Stage listings are compiled by Johnny Ray Huston. Performance times may change; call venues to confirm. Reviewers are Robert Avila, Rita Felciano, and Nicole Gluckstern. Submit items for the listings at email@example.com. For further information on how to submit items for the listings, see Picks. For complete listings, see www.sfbg.com.
Bone to Pick and Diadem Exit on Taylor, 277 Taylor; (800) 838-3006, www.cuttingball.com. $15-50. Previews Fri/14-Sat/15, 8pm; Sun/16, 5pm. Opens Jan 20, 8pm. Runs Thurs-Sat, 8pm; Sun, 5pm. Cutting Ball Theatre presents a pair of plays by Eugenie Chan.
The Companion Piece Z Space at Theatre Artaud, 450 Florida; (800) 838-3006, www.themarsh.org. Call for price. Previews Tues/18, 7pm; Jan 19 and 20, 7pm; Jan 21, 8pm. Opens Sat/22, 8pm. Runs Thurs 7pm; Fri-Sat, 8pm; Sun, 5pm. Through Feb 13. Z Space presents the world premiere of a new play by Mark Jackson, with Beth Wilmurt and Christopher Kuckenbaker.
Out of Sight The Marsh, 1062 Valencia; (800) 838-3006, www.themarsh.org. $15-35. Previews Thurs/13 (through Jan 21). Opens Jan 22, 8pm. Runs Thurs and Sat, 8pm; Sun, 3pm (except Sun/16 at 7pm). The Marsh presents a new solo show by Sara Felder.
The Last Cargo Cult Berkeley Repertory Theatre, Thrust Stage, 2025 Addison, Berk; (510) 647-2949, www.berkeleyrep.org. $14.50-73. Opens Wed/12, 8pm. Call for dates and times. Through Feb 20. Mike Daisey stars in a one-man show about obsession with commerce.
Clue Boxcar Playhouse, 505 Natoma; 776-1747, www.boxcartheatre.org. $15-35. Wed-Fri, 8pm; Sat, 7 and 10pm. Through Feb 19. Boxcar Theatre presents a play based on a movie based on a board game.
Dirty Little Showtunes! A Parody Musical Revue New Conservatory Theatre Center, 25 Van Ness; 861-8972, www.nctcsf.org. $24-40. Wed-Sat, 8pm; Sun, 2pm. Through Sun/16. Tom Orr's adults-only holiday show returns, with direction by F. Allen Sawyer and musical direction by Scrumbly Koldewyn.
*Forever Tango Marines' Memorial Theatre, 609 Sutter; 771-6900; www.marinesmemorialtheatre.com. $45-100. Call for dates and times. Through Wed/12. Luis Bravo's atmospheric showcase is a slick, showy mélange of music and dancing whose fluid precision and assemblage of talent make it hard to resist. Cheryl Burke heads up an amazing 13-member ensemble of very stylishly draped dancers (exquisite costuming by Argemira Affonso) who singularly, all together, and of course in dramatic couplings, blend supreme control and dramatic restraint with unabashed sexual allure and volcanic energy. The orchestra, meanwhile, under direction of Eduardo Miceli, creates the intoxicating ether that sets everything in motion. (Avila)
The Lion in Winter Actors Theatre, 855 Bush; 345-1287, www.ticketweb.com. $26-38. Wed-Sat, 8pm. Through Sat/15. Actors Theatre of SF presents James Goldman's play of palace intrigue.
Lost in Yonkers Kanbar Hall, Jewish Community Center SF, 3200 California; 292-1233, www.jccsf.org/arts. $20-39. Thurs-Sat, 8pm; Sun, 2 and 7pm. Through Jan 16. There's a lot to like about Grandma Kurnitz (Naomi Newman), though she'd do her best to discourage you from thinking it. Her grown children are as neurotic a collection of misfits as you would expect at a Woody Allen family reunion, her grandchildren are afraid of her, and she hasn't had a single friend in the 30+ years she's lived in Yonkers. Set during World War 2, Neil Simon's Lost in Yonkers portrays a family coming to terms with the times, and more importantly with itself over the course of ten months, as teenaged Jay (Zachary Frier-Harrison) and Arty (Noah Silverman St. John) are left in their Grandmother's grudging care while their father Eddie (Greg Alexander) trawls the South for scrap metal to pay off an impatient loan shark. Meanwhile, their flighty yet sincere aunt Bella (Deb Fink), a grown woman with the mental attributes of a preteen Pollyanna, actually does the work of holding together the family that Grandma just can't help but to try to scare off at the slightest provocation. A deliberately-paced production, some of the more emotional content flags a little in the translation, but a tightly-wound face-off between the boys and their Uncle Louie (Søren Oliver) -- a small-time mobster with an Alexei Sayle air -- and a surprising revelation from Bella are superbly played. (Gluckstern)
Party of 2 – The New Mating Musical Shelton Theater, 533 Sutter; (800) 838-3006, www.partyof2themusical.com. $27-29. Sun, 3pm. Open-ended. A musical about relationships by Shopping! The Musical author Morris Bobrow.
*Pearls Over Shanghai Thrillpeddlers' Hypnodrome, 575 Tenth St; 1-800-838-3006, www.brownpapertickets.com. $30-69. Sat, 8pm. Through April 9. Thrillpeddlers' acclaimed production of the Cockettes musical continues its successful run.
East 14th – True Tales of a Reluctant Player The Marsh Berkeley, 2120 Allston Way, Berk; (800) 838-3006, www.themarsh.org. $20-50. Call for times. Through Feb 13. Don Reed's one-man show continues its extended run.
Lemony Snicket's The Composer is Dead Berkeley Repertory Theatre, Roda Theatre, 2015 Addison, Berk; (510) 647-2949, www.berkeleyrep.org. Call for dates and times. Through Sat/15. Berkeley Rep premieres the new musical, written by Lemony Snicket, with music by Nathaniel Stookey.
*Of the Earth – The Salt Plays Ashby Stage, 1901 Ashby; (510) 841-6500, www.shotgunplayers.org. $17-30. Thurs-Sat, 8pm; Sun, 5pm. Through Jan 30. If those whom the gods favor die young, it's probably just as well for Odysseus (Dan Bruno) that Zeus (Rami Margron) happens to be irked at him. That Zeus occasionally manifests as a scary nurse with a penchant for ballroom dance is one of but many mysterious angles Jon Tracy teases out of the standard Odysseus myth. Another involves the instant-messaging potential of paper planes; a third, a blunt addiction metaphor for warmongering. In what must surely be a happy coincidence, the design elements and staging of Of the Earth are curiously similar to those of the recent Cutting Ball production of The Tempest. Characters leaping about from floor-to-ceiling ladders to physically embody shipwrecks and monsters, a handful of actors playing multiple roles, watery video installations, even the allusion to mental illness and modern psychiatry are threads that tie the two productions, however unsuspectingly, together. Happily for The Shotgun Players, their version floats above the comparison with a host of extra tension-drivers—the sinuously menacing fighting-style of Posiedon (Anna Ishida), the heart-throb pounding of Taiko drums, the sensual machinations of Circe (Charisse Loriaux), the clever usage of Penelope's (Lexie Papedo) "tapestry" to weave together the action. And though at times the thread is broken mid-scene, we are finally given to understand that this epic tale of war's fallout is first and finally a story of love. (Gluckstern)
Strange Travel Suggestions The Marsh Berkeley, Cabaret, 2120 Allston Way, Berk; (800) 838-3006, www.themarsh.org. $15-35. Thurs-Fri, 8pm; Sat, 5pm. Jeff Greenwald stars in a one-man show about the vagaries of wanderlust.
Gush Brava Theater, 2783 24th St; 6470-2822, www.brava.org. Thurs/13 through Jan 29. $15-35. Brava presents a dance series curated by Joe Goode.
Women of the Way Festival Shotwell Studios, 3252-A Shotwell; and The Garage, 975 Howard; (800) 838-3006, www.ftloose.org. Call for dates and times; Thurs/13 through Jan 30. $15-20. The dance festival celebrates it 11th anniversary with 23 new shows.
SF Ethnic Dance Festival Auditions Zellerbach Hall, UC Berkeley campus, Berk; 474-3914, www.worldartswest.org. Sat/8, 10am-6pm; Sun/9, 10am-7pm. $10. The second of two weekends of auditions for this year's festival, open to the public.