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Theater & Opera

Six Degrees of Separation. It seems entirely unfair to blame a show for not being "New York" enough, as if somehow only New York held the key to good American theater. And yet what was missing from SF Playhouse's ambitious and heartfelt production of John Guare's beautiful play was the sense of watching a privileged, detached New York woman find connection and meaning in the most unlikely of places. As Ouisa and her husband Flan, Susi Damilano and Robert Parsons could just as easily be a wealthy couple living the good life in Marin. They capture the couple's charm and air of easy entitlement, yet they lack the bite and the drive people thrive on in New York high society. It is this ambition and neediness that we should see mirrored – and ultimately threatened – by a young black man who shows up on their doorstep claiming to be a school friend of their children. The production has many fine and funny moments in its crisp 90 minutes. But because Damilano and Parsons never exude the Manhattanites' darker side, the final moments of possible redemption never feel fully earned. Through Nov. 17 at SF Playhouse, 533 Sutter (at Powell), S.F. Tickets are $38; call 677-9597 or visit (M.R.) Reviewed Oct. 10.

Actors Reading Writers: Berkeley City Club, 2315 Durant (at Ellsworth), Berkeley, 510-843-4822.

After the Quake: Berkeley Repertory School of Theatre, 2071 Addison (at Shattuck), Berkeley, 510-647-2972.

Antigone: Temescal Arts Center, 511 48th St. (at Telegraph), Oakland, 510-923-1074.

Argonautika: Berkeley Repertory's Roda Theatre, 2015 Addison (at Shattuck), Berkeley, 510-647-2949.

Attrition: Exit Theatre on Taylor, 277 Taylor (at Ellis), 673-3847.

Autumnal OUTing: Theatre Rhinoceros, 2926 16th St. (at South Van Ness), 861-5079.

Based on a Totally True Story: New Conservatory Theatre Center, 25 Van Ness (at Market), 861-8972.

BATS: Sunday Players: Fort Mason, Bldg. B, Marina & Buchanan, 474-6776.

Beautiful: Space 180, 180 Capp (at 17th St.), 354-9722.

Bible: The Complete Word of God (abridged) and Completely Hollywood (abridged): Marines Memorial Theater, 609 Sutter (at Mason), 771-6900.

Big City Improv: Shelton Theater, 533 Sutter (at Powell), 433-1226.

Breeze at Dawn: Traveling Jewish Theatre, 470 Florida (at Mariposa), 285-8282.

Camino Real: Actors Theatre San Francisco, 855 Bush (at Taylor), 345-1287.

The Color Purple: The Musical About Love: Orpheum Theater, 1192 Market (at Eighth St.), 512-7770.

Creepshow Live: Dark Room Theater, 2263 Mission (at 18th St.), 401-7987.

Evening with Miss Tammy Grimes: Empire Plush Room, York Hotel, 940 Sutter (at Hyde), 885-2800.

Every Inch a King: Berkeley City Club, 2315 Durant (at Ellsworth), Berkeley, 510-843-4822.

GayProv: Off-Market Studio, 965 Mission (at Fifth St.), 896-6477.

Guys and Dolls: San Jose Center for the Performing Arts, 255 Almaden (at Park), San Jose, 408-277-5277.

Improv Revolution: Off-Market Theater, 965 Mission (at Fifth St.), 896-6477.

Insurance?!? We Don't Need Insur-AAAHHHH!!!: Dark Room Theater, 2263 Mission (at 18th St.), 401-7987.

The Life Game: Bayfront Theater, Fort Mason, Bldg. B (Marina & Buchanan), 474-8935.

Little Women: Lucie Stern Theater, 1305 Middlefield (at Embarcadero), Palo Alto, 650-903-6000.

Love, Chaos & Dinner: Pier 29, Embarcadero (at Battery), 273-1620.

The Magic Flute: War Memorial Opera House, 301 Van Ness (at Grove), 864-3330.

Monday Night Improv: Jam Off-Market Theater, 965 Mission (at Fifth St.), 896-6477.

Monday Night Marsh: The Marsh, 1062 Valencia (at 22nd St.), 826-5750.

The Mousetrap: Dean Lesher Regional Center for the Arts, 1601 Civic (at Locust), Walnut Creek, 925-943-7469.

Murder Mystery Dinner: The Archbishop's Mansion, 1000 Fulton (at Steiner), 563-7872.

One Touch of Venus: Eureka Theatre, 215 Jackson (at Front), 788-7469.

Pandora Experiment: Exit Theatre, 156 Eddy (at Taylor), 673-3847.

Race Is a Lie: SF Playhouse, 533 Sutter (at Powell), 677-9596.

Rainmaker: American Conservatory Theater, 415 Geary (at Mason), 749-2228.

Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead: Live Oak Theater, 1301 Shattuck (at Berryman), Berkeley, 510-704-8210.

Ruthless! The Musical: The Purple Onion, 140 Columbus (at Pacific), 217-8400.

Scourge: ODC Theater, 3153 17th St. (at Shotwell), 863-9834.

Sex: Aurora Theatre, 2081 Addison (at Shattuck), Berkeley, 510-843-4822.

Shocktoberfest: The Hypnodrome, 575 10th St. (at Bryant), 248-1900.

Shopping! The Musical: Shelton Theater, 533 Sutter (at Powell), 433-1226.

Solohouse: Shelton Theater, 533 Sutter (at Powell), 433-1226.

Sonny's Blues: Lorraine Hansberry Theatre, 620 Sutter (at Mason), 474-8800.

The Sunday Players' "Sunday Night Scene": Bayfront Theater, Fort Mason, Bldg. B (Marina & Buchanan), 474-8935.

Triumph of Love: San Jose Repertory Theatre, 101 Paseo de San Antonio (at South Third St.), San Jose, 408-367-7255.

Use Both Hands: Phoenix Theatre, 414 Mason (at Geary), Suite 601, 989-0023.

Yugen Presents: Noh Space, 2840 Mariposa (at Florida), 621-7978.

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