedy Open Mic Night," with host Susan Alexander, free.
Club Deluxe 1511 Haight; 552-6949. Mon, 9pm: "Stand-up Showcase," with rotating hosts Leah Eva and Sam Arno, free.
Cobb's Comedy Club 915 Columbus; www.cobbscomedyclub.com or www.ticketweb.com. Wed, 8pm: "All-Pro Comedy Showcase," $10. Thurs-Sun, 8pm (also Fri-Sat, 10:15pm): Greg Behrendt with Dave Anthony and host Jacob Sirof, $15-20.
50 Mason Lounge 50 Mason; 398-4129, www.susanalexandershow.com. Fri-Sat, 8pm: "San Francisco Comedy Club Showcase," with host Susan Alexander, $10.
Harvey's 500 Castro; email@example.com. Tues, 9:30pm: Queer and queer-friendly stand-up comedy, free.
Luggage Store 1007 Market; www.luggagetuesdays.blogspot.com. Tues, 8pm: Comedy open mic, free.
Mock Cafe 1074 Valencia; 826-5750, ext 5, www.themarsh.org. Sat, 9:30 and 11pm: Stand-up comedy, $7.
Purple Onion 140 Columbus; 956-1635. Thurs, 8pm: Jen Kober and guests in "An Evening of Music and Comedy," $10. Fri, 9pm; Sat, 8 and 10:30pm: Tina Kim, $18-20.
SFCC Club House 414 Mason, Ste 705; www.sfcomedycollege.com. Sat, 8pm: "The Stand-up Project," free.
Uptown 200 Capp; 206-9997. Wed, 8:30pm: "Uptown Comedy
Open Mic," hosted by Eric Peterson, free. 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 spoken word events and featured readers:
Wednesday: Canvas Cafe 1200 Ninth Ave, SF; (415) 504-0060, firstname.lastname@example.org. "Open Mic Talent Showcase," 7:30pm, free. Lost and Found Saloon 1353 Grant, SF; (415) 981-9557. Open mic with host Chris Brown, 8:30pm, free.
Thursday: 16th Street and Mission BART plaza 16th St at Mission, SF; (415) 255-9881. "CAI Street Arts Workshop," open mic, 9:30pm, free. EastSide Arts Alliance 2587 International Blvd, Oakl; (510) 533-6629. "Holla Back," open mic, 8:30-10:30pm, donations accepted. Mediterraneum Cafe 2475 Telegraph, Berk; (510) 526-5985. "Word Beat Reading Series," with featured readers Cherise Wyneken and Tim Nuveen, 7pm, free. Railroad Expresso 705 Monterey, SF; (415) 333-4009. Open mic, 7pm, free. Start Soma Gallery 672 Van Ness, SF; (415) 518-1654. "New Ecstatic Monkey Reading Series," 7:30pm, free.
Friday: Femina Potens 465 S. Van Ness, SF; (415) 217-9340, www.feminapotens.com. "Sizzle" featuring Katastrophe, Judith Halberstam, Julia Serano, and more. 8pm, $3-5 (no one turned away for lack of funds).
Saturday: Red Vic Peace Center 1665 Haight, SF; (415) 864-1978. "Open Mic and Hot Tamales," 5pm, free. Java Source 343 Clement, SF; (415) 387-8025. Open mic, 9pm, free.
Sunday: Cafe Prague 584 Pacific, SF; (415) 905-8837. Klipschutz reads, plus open mic, 4-5:30pm, free. Lab 2948 Capp, SF; (415) 864-8855. "Bay Area Summer Poetry Marathon," 3-10pm, $3-15.
Monday: Purple Onion 140 Columbus; 217-8400, www.caffemacaroni.com. "Live at the Purple Onion," open mic hosted by the Kitchenettes, 7-10pm, $5. Priya Indian Cuisine 2072 San Pablo, Berk; email@example.com. "Poetry Express" with featured readers Jeanne Lupton, Janell Moon, and more, 7pm, free. Canvas Gallery 1200 Ninth Ave, SF; (415) 504-0060, firstname.lastname@example.org. "Left Coast Writers present Foreign Shores: An Evening of Travel Stories," 7pm, call for price.
Tuesday: Black Repertory Group Theatre 3201 Adeline, Berk; (510) 652-2120. "Twilight Tuesdays," open mic, 7-9pm, $5. Ti Couz 3108 16th St, SF; email@example.com. "Attention Span Therapy" reading series, featuring Kirk Read and Jenny Bitner, 8pm, free. 5.