The Ballad of Pancho and Lucy. Everybody loves a real-life fairy tale. That The Ballad ofPancho and Lucy is supposedly based on a true story about a local couple who robbed a succession of Mission District bars and nightclubs in the late '80s and early '90s gives Octavio Solis' rambunctious musical play an irresistible twist. A strange cocktail of Dashiell Hammett, Kurt Weill, and Cheers, this modern-day Robin Hood story (without the altruism and the green tights) finds its power in the careful balance between wild imagination and meticulous attention to detail. The characters, such as Delia MacDougall's cellulite-pitted Sandy Pants and Donald E. Lacy Jr.'s autistic Fred Spindle, feel like they're based on real people, and local nightspots, from the 500 Club to the Elbo Room, come to life through vivid description, gritty humor, and James Faerron's absurdly accurate dive bar set. Featuring catchy live music by Beth Custer and cartoonish dance steps from Erika Chong Shuch, the play simultaneously sends up and celebrates our ability to create full-blown urban legends out of the scantest facts. Through Nov. 27 at Intersection for the Arts, 446 Valencia (between 15th and 16th streets), S.F. Tickets are $9-15; call 626-3311 or visit www.theintersection.org. (Chloe Veltman) Reviewed Nov. 9.
The Tribute to Frank, Sammy, Joey & Dean. Sandy Hackett's swingin' tribute to the Rat Pack takes us back to a time when men wore tuxedos in the desert, women could be one of two things (a lady or a tramp), and Celine Dion was just a golden apple in Las Vegas' hungry eye. Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis Jr., Joey Bishop, and Dean Martin are brought back to life by God -- and the talents of a quartet of impersonators -- for one more night of highballing at the Sands Hotel. The concert-style production, featuring a live 12-piece band, perfectly captures the spirit of a long-lost era -- from Johnny Edwards' glossy Dean Martin pompadour to what would now be considered terribly un-PC gaffs about black Jews. These particular tribute artists aren't necessarily dead ringers for Frank and company, but if you close your eyes and listen to Brian Duprey's silk-voiced renditions of "My Way" and "Come Fly With Me," you almost feel like you've been transported, martini in hand, to another time and place. In an open-ended run at the Post Street Theatre, 450 Post (at Powell), S.F. Tickets are $35-60; call 771-6900 or visit www.poststreettheatre.com. (Chloe Veltman) Reviewed Aug. 24.
700 Sundays Golden Gate Theatre, 1 Taylor (at Market), 512-7770.
After Dark New Conservatory Theatre Center, 25 Van Ness (at Market), 861-8972.
Beach Blanket Babylon Club Fugazi, 678 Green (at Powell), 421-4222.