Longtime purveyors of quirky vaudeville, Teatro ZinZanni lures veterans from Cirque du Soleil and Moulin Rouge to create an intimate circus with aerialists in lingerie, tap dancing waiters, orgasmic cherries, tightrope-walking bears, and tasty soup.
Monsters lurk in all of us, especially those of us whose personalities were invented by Shakespeare. Known for its uniquely San Francisco-leaning interpretations of the infamous bard - and for a raft of local Best Of awards - Cutting Ball Theater opens its season with a three-person chamber version of The Tempest.
Dramatic and precisely articulated with occasionally disturbing imagery, butoh rose from the ashes of nuclear war in 1960s Japan and grew into a performance art that reflects anguish as well as a time-halting sense of transcendance. Internationally known butoh troupe Sankai Juku is coming to Yerba Buena Center this week to present the local premiere of its landmark work, the deeply-felt and visually spectacular Hibiki: Resonance from Far Away. Butoh fans, rejoice.
Local favorite Liz Duffy Adam’s latest play is a departure from her usual post-apocalyptic sci-fi fare. Instead, her deft and witty pen sketches the cross-dressing, spying, bodice-ripping life story of Aphra Behn, the first professional female playwright. Dodging King Charles II, his mistress Nell Gwynne, and murderous double agents, Aphra works feverishly to finish her script and launch herself as an historical figure.
Writers often find themselves on unconventional career paths, thanks to the tentative fiscal prospect of writing the next great novel. Thus, Kieran McGrath finds himself staring at the meandering rear end of a horse as it clops through Central Park and straight toward his next resume bullet point: accidental gigolo. Trading his attractive and literary self to wealthy women for financial gain, McGrath thinks he’s found his plot.
Deeply embedded in the local dance scene, choreographers Todd Eckert (a member of Robert Moses’ Kin) and Nol Simonse (a dancer with Janice Garrett and Kunst-Stoff) return to Dance Mission Theater with lively and appealing new work, featuring greek goddesses and twelfth century poetry schemas. Your bachelor of arts degree will be so proud.
If you’ve never seen rival gangs bust out the jazz hands at a dance-off to prove their turf dominion, you really need to check out West Side Story. (This kind of thing definitely doesn’t go down on The Wire.) A revival of the hoodlum-rumbling, game-changing 1957 musical about a lower-class Romeo and a Puerto Rican Juliet in New York City comes to San Francisco with all the verve - if not quite the shock - of the original.
San Francisco Symphony: Carmina Burana and Haydn
Set in the projects just days before Hurricane Katrina strikes, Marcus; or The Secret of Sweet is the warm and resonant tale of a young black man exploring his identity in a world of family intrigue, Louisiana myth, and sexual awakening. Third in The Brother/Sister Plays trilogy - the first two were presented at Magic Theatre and Marin Theatre Company in this groundbreaking, three-theater partnership - Marcus is the largest in scope and beautifully produced on ACT's stage.
Laudatory quotes flow around Hubbard Street Dance like fog down the Richmond - and deservedly so. One of the first dance companies I ever saw perform, Hubbard Street set me up as a dance lover for life - it's the type of performance you recommend to friends and then invite yourself along. And they’re moving more brilliantly than ever. The seventeen-dancer ensemble hits Berkeley this weekend, where they’ll perform West Coast premieres of Nacho Duato’s Arcangelo, Alejandro Cerrudo’s Deep Down Dos and Blanco, and 27’52” by the incomparable Jiri Kylian.
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