Stage Listings: August 28 - September 3, 2013
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.
Macbeth Fort Point, end of Marine Dr, Presidio of San Francisco, SF; www.weplayers.org. $30-60. Previews Fri/30-Sun/1, 6pm. Opens Sept 5, 6pm. Runs Thu-Sun, 6pm. Through Oct 6. We Players perform the Shakespeare classic amid Fort Point's Civil War-era fortress.
Macbeth Main Post Parade Ground Lawn, Presidio of San Francisco, SF; www.sfshakes.org. Free. Opens Sat/31, 2pm. Runs Sat-Sun and Mon/2, 2pm. Through Sept 15. In its 31st season, Free Shakespeare in the Park also takes on one of the Bard's major tragedies.
After the Revolution Aurora Theatre, 2081 Addison, Berk; www.auroratheatre.org. $32-60. Previews Fri/30-Sat/31 and Sept 4, 8pm; Sun/1, 2pm; Tue/3, 7pm. Opens Sept 5, 8pm. Runs Tue, 7pm; Wed-Sat, 8pm; Sun, 2 and 7pm. Through Sept 29. Aurora Theatre opens its 22nd season with the Bay Area premiere of Amy Herzog's family drama.
American Dream New Conservatory Theatre Center, 25 Van Ness, SF; www.nctcsf.org. $35-45. Wed-Sat, 8pm; Sun, 2pm. Through Sept 15. A recently divorced and recently out architect falls in love with his Spanish teacher — and tries to bring him from Mexico to California — in this world premiere by Brad Erickson at the New Conservatory Theatre Center.
Can You Dig It? Back Down East 14th — the 60s and Beyond Marsh San Francisco, 1062 Valencia, SF; www.themarsh.org. $15-50. Sat, 8:30pm; Sun, 7pm. Extended through Sept 8. (Runs Sept 14-Oct 27 at the Marsh Berkeley.) Don Reed's new show offers more stories from his colorful upbringing in East Oakland in the 1960s and '70s. More hilarious and heartfelt depictions of his exceptional parents, independent siblings, and his mostly African American but ethnically mixed working-class community — punctuated with period pop, Motown, and funk classics, to which Reed shimmies and spins with effortless grace. And of course there's more too of the expert physical comedy and charm that made long-running hits of Reed's last two solo shows, East 14th and The Kipling Hotel (both launched, like this newest, at the Marsh). Can You Dig It? reaches, for the most part, into the "early" early years, Reed's grammar-school days, before the events depicted in East 14th or Kipling Hotel came to pass. But in nearly two hours of material, not all of it of equal value or impact, there's inevitably some overlap and indeed some recycling. Reed, who also directs the show, may start whittling it down as the run continues. But, as is, there are at least 20 unnecessary minutes diluting the overall impact of the piece, which is thin on plot already — much more a series of often very enjoyable vignettes and some painful but largely unexplored observations, wrapped up at the end in a sentimental moral that, while sincere, feels rushed and inadequate. (Avila)
Foodies! The Musical Shelton Theater, 533 Sutter, SF; www.foodiesthemusical.com. $30-34. Fri-Sat, 8pm. Open-ended. AWAT Productions presents Morris Bobrow's musical comedy revue all about food.
In Friendship: Stories By Zona Gale Z Below, 470 Florida, SF; www.zspace.org. $20-50. Wed-Thu, 7pm; Fri-Sat, 8pm; Sun, 3pm. Through Sept 8. Word for Word performs Zona Gale's "comedy of American manners."
God of Carnage Shelton Theater, 533 Sutter, SF; www.sheltontheater.com. $26-38. Thu-Sat, 8pm. Through Sept 7. Shelton Theater performs Yasmina Reza's award-winning play about class and parenting.
Hedwig and the Angry Inch Boxcar Theatre, 505 Natoma, SF; www.boxcartheatre.org. $27-43. Thu-Sat, 8pm. Open-ended. John Cameron Mitchell's cult musical comes to life with director Nick A. Olivero's ever-rotating cast.
Oil and Water Dolores Park, 19th St at Dolores, SF; www.sfmt.org. Free (donations accepted). Mon/2, 2pm. It's a rough year for mimes, or at any rate for the San Francisco Mime Troupe who, after presenting 53 seasons of free theater in the parks of San Francisco (and elsewhere), faced a financial crisis in April that threatened to shut down this season before it even started. The resultant show, funded by an influx of last-minute donations, is one cut considerably closer to the bone than in previous years. With a cast of just four actors and two musicians, plus a stage considerably less ornate then usual, even the play has shrunk in scale, from one two-hour musical to two loosely-connected one-acts riffing on general environmentalist themes. In Deal With the Devil, a surprisingly sympathetic (not to mention downright hawt) Devil (Velina Brown) shows up to help an uncertain president (Rotimi Agbabiaka) regain his conscience and win back his soul, while in Crude Intentions adorable, progressive, same-sex couple Gracie (Velina Brown) and Tomasa (Lisa Hori-Garcia) wind up catering a "benefit" shindig for the Keystone XL Pipeline giving them the opportunity to perpetrate a little guerrilla direct action on a bombastic David Koch (Hugo E Carbajal) with a "mole de petróleo" and a smartphone. Throughout, the performers remain upbeat if somewhat over-extended as they sing, dance, and slapstick their way to the sobering conclusion that the time to turn things around in the battles over global environmental protection is now — or never. (Gluckstern)
Priscilla Queen of the Desert the Musical SHN Orpheum Theatre, 1192 Market, SF; www.shnsf.com. $45-210. Wed/28-Sat/31, 8pm (also Wed/28 and Fri/30-Sat/31, 2pm). The Aussie movie-turned-musical about road-tripping drag queens rolls into San Francisco for a limited engagement.
Sex and the City: LIVE! Rebel, 1760 Market, SF; trannyshack.com/sexandthecity. $25. Wed, 7 and 9pm. Open-ended. It seems a no-brainer. Not just the HBO series itself — that's definitely missing some gray matter — but putting it onstage as a drag show. Mais naturellement! Why was Sex and the City not conceived of as a drag show in the first place? Making the sordid not exactly palatable but somehow, I don't know, friendlier (and the canned a little cannier), Velvet Rage Productions mounts two verbatim episodes from the widely adored cable show, with Trannyshack's Heklina in a smashing portrayal of SJP's Carrie; D'Arcy Drollinger stealing much of the show as ever-randy Samantha (already more or less a gay man trapped in a woman's body); Lady Bear as an endearingly out-to-lunch Miranda; and ever assured, quick-witted Trixxie Carr as pent-up Charlotte. There's also a solid and enjoyable supporting cast courtesy of Cookie Dough, Jordan Wheeler, and Leigh Crow (as Mr. Big). That's some heavyweight talent trodding the straining boards of bar Rebel's tiny stage. The show's still two-dimensional, even in 3D, but noticeably bigger than your 50" plasma flat panel. (Avila)
All's Well That Ends Well Forest Meadows Amphitheater, 890 Bella, Dominican University of California, San Rafael; www.marinshakespeare.org. $20-37.50. Presented in repertory Fri-Sun through Sept 28; visit website for performance schedule. Marin Shakespeare Company continues its outdoor season with the Bard's classic romance.
A Comedy of Errors Forest Meadows Amphitheater, 890 Bella, Dominican University of California, San Rafael; www.marinshakespeare.org. $20-37.50. Presented in repertory Fri-Sun through Sept 29; visit website for performance schedule. Marin Shakespeare Company presents a cowboy-themed spin on the Bard's classic.
Good People Marin Theatre Company, 397 Miller, Mill Valley; www.marintheatre.org. $37-58. Tue and Thu-Sat, 8pm (also Sat/31 and Sept 14, 2pm; Sept 5, 1pm); Wed, 7:30pm; Sun, 2 and 7pm. Through Sept 15. Marin Theatre Company performs the Bay Area premiere of David Lindsay-Abaire's Broadway triumph about class and poverty.
Lady Windermere's Fan Bruns Amphitheater, 100 California Shakespeare Theater Way, Orinda; www.calshakes.org. $35-62. Tue-Thu, 7:30pm; Fri-Sat, 8pm (also Sept 7, 2pm); Sun, 4pm. Through Sept 8. California Shakespeare Theater performs Oscar Wilde's comedy.
No Man's Land Berkeley Repertory Theatre, Roda Theatre, 2015 Addison, Berk; www.berkeleyrep.org. $35-135. Wed/28, 2 and 7pm; Thu/29-Sat/31, 8pm (also Sat/31, 2pm). A rare night at the theater unfurls with a bare, elusive minimum of plot and a maximum of subtlety as Harold Pinter's snaky 1975 drama receives something like a perfect production in the hands of director Sean Mathias and a cast comprised of internationally renowned stage (and film) veterans Ian McKellen and Patrick Stewart, flanked by theater stalwarts Billy Crudup and Shuler Hensley. Stewart is Hirst — an initially laconic and feeble, later voluble and hearty poet and man of letters — famous, world weary, and looked after by two forbidding caretakers, the principal (played by Crudup) an aspiring poet himself. McKellen is Spooner, a down-at-heel but lithe and self-aggrandizing poet himself, whom Hirst as invited into his home for an indeterminate stay that is a source of unrelieved tension between all four characters. Through two fascinating acts, the desperation, power plays, and badinage ensuing among them imbues the strange semi-circular room they exclusively inhabit with a giddy, forlorn, fractious atmosphere. The physical and vocal command of the actors, meanwhile, gorgeously underscores the play's perverse tacking across an ocean of discourse and questionable memory, passed fear and mutual antagonism, toward the outer limits of language, where some inner landscape looms marked by a steady state of numbing, narcotic emptiness. Hunting down a ticket for the Broadway-bound UK production, now up at Berkeley Rep, may be a challenge but it's well worth the effort, since not often can one catch a production this sure of Pinter's language and theatrical imagination. (Avila)
Orlando Live Oak Theatre, 1301 Shattuck, Berk; www.theatrefirst.com. $10-30. Thu-Sat, 8pm; Sun, 5pm. Through Sept 15. TheatreFIRST performs Sarah Ruhl's gender-shifting comedy, which takes place over a span of 300 years.
Other Desert Cities Mountain View Center for the Performing Arts, 500 Castro, Mtn View; www.theatreworks.org. $19-73. Tue-Wed, 7:30pm; Thu-Sat, 8pm (also Sat, 2pm); Sun, 2 and 7pm. Through Sept 15. TheatreWorks performs Jon Robin Baitz's family dramedy, a Broadway hit making its regional premiere here.
BATS Improv Bayfront Theater, B350 Fort Mason, SF; www.improv.org. Fri-Sat, 8pm. $20. The company's 19th annual Summer Improv Festival continues with "Choose Your Own Adventure" (Fri/30-Sat/31).
Caroline Lugo and Carolé Acuña's Ballet Flamenco Peña Pachamama, 1630 Powell, SF; www.carolinalugo.com. Sept 7, 15, 21, Oct 6, 12, 20, 26, 6:15pm. $15-19. Flamenco performance by the mother-daughter dance company, featuring live musicians.
"Dream Queens Revue" Aunt Charlie's Lounge, 133 Turk, SF; www.dreamqueensrevue.com. Wed/28, 9:30-11:30pm. Free. Drag show with Collette LeGrande, Ruby Slippers, Sophilya Leggz, and more.
"Mission Position Live" Cinecave, 1034 Valencia, SF; www.missionpositionlive.com. Thu, 8pm. Ongoing. $10. Stand-up comedy with rotating performers.
"Okeanos Intimate" Aquarium of the Bay, Pier 39, SF; www.capacitor.org. Sat, 7pm. Through Sept 28. $20-30 (free aquarium ticket with show ticket). Choreographer Jodi Lomask and her company, Capacitor, revive 2012's Okeanos — a cirque-dance piece exploring the wonder and fragility of our innate connection to the world's oceans — in a special "intimate" version designed for the mid-size theater at Pier 39's Aquarium of the Bay. The show, developed in collaboration with scientists and engineers, comes preceded by a short talk by a guest expert — for a recent Saturday performance it was a down-to-earth and truly fascinating local ecological history lesson by the Bay Institute's Marc Holmes. In addition to its Cirque du Soleil–like blend of quasi-representational modern dance and circus acrobatics — powered by a synth-heavy blend of atmospheric pop music — Okeanos makes use of some stunning underwater photography and an intermittent narrative that includes testimonials from the likes of marine biologist and filmmaker Dr. Tierney Thys. The performers, including contortionists, also interact with some original physical properties hanging from the flies — a swirling vortex and a spherical shell — as they wrap and warp their bodies in a kind of metamorphic homage to the capacity and resiliency of evolution, the varied ingenuity of all life forms. If the movement vocabulary can seem limited at times, and too derivative, the show also feels a little cramped on the Aquarium Theater stage, whose proscenium arrangement does the piece few favors aesthetically. Nevertheless, the family-oriented Okeanos Intimate spurs a conversation with the ocean that is nothing if not urgent. (Avila)
"The Romaine Event Comedy Show" Make-Out Room, 3225 22nd St, SF; www.pacoromane.com. Wed/28, 8-10pm. $10. It's an all-female line-up this time around, with stend-up by Mary-Alice McNab and Colleen Watson, sketch comedy by Monday Night Foreplays, and more.
"San Francisco Magic Parlor" Chancellor Hotel Union Square, 433 Powell, SF; www.sfmagicparlor.com. Thu-Sat, 8pm. Ongoing. $40. Magic vignettes with conjurer and storyteller Walt Anthony.
"Union Square Live" Union Square, between Post, Geary, Powell, and Stockton, SF; www.unionsquarelive.org. Through Oct 9. Free. Music, dance, circus arts, film, and more; dates and times vary, so check website for the latest.
"Stealing the Leads" Ashby Stage, 1901 Ashby, Berk; www.shotgunplayers.org. Mon/2, 8pm. $15. Shotgun Cabaret's "First Person Singular" series presents this evening of women reading Glengarry Glen Ross. *