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Amber Adrian

Robert Moses' Kin: The Cinderella Principle

Robert Moses is known for his sinuous, rapid-fire choreography and his dancers are known for their enviable ability to slide gracefully through movement so complex that the average audience member eye-brain connection is speed dazzled. The performance this weekend marks the world premiere of a behemoth of a project. The Cinderella Principle explores non-traditional family groupings (two dads, two moms, older parents, in vitro and all the waiting and wondering and hoping that entails) culled from interviews conducted with twelve Bay Area families and arranged by award-winning playwright Anne Galjour.

Akram Khan, Contemporary Dance at Yerba Buena

Bangladeshi-British choreographer Akram Khan pulls dancers from an expansive array of backgrounds - China, Korea, India, Slovakia, South Africa and Spain - to perform quick yet thoughtful meditations on living in a global community. (That said, meditation is rarely this acrobatic.) Bahok, the work being performed at Yerba Buena Center tonight and Saturday, was originally a collaboration between the Akram Khan Company and the National Ballet of China, depicting an airport with a crew of stranded travelers from around the world, trying to communicate with each other as they await their fate. The title of the piece is the Bengali word for "carrier" and bahok investigates the ways in which the body carries cultural identity and a sense of inclusion.

Oedipus El Rey at the Magic

Put the Greek chorus in prison orange, make Oedipus a charismatic Chicano ex-con, throw the whole thing in the blender of MacArthur genius grant-winner Luis Alfaro's cunning brain and you get Oedipus El Rey, a gripping re-imagination of the classic myth. (Oedipus was the dude who killed his father and married his mother after a Seer warned his father that his new son would be his doom. So his father banished Oedipus, accidentally setting all events in motion. Whoops.)

February's Classical Music Offerings

Quarteto Vivace Brasil: Young hipsters of the male persuasion tend to refer to Brazil as "that place with the hot girls" - with an occasional reference to tango (where there are also hot girls). But in addition to the women and the rainforests, Brazil also has some stunning classical music, namely, Quarteto Vivace Brasil. The quartet features some of Brazil's best musicians - two guitarists, a percussionist, and a flautist - who play with an energy that makes Brazilian sambas and Argentinian tangos pop. Their premiere U.S. tour will also feature selections by Handel, Bizet, and American ragtime. No word on how hot the musicians are, but once they start to play, you'll probably stop caring.

The First Grade at Aurora Theatre

World premieres are fun because you get to sit smugly with the knowledge that you're one of the first people on the planet to see whatever it is you're seeing. We all like to be smug on occasion. Aurora Theatre is a darn good place to see such premieres, as it pulls down plenty of respect and kudos from the theater-y folks.

A Round-Heeled Woman at Theater Artaud

She puts an ad in the paper that casually mentioned she'd like lots of sex before her 67th birthday. She flies to New York to meet men, with whom she is now quite popular. She tracks down her estranged son in the California wilderness. She convinces her friends that meeting men through a newspaper ad is not - necessarily - going to end in death, dismemberment, and unseemly police investigations. She yells for her therapist in the middle of sex.

Nouveau Opera at Yerba Buena

Wozzeck doesn't look, sound, or feel like your standard opera o' buxom women in blonde braids and Viking helmets. Thought to be the first avant garde opera of the 20th century and a classic example of atonality, Wozzeck is based on the true story of a man (named Wozzeck - title explained) who was accused of killing his mistress in 1821 and publicly executed for the crime three years later.

Doubt: Now Playing at The New Conservatory Theatre

John Patrick Shanley, writer of this Pulitzer- and Tony-winning insta-classic, also penned Moonstruck and a personal favorite Joe Versus the Volcano. But Doubt is a far cry from Tom Hanks perched on a raft of Louis Vuitton luggage in the middle of the sea.

Phedre: Passions Ignite and Chariots Burn at A.C.T.

Greek passion is a fearsome thing. It can also be quite entertaining, especially when a guy two rows down whispers in a rather carrying tone, "Is this supposed to be funny?" (Yes.) Teasing humor from Phedre - the story of a father pitted against his angelic son by his straying queen, with all the ungoverned desire one would expect from a population ruled by whimsical gods - is the mark of people who are very good at what they do. It takes a few moments to sink into the world of verse and highly dramatic Greek princes, but when you do, it's quite a ride.

Sexual Democracy: The Heather Gold Show

Sex always makes a good conversational staple - especially when you're in a room with a lesbian, a bisexual, a drag queen, and a straight man. The possibilities from squirming to shocking are pretty much endless. And will likely send the audience through a gamut of emotion - from adoring San Francisco sexually inclusive streets to really wishing they'd taken their visiting mother to Wicked instead. But the endless possibilities include the very good chance that host Heather Gold will pull the most risqué comment of the night from the visiting Minnesotan matron.

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