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 . For further information on how to submit items for the listings, see Picks.
"Risk Is This...The Cutting Ball New Experimental Plays Festival" Exit on Taylor, 277 Taylor, SF; www.cuttingball.com . Free ($20 for reserved seating; $50 for five-play reserved seating festival pass). Jan 11-Feb 9. Three new works (by Sean San José, Dipika Guha, and Basil Kreimendahl) and two new "Risk Translations."
Intimate Apparel Pear Avenue Theatre, 1220 Pear, Mtn View; www.thepear.org . $10-30. Previews Thu/10, 8pm. Opens Fri/11, 8pm. Runs Thu-Sat, 8pm; Sun, 2pm. Through Jan 27. Pear Avenue Theatre performs Lynn Nottage's drama about a seamstress in 1905 New York City.
Bell, Book and Candle SF Playhouse, 450 Post, SF; www.sfplayhouse.org . $30-60. Tue-Thu, 7pm; Fri-Sat, 8pm (also Sat, 3pm). Through Jan 19. John van Druten's 1950 Broadway comedy (later a film with Jimmy Stewart and Kim Novak) is the fluff that woozy holiday evenings are made on, striking an appealing balance between wacky storyline, witty banter, and lightly lathered romance. Gillian Holroyd (Lauren English), the powerful young witch and landlady of a swank Manhattan apartment building, has the hots for a disgruntled neighbor, the recently engaged publisher Shepherd Henderson (William Connell), who's lately come home to find Gillian's mischievous sister (Zehra Berkman) in his locked apartment. Gillian may be a witch, but she's far too ethical to actually work a little magic on the object of her desire, seeing as he's already spoken for at least until she learns the woman in question is an old nemesis from college. All's fair in love and war, counsels loving warlock and brother Nicky (Scott Cox), who soon brings into the mix a hapless author (Louis Parnell) researching witches in New York City. Gillian, meanwhile, flirts with kryptonite, since witches who fall in love lose their powers. Director Bill English's sure treatment for SF Playhouse features enjoyable performances across the cast, but Connell's classically tailored comic leading man and Lauren English's alternately proud, kittenish, and vulnerable heroine are the indispensable spellbinders. (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.
Hedwig and the Angry Inch Boxcar Playhouse, 505 Natoma, SF; www.boxcartheatre.org . $25-35. Wed-Sat, 8pm (also Sat, 5pm). Through Jan 26. Boxcar's popular production of John Cameron Mitchell's glam-rock musical returns, starring a rotating cast of Hedwigs.
The Listener: Short Stories on Stage, A Cycle of Original Comic Stories Marsh San Francisco, 1062 Valencia, SF; www.themarsh.org . $15-50. Sat, 8pm; Sun, 5pm (Jan 27, shows at 3 and 7pm). Through Jan 27. Charlie Varon reads five comic short stories, presented in two parts. Part one: Sat/12-Sun/13; Part two: Jan 19-20 and 26; parts one and two in succession: Jan 27.
The Marvelous Wonderettes New Conservatory Theatre Center, 25 Van Ness, SF; www.nctcsf.org . $27-46. Wed/9-Sat/12, 8pm; Sun/13, 2pm. New Conservatory Theatre Center performs Roger Bean's 1950s pop-hit musical.
Something Cloudy, Something Clear Eureka Theatre, 215 Jackson, SF; www.therhino.org . $15-30. Wed/9-Sat/12, 8pm; Sun/13, 3pm. Theatre Rhinoceros performs one of Tennessee Williams' lesser-known works, based on the playwright's own early years.
The Waiting Period Marsh San Francisco, 1062 Valencia, SF; www.themarsh.org . $15-50. Fri, 8pm; Sat, 5pm. Extended through Jan 26. Brian Copeland (comedian, TV and radio personality, and creator-performer of the long-running solo play Not a Genuine Black Man) returns to the Marsh with a new solo, this one based on more recent and messier events` in Copeland's life. The play concerns an episode of severe depression in which he considered suicide, going so far as to purchase a handgun the title coming from the legally mandatory 10-day period between purchasing and picking up the weapon, which leaves time for reflections and circumstances that ultimately prevent Copeland from pulling the trigger. A grim subject, but Copeland (with co-developer and director David Ford) ensures there's plenty of humor as well as frank sentiment along the way. The actor peoples the opening scene in the gun store with a comically if somewhat stereotypically rugged representative of the Second Amendment, for instance, as well as an equally familiar "doood" dude at the service counter. Afterward, we follow Copeland, a just barely coping dad, home to the house recently abandoned by his wife, and through the ordinary routines that become unbearable to the clinically depressed. Copeland also recreates interviews he's made with other survivors of suicidal depression. Telling someone about such things is vital to preventing their worst outcomes, says Copeland, and telling his own story is meant to encourage others. It's a worthy aim but only a fitfully engaging piece, since as drama it remains thin, standing at perhaps too respectful a distance from the convoluted torment and alienation at its center. (Avila)
The World's Funniest Bubble Show Marsh San Francisco, 1062 Valencia, SF; www.themarsh.org . $8-50. Sun, 11am. Extended through March 17. The Amazing Bubble Man (a.k.a. Louis Pearl) continues his family-friendly bubble extravaganza.
Acid Test: The Many Incarnations of Ram Dass Marsh Berkeley, 2120 Allston, Berk; www.themarsh.org . $15-50. Sat, 8pm; Sun, 3pm. Extended through Feb 17. Lynne Kaufman's new play stars Warren David Keith as the noted spiritual figure.
Troublemaker, or the Freakin Kick-A Adventures of Bradley Boatwright Berkeley Repertory Theatre, Thrust Stage, 2025 Addison, Berk; www.berkeleyrep.org . $29-77. Opens Wed/9, 8pm. Runs Tue and Thu-Sat, 8pm (also Sat, 2pm); Wed and Sun, 7pm (also Sun, 2pm). Through Feb 3. Berkeley Rep presents the world premiere of a play about a 12-year-old wannabe superhero it commissioned from writer Dan LeFranc.
Woyzeck Ashby Stage, 1901 Ashby, Berk; www.shotgunplayers.org . $23-35. Wed-Thu, 7pm; Fri-Sat, 8pm (also Sat/12 and Jan 19, 5pm); Sun, 5pm. Extended through Jan 20. Shotgun Players presents Tom Waits, Kathleen Brennan, and Robert Wilson's tragic musical, based on an unfinished 1837 play by Georg Büchner.
Caroline Lugo and Carolé Acuña's Ballet Flamenco Peña Pachamama, 1630 Powell, SF; www.carolinalugo.com . Sun/13, 6:15pm. $15-19. Flamenco performance by the mother-daughter dance company, featuring live musicians.
"Comedy Returns to El Rio" 3158 Mission, SF; www.koshercomedy.com . Mon/14, 8pm. $7-20. With Dhaya Lakshminarayanan, Steven Alan Green, Kenny Yun, Bobby Golden, and Lisa Geduldig.
"Comedy Stars All Pro Showcase" Neck of the Woods, 406 Clement, SF; www.neckofthewoodssf.com . Tue/15, 8pm. $8. Hosted by Danny Dechi and featuring Al Clethen, Bob Sarlatte, Bobby Salem, Will Durst, and more.
"Cynic Cave" Cinecave (beneath Lost Weekend Video), 1034 Valencia, SF; facebook.com/cyniccave. Sat/12, 6pm: live recording of "Friday Night Film School" podcast. Sat/12, 8pm, $10: comedy with Kaseem Bentley, Caitlin Gill, Matt Louv, and more.
"Dance Rush" Palace of Fine Arts, 3301 Lyon, SF; www.dance-rush.com . Fri-Sat, 7pm (also Sat, 2pm); Sun, 2pm. Through Jan 20. $58.50-110. A "mega production" featuring Yada's Dance Company, comprised of 40 dancers (performing jazz, ballet, folk, and contemporary styles) on tour from Malta.
"Dream Queens Revue" Aunt Charlie's Lounge, 133 Turk, SF; www.dreamqueensrevue.com . Wed/9, 9:30pm. Free. Drag with Collette LeGrande, Ruby Slippers, Sophilya Leggz, and more.
"A Funny Night for Comedy" Actor's Theatre of San Francisco, 855 Bush, SF; www.natashamuse.com . Sun/13, 7pm. $10. With Scott Capurro and hosts Natasha Muse and Ryan Cronin.
"Ham Pants Productions Presents! Sketch Comedy!" Stage Werx, 446 Valencia, SF; www.hampantsproductions.com . Tue/15, 8pm. $10. Promising sexy dancing, dirty songs, and "psychotic love poetry."
"Reveries and Elegies" CounterPULSE, 1310 Mission, SF; www.counterpulse.org . Sat/12-Sun/13, 4:15pm. $20. Mary Armentrout Dance Theater performs a new site-specific performance installation.
"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.
"Your Body Is Not a Shark" ODC Theater, 3153 17th St, SF; www.odctheater.org . Fri/11-Sat/12, 8pm; Sun/13, 3pm. $18-24. CADENZA and Cid Pearlman/Performance Projects presents this world premiere, choreographed by Cid Pearlman with an original score by Joan Jeanrenaud.