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In this sexy French farce, it's 1960 and Parisian womanizer Bernard is enjoying the good life with his three fiancées -- all beautiful airline hostesses with frequent (but never overlapping) layovers in Paris. And thanks to Bernard's faithful housekeeper, who nimbly switches out food and photos in his apartment according to schedule, the women will never find out about each other. Or so it seems, until a new, faster Boeing jet throws the airline schedules out of whack and Bernard finds himself with all three women on his hands at once. Add Bernard's friend -- who's hilariously bad at keeping all the lies straight -- to the mix, and the whole plan is poised to fall apart. This slapstick comedy from French playwright Marc Camoletti won a Tony on Broadway and was made into a 1965 film starring Tony Curtis and Jerry Lewis. Now you can laugh along with all the saucy fun when Ross Valley Players' production of Boeing Boeing hits the Barn Theatre in Ross.
Playing out in four real-time quarters complete with a halftime show and a drum-line, Colossal is both an epic and an intimate story of love, family and emotional endurance, all unfolding within a football game and framed by modern dance. The hard-hitting drama tells the story of young Mike, a college player who suffered a tackle in a game that left him paralyzed from the waist down. His relationships with his father, his physical therapist and his teammates are all revealed through engaging flashbacks. Bristling with the intense physicality of both the gridiron and the dance stage, San Francisco Playhouse's production of Colossal is set to make a huge theatrical impact.
Cult drag rock musical Above and Beyond the Valley of the Ultra Showgirls returns to Oasis in San Francisco, featuring D'Arcy Drollinger (Three's Company & Sex and the City Live!) and riding high on a wave of sex, drugs, cat fights, murder, seduction ... and that's just in the dressing room. Imagine Russ Meyer, Liberace and Hedwig collaborating on a rock musical starring Jem and the Holograms, and you'll have an idea of what awaits you. Shamelessly inspired by Beyond the Valley of the Dolls and Showgirls, this over-the-top dark musical comedy has enough poor taste references to satisfy any B-movie junkie.
A severed head, a love story, a chest full of secrets, and a conspiracy theory befitting the most infamous of Henry VIII's wives all figure prominently in Anne Boleyn, a century-hopping, witty look at the great English heroine. Brenton's gripping and fast-paced play, which had its premiere at Shakespeare's Globe, examines the impact Anne Boleyn may have had on the Protestant Reformation in England. Resisting Henry's desire for a divorce, Anne decides that a very public religious fervor is just the way to force her husband to stay with her. But his lust for one of her ladies-in-waiting and Anne's inability to provide him an heir converge to send Anne to the chopping block. Often witty and sometimes vulgar, this bold drama, at Marin Theatre Company, is a delight.
Art, by provocative playwright Yasmina Reza (God of Carnage), focuses on three men whose 15-year friendship is tested when one of them buys an expensive modern painting that appears to be just a completely white canvas. They each have different reactions to the piece and differing opinions on art. As the argument moves from aesthetics to something deeper, this witty and insightful comedy explores the extent to which our identities are shaped by our social circle, and reveals how deep friendships can be shaken up by the most unexpected events. Art picked up a Tony Award for Best Play in 1998.
C.S. Lewis is among the most important writers of his generation, and in the new one-man play C.S. Lewis Onstage: The Most Reluctant Convert, you can witness his storied transition from atheism to Christianity. The fascinating journey, adapted from Lewis' own thoughts and writings on the experience, is brought to life by actor Max McLean, who portrays the Chronicles of Narnia writer as he endures the death of his mother, works through his complicated relationship with his father and walks the path that led him from being a devout atheist to becoming the most influential Christian intellectual of his day. Whatever your own beliefs, C.S. Lewis Onstage is a moving look at a truly historic artist.
Set in 17th-century France, this truly timeless rom-com tells the classic tale of its titular hero -- a skilled swordsman and clever wordsmith whose accomplishments are often overshadowed by his all-too-prominent proboscis. Wishing to woo the beautiful Roxane, Cyrano is concerned that she won't be able to get past his oversized schnoz. So he courts her by proxy, filtering his romantic poetry through the easier-on-the-eyes guise of the handsome Christian. But will Roxane fall for the dashing looks of Christian, or the exquisite sentiment of Cyrano? This TheatreWorks production at Mountain View Center for the Performing Arts is based on a 2011 translation and co-adaptation by Michael Hollinger (Opus).
Based on one of Hans Christian Anderson's most beloved stories and the classic animated film, Disney's The Little Mermaid is truly a love story for the ages. In a magical kingdom fathoms below the waves, we meet Ariel, the little mermaid who's tired of flipping her fins in her aquatic kingdom. She longs to be part of the fascinating world on dry land and will go to great lengths to get there. Take an enchanting trip under the sea with everyone's favorite mermaid princess and her crabby sidekick Sebastian, as they battle the evil sea witch Ursula and win the heart of the human prince Eric. With music by eight-time Academy Award winner Alan Menken, this Spreckels Theatre Company production of the fishy fable will capture your heart with its irresistible songs including "Under the Sea," "Kiss the Girl" and "Part of Your World."
Enter the dramatically lit world of hard-boiled gumshoes and sultry femmes fatale as Extreme Measures brings film noir to the stage, as Mel Brooks might imagine it. Written by Bay Area Critics Circle Award winner Will Marchetti, this world premiere production from Shelton Theater follows a day in the life of a private eye and his secretary as they negotiate love and murder in the city -- that is, if they can deal with the never ending parade of wacky stock characters bombarding the detective agency. Then again, the detective in this rollicking farce isn't exactly Philip Marlowe either.
In 1985, then-president Ronald Reagan made a controversial visit to a Nazi cemetery in the German town of Bitburg to commemorate the end of World War II 40 years earlier. The visit caused widespread furor around the world, but The Gathering zeroes in on the furor those actions caused within one family, almost tearing them apart at the seams. The task of bridging longstanding generational conflicts and preserving the family unity is left to young Michael, on the eve of his Bar Mitzvah. The Gathering was first produced off-Broadway starring Theodor Bikel and Jesse Eisenberg, and opened on Broadway in 2001, starring Hal Linden. See it now at Royce Gallery in San Francisco.
There's a reason why actresses like Ethel Merman, Patti Lupone, Bette Midler and fingers-crossed Barbra Streisand (who's rumored to be starring in a new film adaptation) have wanted to play the mother of all musical roles. Gypsy is that good. Even The New York Times says it "may be the greatest of all American musicals." Only an epic this grand could capture the real-life Rose, the ultimate stage mom, who groomed her two daughters to be vaudeville stars ... only to see one of them leave it all behind to become a burlesque sensation. With a book by Arthur Laurents (West Side Story), music by Jule Styne (Funny Girl) and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim (Sweeney Todd, Into the Woods), this timeless favorite boasts classic crowd-pleasing songs like "Everything's Coming Up Roses," "Let Me Entertain You," "Together Wherever We Go," "Some People," "You Gotta Have a Gimmick" and the show-stopping "Rose's Turn." Catch this always emotional and engaging show, starring Lynda DiVito as Mama Rose, courtesy of the Contra Costa Musical Theatre at the Lesher Center for the Arts in Walnut Creek.
A boisterous and vibrant portrait of love in a nontraditional family, La Cage Aux Folles has been one of Broadway's biggest hits for more than 30 years, earning nine Tony Awards, including Best Musical and Best Revival. Starring Broadway's William Thomas Evans, this heart-warming musical comedy invites you into the lives of Georges and his lover Albin, who plays female impersonator Zaza at the couple's popular St. Tropez drag nightclub. Problems arise when Georges' 25-year-old son comes home with his fiancée and her conservative parents. Watch as the flamboyant couple's family dynamic gets hilariously turned upside down. Written by Harvey Fierstein, the musical features Jerry Herman's beloved score -- including "The Best of Times is Now" and "I Am What I Am." Get in on the wig-flying fun as La Cage Aux Folles closes out the Bay Area Musicals season at San Francisco's Victoria Theatre.
Before it became a feature film starring Anna Kendrick and Jeremy Jordan, The Last Five Years began as a stirring stage musical hailed by Time magazine. Told through inventive and heartrending songs, The Last Five Years is a two-person show that navigates the ins and outs -- the ups and downs -- of a marriage. Written by Tony Award-winning composer Jason Robert Brown (Parade), this Drama Desk Award winner is the story of a couple's five-year relationship, from the thrilling pangs of new love to their painful final separation. There is, however, a twist: The man relives the relationship from beginning to end, while the woman relates their story in reverse. The two characters' emotional timelines converge only once -- at their wedding in the middle of the show. Fall in love all over again (or for the very first time) with this American Conservatory Theater production of The Last Five Years in San Francisco.
The middle of a highway is no place for an eight-year-old child -- much less a highway in the dangerous, war-torn mountains of Afghanistan. But that is precisely where the young protagonist of The Most Dangerous Highway in the World makes his living, directing traffic on a perilous, winding road in exchange for tips from passing motorists, buses, supply trucks and military convoys making their way between Jalalabad and Kabul. Based on a New York Times article about the real-life "Pepsi bottle boys" of Afghanistan, this poetic play by Kevin Artigue makes its world premiere at Thick House in San Francisco.
Tony and Emmy-winning actress Tyne Daly (Gypsy, Cagney & Lacey), David Garrison (Wicked) and a bevy of stars from the recent Broadway revival of On the Town are on board with Maestro Michael Tilson Thomas and the San Francisco Symphony for the 20th anniversary of MTT's successful semi-staged concert version of the musical-comedy favorite. The symphony chorus is also set to pitch in for this song-and-dance spectacular, which follows the romantic antics and adventures of three World War II sailors as they set out to try and take a huge bite out of the Big Apple in just one day. On the Town boasts a high-powered score by Leonard Bernstein and crackling lyrics by Betty Comden and Adolph Green, with classic tunes like "Come Up to My Place," "Some Other Time" and the Great American songbook standard "New York, New York."
It's London, 1833. No black man has ever starred on a British stage, not even as Othello, until tonight. It's not hard to imagine the audience's shock when Ira Aldridge, a young black American, takes the stage unexpectedly. In the stirring, endlessly fascinating play Red Velvet, Aldridge breaks more than the color barrier as he battles the entrenched social and theatrical norms of his day. After his performance, he goes on to become a living legend, lauded from the footlights of Stratford to the halls of Saint Petersburg. See the highly praised, fiercely funny drama at the San Francisco Playhouse.
She was just a small-town girl living in a lonely world ... until she took a journey to the Sunset Strip in 1987 and met a boy from Detroit who shared her same dreams of making it big and falling in love. The Tony-nominated Broadway musical Rock of Ages comes to Walnut Creek courtesy of Lesher Center for the Arts, bringing its raucous mix of 28 eyebrow-scorching tunes from Journey, Pat Benatar, Night Ranger, Styx, REO Speedwagon and many more. This hilarious, high-energy production features a talented cast that belts out classic '80s hits like "Every Rose Has Its Thorn," "I Wanna Know What Love Is," "Here I Go Again" and, of course, "Don't Stop Believing."
A sequel to playwright Mfoniso Udofia's powerful drama Sojourners, runboyrun continues the sweeping legacy of one Nigerian woman caught between cultures. Taking place 30 years after her arranged marriage, Abasiama and her husband find themselves settled in Massachusetts, where a mysterious ghost forces an unspeakable past to collide with the cruel realties of the present. One of theater's sparkling new voices, Udofia's latest work explores the nature of unconditional love and the fears that prevent it's expression. Catch runboyrun at San Francisco's Magic Theatre.
Take the normal play production process, put it on extra-fast-forward and you have Shotz, a theatrical pressure cooker that puts talented theater groups to the test. Six groups are given two weeks to write, two weeks to rehearse, two hours to get their tech in gear and one chance to perform an all-new short play. Each month has a different theme, and with each group offering their unique take on the month's theme, each performance is full of surprises. This is the latest in a long line of PianoFight's one-of-a-kind twists on improvisational theater. These improv impresarios are known for putting on ingeniously interactive entertainments that leave even the hardest-to-please San Francisco crowds entertained.
Playwright John Guare examines the threads of chance that link one person to another -- and the consequences of those random connections -- in his fast-paced and affecting drama Six Degrees of Separation, now presented at San Francisco's Custom Made Theatre. Inspired by the story of a real-life con artist, the play follows a young African-American man who insinuates himself into the lives of a wealthy New York couple by claiming that he is the son of actor Sidney Poitier. In addition to a successful Broadway run, the Pulitzer Prize-nominated play was adapted into a 1993 film starring Will Smith, Stockard Channing and Donald Sutherland.
Few perspectives on American society have been as perceptive or as poignant as that of young Scout Finch, the heroine of Harper Lee's Pulitzer Prize-winning novel To Kill a Mockingbird. Adapted for the stage by Christopher Sergel (Winesburg, Ohio), this moving play follows Scout's journey as her father Atticus defends Tom Robinson, a black man framed for a crime he did not commit. As the trial progresses, Scout and her brother Jem witness their community divided over issues of justice and racism. See this stirring portrayal of both racial and family relations from Berkeley Playhouse at the Julia Morgan Theater.
Submitted for your approval: San Francisco's Piano Fight invites you to cross into another dimension ... a fifth dimension, the dimension of imagination. Fans of irony, set those imaginations for the year 1959 because The Twilight Zone Live offers up a weekly parody of the cult sci-fi TV show that'll surely get under your skin. Every week, there's a different Rod Serling stand-in and you'll see different live re-enactments of two classic episodes. Expect plenty of black-and-white psychedelic goodness as the ongoing show finds the middle ground between light and shadow, science and superstition.
Eden Espinosa boasts "one of the most exciting voices of her generation" (Playbill) -- and now you can experience it live as the Broadway star takes the historic Castro Theatre stage for A Twist of Limelight, an evening of music celebrating the launch of San Francisco's newest musical theater company, Bay Area Musicals. Best known for her portrayal of Elphaba in the Broadway smash Wicked, Espinosa also originated the lead role in Brooklyn and played Maureen in the closing company of Rent. For this solo performance, she'll perform deeply personal interpretations of her favorite Broadway hits. Along with the concert, A Twist of Limelight will also feature both silent and live auctions, the theater's season announcement, plus food and drink available for purchase throughout the night.
Queenie, a showgirl during the Jazz Age, has grown tired and resentful of her relationship with a clown named Burrs. To get back into the swing of things (and to get back at the violent Burrs), she decides to throw a party. But as their friends start to tumble in and the booze flows freely, the evening turns increasingly dark and decadent until ... a gun goes off. But who exactly has been shot? Tony nominee Andrew Lippa (The Addams Family, I Am Harvey Milk) wrote the book, lyrics and pulse-racing music for this one-of-a-kind, award-winning show that captures the verve and violence of the Roaring '20s. Now, Ray of Light Theatre's production of The Wild Party roars across the stage of the Victoria Theatre in San Francisco.
Spoken word artist Paul S. Flores has appeared on HBO's Def Poetry Jam and been dubbed SF Weekly's "Best Politically Active Hip-Hop Performance Artist." Now, he brings his solo show You're Gonna Cry to the Phoenix Theater, in which he travels back to the era of the 1990s, and examines the changes it wrought on his home, the Mission District. Tackling such topics as the dot-com boom and bust, the real estate bubble, immigration and forced eviction, Flores unveils a kaleidoscope of vibrant characters, giving life onstage to privileged techies, Latino bohemians and locals with a stake in the heart of San Francisco's oldest neighborhood. Peppered with plenty of humor, raw emotion and even a gangster puppet show, You're Gonna Cry illuminates a historic moment in local history.