Theater Listings: June 25 - July 1, 2014


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



"The Bakla Show 3" Bindlestiff Studio, 185 Sixth St, SF; $10-20. Thu/26-Sat/28, 8pm. Three short works focusing on the struggles of Pinoy LGBT youth.

Body of Water Southside Theater, Fort Mason Center, Bldg D, Third Flr, Marina at Laguna, SF; $15-35. Fri/27-Sat/28, 7:30pm. A Theatre Near U presents an original indie-rock teen musical, with songs by Jim Walker.

Brahmin/I: A One-Hijra Stand-Up Comedy Show Thick House, 1695 18th St, SF; $15-35. Wed/25-Sat/28, 8pm. Stand-up comedy at its best is a stage for telling more than jokes. It's a place for telling the truth fearlessly. Depending on the comic, that "truth" may be reactionary — trading on sexual stereotypes, for example, in a way that reinforces a patriarchal worldview. In other cases, the comedian's truth might be radically subversive of the usual order of things. This latter sort of truth telling should also describe the theater at its best (if in practice it too rarely does). Crowded Fire's production of Aditi Brennan Kapil's wonderfully layered and rambunctious Brahman/I: A One-Hijra Stand-Up Comedy Show joins both spheres in a persuasive mash-up of truths personal, political, mythical, and artistic. It unfolds as an often simultaneously awkward, stirring, and very funny stand-up routine by an amped Indian American intersex person with the name of the Hindu god who created the universe — and who is, at one level, the playwright's transposition of that god to a contemporary American setting. Played by the ferociously charming and utterly compelling New York-based actor Imran Sheikh (under Erin Merritt's intelligent direction), Brahman/Brahmani pursues comedy as a means of expressing what otherwise will not be accepted or understood, namely the experience of gender fluidity beyond the brutal boundaries of the standard masculine/feminine binary. A little like an updated Hedwig and the Angry Inch, Kapil's "performance" of the intersex self also has a colonial dimension that shrewdly folds in other hierarchies of power and privilege — including the comedian's domineering attitude toward taciturn bass player and sidekick J (an aptly tranquil Mackenszie Drae) — while mining Hindu cosmology for rich analogues and ironies. (Avila)

Devil Boys From Beyond New Conservatory Theatre Center, 25 Van Ness, SF; $25-45. Wed/25-Sat/28, 8pm. New Conservatory Theatre Center performs Buddy Thomas and Kenneth Elliot's campy sci-fi saga.

Each and Every Thing Marsh San Francisco Main Stage, 1062 Valencia, SF; $20-50. Thu-Fri, 8pm; Sat, 8:30pm. Through July 12. The latest solo show from celebrated writer-performer Dan Hoyle (Tings Dey Happen,The Real Americans) winds a more random course than usual across the country and abroad but then that's the idea — or at least Hoyle warns us, right after an opening encounter with a touchy young white supremacist, that the trip he's taking us on is a subtle one. Displaying again his exceptional gifts as a writer and protean performer, Hoyle deftly embodies a set of real-life encounters as a means of exploring the primacy and predicament of face-to-face communication in the age of Facebook. With the help of director Charlie Varon (who co-developed the piece with Hoyle and Maureen Towey), this comes across in an entertaining and swift-flowing 75-minute act that includes a witty rap about "phone zombies" and a Dylan-esque screed at a digital detox center. But the purported subject of connection, or lack there of, in our gadget-bound and atomized society is neither very original nor very deeply explored — nor is it necessarily very provocative in a theater, before an audience already primed for the live encounter. Far more interesting and central here is Hoyle's relationship with his old college buddy Pratim, an Indian American in post-9/11 America whose words are filled with laid-back wisdom and wry humor. Also intriguing is the passing glimpse of early family life in the Hoyle household with Dan's celebrated artist father, and working-class socialist, Geoff Hoyle. These relationships, rather than the sketches of strangers (albeit very graceful ones), seem the worthier subjects to mine for truth and meaning. Indeed, there's a line spoken by Pratim that could sum up the essence of Hoyle's particular art: "It's so much better," he says, "when you find yourself in other people than when you just find yourself." Hoyle's real frontier could end up being much more personal terrain, much closer to home. (Avila)

Feisty Old Jew Marsh San Francisco Main Stage, 1062 Valencia, SF; $25-100. Sat-Sun, 5pm. Extended through July 13. Charlie Varon performs his latest solo show, a fictional comedy about "a 20th century man living in a 21st century city."

Foodies! The Musical Shelton Theater, 533 Sutter, SF; $32-34. Fri-Sat, 8pm. Open-ended. AWAT Productions presents Morris Bobrow's musical comedy revue all about food.

God Fights the Plague Marsh San Francisco Studio Theater, 1062 Valencia, SF; $15-100. Sat, 8:30pm; Sun, 7pm. Through Aug 10. The Marsh presents a solo show written by and starring 18-year-old theater phenom Dezi Gallegos.

The Homosexuals New Conservatory Theatre Center, Decker Theatre, 25 Van Ness, SF; $25-45. Wed/25-Sat/28, 8pm. This mildly intriguing and fitfully engaging drama from rising Chicago playwright Philip Dawkins (whose Failure: A Love Story is currently having its Bay Area debut at Marin Theater Company) explores the tensions — sexual, generational, and otherwise — among a small circle of mostly gay friends via a central figure, Evan (a sharp Robert Rushin), who ends up in relationships with almost everyone. Beginning in 2010, as 29-year-old Evan breaks up with older histrionic theater director Peter (a drolly world-weary Matt Weimer), each successive scene jumps back two years and one relationship, until the final scene unites the entire circle as they welcome naïve Iowa teen Evan out of the closet and to the big city. It's also a new millennium, of course, some distance now from Stonewall and the first wave of the AIDS crisis, and one of the more interesting aspects of the drama (which benefits from an overall strong cast under the direction of Arturo Catricala) is the generational divide between Evan and his circle. This divide feels downright political in the aggressive showdown between Evan and the apathetic art teacher and predatory libertine Mark (a persuasive Keith Marshall), but there's a political edge at the outset, in Evan's pointed refusal to join Peter in referring to himself as a "homosexual," insisting instead on the word "gay" tout court. Despite this underlying issue and some witty dialogue, however, there's little of interest in most of the dynamics between Evan and his circle. The play's structure accordingly becomes a slightly tedious countdown, at least until the final scene, which cashes in on the power of hindsight to produce a limited, wistful tremor of reflection. (Avila)

In the Tree of Smoke Great Star Theater, 636 Jackson, SF; $25. Thu/26-Sat/28, 8pm. Circus Automatic performs an new evening of immersive, experimental circus.

Into the Woods San Francisco Playhouse, 450 Post, SF; $20-120. Previews Wed/25-Fri/27, 8pm. Opens Sat/28, 8pm. Runs Tue-Thu, 7pm; Fri-Sat, 8pm (also Sat, 3pm); Sun, 2pm. Through Sept 6. SF Playhouse performs Stephen Sondheim's fractured fairy-tale musical.

Macbeth Fort Point (beneath the Golden Gate Bridge), SF; $30-75. Thu/26-Sun/29, 7pm. We Players' latest site-specific undertaking is nothing less than the Scottish play at San Francisco's historic Civil War-era Fort Point, under the southern base of the Golden Gate Bridge. And a better location for Shakespeare's brooding, bloody, and spooky civil war drama is hard to imagine. The grandeur of the multistory red-brick edifice with its mammoth steel doors, magnificent inner courtyard, graceful arches, spiral stairwells, mysterious passageways, cannon casemates looking onto the Pacific — as well as old cannons and cannonballs — add up to a deeply atmospheric setting. Moreover, directors Ava Roy and John Hadden and their production team make good use of it, moving the audience around the grounds for the better part of three hours amid picturesque staging of scenes, a wonderfully powerful quartet of musicians (made up of percussionist Brent Elberg, trumpeter Aaron Priskorn, saxophonist Charlie Gurke, and trombonist Mara Fox alternating with Rick Brown), and reverberant cries from the weird sisters (Julie Douglas, Maria Leigh, Caroline Parsons), the enraged MacDuff (Dixon Phillips), or usurper Macbeth's hapless victims. As the titular hero-villain, John Hadden is generally imposing if not always convincing, while Ava Roy's forceful Lady M cuts an elegant, at times ethereal figure in her magnificent black gown (the admirable costumes throughout are by Julia Rose Meeks and Master Seamstress Dana Taylor). In general, the acting proves the weakest link, but the overall spectacle makes this a unique and rather compelling outing. (Avila)

The Orphan of Zhao ACT's Geary Theater, 415 Geary, SF; $20-120. Wed/25-Sat/28, 8pm (also Wed/25 and Sat/28, 2pm). A ruthlessly ambitious general (Stan Egi) secures his hold on the emperor (Paolo Montalban) and ensures his own supremacy by orchestrating a coup in which an honorable rival (Nick Gabriel) is murdered along with his entire clan — or almost. His wife (Marie-France Arcilla), the daughter of the emperor, gives birth a short time later to his son, the orphan of the title, who as a young man (played by Daisuke Tsuji) is destined to avenge his father and family. But this proceeds by a circuitous and unexpected set of events, all of which hangs on the incredible self-sacrifice of a poor country doctor (Tony-winning star of M. Butterfly BD Wong) and his wife (Julyana Soelistyo) in alliance with an exiled nobleman (Sab Shimono). To say more would be to give too much away, but suffice to say poet James Fenton's 2012 adaptation for the Royal Shakespeare Company of this famous and enduringly popular 13th-century Chinese play about loyalty, sacrifice, and revenge (based on an even more ancient legend) brims with life in American Conservatory Theater's coproduction with La Jolla Playhouse. A fine cast, palpable characters, wonderfully stylized movement (courtesy of ACT's Stephen Buescher), exquisite design (including a multi-tiered bamboo scaffold set by Daniel Ostling, expansive lighting by Lap Chi Chu, and sumptuous costuming by Linda Cho), and choice musical passages by composer and musical director Byron Au Yong add up to a potent theatrical vision, blending Eastern and Western sensibilities, under clever and insightful direction by ACT's Carey Perloff. (Avila)

Pearls Over Shanghai Hypnodrome Theatre, 575 10th St, SF; $30-35. Thu-Sat, 8pm. Through July 26. Five years ago, Thrillpeddlers breathed new life into a glitter-dusted piece of Sixties flotsam, beautifully reimagining the Cockettes' raunchy mock-operetta Pearls Over Shanghai (in collaboration with several surviving members of San Francisco's storied acid-drag troupe) and running it for a whopping 22 months. Written by Cockette Link Martin as a carefree interpretation of a 1926 Broadway play, the baldly stereotyped Shanghai Gesture, it was the perfectly lurid vehicle for irreverence in all directions. It's back in this revival, once again helmed by artistic director Russell Blackwood with musical direction by Cockette and local favorite Scrumbly Koldewyn. But despite the frisson of featuring some original-original cast members — including "Sweet Pam" Tent (who with Koldewyn also contributes some new dialogue) and Rumi Missabu (regally reprising the role of Madam Gin Sling) — there's less fire the second time around as the production straddles the line between carefully slick and appropriately sloppy. Nevertheless, there are some fine musical numbers and moments throughout. Among these, Zelda Koznofsky, Birdie-Bob Watt, and Jesse Cortez consistently hit high notes as the singing Andrews Sisters-like trio of Americans thrown into white slavery; Bonni Suval's Lottie Wu is a fierce vixen; and Noah Haydon (as the sultry Petrushka) is a class act. Koldewyn's musical direction and piano accompaniment, meanwhile, provide strong and sure momentum as well as exquisite atmosphere. (Avila)

Shit & Champagne Rebel, 1772 Market, SF; $25. Fri-Sat, 8pm. Open-ended. D'Arcy Drollinger is Champagne White, bodacious blond innocent with a wicked left hook in this cross-dressing '70s-style white-sploitation flick, played out live on Rebel's intimate but action-packed barroom stage. Written by Drollinger and co-directed with Laurie Bushman (with high-flying choreography by John Paolillo, Drollinger, and Matthew Martin), this high-octane camp send-up of a favored formula comes dependably stocked with stock characters and delightfully protracted by a convoluted plot (involving, among other things, a certain street drug that's triggered an epidemic of poopy pants) — all of it played to the hilt by an excellent cast that includes Martin as Dixie Stampede, an evil corporate dominatrix at the head of some sinister front for world domination called Mal*Wart; Alex Brown as Detective Jack Hammer, rough-hewn cop on the case and ambivalent love interest; Rotimi Agbabiaka as Sergio, gay Puerto Rican impresario and confidante; Steven Lemay as Brandy, high-end calf model and Champagne's (much) beloved roommate; and Nancy French as Rod, Champagne's doomed fiancé. Sprawling often literally across two buxom acts, the show maintains admirable consistency: The energy never flags and the brow stays decidedly low. (Avila)

Too Much Light Makes the Baby Go Blind Boxcar Theatre, 505 Natoma, SF; $11-16. Fri-Sat, 9pm. Ongoing. The Neo-Futurists perform Greg Allen's spontaneous, ever-changing show that crams 30 plays into 60 minutes.

Triassic Parq Eureka Theater, 215 Jackson, SF; $25-36. Wed/25-Sat/28, 8pm (also Sat/28, 2pm). Ray of Light Theatre presents the Bay Area premiere of Marshall Pailet's musical involving "dinosaurs, show tunes, and sex changes."

The Weir Shelton Theater, 533 Sutter, SF; $38. Thu-Sat, 8pm. Through July 12. Shelton Theater performs Conor McPherson's acclaimed tale about a spooky night in an Irish pub.


American Buffalo Aurora Theatre, 2081 Addison, Berk; $32-60. Tue and Sun, 7pm (also Sun, 2pm); Wed-Sat, 8pm. Through July 13. Aurora Theatre closes its 22nd season with David Mamet's powerful drama.

Dead Man's Cell Phone Masquers Playhouse, 105 Park Place, Point Richmond; $22. Fri/27-Sat/28, 8pm. Masquers Playhouse performs Sarah Ruhl's imaginative comedy.

Failure: A Love Story Marin Theatre Company, 397 Miller, Mill Valley; $37-58. Wed/25, 7:30pm; Thu/26-Sat/28, 8pm (Sat/28, 2pm); Sun/29, 2 and 7pm. Marin Theatre Company performs Philip Dawkins' play about love and loss, with puppets and live music.

The Intelligent Homosexual's Guide to Capitalism and Socialism with a Key to the Scriptures Berkeley Repertory Theatre, Roda Theatre, 2015 Addison, Berk; $14.50-89. Wed/25 and Sun/29, 7pm (also Sun/29, 2pm); Thu/26-Sat/28, 7:30pm (also Thu/26 and Sat/28, 2pm). Berkeley Rep's Tony Taccone, a comrade of Tony Kushner's from way back in the Angels in America days, directs this revised version of the playwright's 2009 play, whose long title is a riff on an earlier one by George Bernard Shaw. It concerns the fractured Italian American family of a diehard Communist longshoreman named Gus (Mark Margolis in an impressive, anchoring performance), now retired, who has announced his intention to kill himself and leave his Brooklyn brownstone to the grown children to sell and divide among themselves. In today's inflated real estate market, that's not chump change either. His announcement plunges the family into chaos, though truth be told they were all kind of a mess already. Son Pill (Lou Liberatore) is a married gay high school history teacher having a torrid affair with a young hustler (Jordan Geiger), which has already cost him $30,000 of his sister's hard-earned money. His sister, Empty (Deidre Lovejoy), meanwhile couldn't care less about the baby to whom her partner (Liz Wisan) is about to give birth, courtesy of the donated sperm from her kid brother Vito (Joseph J. Parks) — who comes across as the contrarian of the family: he's neither gay nor a Communist. Other significant others are on hand, as well as Gus's sister Clio (an effective, comically deadpan Randy Danson), a onetime nun who later became a Maoist in Peru and now seems some sloshy mix of the two. And for that reason she, along with Gus, symbolizes more than most the real dilemma here: a lack of something to believe in, of a structure for explaining and shaping experience and modeling action toward a better (post-capitalist) world. At nearly four hours, the play is Kushner's version of the great American three-act family drama — those personal yet prophetic portraits by your O'Neills, your Millers, your Shepards. Tracy Letts made a similar bid with 2007's August: Osage County. I don't think either play really makes it into the pantheon, but while Letts' play was ultimately slicker, more entertaining, Kushner's has more in it, more to talk about of real relevance. Not that the production isn't also entertaining — stage business with pregnant lesbians and mysterious briefcases buried in the wall are deployed to elating effect. But the play's various subplots and characters are not equally interesting and the machinations of the plot and the sometimes-overlapping dialogue can be overwrought. But despite the tedium this produces, the political questions opened up here are liable to continue rattling around the brain after the curtain comes down, leaving one with a small but worthwhile buzz. (Avila)

Marry Me A Little Mountain View Center for the Performing Arts, 500 Castro, Mtn View; $19-73. Wed/25, 7:30pm; Thu/26-Sat/28, 8pm (also Sat/28, 8pm); Sun/29, 2 and 7pm. TheatreWorks performs Stephen Sondheim's intimate musical.

Nantucket Marsh Berkeley MainStage, 2120 Allston, Berk; $25-100 (all tickets include a picnic dinner). Thu and Sat, 7pm. Extended through July 19. Nantucket Island, a wisp of shifting sand 30 miles off the coast of Cape Cod, Mass., is the evocative setting for this autobiographical story from writer-performer Mark Kenward — less the tourists' Nantucket of summer holidays, mind you, than the inhabitants' gray and isolated winter. And just as its bleak weather stood for the tempestuous mood of Herman Melville's Ishmael before he sets sail again in Moby Dick, so the environment for Kenward's coming-of-age darkly foreshadows a terrible downward spiral. The only son and oldest child of two in a nuclear family from Normal, Ill., that really seemed to fit the bill — complete with a dad who, "in his entire life, only missed four days of shaving" — Mark becomes the odd-boy out upon the Kenwards' relocation to the remote island. An affable, poised, physically demonstrative performer with a residual Midwestern charm, Kenward describes an upbringing in a household overshadowed by a high-strung, controlling, deeply unhappy mother who, as luck would have it, also becomes his high school English teacher. This relationship is the ground for much of the play's humor, but also a trauma that blows in like a winter squall. Directed keenly, if perhaps a little too stiffly, by Rebecca Fisher, and accompanied at points by a watery island backdrop (courtesy of video designer Alfonso Alvarez), Nantucket discharges some of its messy human themes a bit too neatly but maintains an inescapable pull. (Avila)

Pygmalion 1220 Pear, Mtn View, $10-35. Thu-Sat, 8pm; Sun, 2pm. Through July 13. Pear Avenue Theatre presents the George Bernard Shaw classic.


"Call and Response" Emerald Tablet, 80 Fresno, SF; Sat/28, 6:30pm. $5-10 donation. Sound artist and composer Brenda Hutchinson presents an experimental lecture-performance.

Caroline Lugo and Carolé Acuña's Ballet Flamenco Peña Pachamama, 1630 Powell, SF; Sun/29, July 12, 19, and 27, 6:30pm. $15-19. Flamenco performance by the mother-daughter dance company, featuring live musicians.

"Dash: Improv in a Flash" Un-Scripted Theater Company, 533 Sutter, Second Flr, SF; Sat, 10pm. $15. Ongoing through Aug 30. A late-night, free-form improv show with Un-Scripted Theater Company.

"Dazzle: Broadway ... Our Way!" Nourse Theatre, 275 Hayes, SF; Wed/25-Fri/27, 8pm. $25-60. The San Francisco Gay Men's Chorus performs.

"Dream Queens Revue Pride Drag Show" Aunt Charlie's Lounge, 133 Turk, SF; Wed/25, 9:30pm. Free. Drag with Collette LeGrande, Ruby Slippers, Sophilya Leggz, Bobby Ashton, and more.

Feinstein's at the Nikko 222 Mason, SF; This week: Lea Delaria, Sat/28, 7pm, $45-60.

Five Deadly Improvisers Stage Werx Theater, 446 Valencia, SF; Fri/27-Sat/28, 8pm. $15. The comedy troupe performs a fully improvised kung-fu movie.

"French Robots" Emma's Coffeehouse, 5549 Geary, SF; Sat/28, 8pm. Free. Sketch comedy with Colin Mahan and Mike Spiegelman.

"In Her Tower" Joe Goode Annex, 401 Alabama, SF; Fri/27-Sat/28, 8pm. $20. Dance-theater performer Daria Kaufman presents an evening-length piece exploring "psycho-physical boundaries and female persona."

"Love is Queer! The Gay American Songbook" Creativity Theater, Yerba Buena Gardens, 221 Fourth St, SF; Wed/25-Thu/26, 8pm. $15-25. Circus, drag, and cabaret combine for this performance, featuring Honey Mahogany, M.Lee, Eli Conley's Queer Choir, same-sex ballroom dancers, and more. Presented by the Queer Cultural Center as part of the National Queer Arts Festival.

"Magic at the Rex" Hotel Rex, 562 Sutter, SF; Sat, 8pm. Ongoing. $25. Magic and mystery with Adam Sachs and mentalist Sebastian Boswell III.

Arianne MacBean and the Big Show Co. ODC Theater, 3153 17th St, SF; Thu/26-Sat/28, 8pm. $23-28. The LA-based dance-theater group performs The People Go Where The Chairs Are (2012) and premiere present tense.

"Mission in the Mix" Dance Mission Theater, 3316 24th St, SF; Fri-Sat, 8pm; Sun, 7pm. Through June 29. $18. Micaya presents a concert of local hip-hop groups, including SoulForce Dance Company.

New Style Motherlode ODC Dance Commons, Studio B, 351 Shotwell, SF; Sat/28, 7pm. $25-50. The dance company and guests perform In the Round.

"One Night Only Benefit Cabaret" Club Fugazi, 678 Beach Blanket Babylon Blvd, SF; Mon/30, 7:30pm. $25-100. The Richmond/Ermet AIDS Foundation benefits from this concert featuring company members from Once and Erich Bergen (Jersey Boys) and David Burnham (Wicked).

"Out of Line Improv" Stage Werx, 446 Valencia, SF; Sat, 10:30pm. $12. Ongoing. A new, completely improvised show every week.

"Pansy" New Conservatory Theatre Center, 25 Van Ness, SF; Wed/25-Sat/28, 8pm. $15-20. Evan Johnson returns to NCTC with his solo play inspired by Peter Pan.

Ishmael Reed SFJAZZ Center, 201 Franklin, SF; Sat/28, 7pm. Free. The legendary poet reads with live musical accompaniment.

"San Francisco Comedy College" Purple Onion at Kells, 530 Jackson, SF; $5-10. "New Talent Show," Wed-Thu, 7. Ongoing. "The Cellar Dwellers," stand-up comedy, Wed-Thu, 8:15pm and Fri-Sat, 7:30pm. Ongoing.

"San Francisco Conservatory of Dance Summer Dance Series" SF Conservatory of Dance, 301 Eighth St #270, SF; July 1-2, 6:30 and 8pm. $5-10. Collaborations between dancers and musicians.

San Francisco Ethnic Dance Festival Yerba Buena Center for the Arts Theater, 700 Howard, SF; Sat/28-Sun/29, 8pm (also Sun/29, 2pm). $18-58. With Alafia Dance Ensemble, Ballet Folklórico Compañía Mexico Danza, Jubilee American Dance Theatre, Lily Cai Chinese Dance Company, Proyecto Lando/Cunamacué Collaboration, Sahiyar Dance Troupe, Sewam American Indian Dance, and Te Mana O Te Ra.

"SF Gay Pride All Star Comedy Show" Magnet, 4122 18th St, SF; Sat/28, 8pm. Free. Hella Gay Comedy presents Zachary Toczynski, Ash Fisher, Kelly Doyle, Jesus Fuentes, and others, with host Charlie Ballard.

"This Is All I Need Costume Shop at ACT, 1117 Market, SF; July 2-3 and 5-6, 8pm. $25. The company kicks off a celebration of its 10th season with an anniversary performance of Wolfgang Lancelot Wachalovsky's 2010 drama.

"Yerba Buena Gardens Festival" Yerba Buena Gardens, 760 Howard, SF; Free. Through Oct 26. This week: Bells Atlas, Thu/26, 12:30pm; Circus Bella, Fri/27-Sa/28, noon.


"Ella, the Musical" Lesher Center for the Arts, 1601 Civic, Walnut Creek; Wed, 7:30pm; Thu-Sat, 8pm (no show July 4); Sun, 2:30. Through July 6. $37-65. Center REPertory Company presents Yvette Carson as the legendary vocalist Ella Fitzgerald.

"Fallen Heroes, Rising Stars: A Juneteenth Celebration Through Dance" Diablo Valley College Theater, 321 Golf Club Rd, Pleasant Hill; Fri/27, 8pm. $30. Also Sat/28, 8pm, $30, California Theatre, 351 Railroad, Pittsburg; Grown Women Dance Collective and Aspire Pilates Center present this upbeat dance tribute to African American artists.

"MarshJam Improv Comedy Show" Marsh Berkeley, 2120 Allston, Berk; Fri, 8pm. Ongoing. $10. Improv comedy with local legends and drop-in guests.

"Virago Theatre Company New Play Reading Series" Flight Deck, 1540 Broadway, Oakl; Wed, 7pm. Through July 2. Free. This week: Disclosure by Carol Lashof; July 2, A Routine Procedure by Deborah Dashow Ruth.

"What Stays" Shawl-Anderson Dance Center, 2704 Alcatraz, Berk; Fri/27-Sat/28, 8pm; Sun/29, 5pm. $20-25. Right Brain Performancelab and Dance Up Close/East Bay present this exploration of living spaces via dance, song, and shadows. *