Your brother remembers your dad working too much. Your sister remembers him drinking too much. All you remember is the room you grew up in, small and stuffy and definitely blue. Your mom swears it was yellow. Can't anyone get the story right? Local playwright Wesley Moore's A Reckoning is about the incongruity of familial memory and the icky stuff that arises when no one's facts match up. A year after her mother's death, Irene decides to surprise her pop, a successful San Francisco architect, with a visit. But she brings with her a barrage of accusations about his treatment of her as a child, including claims that he locked her in a closet, attacked her with tweezers, and force-fed her. He refuses to admit guilt, so she does what any pissed-off kid would do: takes him to court. The result is a heated public battle, in which both parties get more than they bargained for. Helmed by director Richard Seyd, the production stars real-life father and daughter Kevin and Jennifer Tighe.
A Reckoning previews on Saturday, Feb. 26, at 8:30 p.m. (and continues through March 27) at the Magic Theatre, Building D, Fort Mason Center, Marina & Buchanan, S.F. Tickets are $20-38 (with pay-what-you-can Tuesdays); call 441-8822 or visit www.magictheatre.org.
-- Karen Macklin
On your Artauds
Dance performances based on heretical surrealist radio shows are few and far between. Not too many troupes' bizarre displays of movement-based social commentary have the kind of historical and theoretical underpinnings that wife, life, tripe, damnit and THAT does. The production company Djalma Primordial Science has taken a 1948 radio broadcast by French poet Antonin Artaud as its inspiration. The recording concerned the sperm of American boys and its possible use as a brainwashing agent on the rest of the world. How this translates into live dance and music ("prepared guitars and live signal processing," say the press materials), we're not sure. But both pieces, Artaud's original and Djalma's adaptation, address a world angered by the arrogance and violence of the United States government, and that seems a worthwhile subject.
The company has its first San Francisco appearance at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday at the Jon Sims Center for the Arts, 1519 Mission (at 11th Street), S.F. Admission is $12; call 554-0402 or visit www.jonsimsctr.org.
-- Hiya Swanhuyser
Show time for transmen at a gay bathhouse revue
Male-to-female transsexuals don't lack places to strut their newly redesigned stuff -- gay bars from here to Kalamazoo host drag shows. But it's rare to find one that welcomes performers who changed their sex from Eve to Steve. That's not the case at "Retool and Grind," a monthly open mike for musicians, poets, dancers, and others with a yen to command the stage for five minutes at a time. FTMs and those who love 'em are the staple performers, and the whole shebang is set in the steamy atmosphere of the gay bathhouse Eros.
Two elderly couples look forward to retirement: This is part of the American dream, right? But in Charles Johnson's play Ain't It So, the cruelty faced by African-Americans in the South complicates their choices. Do they go back to Alabama or stick it out in Chicago? Perhaps even tougher, the husbands share an unsettling secret. Ain't It So continues at 8 p.m. Thursdays through Saturdays at the Next Stage, 1620 Gough (at Bush), S.F. Admission is $20; call 333-6389 or visit www.wehavemet.org.
-- Hiya Swanhuyser