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Full of racy puppets and boisterous songs, the Tony Award-winning "fresh and delightful" (San Francisco Examiner) Avenue Q returns to the New Conservatory Theatre Center stage after a sold-out run. Naughty puppets take a hilarious look at life in New York City as they tell the timeless story of a recent college grad who moves to Avenue Q with high hopes and discovers his purpose in life with the help of his new neighbors: the girl monster next door, the Republican, the internet sexpert and Lucy the Slut. "It's like having a couple drinks with the characters of Sesame Street and hearing what they really think about life," writes SF Weekly.
Disney On Ice is throwing the biggest party of the year, and you're invited. The skating spectacular Let's Celebrate! is a magical medley of holidays, celebrations and festivals from around the world. This party on ice features all your favorite Disney friends, including Mickey and Minnie Mouse. They'll host a Very Merry Unbirthday party with Alice and the Mad Hatter, while Lilo and Stitch celebrate Hawaiian-style with a luau. And don't forget the Disney Princesses -- they'll be having a Royal Valentine's Day Ball with Cinderella, Ariel and Tiana on the guest list. There'll also be a winter wonderland with Woody and Buzz Lightyear and a Halloween haunt with the Disney Villains.
At Sleep Train Arena from Feb 11 - Feb 16
At SAP Center from Feb 18 - Feb 22
At Oracle Arena from Feb 25 - Mar 1
The uncertain futures of two mail-order brides play out against the wild backdrop of 1860's Wyoming in Abundance, the acclaimed stage drama by Oscar nominee and Pulitzer Prize-winner Beth Henley (Crimes of the Heart). With the acid wit and profound wisdom of a Mark Twain story, Abundance follows Bess and Macon as they struggle to survive while married to men as rugged and difficult as the frontier itself. Episodic in nature, the story arcs over several years and gains an uncanny power as two lives unfold in ways that are at once romantic, funny, brutal and sad. Julie Dimas-Lockfeld directs this tale of two courageous women living and loving in the "wild west" for the Shelton Theater.
You might not look at a strawberry the same way again after taking in Octavio Solis' Alicia's Miracle. Mixing the raw ingredients of live performance and journalism, StoryWorks productions are a collaboration between San Francisco's Tides Theatre and the Center for Investigative Reporting -- and this world premiere drama dishes out a direct response to the Center's 15-month study of the effects of pesticide use on one of America's favorite fruits. Played out in a workshop format, Alicia's Miracle is the story of a young Latina mother from Oxnard, Calif., that hopefully inspires action about an urgent social issue of our time.
Long-stewing family secrets come bubbling to the surface, thanks to a meddling mailman, in the debut of this new comedy-drama at Phoenix Theatre San Francisco. A family tragedy sets off a fierce argument between a pair of senior sisters, the dependable Claire and the feisty Iris, who live together in their suburban Chicago home. And the heat is only turned higher when their mail carrier gets involved in the fray. Playwright Susan Rabin mines both the humor and the emotion of the situation in Aunt Lakie's Not Coming to Dinner.
Steve Silver's Beach Blanket Babylon is the world's longest-running musical revue. Since 1974, this San Francisco institution has followed Snow White on a musical comedy quest around the world, where she runs into satirically portrayed pop culture and political celebrities, an impressive array of gigantic hats and one show-stopping musical number after another. Because the show is constantly updated with new costumes, hats and characters, it rewards repeat visits. Among the familiar faces you might see spoofed in Beach Blanket's latest incarnation: Lady Gaga, Barack and Michelle Obama, the cast of Glee, Kate Middleton and Adele. Even after nearly 40 years, Beach Blanket Babylon remains one of San Francisco's wildest evenings of live entertainment.
Get your dramatic ducks in a row with a 3-show subscription (for first-time subscribers only) to the upcoming season at the Tony-winning Berkeley Repertory Theatre, one of the most innovative companies in the country. Your package begins with An Audience With Meow Meow, a bravura performance by groundbreaking singer-comedienne Meow Meow, who offers electrifying songs, a blowtorch wit and divine mayhem in equal measures. Next on your subscription bill, X's and O's (A Gridiron Love Story) is an intriguing docudrama that exposes the passion and the pain behind football's pervasive traumatic brain injuries. Based on actual interviews with football players and their families and fans, this world premiere will make you see America's favorite game in a whole new light. Finally, you'll thrill to the beat of One Man, Two Guvnors, a swingin' English farce inspired by A Servant of Two Masters wherein a modern-day British dolt with two jobs struggles to juggle his dual bosses. Backed by a live band that swerves between rockabilly and Beatles-esque pop, this topsy-turvy ride through loony love triangles and mistaken identities caps your subscription off with a delectable mish-mash of splendid comedy, pantomime and music-hall-style revue.
Set to the superb music of American master Leonard Bernstein (West Side Story, On the Waterfront) and the inventive lyrics of Richard Wilbur and Stephen Sondheim (Sweeney Todd, Into the Woods), Candide invites you on a madcap odyssey around the world. This classic operetta, originally adapted from Voltaire's famed novel, comes to you by way of the Lamplighters from the masterful British Royal National Theatre version of the show. Candide finds the naïve titular hero setting off to find his one true love, the beautiful Cunegonde, while enduring a series of comic misadventures that take him through wars, plagues, pirates, swindlers and even the Spanish Inquisition, sorely testing his always-optimistic faith in humanity. Along the journey you'll be treated to renditions of such memorable tunes as "Glitter and Be Gay," "Make Our Garden Grow" and "The Best of All Possible Worlds."
Even though their musical "children" included Oklahoma!, The King and I and The Sound of Music, Rodgers and Hammerstein had no trouble picking a personal favorite: Carousel. Come to Sonoma County Stage's staged concert presentation of this remarkable work and you'll soon discover why. Losing his job just as he learns that his wife is pregnant, ex-carney Billy takes part in a robbery to provide for his family. Caught and facing prison, he takes his own life. Returning to earth for one day 15 years later, Billy tries to restore a sense of hope and dignity to the family he left behind. This profoundly moving production, presented with a live orchestra and large cast of actors, singers and dancers, provides the ultimate justification for Time magazine's assertion that Carousel is " the best musical of the 20th century."
Perhaps best known for his hilariously improvised songs on TV's Whose Line Is It Anyway?, Wayne Brady is a comedic Renaissance man who is bringing his musical and theater talent to Feinstein's at the Nikko. Brady has been on countless television shows, including How I Met Your Mother, Chappelle's Show, The Drew Carey Show, Reno 911!, Stargate SG-1 and, of course, The Wayne Brady Show. He's also starred on Broadway and hosted the game show Let's Make a Deal. When Brady brings his many talents to San Francisco, you can expect an non-traditional comedy show full of songs and stories, both real and improvised.
Morris Bobrow, the award-winning creator of Shopping! The Musical, the longest-running original show in San Francisco history, is serving up yet another tasty musical revue. This one's all about food, glorious food -- with a mix of songs and sketches about eating habits and hang-ups, trendy restaurants and food trucks, cooking quirks, menu mania and much, much more. Winner of multiple San Francisco Bay Area Theater Critics Circle Awards for outstanding music and lyrics, Bobrow also created the recent Party of 2 -- The Mating Musical.
Fellowship for Performing Arts, the company behind the acclaimed hit The Screwtape Letters, brings another of C.S. Lewis' fascinating fantasies to the stage. As in The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, The Great Divorce brims with Lewis' signature wit and imagination as it follows several colorful characters on a bus ride from a suburb in hell to the outskirts of heaven, while exploring the vagaries of human nature and the divide between good and evil. Adapted by Max McLean and Brian Watkins with the blessing of the Lewis estate, this production is part of a national tour and stars Broadway actors Christa Scott-Reed, Michael Fredric and Joel Rainwater from the U.S. run of The Lion King.
Ted and Kevin are living the dream. Attractive and newly married, they're the proud owners of a beautiful home in Sag Harbor. Then Kevin's homeless sister, Donna, and her teenage daughter show up unexpectedly and everything turns as topsy-turvy as Donna's daily pot habit. Lacking a filter, Donna is manipulative and always ready with a gay-baiting remark. Funny on the surface, Chad Beguelin's play, which Variety called "wickedly funny," also digs deep. Through all the gripping and sniping, the story takes an unexpected turn and the four characters grow from tired clichés to complicated human beings before your eyes at the New Conservatory Theatre Center.
Boundaries, both of shrubbery and more substantial stuff, protect, challenge and frustrate the characters of Hedge, Robin Lynn Rodriguez's incendiary new play. The housing market collapse has left four friends surrounded by foreclosures in their Oakland neighborhood. When a shocking act of violence forces them out of their bungalows and into the street, they find themselves in a scenario for which no one is prepared. Funny and fierce, Hedge examines the costs of gentrification and tries to answer the question of who ultimately takes responsibility for a neighborhood. Winner of Theater MadCap's annual play development reading series, Hedge now comes to Inner Mission SF as the company's second full-fledged stage production.
Big business means big laughs in How To Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, a delightfully clever lampoon of life on the corporate ladder. Set in a Mad Men-like '60s world and written by the Tony-winning composer of Guys and Dolls, this hilarious musical satire follows the rise of window-washer J. Pierrepont Finch. The enterprising young employee tries to make a name for himself in New York City by following the morally questionable instructions of a little how-to manual he always keeps in his pocket. But will his unorthodox business practices jeopardize his career and his blooming romance with a lovely secretary? The production took Broadway by storm, winning both the Tony Award for Best Musical and a Pulitzer Prize.
Set in a small art gallery, this smart romantic comedy follows an art dealer and her assistant as they use their work to avoid each other and connection. But the more stories and reflections of the past they share, the more their worlds come together. As the two step back from their lives, they begin to realize that they may have a future together. Impressionism paints a subtle picture of attraction with this production from the Ross Valley Players at the Barn Theatre.
A.C.T.'s revival of the romantic drama Indian Ink explores the brief, mysterious relationship between Flora, an adventurous English poet, and an Indian artist during that country's struggle for independence in the 1930s. Written by Oscar and four-time Tony winner Tom Stoppard (Shakespeare in Love, Arcadia, The Real Thing) in his elegantly witty signature style, the play delves into fascinating issues of culture, history, and identity, as 50 years later, Flora's sister Eleanor is prompted to look back at what really happened between the two, uncovering surprises along the way. This Carey Perloff-directed production comes direct from a sold-out, critically-acclaimed run at New York's Roundabout Theatre.
Freely adapted from a farce by the French master Georges Feydeau, Charles Morey's The Ladies Man is a zany comedy, filled with mistaken identities, near misses and wild coincidences. Set in turn-of-the-century Paris, a doctor's innocent lie leads to a series of chaotic events involving his suspicious wife, a grumpy mother-in-law, an assertive female patient, her jealous Prussian husband and a well-intentioned fellow with a serious lisp. The Ladies Man premiered in 2007 and has been a hit at numerous theaters around the country.
One of today's most critically acclaimed and buzzed-about American playwrights, Pulitzer Prize finalist Sarah Ruhl takes an innovative and entertaining look at one woman's search for meaning in all of life's uncertainties in Late: A Cowboy Song. This funny and poignant story follows Mary, a young woman stuck in a claustrophobic marriage. Crick, Mary's passive-aggressive, macho-effeminate sweetheart since childhood, recently spent all their savings on a painting, and Mary's just given birth to a baby of uncertain gender. Then she unexpectedly meets Red, a singing female urban cowboy who opens up Mary's world.
Family patriarch Ben Lyons is in the hospital, dying from cancer. As his time grows short, his wife and two adult children gather at his bedside for an atypical goodbye in the quirky, bittersweet comedyThe Lyons. Ben, freed from social conventions thanks to his condition, will say anything he wishes -- swear words included. Rita, his partner in a 40-year-long loveless marriage, finds her mind drifting toward thoughts of the future. The couple's alcoholic daughter and gay son have their own issues and agendas. Written by Nicky Silver (Beautiful Child), The Lyons had a 2012 Broadway run and was nominated for a number of awards. See it in Berkeley at Aurora Theatre Company.
Marrakech Magic Theater features world-renowned sleight-of-hand magician Peter Morrison in a highly interactive show in its intimate 42-seat theater. A featured performer at the world-famous Magic Castle in Hollywood, Morrison combines mind-blowing magic, intriguing feats of mentalism and laugh-out-loud humor in a fast-paced 75-minute show -- and audience participation makes each performance different. Make sure you get there early to enjoy Morrison's pre-show tableside magic in the Oasis Lounge.
More than 25 Marvel superheroes and villains -- including Iron Man, Spider-Man, Hulk, Thor and Loki -- are ready to rumble at SAP Center in this all-new live-action spectacular, complete with state-of-the-art 3D projections and pyrotechnics, movie-style martial arts, mind-blowing stunts and even high-flying motocross. The exciting original story kicks off with The Mighty Thor smashing an all-powerful Cosmic Cube to prevent it from falling into the wrong hands. But his villainous brother Loki comes up with a plan to pick up the pieces and destroy the universe. Now Spidey, Wolverine, Iron Man, Captain America and Hulk must team up against Green Goblin, Doctor Octopus, Red Skull, Madame Hydra, Electro and more in an epic battle of good vs. evil. This thrill ride of a show stars the world's top stunt performers and aerial artists, who bring their battles directly overhead to provide plenty of up-close excitement.
Experience Broadway @ The Nourse when stage and screen star Megan Hilty comes to San Francisco. Hilty was introduced nationwide as triple-threat Ivy on the hit TV show Smash and in a starring role alongside Sean Hayes on the NBC sitcom Sean Saves the World. Her extensive Broadway resume includes major roles in Wicked, 9 to 5: The Musical and Gentlemen Prefer Blondes. Her impressive pipes can also be heard on her debut solo album, 2013's It Happens All the Time, featuring fresh interpretations of contemporary favorites. Her larger-than-life voice can do it all, from Broadway to jazz standards to classics from the Great American Songbook. Pianist and host Seth Rudetsky is a star in his own right. The Emmy Award-winning writer, actor, Sirius/XM radio host and vocal coach has written comedy routines for Rosie O'Donnell and has pounded the keys in Broadway shows including Ragtime, Les Misérables and Phantom of the Opera. Together, the two provide a seamless mix of intimate behind-the-scenes stories and a stellar repertoire of musical theater greats.
In the 1970s, one of the brightest -- and most flamboyant -- stars of disco was Sylvester, whose dance anthem "You Make Me Feel (Mighty Real)" was one of the biggest hits of the decade. In Mighty Real: A Fabulous Sylvester Musical, the singer is brought to life by Broadway star Anthony Wayne, telling the life story of Sylvester through his music and his point of view. Beyond the trials, tribulations, glitz and glamour, Sylvester was a symbol of being fabulous, but also for unapologetically being himself.
Make the 2014-2015 theater season full of discovery, danger and delight by seeing any three of New Conservatory Theatre Center's eight exciting upcoming shows. Selections include Cock, wunderkind playwright Mike Bartlett's elegant modern love triangle that looks at the aftermath when one half of a gay couple falls in love with a woman. Or you might try the over-the-top hybrid of Hollywood glamour and Greek tragedy in Die, Mommie, Die!, Charles Busch's hilarious mixture of whodunits, double-crossings and suspenseful twists. Dead Poets Society meets Romeo & Juliet in Shakespeare's R&J, a play-within-a-play written by Joe Calarco about what happens when four school boys secretly reenact the timeless story of forbidden love. The Tony-winning musical Avenue Q is back by popular demand to prove once again that puppets can have a very adult side, and in Harbor, all hell breaks loose when 15-year-old Lottie and her ne'er-do-well mother drop in unannounced at the beautiful Sag Harbor home of Kevin and his young husband, Ted. Other Desert Cities by Jon Robin Baitz brings dysfunctional family drama to new heights in a story that was a finalist for the 2012 Pulitzer. Timely, touching and empathetic, the 2013 GLAAD Media Award-winning From White Plains explores the far-reaching fallout of bullying and questions if forgiveness is possible. And wrapping up the season, Compleat Female Stage Beauty is a bawdy historical comedy-drama that brings the battle of the sexes to the stage. Hey, we didn't say choosing three from this lineup was going to be easy.
Turns out there were many men -- and women, too -- who lived in the "No Man's Land" of far northwestern Oklahoma during the Dust Bowl and the Great Depression. Now a new play, Panhandle, focuses on the trials and tribulations of a cotton farming community trying to survive a period of unprecedented economic and natural calamity. Written by Emmy-winning screenwriter and playwright Walter Halsey Davis, Panhandle chronicles the drama, wry humor and moving music of a people that insisted on thriving, despite incredible odds and unforgiving terrain. Michael Cohen directs this powerful play with music for the Actors Ensemble of Berkeley.
In David Lindsay-Abaire's Pulitzer Prize-winning drama, Becca and Howie Corbett are a married couple each coping with the loss of their child in very different ways. As they drift perilously apart despite their shared grief, their lives are further complicated by Becca's mother and sister, as well as the teenage boy responsible for their son's death. Told with all the humor, conflict and emotion of real life, Artists Repertory Company of San Francisco's production depicts five characters growing and changing through vivid and hopeful interactions, finding comfort in the darkest of places and looking for a path that will lead them back into the light of day. Rabbit Hole won the 2007 Pulitzer Prize for Drama and was nominated for four Tony Awards, including Best Play.
What's a stripper to do when her fiancé and half-sister are both brutally murdered by underworld drug lords? Dance ... obviously. In Sh** and Champagne, this high-kicking send-up of '70s exploitation films, an exotic dancer named Champagne Horowitz Jones Dickerson White (played by D'Arcy Drollinger, Samantha in Sex and the City: Live!) finds herself on an agenda of vengeance, taking on the country's largest ring of sex, drugs and ... school clothing? That's right -- it's Mal-Wart. Using an arsenal of disguises, over-the-top one-liners and kung fu moves, Champagne will infiltrate the organization and dance her way into the fast lane of revenge highway. Back after three extensions in 2014 at Rebel, Sh** & Champagne -- written and directed by D'Arcy Drollinger -- is the inaugural show at San Francisco's new drag theater and cabaret, OASIS, in the heart of SOMA. This hit comedy is packed with laughs and outrageous action and features fan-favorites Matthew Martin (Blanche, The Golden Girls: Live!) and Steven LeMay (Friends: Live!, Roseanne).
Too Much Light Makes the Baby Go Blind is an ever-changing attempt to perform 30 plays in one hour. This innovative show is one of Chicago's biggest theatrical success stories. Created by Greg Allen, and written and performed by the Neo-Futurists, the original production in Chicago has been continuously running since the Reagan administration, and now San Francisco has its own sibling company performing at Exit Theatre. The "menu" of plays is strung up on a clothesline, and the audience determines the order by yelling out which piece they want to see next. Every performance is a unique experience, and the Neo-Futurists are masters of creating funny, personal, abstract, political and poignant plays.
Too Much Light Makes the Baby Go Blind is an ever-changing attempt to perform 30 plays in one hour. This innovative show is one of Chicago's biggest theatrical success stories. Created by Greg Allen, and written and performed by the Neo-Futurists, the original production in Chicago has been continuously running since the Reagan administration, and now San Francisco has its own sibling company performing at Stage Werx. The "menu" of plays is strung up on a clothesline, and the audience determines the order by yelling out which piece they want to see next. Every performance is a unique experience, and the Neo-Futurists are masters of creating funny, personal, abstract, political and poignant plays.
Too Much Light Makes the Baby Go Blind is an ever-changing attempt to perform 30 plays in one hour. This innovative show is one of Chicago's biggest theatrical success stories. Created by Greg Allen, and written and performed by the Neo-Futurists, the original production in Chicago has been continuously running since the Reagan administration, and now San Francisco has its own sibling company performing at 1 Grove. The "menu" of plays is strung up on a clothesline, and the audience determines the order by yelling out which piece they want to see next. Every performance is a unique experience, and the Neo-Futurists are masters of creating funny, personal, abstract, political and poignant plays.
Hidden roots are exposed in Tree, Julie Hébert's lyrical and powerful play receiving its regional premiere at San Francisco Playhouse. In this PEN Award-winning drama, a Southern white woman turns up at the home of an African-American man in Chicago, claiming to be his half-sister. Together this unlikely pair -- one a Gender Studies professor, the other a chef -- must recover a shared past hidden among the gnarled memories of a demented old woman. Melding realism with poetry, Tree not only captures modern-day realities of race, but explores age-old truths on what it means to be family. Jon Tracy directs this funny, sometimes painful, always honest play from one of Hollywood's most respected writers (ER, Third Watch, The Good Wife, Boss).
The Marsh presents Brian Copeland's new solo show, The Waiting Period. Copeland, a multi-talented actor, playwright, author and talk-show host, has basked in the glow of both public and critical acclaim for nearly a decade. However, like many other well-known figures, he suffers from debilitating bouts of depression. This show gives an unrelenting look at a 10-day period in his life: the mandatory waiting period before he could lay his hands on a new gun with which he planned to commit suicide. Even in the throes of such tragic plans, though, his sense of humor does not desert him (how much would be appropriate to spend on the gun?), and in fact protects him from the grim reality of his intention. There is laughter in the darkness. Interspersed with interviews with other people suffering from depression, the play also offers outsiders an insider's view, thereby expanding the audience's understanding and, hopefully, humanity.
Journey deep into award-winning magician David Facer's World of Paradox and explore a world of illusion at the San Francisco Magic Parlor in the Chancellor Hotel. Facer is your guide in this one-person show that combines magic performance art and true theatricality, conjuring up a world with a host of eccentric characters, including Jakob the Mechanical Man With a Human Heart, the enigmatic "dream dweller" Nicolai Bayne, magical prankster Spellvin and more. Facer has performed with Broadway legend Carol Channing, and mystifies audiences at nightclubs, cabarets and private events around the country.
Are you ready for some football? America's favorite sport is intricately woven into our culture and rituals, yet its increasingly traumatic effect on players and their families has us reexamining its place in our country's story. Using interviews with players, their families and their fans, playwright (and football superfan) KJ Sanchez, along with Jenny Mercein, crafts a fascinating and hard-hitting docudrama that examines our country's passion for a sport that's at once generous and dangerous, life-giving yet lethal. X's and O's (A Football Love Story) is as visceral, emotional and theatrical as the game itself.
From improvised Star Trek episodes that never were to silent movie-style sketches dreamed up on the spot to the classic improv form called the Harold, the San Francisco Improv Collective brings you Your Thursday Night Improv Experience. Every show at San Francisco's Shelton Theater features two of the Bay Area's most creative improv troupes, each presenting a unique story made up on the spot from your suggestions. It might be in the style of a Tennessee Williams drama or a Broadway musical. Whatever the genre, you're in for tons of laughs.