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 email@example.com. For further information on how to submit items for the listings, see Picks. For complete listings, see www.sfbg.com.
Cordelia NOHspace, 2840 Mariposa; (800) 838-3006, www.brownpapertickets.com. $18-20. Previews Tues/19, 7pm. Opens April 20, 7pm. Wed-Thurs, 7pm; Fri-Sat, 8pm. Through May 7. Theatre of Yugen presents world premiere of an abstraction of Shakespeare's King Lear.
The Busy World is Hushed New Conservatory Theatre Center, 25 Van Ness; 861-8972, www.nctcsf,org. $24-40. Wed-Sat, 8pm; Sun, 2pm. Through May 1. New Conservatory Theatre Center presents the world premiere of a play by Keith Bunin.
*Caliente Pier 29, The Embarcadero; 438-2668, www.love.zinzanni.org. $117-145. Wed-Sat, 6pm; Sun, 5pm. Open-ended. Teatro Zinzanni presents a new production conceived in San Francisco.
Collected Stories Stage Werx, 533 Sutter; Z(800) 838-3006, www.brownpapertickets.com. $20-25. Fri-Sat, 8pm (alos April 24 2pm). Through May 7. Stage Werx presents David Margulies' drama about art, ethics, and betrayal.
*40 Pounds in 12 Weeks The Marsh, Studio Theater, 1074 Valencia; (800) 838-3006, www.themarsh.org. $15-35. Call for dates and times. Through April 30. Pidge Meade's one-woman show extends its successful run.
Free Theater Community Room, Notre Dame Senior Plaza, 347 Dolores; 864-4467. Free. Fri, 7:30pm; Sat-Sun, 3pm. Through April 17. The 16th Street Players present four comic plays.
*Geezer Marsh, 1062 Valencia; (800) 838-3006, www.themarsh.org. $20-50. Thurs, 8pm; Sat, 5pm; Sun, 3pm. Through May 1. The Marsh presents a new solo show about aging and mortality by Geoff Hoyle.
Into the Clear Blue Sky Phoenix Theater, 414 Mason; 913-7272, www.sleepwalkerstheatre.com. $15-17. Thurs-Sat, 8pm. Through April 30. Sleepwalkers Theatre presents the second production in a three-part apocalypse series.
KML Reboots Traveling Jewish Theater, 470 Floriad; www.killingmylobster.com. $10-20. Thurs-fri, 8pm; Sat, 7 and 10pm; Sun, 7pm. Through April 24. The sketch comedians present a new show about the pleasures and pains of technology.
Loveland The Marsh, 1062 Valencia; (800) 838-3006, www.themarsh.org. $20-35. Fri, 8pm; Sat, 8:30pm (also May 1 and 8, 7pm). Through May 8. Ann Rudolph's one-woman show continues its successful run.
M. Butterfly Gough Street Playhouse, 1620 Gough; (510) 207-5774, www.custommade.org. $20-28. Thurs-Sat, 8pm. Through April 30. Custom Made Theatre presents David Henry Hwang's award-winning play.
*Obscura: A Magic Play Exit Studio, 156 Eddy; 673-3847, www.sffringe.org. $20-25. Fri-Sat, 8pm. Through Sat/16. Christian Cagigal is back with the magical. Over the last several years, the popular Bay Area writer/performer has developed a series of dramatically structured magic shows (the most recent being the autobiographical Now and at the Hour), each a different attempt at blending expert prestidigitation with elements of narrative theater. Tightly focused and deliberately small-scale, Obscura is in some ways his most successful foray yet. In the Exit Theater's new studio space, Cagigal (with occasional help from his audience) unfolds a series of sly Gothic stories combined with extremely clever, sometimes dementedly playful card and coin tricks—the majority a collection of favorite pieces from other magicians—all played out on a delicately managed little table augmented by overhead projection (a set-up that offers various visual opportunities, including use of title cards). Rapid-fire narration (occasionally indistinct but generally articulate) and a laid back, slightly mischievous demeanor combine here with consummate skill in an intimate and very enjoyable evening of crafty little tales. If there's an overarching theme, it probably has something to do with human folly, the persistence of mystery, and the devil, but then any good fable involving a deck of cards probably should. (Avila)
Party of 2 — The New Mating Musical Shelton Theater, 533 Sutter; 1-800-838-3006, www.partyof2themusical.com. $27-29. Fri, 9pm. Open-ended. A musical about relationships by Shopping! The Musical author Morris Bobrow.
The Real Americans The Marsh MainStage, 1062 Valencia; 282-3055, www.themarsh.org. $25-35. Fri, 8pm; Sat, 8:30pm. Through April 30. Dan Hoyle's hit show returns for another engagement.
Sea Turtles Exit Theater, 156 Eddy; www.generationtheatre.com. $15-25. Fri-Sat, 8pm; Sun, 3pm (also April 28, 8pm). Through April 30. GenerationTheatre presents an original play by David Valayre.
Secret Identity Crisis SF Playhouse, Stage 2, 533 Sutter; 869-5384, www.un-scripted.com. $10-20. Thurs-Sat, 8pm (no show may 7). Through May 14. Un-Scripted Theater Company presents a story about unmasked heroes.
Shopping! The Musical Shelton Theater, 533 Sutter; (800) 838-3006, www.shoppingthemusical.com. $27-29. Sat, 8pm. Open-ended. A musical comedy revue about shopping by Morris Bobrow.
*Songs of the Dragons Flying to Heaven The Thick House, 1695 18th St; 255-8746, www.asianamericantheatre.org, www.crowdedfire.org. $15-25. Call for dates and times. Through Sat/16. "They have no idea what the fuck we're doing," observes one of the nameless "Korean" characters in Young Jean Lee's Songs of the Dragons Flying to Heaven. In rapid succession the audience has witnessed a video clip of the playwright being slapped repeatedly in the face, a westernized Korean woman (Cindy Im) ranting about her "retarded monkey" parents and minority rage yet promising her Grandmother that she'll give Jesus a whirl, bafflingly banal interactions between two "white" people (Alexis Papedo and Josh Schell) struggling with their floundering romance, and cartoonish interludes of exaggerated sex, consumerism, and violence enacted by three gaudily-dressed Korean women (Mimu Tsujimura, Lily Tung Crystal, Katie Chan)—none of whom are actually played by Koreans. It's a play you have to surrender yourself to, a roller-coaster ride of sharp curves and nausea-inducing plunges (especially twisted is the gross-out contest of suicide methods in which each character takes a turn at dying in an unimaginably gruesome yet hilarious manner). Oddly, the piece ends on a rather lackluster note, with the two "white" people exploring the mutual contempt they pretend is love, which might be the playwright's method of showing that white people can ruin anything without half trying, but the ride before their dead end is a thrilling one. (Gluckstern)
A Streetcar Named Desire Actors Theatre, 855 Bush; 345-1287, www.actorstheatresf.org. $26-38. Wed-Sat, 8pm. Through June 4. Actors Theatre of San Francisco presents the Tennessee Williams tale.
Talking With Angels Royce Gallery, 2901 Mariposa; (800) 838-3006, www.brownpapertickets.com. $21-35. Thurs-Sat, 8pm. Through May 21. A play by Shelley Mitchell set in Nazi-occupied Hungary.
Tape The Dark room, 2263 Mission; www.darkroomsf.com. $10-20. Fri-Sat, 8pm (also Sat/16, 10pm). Through April 23. The 4th Mirror presents a production of the play by Stephen Belber.
Twelfth Night African American Art & Culture Complex, 762 Fulton; (800) 838-3006, www.African-AmericanShakes.org. $15-35. Sat, 8pm; Sun, 3pm (no performance April 24). Through May 1. African-American Shakespeare Company presents a jazzy interpretation of the Bard.
*Wirehead SF Playhouse, 533 Sutter; 677-9596, www.sfplayhouse.org. $30-50. Tues-Wed, 7pm; Thurs-Fri, 8pm; Sat, 3and 8pm. Through April 23. Perfectionism's ruthless class dimensions come to the fore in SF Playhouse's smart, fun, and sharply staged Bay Area premiere about the super-smart posthumans of the near future, and the rest of us. A shady China-based conglomerate with a name that sounds like Sin-Tell sells a scintillating if dangerous procedure for those already well connected: a hardwire boost to the neural circuitry that gives the recipient more than an edge on the competition and something just shy of godlike powers. Two friends and colleagues in a banking firm (Craig Marker and Gabriel Marin) and their variously class-marked but equally ambitious girlfriends (Lauren Grace and Madeleine H.D. Brown) are all drawn into this cyborgian gold rush, and it gets sticky in more ways than one, as meanwhile a brash local DJ named RIP (Scott Coopwood) raps sardonically over the airwaves about this latest twist in an old game. SF Playhouse's Susi Damilano directs a charismatic cast (including a terrific Cole Alexander Smith in a related series of frenetic roles) in Matt Benjamin and Logan Brown's culture-jamming riposte to tech-mad humanist hogwash about Progress. It gets you thinking. (Avila)
*Beardo Ashby Stage, 1901 Ashby, Berk; (510) 841-6500, www.shotgunplayers.org. $17-26. Thurs-Sat, 8pm; Sun, 5pm. Through April 24. Shotgun Players present a an original songplay about Rasputin.
East 14th – True Tale of a Reluctant Player The Marsh Berkeley, 2120 Allston Way, Berk; (800) 838-3006, www.themarsh.org. $20-50. Sat, 8pm; Sun, 7pm. Through May 8. Don Reed's one-man show continues.
Eccentricities of a Nightingale Aurora Theatre, 2081 Addison; (510) 843-4822, www.auroratheatre.org. $34-45. Tues, 7pm; Wed-Sat, 8pm; Sun, 2 and 7pm. Through May 8. Aurora Theatre Company presents a Tennessee Williams drama.
Not a Genuine Black Man The Marsh Berkeley, TheaterStage, 2120 Allston Way, Berk; (800) 838-3006, www.themarsh.org. $20-50. Thurs, 7:30pm. Through May 5. Brian Copeland's one-man show continues.
Out of Sight The Marsh Berkeley, Theaterstage, 2120 Allston Way, Berk; (800) 838-3006, www.themarsh.org. $20-50. Sat, 5pm (no show Sat/9); Sun, 3pm. Through May 8. Sara Felder's one-woman show returns.
Quidam The Cow Palace 2600 Geneva, Daly City; (415) 404-4100; www.cowpalace.com, www.cirquedusoleil.com. $32-115. Call for dates and times. Through Sun/17. In Albert Lamorisse's 1956 short film The Red Balloon, a child's love affair with a mischievous toy takes place on the streets of Paris, a rough gray place that weirdly foreshadows the subterranean world inhabited by the mysterious creatures of Quidam. Here the silent child toting a giant red balloon is Zoe (Alessandra Gonzalez), who's been spirited away to their underworld from her neglectful, oblivious parents. Her participation in their antics basically amounts to her looking on as acrobats, contortionists, and clowns strut their stuff, in the uninviting, under-populated confines of the Cow Palace, a far from ideal venue for a show that relies so much on audience participation and intimacy. In general the acts involving more performers work better in the cavernous space—an inventive diabolo juggling act, a complicated twenty-person jump rope exhibition, a five-person aerial Spanish Webs ensemble, and a highly-acrobatic fifteen-person Banquine act: synchronized, rapid-fire flinging of bodies to, fro, high, and low without missing a beat or (thankfully) a catch. There is much to admire in Cirque du Soleil's dedication to legitimizing the Circus as a higher art form, but this presentation of Quidam aims unfortunately low. (Gluckstern)
Singing at the Edge of the World The Cabaret at The Marsh Berkeley, 2120 Allston Way, Berk; (800) 838-3006, www.brownpapertickets.com. $15-35. Thurs-Fri, 8pm; Sat, 5pm. Through Sat/16. The Marsh presents a one-man show by Randy Rutherford.
Slices 2011 pear Avenue Theatre, 1220 Pear, Mtn View; (650) 254-1148, www.thepear.org. $15-30. Thurs-Sat, 8pm; Sun, 2pm. Through April 24. Pear Avenue Theatre presents its annual festival of short plays.
Snow Falling on Cedars TheatreWorks at Mountain View Center for the Performing Arts, 500 Castro, Mtn View; (650) 463-1960, www.theatreworks.org. $24-67. Tues-Wed, 7:30pm; Thurs-Fri, 8pm; Sat, 2 and 8pm; Sun, 2 and 7pm. Through April 24. TheatreWorks presents a stage adaptation of the David Guterson novel.
Three Sisters Berkeley Reperory Theatre, Thrust Stage, 2025 Addison, Berk; (510) 647-2949, www.berkeleyrep.org. $29-73. Dates and times vary. Through May 22. The creators of Eurydice and In the Next Room present a new take on Chekhov.
The World's Funniest Bubble Show The Marsh Berkeley, Cabaret, 2120 Allston Way, Berk; (800) 838-3006, www.themarsh.org. $8-50. Through July 10. The bubbles keep flowing.