David and Amy Sedaris are one of the funniest sets of siblings since the Marx Brothers ... and The Book of Liz, one of their written collaborations, is proof of such a claim. An eccentric and hilarious play about discovering your own self-worth, this long-running hit returns to San Francisco. For the sixth time, Custom Made Theatre Co. raises the curtain on the outrageous adventures of Sister Elizabeth Donderstock, a devoted maker of cheeseballs who ventures away from her tiny religious community to encounter a host of colorful characters -- among them, Ukrainians with Cockney accents, restaurants run by recovering alcoholics and a certain talking peanut. But after this eye-opening journey, will her cheeseballs ever taste the same again?
After a 25-year absence, MacArthur Genius grant recipient Han Ong returns to the Magic Theatre where he made his made his professional debut in 1992. This acclaimed novelist and playwright is known for works like Fixer Chao (an L.A. Times "Best Book of the Year") and The L.A. Plays, which earned praise from none other than Robert Brustein, founder of the American Repertory Theater. Ong's latest work, Grandeur, imagines a meeting between an ambitious young reporter and musical visionary Gil Scott-Heron, often credited as the creator of rap music. With a cast lead by Carl Lumbly (ABC's Alias, CBS' Cagney & Lacey) playing Scott-Heron, Grandeur is a story of art and legacy, told through this funny and gut-wrenching exchange.
The biggest Broadway show since The Book of Mormon is hitting the road on its first national tour. Written by Tony, Grammy and Emmy Award winner Lin Manuel Miranda, Hamilton is a true landmark of American culture, tearing up the musical theatre rulebook with a score that is equal parts Sondheim and Notorious B.I.G., and a cast of ethnically diverse actors in the roles of the Founding Fathers. The story centers on Alexander Hamilton, one of our most important (and colorful) characters, who rose from his humble orphaned beginnings to play a major role in making America the country it is today.
A love story hits fast-forward in this cleverly-structured romantic comedy by David Schulner. An Infinite Ache tells the story of Hope and Charles, an Asian woman and Jewish guy who are limping toward the end of their uneventful first date. Before they part, though, their lives as a couple begin to unfold before them in snapshot-style vignettes, from first kiss to five decades later, covering marriage, parenting, tragedy and beyond. But the real question is: Will there be a second date? Discover all the infinite directions two lives can take when this fresh and heartfelt play takes the stage of San Francisco's Bindlestiff Studio.
This is not your grandmother's gospel. The Last Days of Judas Iscariot is set in a time-bending, darkly comic world between heaven and hell, where Jesus' betrayer Judas stands trial in purgatory as his lawyers bargain for his admission to heaven. The trial flashes through Judas' life, all the way back to his childhood, while incredible figures from history and beyond are called to testify -- figures like Mother Teresa, Sigmund Freud and even Satan himself. As the trial unfolds, audience members must confront old truths and examine what it means to really forgive during a production that ranges between hilarious dark comedy and intimate, touching drama. Written by Stephen Adly Guirgis, winner of the 2015 Pulitzer Prize for Drama, this production of The Last Days of Judas Iscariot can be seen at Shelton Theater in San Francisco.
What do you do when your Elvis act gets the axe? With a pregnant wife, a woefully empty bank account and an eviction notice coming his way any minute, Casey is left with no choice but to trade in his signature jumpsuit for sequins and start strutting his stuff around the Florida panhandle as the area's newest drag queen. A music-filled comedy about finding your true voice, this production of The Legend of Georgia McBride at the Marin Theatre Company in the Bay Area will have you laughing and rooting for the underdog inside of us all.
Custom Made Theatre's Brian Katz brings Kurt Vonnegut's wildly popular third novel Mother Night to San Francisco on the stage as a funny, ironic, and metafictional tale of duplicitous spies. Also a love story, the book-turned-movie-turned-play follows Howard W. Campbell, whom true Vonnegut fans might remember from Slaughterhouse Five as the American-born Nazi propagandist. This time around, however, things are a little more complicated. Campbell's past comes back to haunt him and his quiet life in New York City as we learn we was actually a double agent for the allies, and passed along secrets through his anti-Semitic radio broadcast. Thanks to a series of betrayals, Campbell now awaits his fate at a jail cell in Jerusalem. Vonnegut's classic non-linear storytelling brings audiences on a journey to piece the puzzles of Campbell's life together, most of which reflect the last century's great historical events.
A Night with Janis Joplin is a blues-rock theatrical event that captures the legendary singer's life and legacy with all of the live intensity of an actual Joplin concert. Powered by showstopping hits like "Cry Baby," "Piece of My Heart," "Me and Bobby McGee," "Summertime" and "Mercedes Benz," as well as a song Joplin never formally recorded, the show brings Joplin's story to the stage while also saluting some of her famous musical influences, including Bessie Smith, Etta James, Aretha Franklin and Nina Simone. Catch this soulful, no-holds-barred tribute to one of rock music's greatest performers in San Francisco at A.C.T.'s Geary Theater.
Fasten your seatbelts as fun-filled musical Priscilla Queen of the Desert rolls into San Francisco's Eureka Theatre. Based on the popular cult film, this high-energy musical adventure follows three disco drag queens aboard a battered old bus on a road trip through the Australian Outback. The journey becomes a touching, life-changing experience as the three companions search for and find love, friendship and acceptance. This hilarious and heartwarming production features dazzling costumes as well as a virtual hit parade of dance and sing-along favorites, including "It's Raining Men," "I Love the Nightlife" and "I Will Survive."
Though they're both in their mid-50s, Sharon and Robyn make an unlikely pair of roommates, much less friends -- Sharon's a staid Midwestern divorcee, who's happy to ante up her personal info, while her new renter Robyn's a hard-edged vegan from the Bronx, who plays her cards close to the vest. But when The Roommate finally does show her hand, revealing some shocking secrets, it spurs a surprising reaction in Sharon, proving it's never too late to take a gamble on changing your life. The San Francisco Playhouse stages the Bay Area premiere of this dark comedy by multi-award-winning playwright Jen Silverman.
Award-winning British screenwriter-playwright Abi Morgan (The Iron Lady, Suffragette), has, in the words of Time Out, "elaborated a play of remarkable intensity and richness ... [that] gleams with ice-cool wit, glistens with the sweat of animal fear." And if that hasn't piqued your theatrical interest, take a moment and check your pulse. As a revolution grows increasingly violent outside the confines of an opulent presidential palace, the arrival of an embattled dictator is awaited by four women -- the dictator's wife, her best friend, a British journalist and a translator. Time refracts and the past plays out from varying perspectives as the political tension escalates and the plot of the fascinating Splendour unfolds. Don't miss the Bay Area premiere of this breathtaking journey from Berkeley's Aurora Theatre Company.
Writer JC Lee (ABC's How to Get Away with Murder, HBO's Looking) reimagines the close relationship between Achilles and Patroclus in a poetic, radical and shockingly funny light. Huffington Post has hailed Lee for his "wild sense of fantasy combined with a desperate grip on reality." Don't miss this opportunity to see warplay in its world premiere at New Conservatory Theatre Center.