Our critics weigh in on local theatre

A Step Away: Berkeley playwright Myrna Holden's new play takes a critical look at love in modern times. Thur.-Sat., 8 p.m.; Sundays, 5 p.m. Continues through Nov. 21, $8-20. Berkeley City Club, 2315 Durant (at Ellsworth), Berkeley, 510-843-4822.

Story Swap With Madame Razz: Kids and their families can hear amazing tales culled from legends around the world. Saturdays, 1 p.m. Continues through Nov. 6, $8-10. The Marsh, 1062 Valencia (at 22nd St.), 826-5750, www.themarsh.org.

Un/dying/love: A diverse series of short plays by emerging Bay Area writers. Thur.-Sat., 8 p.m. Continues through Oct. 30, $10. Climate Theater, 285 Ninth St. (at Folsom), 364-1411.

The Va Va Voom Room: A lavish variety show featuring pulchritudinous dames, mischievous magicians, sultry chanteuses, heartthrob tenors, and a live three-piece band in a new show every week with rotating headliners. Fri., Sat., 8 p.m. & 11 p.m., $25-$29.75, www.vavavoomroom.com. Plush Room, York Hotel, 940 Sutter (at Hyde), 885-2800.

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

"Welcome to the Hypnodrome": Each evening contains three short plays -- two horror yarns, one comic skit -- adapted from vintage Grand Guignol tales. Thur.-Sat., 8 p.m. Continues through Nov. 20, $18-50. The Hypnodrome, 575 10th St. (at Bryant), 248-1900, www.hypnodrome.com.

Women's Work: Another entry in the ongoing series of dance, thater, music, spoken-word and multimedia performances created by women. Oct. 22-23, 8 p.m., $8-10. Shotwell Studios, 3252A 19th St. (at Folsom), 289-2000.

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