Also Playing

Our critics weigh in on local theater

The Tempest. Traditionally considered to be Shakespeare's last play and his parting statement to the theater, this mystical-minded romance is concerned with the intricacies of what it means to be a family. Director John LeFan and his motley cast of actors and dancers have the feel of a loose-knit clan. They turn the Mariposa Studio into an inviting home that captures the elements and accentuates the themes of this beautiful fantasia. The moment you enter the studio, you're enveloped in the sensual world of a sea-faring vessel caught in a storm. The ensemble uses voice and dancelike movement to illustrate the scene, and it works brilliantly. It's fun to watch a group of theater artists committed to listening to each other and finding sympathetic movement that supports a great playwright's ideas. The multitalented Theron Shaw is a stroke of casting genius as Ariel, bringing to the role an appealing otherworldly quality. Leon Setti as Gonzalo, an honest old counselor, has a grounded presence and a gift for speaking the verse in an accessible, conversational tone. Some of the other actors aren't quite so successful; unfortunately, Bob Taxin simply isn't up for the challenge of playing Prospero, one of Shakespeare's most majestic roles, and it leaves a hole in the evening's entertainment. At two hours and 20 minutes with no intermission, the play feels long, but when the actors' moves, the director's vision, and the writer's poetry align, this production gives us moments of real magic. Through Oct. 7 at the Mariposa Studio, 2808 Mariposa (at Florida), S.F. Tickets are $15-30; call 861-4330 or visit (Frank Wortham) Reviewed Sept. 20.

Also Playing

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Phoenix Theatre, 414 Mason (at Geary), Suite 601, 989-0023.
Aladdin and the Wonderful Lamp
Fort Mason, Bldg. C, Marina & Buchanan.
Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day
Julia Morgan Center for the Arts, 2640 College (at Derby), Berkeley, 510-845-8542.
Beach Blanket Babylon
Club Fugazi, 678 Green (at Powell), 421-4222.
Beyond Therapy
Shelton Theater, 533 Sutter (at Powell), 433-1226.
Big Love
Traveling Jewish Theatre, 470 Florida (at Mariposa), 285-8282.
La Val's Subterranean Theater, 1834 Euclid (at Hearst), Berkeley, 510-234-6046.
Cowboy Mouth
Exit Theatre on Taylor, 277 Taylor (at Ellis), 673-3847.
Die Fledermaus
War Memorial Opera House, 301 Van Ness (at Grove), 864-3330.
Down Broadway
Theatre 39 at Pier 39, 2 Beach (Beach & Embarcadero).
Off-Market Theater, 965 Mission (at Fifth St.), 896-6477.
Faulty Intelligence
The Marsh, 1062 Valencia (at 22nd St.), 826-5750.
First Friday Cabaret
Off-Market Theater, 965 Mission (at Fifth St.), 896-6477.
Fred Anderson
Pier 39, Beach & Embarcadero, 705-5500.
Off-Market Studio, 965 Mission (at Fifth St.), 896-6477.
Hipolito: Ready, Aim, Fire!
Mission Cultural Center for Latino Arts, 2868 Mission (at 25th St.), 821-1155.
"How We First Met"
The Purple Onion, 140 Columbus (at Pacific), 217-8400.
Improv Revolution
Off-Market Theater, 965 Mission (at Fifth St.), 896-6477.

12 Galaxies, 2565 Mission (at 22nd St.), 970-9777.
In Bed With Fairy Butch for Women, Transfolks, & Their Pals Islanders
Intersection for the Arts, 446 Valencia (at 15th St.), 626-3311.
Les Enfants Terrible
Oakland Metro, 201 Broadway (at Second St.), Oakland, 510-763-1146.
The Living Corpse
Shelton Theater, 533 Sutter (at Powell), 433-1226.
Love, Chaos & Dinner
Pier 29, Embarcadero (at Battery), 273-1620.
Victoria Theatre, 2961 16th St. (at Capp), 863-7576.
Monday Night Make Em Ups
San Francisco Comedy College, 414 Mason, #705 (at Geary), 921-2051.
Monday Night Marsh
The Marsh, 1062 Valencia (at 22nd St.), 826-5750.
Murder Mystery Dinner
The Archbishop's Mansion, 1000 Fulton (at Steiner), 563-7872.
Noh Pressure Cooker
Noh Space, 2840 Mariposa (at Florida), 621-7978.
Not a Genuine Black Man
he Marsh, 1062 Valencia (at 22nd St.), 826-5750.
Pinteresque: The Lover
TEureka Theatre, 215 Jackson (at Front), 788-7469.
Rhinestone Cowgirl
New Conservatory Theatre Center, 25 Van Ness (at Market), 861-8972.
Ride Down Mount Morgan
SF Playhouse, 536 Sutter (at Powell), 677-9596.
Rigoletto Supertrain
War Memorial Opera House, 301 Van Ness (at Grove), 864-3330.
Taming of the Shrew
Buriel Clay Theater, 762 Fulton (at Webster), 922-2049.
Tarantella, Tarantula
ODC Theater, 3153 17th St. (at Shotwell), 863-9834.
Ten Tenors
Orpheum Theater, 1192 Market (at Eighth St.), 512-7770.
Tings Dey Happen
The Marsh, 1062 Valencia (at 22nd St.), 826-5750.
Geary Theater, 415 Geary (at Mason), 749-2228.
Tristan und Isolde
War Memorial Opera House, 301 Van Ness (at Grove), 864-3330.

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