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.
Absolutely San Francisco Phoenix Theatre, Stage 2, 414 Mason; 433-1235, www.absolutelysanfrancisco.com. $20-25. Opens Fri/24, 8pm. Runs Fri-Sat, 8pm. Through Oct 23. A one-woman musical starring Karen Hirst, with book and music by Anne Doherty.
And Then They Came for Me: Remembering the World of Anne Frank New Conservatory Theatre Center, 25 Van Ness; 861-8972, www.nctcsf.org. Call for reservations. Opens Mon/27, 10 and 11:45am. Runs Mon-Thurs, 10 and 11:45am. Through Oct 10. YouthAware Educational Theatre presents a multimedia play by James Still, directed by Sara Staley.
Anita Bryant Died For Your Sins New Conservatory Theatre Center, 25 Van Ness; 861-8972, www.nctcsf.org. $24-40. Previews Wed/22-Fri/24, 8pm. Opens Sat/25, 8pm. Wed-Sat, 8pm; Sun, 2pm. New Conservatory Theatre Center presents a show by Brian Christopher Williams.
Futurestyle '79 Off-Market Theater, Studio 250, 965 Mission; (8008) 838-3006, www.brownpapertickets.com. $15-20. Opens Wed/22, 8pm. Runs Wed, 8pm. Through Oct 27. A fully improvised episodic comedy played against the backdrop of SF in 1979.
IPH... Brava Theater, 2781 24th St, 647-2822, www.brava.org. $15-35. Previews Sat/25, 8pm; Sun/26, 3pm. Opens Mon/27, 8pm. Runs Thurs-Sat, 8pm; Sun, 3pm (also Oct 4, 8pm). Through Oct 16. Brava Theatre and African-American Shakespeare Company present the US premiere of an adaptation of Iphigenia at Aulis.
Last Days of Judas Iscariot Gough Street Playhouse, 1620 Gough; (510) 207-5774, www.CustomMade.org. $10-30. Previews Fri/24-Sat/25, 8pm. Opens Tues/28, 8pm. Runs Thurs-Sat, 8pm; Sun, 7pm. Through Oct 30. Custom Made Theatre presents Stephen Adly Guirgis' meditation on the meaning of forgiveness.
The Secretaries Boxcar Playhouse, 505 Natoma; 255-7846, www.crowdedfire.org. $15-25 (pay what you can previews). Opens Wed/22, 8pm. Wed-Sat, 8pm. Through Oct 9. Crowded Fire Theatre brings the irreverent feminist satire by Five Lesbian Brothers to the stage.
Aida War Memorial Opera House, 301 Van Ness, 864-1330, www.sfopera.com. $25-320. Fri/24, 8pm; Sept 29, 7:30pm; Oct 2, 8pm; Oct 6, 7:30pm. San Francisco Opera presents Verdi's classic, a co-production with English National Opera and Houston Grand Opera.
Bi-Poseur StageWerx Theatre, 533 Sutter; (800) 838-3006, www.brownpapertickets.com. $20. Thurs-Sat, 8pm. Through Sat/25. W. Kamau Bell directs a solo piece by Oakland native Paolo Sambrano.
The Brothers Size Magic Theatre, Bldg D, Fort Mason Center; 441-8822, www.magictheatre.org. $20-60. Dates and times vary. Through Oct 17. Magic Theatre presents the West Coast premiere of Tarell Alvin McCraney's play, directed by Octavio Solis.
Cat on a Hot Tin Roof Actors Theatre, 855 Bush; 345-1287, www.actorstheatresf.org. $26-38. Wed-Sat, 8pm. Through Oct 2. Actors Theatre presents Tennessee Williams' sultry, sweltering tale of a Mississippi family, directed by Keith Phillips.
*Dreamgirls Curran Theatre, 445 Geary; (888) SHN-1749, www.shnsf.com. $30-99. Wed, 2 and 8pm; Thurs-Fri, 8pm; Sat, 2 and 8pm, Sun, 2pm; Tues, 8pm. Through Sun/26. The touring version of director-choreographer Robert Longbottom's revamped revival of the 1981 Broadway sensation (with book and lyrics by Tom Eyen and music by Henry Krieger, under original direction by A Chorus Line's Michael Bennett) is a visually and aurally dazzling spectacle that is also a knowing (if now familiar) take on the history and business of latter-20th-century American pop music from the perspective of African American R&B. The cast, operating with ease against and within a remarkable videoscape projected onto large draped screens center stage, charms from the outset of this story about the rise of a female vocal group called the Dreams (a loose composite of the Supremes and the Shirelles). The first act enthralls with the plot's gathering possibilities, the sparkling music and the irresistible performancesnot least Moya Angela's unstoppable Effie and Chester Gregory's heroically soulful, funky Jimmy "Thunder" Early. But the second act stretches things unnecessarily with one too many power ballads (albeit lunged to perfection) and a slowpoke approach to the all but predictable plot resolution. Still, this is a masterful production on many counts and an infectious evening overall. (Avila)
*Etiquette Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, 701 Mission; 978-2787, www.ybca.org. $8-10. Thurs-Sat, noon, 1pm, 2pm, 3pm, 4pm, 5pm, 6pm, 7pm, 8pm; Sun, noon, 1pm, 2pm, 3pm, 4pm, 5pm, 6pm. Through Oct 3. Rotozaza presents a participatory performance piece for two people.
Jerry Springer the Opera Victoria Theatre, 2961 16th; www.jerrysf.com. $20-36. Wed-Sat, 8pm. Through Oct 16. Ray of Light Theatre presents the West Coast premiere of the operatic farce by Stewart Lee and Richard Thomas.
KML Holds the Mayo Zeum Theater, 221 4th St; www.killingmylobster.com. $10-20. Thurs-Fri, 8pm. Through Oct 3. Killing My Lobster presents its fall comedy show, directed by co-founder Paul Charney.
Law and Order San Francisco Unit: The Musical! (sort of) Metreon Action Theater, Metreon Cineplex, second floor, 101 4th St; www.brownpapertickets.com. $10. Mon, 8pm. Through Mon/27. Funny But Mean comedy troupe presents an original production.
Olive Kitteridge Z Space at Theater Artaud, 450 Florida; (800) 838-3006, www.zspace.org. $20-40. Wed-Thurs, 7pm; Fri-Sat, 8pm; Sun, 5pm. Through Oct 10. Page-to-stage company Word for Word takes on two chapters' worth of Elizabeth Strout's celebrated 2008 novel, comprised of a loosely connected set of stories surrounding the title character (played with cunning subtlety by Patricia Silver) and her immediate circle in a coastal town in Maine. In "Tulips," we find the thorny but shrewd Olive, a former math teacher, and her patient husband Henry (Paul Finocchiaro), the town's longtime pharmacist, transitioning not so smoothly into their retirement years. Oliveitchy, cantankerous and vaguely at a loss despite her sharp witresents her grown son's (Patrick Alparone) happily distant life in New York and battles with the neighbors until her husband's stroke leaves her at sea, unexpectedly vulnerable and open to the kindness of neighbors and strangers alike (played by an ensemble that includes Jeri Lynn Cohen, Nancy Shelby, and Michelle Belaver). In "River," Olive, now a widow, begins a gradual, unlikely and bumpy romance with a recently widowed former academic (Warren David Keith). Director Joel Mullennix grabs hold of colorful details along the waylike the summer influx of rollerbladers and bicycliststo further enliven the verbatim staging of these stories, but the effort can feel a little forced at times, as if betraying a sense that these well-acted, gently poetical and thoughtful stories and their complex protagonist do not always make for the most stimulating drama. (Avila)
A Picasso Royce Gallery, 2901 Mariposa; (866) 811-4111, www.apicassoonstage.com. $12-28. Thurs-Sat, 8pm. Through Oct 9. Expression Productions presents Jeffery Hatcher's drama about the authenticity of three Picasso paintings.
*The Real Americans The Marsh MainStage, 1062 Valencia; (800) 838-3006; www.themarsh.org. $20-50. Wed-Fri, 8pm; Sun, 5pm. Through Nov 6. The fifth extension of Dan Hoyle's acclaimed show, directed by Charlie Varon.
Angels in America, Part One Pear Avenue Theatre, 1220 Pear, Mtn View; (650) 254-1148, www.thepear.org. $15-30. Thurs-Fri, 8pm; Sat, 2 and 8pm; Sun, 2pm. Through Oct 16. Pear Avenue Theatre kicks off its fall "Americana" program with the Tony Kushner play.
Anton in Show Business Marion E. Green Black Box Theater, 531 19th St; (510) 436-5085; www.theatrefirst.com. $10-30. Thurs-Sat, 8pm; Sun, 2pm. Through Sun/ 26. TheatreFIRST presents Jane Martin's theater comedy, under the direction of Michael Storm.
Antony & Cleopatra Forest Meadows Ampitheatre, 1475 Grand, San Rafael; 499-4488, www.marinshakespeare.org. $20-35. Fri-Sat, 8pm. Through Sat/25. Marin Shakespeare Company's summer season continues with the tale of the Egyptian queen.
Bleacher Bums Contra Costa Civic Theatre, 951 Pomona, El Cerrito; (510) 524-9132, www.ccct.org. $18. Fri-Sat, 8pm; Sun, 2pm. Through Oct 3. A sports comedy conceived by Joe Mantegna, directed by Joel Roster.
La Cage Aux Folles San Mateo Performing Arts Center, 600 N. Delaware; (650) 579-5565, www.broadwaybythebay.org. $20-48. Dates and times vary. Through Oct 3. Broadway By the Bay presents the gay musical based on the play of the same title.
*Compulsion Berkeley Repertory Theatre, Thrust Stage, 2025 Addison; (510) 647-2949, www.berkeleyrep.org. $29-85. Dates and times vary. Through Oct 31. Mandy Patinkin stars in a world premiere of Rinne Groff's play, directed by Oskar Eustis.
*East 14th: True Tales of a Reluctant Player Marsh Berkeley, 2120 Allston, Berk; www.themarsh.org. $20-50. Dates and times vary. Through Nov 21. Don Reed's solo play, making its Oakland debut after an acclaimed New York run, is truly a welcome homecoming twice over. (Avila)
In the Red and Brown Water Marin Theatre Company, 397 Miller, Mill Valley; 388-5208, www.marintheatre.org. $32-53. Tues, 8pm; Thurs-Sat, 8pm; Wed, 7:30pm, Sun, 7pm (also Thurs/23, 1pm; Oct 2, 2pm). Through Oct 10. Marin Theatre Company presents the West Coast premiere of Tarell Alvin McCraney's play.
In the Wound John Hinkel Park, Berk; (510) 841-6500, www.shotgunplayers.org. $10 (no one turned away). Sat-Sun, 3pm. Through Oct 3. Shotgun Players' annual free performance in Berkeley's John Hinkel Park is this year an impressively staged large-cast reworking of the Illiad from playwright-director Jon Tracy. In the Wound is actually the first of two new and related works from Tracy collectively known as the Salt Plays (the second of which, Of the Earth will open at Shotgun's Ashby stage in December). Its distinctly contemporary slant on the Trojan War includes re-imagining the epic's Greek commanders as figures we've come to know and loath here in the belly of a beast once know by the quaint-sounding phrase, "military-industrial complex." Hence, Odysseus (Daniel Bruno) as a devoted family man in a business suit with a briefcase full of bloody contradictions emanating from his 9-to-5 as a "social architect" for the empire; or Agamemnon (an irresistibly Patton-esque Michael Torres) as the ridiculously macho, creatively foul-mouthed redneck American four-star commander-clown ordering others into battle. While the alternately humorous and overly meaningful American inflections can feel too obvious and dramatically limiting, they're delivered with panache, amid the not unmoving spectacle of the production's energetic, drum-driven choreography and cleverly integrated mise-en-scène. (Avila)
*Loveland The Marsh Berkeley, 2120 Allston Way; (800) 838-3006, www.brownpapertickets.com. $20-50. Fri, 7pm; Sat, 5pm. Through Nov 13. Ann Randolph's acclaimed one-woman comic show about grief returns for its sixth sold-out extension.
MilkMilkLemonade La Val's Subterranean, 1834 Euclid, Berk; www.impacttheatre.com. $10-20. Thurs-Sat, 8pm. Through Oct 2. Impact Theatre presents Joshua Conkel's off off Broadway play about a lonely gay man trapped in a chicken farm.
She Loves Me Lesher Center for the Arts, 1601 Civic Drive, Walnut Creek; (825) 943-7469, www.CenterREP.org. $36-45. Wed, 7:30pm; Thurs-Fri, 8pm; Sat, 2:30 and 8pm; Sun, 2:30pm. Through Oct 10. Center REPertory company presents a musical choreographed and directed by Robert Barry fleming.
The Taming of the Shrew Forest Meadows Amphitheatre, 1475 Grand, San Rafael; (415) 499-4488, www.marinshakespeare.org. $20-25. Fri-Sun, 8pm; Sun, 4pm and 5pm. Through Sun/26. Marin Theatre Company presents a swashbuckling version of the classic.
Trouble in Mind Aurora Theatre, 2081 Addison, Berk; (510) 843-4822, www.auroratheatre.org. $10-55. Wed-Sat, 8pm; Sun, 2 and 7pm; Tues, 7pm. Through Oct 3 Aurora Theatre presents Alice Childress' look at racism through the lens of theater.
along the way CounterPULSE, 1310 Mission; 626-2060, www.counterpulse.org. Fri/24-Sat/25, 8pm; $10. A series of contemporary dance pieces by detour dance.
"Blue Room Comedy" Club 93, 93 9th St; 264-5489. Free. Tues/28, 10pm. A weekly series that takes comedy to new lows.
"Clash of the Titans" Make Out Room, 3225 22nd St; www.myspace.com/thetitanups. Mon/27, 8pm; $5. The Cat's Pajamas present an evening of performance.
"Latin Comedy Fever" Yoshi's, Fillmore and Eddy; www.yoshis.com. Wed/22, 8pm; $20-25. Bill Santiago, Marga Gomez, and Rudy Moreno perform.
Losing My Religion: Confessions of a New Age Refugee Yoga Loft, 321 Divisadero; (800) 838-3006, www.brownpapertickets.com. Fri/24-Sat/25, 8pm; $12-15. A one-man show by Seth Lepore.
"Music for People and Thingamajigs Festival" Various venues; Berk and SF; (510) 418-3447, www.thingamajigs.org. Thurs/23-Sun/26, various times; $10-15. An annual event devoted to experimental music on innovative instruments.
"New Choreography" The Garage, 975 Howard; www.975howard.com. Fri/24-Sat/25, 8pm; $10-20. An evening of work by Jenni Bregman, Jen Mellor, Zack Bernstein, and Miriam Wolodarski.
"Other Cafe's 30th Reunion Comedy Concert" Palace of Fine Arts, 3301 Lyon; www.The OtherCafe.com. Sat/25, 7:30pm; check for prices. An evening of comedy in honor of the legendary Haight-Ashbury club.
Passages: For Lee Ping To Dance Mission Theater3316 24th; (800) 838-3006, www.dancemission.com. Fri/24-Sat/25, 8pm; Sun/26, 2pm; $14-20. An evening of dance by Leonora Lee.
RAW The Garage, 975 Howard; www.975howard.com. Wed/22-Thurs/23, 8pm; $10-20. Performances by PunkkiCo and Alyce Finwall Dance Theater.
Somei Yoshino Taiko Ensemble Randall Museum Theater, 199 Museum; (510) 397-8501, www.taikoensemble.com. Sat/25, 7pm; $20. "Eek! Peek!," an evening of works inspired by bugs.
"Super Sunday With the Nutballs" Actors Theatre, 855 Bush; Sun/26, 8pm; $20. An evening of alternative comedy hosted by Tony Sparks.
"WestWave Dance" Cowell Theater, Fort Mason Center; 345-7575, www.westwavedancefestival.org. Mon/20, 8pm. The 19th annual season of contemporary choreography kicks off with Amy Seiwert, Kat Worthington, and three others.
Bayanihan Philippine National Dance Company Zellerbach Hall, UC campus, Berk; (510) 642-9988, www.calperformances.org. Fri/24, 8pm; $20-48. A program of traditional and contemporary dance and music by the 33-person company.
"Fall Free for All" Various venues, Berk; (510) 642-9988, www.calperformances.org. Sun/26, 11am-6pm; free. A day of performances by Kronos Quartet, Mark Morris Dance Group, and others.
"The Funniest Bubble Show on Earth" The Marsh Berkeley, 2120 Allston; (800) 838-3006, www.themarsh.org. Sun/26, 11am (through Nov 21); $8-11. The Amazing Bubble Man (aka Louis Pearl) returns with his show.
"Saturday Night Comedy" The Marsh Berkeley, 2120 Allston; (800) 838-3006, www.themarsh.org. Sat/25, 8pm; $15-50. Comedy by Ann Randolph, Betsy Salkind, and Emily Levine.