Stage Listings

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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 listings@sfbg.com.

THEATER

OPENING

Dirty Dancing: Live! Dark Room, 2263 Mission, SF; dirtydancinglive-fbe.eventbrite.com. $20. Opens Fri/3, 8pm. Runs Fri-Sat, 8pm. Through May 25. Watermelons will be carried, lifts will be attempted, eyes will be hungry, and nobody better put Baby in a corner.

Last Love Mojo Theatre, 2940 16th St, SF; www.mojotheatre.com. $30. Opens Thu/2, 8pm. Runs Thu-Sun, 8pm. Through May 19. Mojo Theatre performs Peter Papadopoulos' play about two couples struggling through "the landmines of love."

Little Me Eureka Theatre, 215 Jackson, SF; www.42ndstreetmoon.org. $25-75. Previews Wed/1, 7pm; Thu/2-Fri/3, 8pm. Opens Sat/4, 6pm. Runs Wed, 7pm; Thu-Fri, 8pm; Sat, 6pm. Through May 19. 42nd Street Moon performs Neil Simon's outrageous musical.

The Merry Wives of Windsor Buriel Clay Theater, African American Art and Culture Complex, 762 Fulton, SF; www.african-americanshakes.org. $10-35. Opens Sat/4, 8pm. Runs Sat, 8pm; Sun, 3pm. Through May 26. African-American Shakespeare Company performs a twist on the Shakespeare classic, set in an urban neighborhood in the 1950s.

"PlayGround Festival of New Works" Various venues, SF and Berk; www.playground-sf.org. $15-40. May 1-26. The 17th fest presented by "San Francisco's incubator for a new generation of playwrights" includes the PlayGround Film Festival, staged readings of four new full-length plays, a fully-produced program of six short plays, panel discussions, and more.

ONGOING

Acid Test: The Many Incarnations of Ram Dass Marsh San Francisco, 1062 Valencia, SF; www.themarsh.org. $15-50. Fri, 8pm; Sat, 5pm (May 11, show at 8pm). Through May 18. Playwright Lynne Kaufman invites you to take a trip with Richard Alpert, a.k.a. Ram Dass (Warren David Keith), as he recounts times high and low in this thoughtful, funny, and sometimes unexpected biographical rumination on the quest for truth and meaning in a seemingly random life by one of the big wigs of the psychedelic revolution and (with his classic book, Be Here Now) contemporary Eastern-looking spirituality. Directed by Joel Mullennix, the narrative begins with Ram Dass today, in his Hawaiian home and partly paralyzed from a stroke, but Keith (one of the Bay Area's best stage actors, who is predictably sure and engagingly multilayered in the role) soon shakes off the stiff arm and strained speech and springs to his feet to continue the narrative as the ideal self perhaps only transcendental consciousness and theater allow. Nevertheless, Kaufman's fun-loving and extroverted Alpert is no saint and no model of perfection, which is the refreshing truth explored in the play, but rather a seeker still, ever imperfect and ever trying for greater perfection or at least the wisdom of acceptance. As the privileged queer child of a wealthy Jewish lawyer and industrialist, Alpert was both insider and outsider from the get-go, and that tension and ambiguity makes for an interesting angle on his life as well as the complexities of his relationships with a homophobic Leary, for instance, and his conservative but ultimately loving father. Perfection aside, the beauty in the subject and the play is the subtle, shrewd cherishing of what remains unfinished. (Avila)

Boomeraging: From LSD to OMG Marsh San Francisco, 1062 Valencia, SF; www.themarsh.org. $15-50. Tue, 8pm. Through May 28. Comedian Will Durst performs his brand-new solo show.

The Expulsion of Malcolm X Southside Theatre, Fort Mason Center, Marina at Laguna, SF; www.fortmason.org. $30-42.50. Fri/3-Sat/4, 8pm; Sun/5, 3pm. Colors of Vision Entertainment and GO Productions present Larry Americ Allen's drama about the relationship between Malcolm X and Elijah Muhammad.

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.

How To Make Your Bitterness Work For You Stage Werx Theatre, 446 Valencia, SF; www.bitternesstobetterness.com. $15-25. Sun/5, 2pm. Fred Raker performs his comedy about the self-help industry.

I'm Not OK, Cupid :( Shelton Theatre, 533 Sutter, SF; www.leftcoasttheatreco.org. $15-35. Thu/2-Sat/4, 8pm. Left Coast Theatre Co., a new company formed in 2012 from the gay men's writing group GuyWriters Playwrights, offers this rocky but sometimes clever evening of seven short gay comedies about love, relationships, getting it on, getting it off, and so forth. The evening begins with Andrew Black's A Small Fishing Village Wedged Between Estonia and Latvia, set in the Castro, where a gay couple (Chris Maltby and Dene Larson) try to foil a mixed couple of would-be robbers (Laura Espino and Richard Sargent) by injecting some homoerotic tension between their otherwise heterosexual vibe. Directed by ShawnJ West, it's drolly if inconsistently acted, but never very funny, and followed by three more non-starters: James A. Martin's Lollipops, Rodney "Rhoda" Taylor's Goodbye, Cupid, and Black's verse-bound Arlecchino's Last Prank. The second half of the bill proves more satisfying overall — Rich Orloff's Chekhov-inspired That Bitch, directed by Joseph Frank and featuring the able trio of Hayley Saccomano, Laura Espino, and Danielle O'Dea; Joseph Frank's wacky The Parenthetical Trap, directed by Frank and Saccomano, wherein sibling rivalry (i.e., the amusingly puerile duo of Kyle Glasow and Dawson Montoya) meets dysfunctional family (rounded out by Gabrielle Motarjemi and Frank) reunited in musical harmony; and Alex Dremann's randy and well-acted Four Dry Tongues, directed by ShawnJ West, in which friends Ginny (Angela Chandra) and Tristan (Michael Erickson) compete for the affection of guest Matt (Robert Rushin) by flirting with his gorgeously haughty lesbian friend Laura (Danielle O'Dea). (Avila)

The Lost Folio: Shakespeare's Musicals Un-Scripted Theater, 533 Sutter, Second Flr, SF; www.un-scripted.com. $10-20. Thu-Sat, 8pm. Through May 18. Un-Scripted Theater Company performs a fully-improvised, full-length musical inspired by Shakespeare.

The Lullaby Tree Phoenix Theater, 414 Mason, SF; www.secondwind.8m.com. $15-35. Thu/2-Sat/4, 8pm. In the face of the ever more extensive and controversial spread of GMO foods worldwide — not to mention last year's state battle over Prop 37 — Second Wind premieres founding member and playwright Ian Walker's half-whimsical, half-hardheaded drama about a boy searching for his mother in the underworld and a small band of lawyers and environmentalists going toe-to-toe with a multinational over the ownership of a mysterious crop of genetically engineered corn. It will eventually become plain that the two stories are linked, but first a ten-year-old boy (Samuel Berston) befriends a somewhat shrunken giant (Davern Wright) in an attempt to find his mother (Evangeline Crittenden) in an enchanted and hostile land of dragons. Elsewhere, Tim (Walker) and law partner Nod (Wright) prepare to do legal battle with a modern-day dragon, in the person of a corporate attorney (Cheryl Smith) for the ominous Mendes Corporation (read: Monsanto). They will argue over the ownership of the corn that has sprung up on the banks of a drowned town, and which may spell environmental disaster for the nature preserve surrounding it. In this fight Tim and Nod are in uneasy, ultimately disastrous alliance with activist Callie (Crittenden), whom Nod distrusts and with whom Tim is hopelessly smitten. The result is a convoluted plot and a fitful production (co-directed by Walker and Misha Hawk-Wyatt) in which a three-pronged story precariously balances the fairy tale, the romance, and the legal battle. It's the last prong that offers the more interesting if formulaic scenes, in which the politics of GMOs mesh with the swashbuckling machinations of the attorneys. But the less compelling strands converge and take precedence, forcing things down a sentimental and forgettable road. (Avila)

reasons to be pretty San Francisco Playhouse, 450 Post, Second Flr, SF; www.sfplayhouse.org. $30-100. Tue-Thu, 7pm; Fri-Sat, 8pm (also Sat, 3pm). Through May 11. Completing a trilogy of plays about body awareness and self-image (along with The Shape of Things and Fat Pig), Neil LaBute's reasons to be pretty begins with a misconstrued remark that quickly gathers enough weight and momentum to tear three sets of relationships apart in the span of a two-hour play. The SF Playhouse production begins with a bang, or rather an awesomely knock-down, blow-out breakup fight between a righteously pissed-off Steph (Lauren English) and her awkwardly passive boyfriend Greg (Craig Marker), who has inadvertently referred to her as "regular" in a conversation with his jerkish buddy Kent (Patrick Russell), which she takes to mean he finds her ugly. English's Steph is at turns ferocious and fragile, and her comic timing as she eviscerates Greg's looks in a mall food court zings, while the hyperkinetic Russell elevates the condition of noxiously irredeemable douchebag to an art form. But terrific acting and polished design can only make up so much for a script that feels not only flawed, barely scratching the surface of the whys and wherefores each character has internalized an unrealistic view of the importance of conventional beauty standards, but also already dated, with its circa-2008 pop culture references. Ultimately it gives the impression of being a rerun of a Lifetime television drama that wraps itself up into a too-neat package just in time for the final credits to roll to its admittedly kickass soundtrack (provided by Billie Cox). (Gluckstern)

Sam I Am: A Processional of Short Plays and Prose About Samuel Beckett Bindlestiff Studio, 185 Sixth St, SF; www.pustheatre.com. $10-20. Fri-Sat, 8pm; Sun, 2pm. Through May 11. Performers Under Stress remounts and revamps its series of short plays and pieces by Samuel Beckett, this time staging it throughout the basement quarters of Bindlestiff Studio, where audiences are led around an economical maze of performance spaces. Opening weekend consisted of too much text and too little in way of staging ideas, especially with several spoken selections of Beckett prose (which have reportedly since been dropped from the program). The best of what remains (in a program of six short plays total) includes Valerie Fachman's respectable performance as the disembodied "mouth" of the brilliant Not I; and James Udom and Geo Epsilany's duet in Rough for Theatre I, in which a wheelchair-bound food-hoarder (a softly eccentric Epsilany) strikes up a doomed friendship with a blind beggar (a solid Udom) amid a colorless and barren landscape. The bucket of Beckett dreary gets less satisfying from there, though director Scott Baker's wordless performance as the titular Joe in Eh Joe proves poised and the doubled voices in his head (by Melissa Clason and Allison Hunter Blackwell) both haunting and intriguing. (Avila)

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)

Steve Seabrook: Better Than You Marsh San Francisco, 1062 Valencia, SF; www.themarsh.org. $15-50. Thu, 8pm; Sat, 8:30pm. Extended through May 18. Self-awareness, self-actualization, self-aggrandizement — for these things we turn to the professionals: the self-empowerment coaches, the self-help authors and motivational speakers. What's the good of having a "self" unless someone shows you how to use it? Writer-performer Kurt Bodden's Steve Seabrook wants to sell you on a better you, but his "Better Than You" weekend seminar (and tie-in book series, assorted CDs, and other paraphernalia) belies a certain divided loyalty in its own self-flattering title. The bitter fruit of the personal growth industry may sound overly ripe for the picking, but Bodden's deftly executed "seminar" and its behind-the-scenes reveals, directed by Mark Kenward, explore the terrain with panache, cool wit, and shrewd characterization. As both writer and performer, Bodden keeps his Steve Seabrook just this side of overly sensational or maudlin, a believable figure, finally, whose all-too-ordinary life ends up something of a modest model of its own. (Avila)

Talk Radio Actors Theatre of San Francisco, 855 Bush, SF; www.actorstheatresf.org. $26-38. Wed-Sat, 8pm. Through June 15. Actors Theatre of San Francisco performs Eric Bogosian's breakthrough 1987 drama.

Tinsel Tarts in a Hot Coma: The Next Cockettes Musical Hypnodrome, 575 10th St, SF; www.thrillpeddlers.com. $30-35. Thu-Sat, 8pm. Through June 1. Thrillpeddlers and director Russell Blackwood continue their Theatre of the Ridiculous series with this 1971 musical from San Francisco's famed glitter-bearded acid queens, the Cockettes, revamped with a slew of new musical material by original member Scrumbly Koldewyn, and a freshly re-minted book co-written by Koldewyn and "Sweet Pam" Tent — both of whom join the large rotating cast of Thrillpeddler favorites alongside a third original Cockette, Rumi Missabu (playing diner waitress Brenda Breakfast like a deliciously unhinged scramble of Lucille Ball and Bette Davis). This is Thrillpeddlers' third Cockettes revival, a winning streak that started with Pearls Over Shanghai. While not quite as frisky or imaginative as the production of Pearls, it easily charms with its fine songs, nifty routines, exquisite costumes, steady flashes of wit, less consistent flashes of flesh, and de rigueur irreverence. The plot may not be very easy to follow, but then, except perhaps for the bubbly accounting of the notorious New York flop of the same show 42 years ago by Tent (as poisoned-pen gossip columnist Vedda Viper), it hardly matters. (Avila)

The Waiting Period Marsh San Francisco, 1062 Valencia, SF; www.themarsh.org. $25-50. Fri, 8pm; Sat, 5pm. Through May 18. 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. Note: review from an earlier run of the same production. (Avila)

The World's Funniest Bubble Show Marsh San Francisco, 1062 Valencia, SF; www.themarsh.org. $8-50. Sun, 11am. Through July 21. Louis "The Amazing Bubble Man" Pearl returns after a month-long hiatus with his popular, kid-friendly bubble show.

BAY AREA

The Arsonists Aurora Theatre, 2081 Addison, Berk; www.auroratheatre.org. $35-60. Tue and Sun, 7pm (also Sun, 2pm); Wed-Sat, 8pm. Through May 12. There's a lot of humor to be found in Alistair Beaton's crackling translation of Max Frisch's The Arsonists, playing now at the Aurora Theatre, but much of the laughter it elicits is of the nervous variety, as the play's mostly protagonist, the effete, bourgeois Herr Biedermann (Dan Hiatt) inadvertently signs off on his own destruction when he invites an uncouth arsonist to come and stay in his attic (Michael Ray Wisely). "If we assume everyone is an arsonist, where does that get us?" becomes his standard deflection, as one arsonist becomes two (adding in the unctuous, nihilistic Tim Kniffin), and the empty attic a repository for giant drums of gasoline, a detonator, and fuse wire — arousing the suspicions of a chorus of firefighters (Kevin Clarke, Tristan Cunningham, Michael Uy Kelly), who act as the conscience and guardians of the township. Although on the surface the scenario is patently absurd, the message that passivity in the face of evil is like helping to measure out the fuse wire that will eventually claim your life, is relatively clear. "Not every fire is determined by fate," point out the firefighters right in the first act. Hiatt, as Biedermann, strikes an admirable balance between loathsome and powerless, while Gwen Loeb shines as his socialite wife, Babette, as does Dina Percia as his agitated housemaid, Anna. (Gluckstern)

The Coast of Utopia: Voyage & Shipwreck Ashby Stage, 1901 Ashby, Berk; www.shotgunplayers.org. $20-35. Shipwreck runs Wed/1-Thu/2, 7pm; Fri/3-Sat/4, 8pm; Sun/5, 5pm. Voyage runs Sat/4, 3pm. Last year in the Shotgun Players' production of Voyage, the first part of Tom Stoppard's The Coast of Utopia trilogy (also playing in repertory through May 4), we were introduced to a tight circle of Russian thinkers and dreamers, chafing against the oppressive regime of Nicholas I. In the second part, Shipwrecked, we find them older, perhaps wiser, struggling to keep their revolutionary ideals alive while also juggling familial concerns and personal passions. Focused mainly on Alexander Herzen (Patrick Kelley Jones) and family, Shipwrecked travels from Russia to Germany, France, Italy, and the English Channel, buffeted from all directions by the forces of the uprisings and burgeoning political consciousness of the European proletariat. It's an unwieldy, sprawling world that Stoppard, and history, have built (made somewhat more so by the Shotgun production's strangely languid pace during even the most dramatic sequences) but it's worth making the effort to spend time absorbing the singular world views of Russian émigré Herzen, his impulsively passionate wife Natalie (Caitlyn Louchard), the cantankerous, influential critic Vissarion Belinsky (Nick Medina), professional rabble-rouser Michael Bakunin (Joseph Salazar) and up-and-coming writer Ivan Turgenev (Richard Reinholdt) as they desperately seek to carve out both their personal identities and a greater, cohesive Russian one from the imperfect turmoil of Western philosophy. (Gluckstern)

The Dead Girl Avant Garde, 1328 Fourth St, San Rafael; www.altertheater.org. $25. Wed, 7:30pm; Fri-Sat, 8pm; Sun, 3pm. Through May 19. AlterTheater performs 90-year-old playwright Ann Brebner's new family drama.

A Killer Story Marsh Berkeley, 2120 Allston, Berk; www.themarsh.org. $20-50. Thu-Sat, 8pm (pre-show cabaret at 7:15pm). Through May 18. Dan Harder's film noir-inspired detective tale premieres at the Marsh Berkeley.

Pericles, Prince of Tyre Berkeley Repertory Theatre, 2025 Addison, Berk; www.berkeleyrep.org. $29-77. Tue, Thu-Sat, 8pm (also Sat and May 23, 2pm; no show May 24); Wed and Sun, 7pm (also Sun, 2). Through May 26. Mark Wing-Davey directs Berkeley Rep's take on the Bard.

PERFORMANCE/DANCE

Simon Amstell Brava Theater, 2781 24th St, SF; www.brava.org. Sat/4, 8 and 10pm. $31. The British comedian performs.

"Baasics.3: The Deep End" ODC Theater, 3153 17th St, SF; www.baasics.com. Mon/6, 7pm. Free (limited seating). Bay Area Art and Science Interdisciplinary Collaborative Sessions produces its third program, featuring artists and scientists discussing and presenting, via artistic methods, various neurodiversities.

"Baile en la Calle: The Mural Dances" Brava Theater, 2781 24th St, SF; www.brava.org. Sun/5, 11:30am, 12:15pm, 1pm, and 1:45pm. Free. Four free dance performances in a variety of styles, presented in front of five Mission District murals. Guided walking tours start at Brava.

"Bound for Glory" Marsh San Francisco, 1062 Valencia, SF; www.themarsh.org. Sat/4, 5pm; Sun/5, 3pm; May 10, 7:30pm; May 11, 2pm. $8-50. Marsh Youth Theater's MainStage Performance Ensemble presents a musical (written by the ensemble with director Lisa Quoresimo) about a Dust Bowl-era family.

"Cabaret Showcase Showdown: Best Female Crooner" Martuni's, 4 Valencia, SF; (415) 241-0205. Sun/5, 7pm. $7. With guest judge Linda Kosut and guest entertainer Sabrina Chap.

Caroline Lugo and Carolé Acuña's Ballet Flamenco Peña Pachamama, 1630 Powell, SF; www.carolinalugo.com. Sat, 6:15pm. Through May 18. $15-19. Flamenco performance by the mother-daughter dance company, featuring live musicians.

"Comedy Stars Showcase" Neck of the Woods, 406 Clement, SF; www.dannydechi.com. Tue/7, 8pm. $10. With host Danny Dechi and guests Bobby Salem, Charlie Ballard, and more.

Company C Contemporary Ballet Z Space, 450 Florida, SF; www.companyballet.org/performances. Thu/2-Sat/4, 8pm. $23-45. Also May 9-11, 8pm; May 12, 1pm, Lesher Center for the Arts, 1601 Civic, Walnut Creek; www.lesherartscenter.org. The company's spring program features Natoma, a world premiere by Company C dancer David von Ligon.

Hope Mohr Dance ODC Theater, 3153 17th St, SF; www.odcdance.org. Fri/3-Sat/4, 8pm; Sun/5, 2pm. $20-30. The company presents its sixth home season, including the world premiere of Hope Mohr's Failure of the Sign is the Sign.

Kunst-Stoff Dance Company Old Mint, 88 Fifth St, SF; www.kunst-stoff.org. Wed/1-Thu/2, 7pm, 7:40pm, and 8:20pm. Free. Yannis Adoniou and company celebrate 15 years of Kunst-Stoff with the world premiere of Rapport, presented at the historic Old Mint Building.

"May Day 2013" CounterPULSE, 1310 Mission, SF; www.counterpulse.org. Fri/3-Sun/5, 8pm. $35-5000. Three nights of performances benefit CounterPULSE. The line-up includes Keith Hennessy, Sean Dorsey, Jess Curtis/Gravity, DavEnd, Marc Bamutho Joseph, Monique Jenkinson, and more.

"Mission Position Live" Cinecave, 1034 Valencia, SF; www.missionpositionlive.com. Thu, 8pm. Ongoing. $10. Stand-up comedy with rotating performers.

"Mutiny Radio Comedy Showcase" Mutiny Radio, 2781 21st St, SF; www.mutinyradio.org. Fri/3, 8:30pm. $5-20. Podcast Pamtastic's Comedy Clubhouse presents this showcase of local comics.

"The News" SOMArts Cultural Center, 934 Brannan, SF; somarts.com/thenews. Tue/7, 7:30pm. $5. This month's installment in the new and experimental performance series previews four shows from the upcoming National Queer Arts Festival.

Paul Taylor Dance Company Lam Research Theater, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, 700 Howard, SF; www.sfperformances.org. Wed/1-Sat/4, 8pm; Sun/5, 2pm. $35-60. Local premieres include Kith and Kin, To Make Crops Grow, and The Uncommitted.

"Picklewater Clown Cabaret Benefit for the Medical Clown Project" Stage Werx Theatre, 446 Valencia, SF; ww.brownpapertickets.com. Mon/6, 8pm. $25. Picklewater Clown Cabaret performs to raise money for an ongoing project providing therapeutic clowning for adult and pediatric patients in Bay Area hospitals.

Red Hots Burlesque El Rio, 3158 Mission, SF; www.redhotsburlesque.com. Wed, 7:30-9pm. Ongoing. $5-10. Come for the burlesque show, stay for OMG! Karaoke starting at 8pm (no cover for karaoke).

"Rotunda Dance Series: Chitresh Das Dance Company" San Francisco City Hall, Grove at Van Ness, SF; www.dancersgroup.org. Fri/3, noon. Free. Free performance by the acclaimed Kathak dance troupe under the rotunda at City Hall.

San Francisco Ballet War Memorial Opera House, 301 Van Ness, SF; www.sfballet.org. Fri-Sat, Tue/7, and May 9, 8pm (also May 11, 2pm); Sun, 2pm; May 8, 7:30pm. Through May 12. $45-250. Performing the US premiere of Christopher Wheeldon's Cinderella.

"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.

"A Spaghetti Western" Stage Werx Theatre, 446 Valencia, SF; www.clownsnotbombs.com. Fri-Sat, 8pm (also Sat, 2pm). Through May 11. $15-20. ClownSnotBombs performs a circus adventure about pasta and the Wild West.

"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.

"Yerba Buena Gardens Festival" Yerba Buena Gardens, Mission between 3rd and 4th Sts, SF; www.ybgfestival.org. Through Oct 15. Free. This week: Anna Halprin's Planetary Dance (Sun/5, 2-3pm).

BAY AREA

Gamelan Sekar Jaya Julia Morgan Theater, 2640 College, Berk; www.brownpapertickets.com. Sun/5, 7:30pm. $10-20. Music and dance of Bali, featuring the world premiere of Warna.

"Les 7 Doigts de la Main" Zellerbach Hall, UC Berkeley, Bancroft at Telegraph, Berk; www.calperformances.org. Fri/3, 8pm; Sat/4, 2pm; Sun/5, 3pm. $22-52. Canada's nouveau circus troupe performs.

"Swearing in English: Tall Tales at Shotgun" Ashby Stage, 1901 Ashby, Berk; www.shotgunplayers.org. Mon/6, June 3, and June 17, 8pm. $15. Shotgun Cabaret presents John Mercer in a series of three stranger-than-fiction dramatic readings. *