Our critics weigh in on local theatre

The Taming of the Shrew: Marin Shakespeare Company mounts a Wild West-themed production of Shakespeare's comic romance. Fri.-Sun., 8 p.m.; Sundays, 4 p.m. Continues through Sept. 25, free-$26. Forest Meadows Amphitheatre, Dominican University, 50 Acacia (at Grand), San Rafael, 499-1108.

Victim of a Mind Trap: Eric Barry's new play delves into the lives of three San Francisco teenagers who use a dangerous and compelling "dream machine" to play out their fantasies. Thur.-Sat., 8 p.m. Continues through Sept. 25, $13-15. Xenodrome, 1320 Potrero (at 25th St.), 285-9366, www.xenodrome.com.

The Violet Hour: A Jazz-Age comedy about a publisher whose future depends on his next book who receives mysterious messages from the future. Starting Sept. 17, Saturdays, 3 p.m. & 8 p.m.; Wed.-Fri., 8 p.m. Continues through Oct. 23, $30-50. SF Playhouse, 536 Sutter (at Powell), 677-9596, www.sfplayhouse.org.

The White House Murder Case: Jules Feiffer's political satire concerns a President who finds himself embroiled in a futuristic war in Brazil on the eve of the elections. Wed.-Sat., 8 p.m.; Sundays, 2:30 p.m. Continues through Sept. 26, $18-29. Lucie Stern Theater, 1305 Middlefield (at Embarcadero), Palo Alto, 650-903-6000.

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