Our critics weigh in on local theatre

The Best of Playground 8: A festival showcasing the best of local playwrights with seven short plays from Tom Swift, Jonathan Luskin, and other writers, 8 p.m. Thursday, June 24, through Saturday, June 26, 2 and 7 p.m. Sunday, June 27; $15-$40. Traveling Jewish Theatre, 470 Florida (at Mariposa), 285-8282.

Betrayal: Aurora Theatre Company's take on Harold Pinter's drama about marital infidelity; Previews, 8 p.m. Wednesday, June 23; 8 p.m. Wednesdays-Saturdays, beginning Thursday, June 24, 2 and 7 p.m. Sundays, through July 25; $28-$40. Aurora Theatre, 2081 Addison (at Shattuck), Berkeley, 510-843-4822.

"Bourgeois": A rather schizophrenic evening of experimental music, dance, and theater featuring choreographer Joe Landini's 4 Stories, a dance piece reflecting on technology's takeover of modern culture, along with Femmisphere: Songs in the Key of Angst, a "drag cabaret" performance by the inimitable Trauma Flintstone, 8 p.m. Wednesdays, through June 30, $10, 885-4006 (information). Off-Market Theater, 965 Mission (at Fifth St.), 896-6477.

Eclipsed: Patricia Burke Brogan's drama takes a critical look at Ireland's Magdalene laundries, which incarcerated so-called "promiscuous" women, 8 p.m. Thursday, June 24, through Saturday, June 26, 2 p.m. Sunday, June 27; $13-$20. Berkeley City Club, 2315 Durant (at Ellsworth), Berkeley, 510-843-4822.

The Fantasticks: Two dads launch a fake feud in order to drive their son and daughter into each other's arms in this musical classic, 8 p.m. Wednesdays-Fridays, 3 and 8 p.m. Saturdays, through July 31; $15-$50. The Playhouse, 536 Sutter (at Powell), 677-9596.

The Good Body: Award-winning playwright Eve Ensler looks at the whys and wherefores of women changing their bodies for social approval, Previews, 8 p.m. Thursday, June 24, through Tuesday, June 29; $11-$68. Geary Theater, 415 Geary (at Mason), 749-2228.

Last Five Years: The musical comedy looks at a romance from two points of view: Hers from the end backwards, his from the beginning forward, 8:15 p.m. Wednesday, June 23, through Saturday, June 26; $26-$29. Dean Lesher Regional Center for the Arts, 1601 Civic (at Locust), Walnut Creek, 925-943-7469.

Orpheus Descending: The Jean Shelton & Kenneth Vandenberg-directed production resets the myth of Orpheus and Eurydice in a small, backwards southern town., 8 p.m. Thursdays-Saturdays, beginning Friday, June 25, 7 p.m. Sundays, through Aug. 28; $10-$40. Actors Theatre San Francisco, 533 Sutter (at Powell), 296-9179.

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