Encore

Our critics weigh in on local theatre

Not a Genuine Black Man. It's not easy being green, but try being a black kid in San Leandro in the early '70s. When Brian Copeland got there -- just a few months after the Summer of Love, he points out -- it was one of the most viciously racist suburbs in America. Now it's officially the most diverse. "Take that, San Francisco," Copeland chides. He's earned that attitude, not just for going through his hell of growing up, but also for extracting from it such affirmative, hilarious stuff. Copeland's rightfully popular one-man show is wrought from pain and rage, but never really succumbs to bitterness. "Is that black?" he asks, and proves that it is. Some of his best stereotype-busting material doesn't feel especially new, but it does feel good. Besides, it's the stereotypes that have passed their expiration dates: Copeland's title comes from an accusation recently flung at him by a cranky listener who called in to his KGO radio program. This show is his response. With help from declarative lighting and David Ford's direction, Copeland creates an affecting hybrid of the dramatic monologue and the rollicking stand-up act. Through July 24 at the Marsh, 1062 Valencia (at 22nd Street), S.F. Tickets are $15-22; call 826-5750 or visit www.themarsh.org. (Jonathan Kiefer) Reviewed June 2.

Also Playing

Are We Almost There?: Morris Bobrow's rollicking, long-running musical comedy about the trials and tribulations of travel, 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, $20-$22. Shelton Theater, 533 Sutter (at Powell), 433-3040.

As You Like It: The all-female Woman's Will company sets Shakespeare's tale in 1960s London with a cross-dressing cast, through Aug. 15, free; see www.womanswill.org for a schedule of performances, 510-420-0813 (information). Multiple locations.

Awe About Eve: Theatre Rhinoceros stages the original uncut screenplay (filmed in the 1950s as All About Eve) written by Joseph Mankiewicz and made famous by Bette Davis' classic performance, 8 p.m. Thursday, July 15, through Saturday, July 17, 3 p.m. Sunday, July 18; $15-$20. Theatre Rhinoceros, 2926 16th St. (at South Van Ness), 861-5079.

Beach Blanket Babylon: This North Beach perennial features crazy hats, media personality caricatures, a splash of romance, and little substance, 8 p.m. Wednesdays and Thursdays, 7 and 10 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, 3 and 7 p.m. Sundays, $25-$65. Club Fugazi, 678 Green (at Powell), 421-4222.

Becca and Heidi: Local playwright Sharon Eberhardt's new one-woman play about split personality and morality; Previews, 8:30 p.m. Thursday, July 15, and Friday, July 16, pay-what-you-will; 8:30 p.m. Thursdays-Saturdays, beginning Saturday, July 17, through Aug. 7, $15-$20, 454-7788 (information). Exit Theatre, 156 Eddy (at Taylor), 673-3847.

The Caucasian Chalk Circle: The Shotgun Players retell the story of King Solomon and his solution to a problem shared by two mothers in this free outdoor production, 4 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays, through Aug. 29. John Hinkel Park, Southampton (between San Diego and Somerset), Berkeley, 510-655-0813.

FUN: The Concept: The rather metaphysical humor of comic strip Zippy the Pinhead is translated into a theatrical stage show, 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, through July 31, $10-$15. Dark Room Theater, 2263 Mission (at 18th St.), 401-7987.

Henry IV: Mladen Kiselov directs Dakin Matthews' adaptation of Shakespeare's Henry IV,Parts One and Two, 7:30 p.m. Tuesdays-Thursdays, 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, 2 p.m. Saturdays, 4 p.m. Sundays, through Aug. 1; $10-$52. Bruns Memorial Amphitheater, Siesta Valley, Shakespeare Festival Way/Gateway Blvd., Hwy. 24, Orinda, 510-548-9666.

I Look Like an Egg But I Identify as a Cookie: Comic Heather Gold bakes chocolate chip cookies and recounts funny memories with her audiences while asking them to share recipes and other secrets, 8 p.m. Sunday, July 18, $20-$30, 866-468-3399 (information). Hotel Adagio, 550 Geary (at Taylor).

I Love You, You're Perfect, Now Change: Joe DiPietro and Jimmy Roberts' original comic musical examines our embarrassing inner notions on relationships, 8 p.m. Tuesdays-Fridays, 5 and 9 p.m. Saturdays, 2 and 7 p.m. Sundays, through Sept. 30; $35-$55. Marines Memorial Theater, 609 Sutter (at Mason), 877-771-6900.

I Need, I Want, I Tilt: The Tilted Frame company improvises an original play live each night incorporating digital video and the Internet, 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, through July 31, $12-$15. Off-Market Theater, 965 Mission (at Fifth St.), 896-6477.

Movin' Out: More than two dozen Billy Joel songs and Twyla Tharp's choreography form a backdrop for the story of two turbulent decades lived by a pair of lifelong friends, 2 and 8 p.m. Wednesdays and Saturdays, 8 p.m. Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays, 2 p.m. Sundays, through Aug. 29; $34-$81. Golden Gate Theatre, 1 Taylor (at Market), 512-7770.

Othello: The Marin Shakespeare Company's take on Shakespeare's story of jealousy, betrayal, and interracial passion, 8 p.m. Fridays-Sundays, 4 p.m. Sundays, through Aug. 15; $15-$26. Forest Meadows Amphitheatre, Dominican University, 50 Acacia (at Grand), San Rafael, 499-1108.

The Producers: American Musical Theatre of San Jose's take on Mel Brooks' musical about a scheming duo of producers who accidentally hatch a Broadway hit, 8 p.m. Tuesdays-Fridays, 2 and 8 p.m. Saturdays, 1 and 6:30 p.m. Sundays, through July 25; $50-$77. San Jose Center for the Performing Arts, 255 Almaden (at Park), San Jose, 408-277-5277.

The Rape of Lucretia: Mezzo-soprano Kate Mangiameli leads the cast of the Merola Opera Program's new production, 8 p.m. Friday, July 16, 2 p.m. Sunday, July 18; $35-$48. War Memorial Opera House, 301 Van Ness (at Grove), 864-3330.

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