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.
"DIVAfest" Exit Theatre, 156 Eddy; 673-3847, www.theexit.org. Opens April 8, check website for dates and times. Through May 1. The ninth annual festival features plays and performances by women artists.
Girlfriend Berkeley Repertory Theatre, Thrust Stage, 2025 Addison, Berk; (510) 647-2949, www.berkeleyrep.org. $27-71. Previews Fri/9-Sat/10 and Tues/13, 8pm; Sun/11, 7pm. Opens April 14, 8pm. Runs Wed, 7pm; Thurs-Sat and Tues, 2pm (also Sat, 2pm); Sun, 2 and 7pm. Through May 9. Berkeley Rep presents a new musical written around Matthew Sweet's love songs.
A History of Human Stupidity LaVal's Subterranean Theatre, 1834 Euclid, Berk; (510) 499-0356, www.randt.org. $16-20. Previews Thurs/8, 7:30pm. Opens Fri/9, 8pm. Runs Thurs-Sat, 8pm; Sun, 7pm. Through April 25. Rough and Tumble performs Andy Bayiates' intellectual vaudeville, an examination of stupidity.
The Lysistrata Project Regent House, 2836 Regent, Berk; www.crowdedfire.org. $10-15. Opens Thurs/8, 8pm. Runs Thurs-Sat, 8pm. Through April 23. Crowded Fire presents Elana McKernan's Aristophanes-inspired tale as part of its Matchbox Production development program for new works.
To Kill a Mockingbird Mountain View Center for the Performing Arts, 500 Castro, Mtn View; (650) 463-1960, www.theatreworks.org. $27-62. Previews Wed/7-Fri/9, 8pm. Opens Sat/10, 8pm. Runs Tues-Wed, 7:30pm; Thurs-Sat, 8pm (also Sat, 2pm); Sun, 2 and 7pm. Through May 9. TheatreWorks performs Christopher Sergel's adaptation of Harper Lee's literary masterpiece.
*...And Jesus Moonwalks the Mississippi Cutting Ball Theater, 277 Taylor; 1-800-838-3006, www.cuttingball.com. $15-30. Thurs-Sat, 8pm; Sun, 5pm. Through April 25. In this inspired poetical-historical counter-narrative from Bay Area playwright Marcus Gardley, Greek mythology, African American folklore, personal family history, and Christian theology are all drawn irresistibly along in a great sweep of wild and incisive humor, passion, pathos and rousing gospel music as buoyant and wide as the Mississippi or rather Miss Sippi (the impressive Nicole C. Julien), personification of the mighty and flighty river. The Cutting Ball-Playwrights Foundation coproduction, lovingly directed by Amy Mueller, sports exquisite design touches from Cutting Ball regulars like Michael Locher, whose gorgeous plank-wood set serves as the ideal platform for a work both magnificently simple and eloquently evocative. (Avila)
Baby: A Musical Off-Market Theatres, 965 Mission; 1-800-838-3006, www.roltheatre.com. $20-32. Thurs-Sat, 8pm; Sun, 2pm. Through April 18. Ray of Light Theatre performs a comedy about pregnancy.
*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. It's a meaty comedy, and 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/8-Sat/10, 8pm. Expression Productions presents a dark comedy by Bruce Graham.
The Diary of Anne Frank Next Stage, 1620 Gough; 1-800-838-3006, www.custommade.org. $10-28. Thurs-Sat, 8pm; Sun, 7pm. Through May 1. Custom Made performs Wendy Kesselman's modern take on the classic.
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.
An Enemy of the People Eureka Valley Recreation Center Auditorium, 100 Collingwood; http://sffct.wordpress.com. Free. Fri/9-Sat/10, 7:30pm; Sun/11, 3pm. San Francisco Free Civic Theatre performs Henrik Ibsen's drama.
Frau Bachfeifengesicht's Spectacle of Perfection Stage Werx Theatre, 533 Sutter; 1-800-838-3006, www.circusfinelli.com. $15-20. Fri-Sun, 8pm. Through April 25. San Francisco's all-women clown troupe, Circus Finelli, performs their comedy show inspired by European circus acts and American vaudeville.
Lady, Be Good! Eureka Theatre, 215 Jackson; 255-8207, www.42ndstmoon.org. $8-44. Wed, 7pm; Thurs-Fri, 8pm; Sat, 6pm (also Sat/10, 1pm); Sun, 3pm. Through April 18. 42nd Street Moon presents George and Ira Gershwin's madcap tale of a brother-sister vaudeville team in the 1920s.
*Legs and All Climate Theater, 285 Ninth St; 346-1411. $15-20. Thurs/8-Sat/10, 8pm (also Sat/10, 3pm). After last year's SF Fringe run and fresh from a roundly lauded New York appearance, San Franciscobased physical comedienne Summer Shapiro brings her cheeky-fresh show back to the Climate Theater. Since last appearing in workshop form at the Climate, a solo piece has bloomed into a pas de deux between Shapiro and Brooklyn-based performer and co-creator Peter Musante (Blue Man Group, New York), becoming a sassy and shrewd physical-comic deconstruction of romance by two hapless, winsome characters an eat-drink-man-woman-pie sort of thing. The show's series of short vignettes hits all the right notes in its playful skewering of love's half-bemused pleasures and general panic. I wept copiously at the precision here, but most people will likely laugh and reach out for their loved ones, or at least warmly squeeze the knee of the patron seated next to them. Deft physical comedy to an eclectic and bouncy soundscape (from Musante and Jeremy Shapiro, and including an original score by local composer-musician Brandi Brandes) substitute quite nicely for the usual he-she dialogue, though there's a brief, absurdist version of that too. Just shy of an hour in length, psycho-romantic Legs offers a swift all-ages kick in the funny groin. (Avila)
*Loveland The Marsh, 1074 Valencia; 826-5750, www.themarsh.org. $15-50. Sat, 8:30pm; Sun, 7pm. Through April 25. Starting May 8, runs Sat, 5pm and Sun, 2pm at the Marsh Berkeley, 2120 Allston, Berk. Through June 13. 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)
Macho Bravado Thick House, 1695 18th St; http://machobravado.eventbee.com. $15-25. Thurs-Sat, 8pm; Sun, 5pm. Through April 24. Asian American Theater Company performs Alex Park's drama about a Korean-American soldier dealing with life on the home front after fighting in the Middle East.
Othello African American Art and Culture Complex, 762 Fulton; 1-800-838-3006, www.african-americanshakes.org. $20-30. Wed-Thurs, 10am (school matinees); Sat, 8pm; Sun, 3pm. Through April 18. African-American Shakespeare Company closes its 15th season with this adaptation of Shakespeare's play, set during a modern-day military tribunal in Iraq.
Pearls Over Shanghai Hypnodrome, 575 Tenth St.; 1-800-838-3006, www.thrillpeddlers.com. $30-69. Fri-Sat, 8pm; starting July 10, runs Sat, 8pm and Sun, 7pm. Extended through August 1. 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.
Scalpel! Brava Theater Center, 2781 24th St; 647-2822, www.brava.org. $20-35. Thurs-Sat and April 14, 8pm; Sun/11, 3pm. Through April 17. Writer-director D'arcy Drollinger's world premiere is a comedic rock thriller that satirizes the pursuit of plastic-surgery perfection.
Shopping! The Musical Shelton Theater, 533 Sutter; 1-800-838-3006, www.brownpapertickets.com. $27-29. Fri-Sat, 8pm. Ongoing. The musical is now in its fifth year at Shelton Theater.
Suddenly Last Summer Actors Theatre, 855 Bush; 345-1287, www.actorstheatresf.org. $15-35. Thurs/8-Sat/10, 8pm. Actors Theatre presents one of Tennessee Williams' finest and most famous plays.
Vigil American Conservatory Theater, 415 Geary, SF; 749-2228, www.act-sf.org. $10-82. Tues-Sat, 8pm (also Wed and Sat, 2pm); Sun, 2pm (also Sun/11, 7pm). Through April 18. Olympia Dukakis and Marco Barricelli star in Morris Panych's comedy about a self-involved bachelor and his dying aunt.
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. Wed/7 and Sun/11, 7pm (also Sun/11, 2pm); Thurs/8-Sat/10, 8pm (also Thurs/8 and Sat/10, 2pm). Using the medium of photography as its unifying thread, Naomi Iizuka's Strange Devices ties together two moments in time the 19th century and the present as a collector of rare Meiji-era photographs (Bruce McKenzie) comes to modern Yokohama to make a buy, eager to believe in the constructed reality their images represent. But as the tantalizing fragments of a mystery of birthright unfold within an elaborate web of forgery, fraud, and blackmail, so does the realization that, even posed, the truth of a photograph lies within the moment of time it captures, even when misinterpreted by the viewer. (Gluckstern)
*East 14th: True Tales of a Reluctant Player Marsh Berkeley, 2120 Allston, Berk; www.themarsh.org. $20-35. Fri/9, April 16, 30, and May 7, 9pm; Sat/10, May 1, and May 8, 8pm; April 18 and 25, 2pm. Through May 8. Don Reed's solo play, making its Oakland debut after an acclaimed New York run, is truly a welcome homecoming twice over. (Avila)
Equivocation Marin Theatre Company, 397 Miller, Mill Valley; (415) 388-5208, www.marintheatre.org. $34-54. Tues and Thurs-Sat, 8pm (also April 17 and 24, 2pm); Wed, 7:30pm; Sun, 2 and 7pm. Through April 25. Marin Theatre Company performs Bill Cain's drama, set behind the scenes during Shakespeare's time at the Globe Theatre.
John Gabriel Borkman Aurora Theatre, 2081 Addison, Berk; (510) 843-4822, www.auroratheatre.org. $34-55. Opens Thurs/8, 8pm. Runs Tues and Sun, 7pm (also Sun, 2pm); Wed-Sat, 8pm. Through May 9. Aurora Theatre Company performs Henrik Ibsen's pointed indictment of capitalism.
*A Seagull in the Hamptons Ashby Stage, 1901 Ashby, Berk; www.shotgunplayers.org. $15-30. Wed, 7pm; Thurs-Sat, 8pm; Sun, 5pm. Through April 25. Emily Mann's free adaptation of Chekhov's Seagull captures the essence of his early "comedy" very much a human comedy, brimming with pain, turmoil and tragedy in equal measure with laughter, love and folly and yet manages to be completely of its own (our own) time and place, so effortlessly as to seem a little miraculous. It helps, naturally, that director Reid Davis has assembled a very solid and enjoyable ensemble cast for this wonderfully tailored Shotgun Players production. (Avila)
"Bijou" Martuni's, Four Valencia; www.dragatmartunis.com. Sun, 7pm. $5. Cabaret showcase with Alyssa Stone and others.
"Catwalk 2010" Somarts, 934 Brannan; www.brownpapertickets.com. Sat, 7pm. $35. Tita Aida hosts this search for the next transgender supermodel.
Mario Cantone Castro, 429 Castro; 392-4400, www.cityboxoffice.com. Sat, 8pm, $27.50-49.50. The Broadway and Sex in the City star performs.
"The Dance Hour" CounterPULSE, 1310 Mission; www.brownpapertickets.com. Thurs-Sat, 8pm, $20. Stephen Pelton Dance Theater performs new works and audience favorites.
"A Funny Night for Comedy" Actors Theatre of San Francisco, 855 Bush; www.brownpapertickets.com. Sun, 7pm. $10. Marga Gomez headlines, with Morgan, Ronn Vigh, Tom Smith, and Katie Compa.
"Gotta Dance" Novellus Theatre, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, 700 Howard; (510) 526-8474. Sat, 8pm; Sun, 2pm. $12-20. Gil Chun presents this eclectic program of tap, hula, jazz, and ethnic dances.
"Hysteresis" Dance Mission Theater, 3316 24th St; 287-0192, www.double-vision.biz. Fri-Sun, 8pm, $15. Double Vision presents this evening-length dance work with choreography by Pauline Jennings.
"Kung Pao Kosher Comedy presents Comedy Returns to El Rio!" El Rio, 3158 Mission; www.brownpapertickets.com. Mon, 8pm. $7-20. Lisa Geduldig presents and performs at this comedy show, also featuring Maureen Langan, Dhaya Lakshminarayanan, Bob McIntyre, and Erin Souza.
"ODC Theater presents SCUBA" ODC Dance Commons Studio B, 351 Shotwell; 863-9834, www.odctheater.org. Sat-Sun, 8pm. $18. This dance series includes new work by Megan Mazarick, Locust, and the Foundry.
"Previously Secret Information" StageWerx Theatre, 533 Sutter; www.brownpapertickets.com. Wed/7, 8pm; May 16 and June 13, 7pm. $10. Joe Klocek hosts this storytelling series.
Slomski Brothers with Red Hots Burlesque El Rio, 3158 Mission; www.elriosf.com. Fri, 7:30pm. $5-10. Vaudeville and burlesque performers.
"Snob Theater" Dark Room, 2263 Mission; www.darkroomsf.com. Thurs, 8pm, $10. Music and comedy with Mary Van Note, Natasha Muse, Emily Heller, and more.
"Three Stories" Mission Dolores School Auditorium, 3320 16th St; email@example.com. Fri, 7:30; Sat-Sun, 3pm. Through April 18. Free. 16th Street Players perform one-act plays by Anton Chekhov, Susan Glaspell, and Jean Giraudous.
"Ungrateful Daughter: One Black Girl's Story of Being Adoped Into a White Family ... That Aren't Celebrities" StageWerx Theatre, 533 Sutter; www.brownpapertickets.com. Thurs/8 and April 22, 8pm. $15-25. Lisa Marie Rollins performs her solo show.
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