Also Playing

Our critics weigh in on local theater

Wishful Drinking. Carrie Fisher's solo show feels less like a play and more like cocktails over at her house. Within five minutes, Fisher has kicked off her shoes, poured herself a massive glass of Diet Coke, lit a clove cigarette, and asked the audience if they have any questions. While obviously there's a scripted tale to be told about her life in and out of rehab and the tabloids, Fisher has a generous personality and clearly enjoys plenty of audience interaction. On a beautifully designed living room set by Alexander V. Nichols, images and bits of film are projected to accompany her tumultuous life. Fisher was the celebrity spawn of 1950s teen idols Debbie Reynolds and Eddie Fisher, and, as many know from her book Postcards from the Edge, she had quite an affinity for drugs ("Some say religion is the opiate of the masses, but for me, I took opiates religiously"). The Star Wars segment will seem all too brief for fans, but is highlighted with George Lucas' declaration that there is no underwear in space. Her marriage to Paul Simon is absorbing (who knew that much of his album Rhythm of the Saints was all about her?), but this play is rooted solidly in her diagnosis as a manic-depressive. Some segments border on self-indulgence, and 30 minutes could easily be trimmed, but it is undeniably appealing watching Fisher expose the beautiful and ugly bits of her life with such a big heart. Through April 12 at Berkeley Rep, 2015 Addison (at Shattuck), Berkeley. Tickets are $16.50-$59; call 510-647-2949 or visit www.berkeleyrep.org. (N.E.) Reviewed March 12.

BATS: Sunday Players: Each week Bay Area Theatresports players pit their improv work against all comers as the audience votes them off one by one until the winner stands alone on the stage. Sundays, 8 p.m., $8, www.improv.org. Fort Mason, Bldg. B (Marina and Buchanan), 474-6776.

Beach Blanket Babylon: A North Beach perennial featuring crazy hats, media personality caricatures, a splash of romance, and little substance. $25-$65, www.beachblanketbabylon.com. Club Fugazi, 678 Green (at Powell), 421-4222.

The Better Half: The U.S. premiere of a lost Noel Coward play. Through May 3, 8 p.m., $20-$69. The Hypnodrome, 575 10th St. (at Bryant), 248-1900, www.hypnodrome.com.

Big City Improv: Actors take audience suggestions and create comedy from nothing. Fridays, 10 p.m., $15, www.bigcityimprov.com. Shelton Theater, 533 Sutter (at Powell), 433-1226, www.sheltontheater.com.

Comedy of Errors: Presented by the African-American Shakespeare Company. Through April 13, $20-$25, www.african-americanshakes.org. African American Art and Cultural Complex Center, 762 Fulton (at Webster), 394-5854.

DIVAfest: Plays and performances by women artists. Starting April 11, Fridays, Saturdays. Continues through April 26. Exit Theatre, 156 Eddy (at Taylor), 673-3847, www.sffringe.org.

The Emperor's New Clothes: Active Arts Theatre for Young Audiences presents Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty's musical. April 12-27. Julia Morgan Center for the Arts, 2640 College (at Derby), Berkeley, 510-845-8542, www.juliamorgan.org.

Future Me: Stephen Brown's drama about an unforgivable crime. Thursdays-Sundays. Continues through May 4. Berkeley City Club, 2315 Durant (at Ellsworth), Berkeley, 510-843-4822.

The Government Inspector: Nikolai Gogol's play plays out in a backwater Russian village, where government leaders and local cronies are willing to give a visiting official money, women, and whatever else he wants — just as long as he gives them a good report back at the capital. Through April 20. American Conservatory Theater, 415 Geary (at Mason), 749-2228, www.act-sfbay.org.

hotshot: Terrence Beswick's drama about men and their obsessions: sex, love, and crystal meth. Thursdays-Saturdays, 8 p.m. Continues through April 26, $10-$15, www.guerrillarep.org. Mama Calizo's Voice Factory, 1519 Mission (at Van Ness), 690-9410, www.voicefactorysf.org.

Insignificant Others: An open run of L. Jay Kuo's musical, directed by George Quick, about five friends who move to San Francisco from the Midwest. Daily, www.isomusical.com. Theatre 39 at Pier 39, 2 Beach (Beach & Embarcadero).

Manners and Civility: A psychological drama of kidnapping and morality by Nick Olivero. Thursdays-Sundays. Continues through April 12. Boxcar Playhouse, 505 Natoma (at Sixth St.), 776-1747, wwwboxcartheatre.org.

Medea: Euripides' drama, directed by Phyllis Holliday and produced by RubberMatchSeriez. Starting April 11, Fridays-Sundays. Continues through April 20. St. Boniface Church Theater, 133 Golden Gate (at Leavenworth).

Monday Night Marsh: Each week a different lineup of musicians, actors, performance artists, and others takes the stage. Mondays, $7. The Marsh, 1062 Valencia (at 22nd St.), 826-5750, www.themarsh.org.

Murder Mystery Dinner: A murder mystery dinner that begins with detectives gathering to split $5 million in royalties from their latest book. Includes fruit and cheese reception and three-course dinner. One Saturday a month. Call for specific date. Saturdays, 6 p.m., $95, www.incentivestointrigue.com. Queen Anne Hotel, 1590 Sutter (at Octavia), 441-2828.

The Pandora Experiment: A "slightly creepy" show by award-winning magician and illusionist Christian Cagigal. Fridays, Saturdays, 8 p.m. Continues through April 12, $12-$20, www.sffringe.org. Exit Stage Left, 156 Eddy (between Taylor & Mason), 673-3847.

Point Break LIVE!: Stage adaptation of the 1992 Keanu Reeves/Patrick Swayze blockbuster. Starting April 11, Fridays, Saturdays. Continues through May 1. Xenodrome, 1320 Potrero (at 25th St.), 285-9366, www.xenodrome.com.

Riches: Lee Blessing's drama about a marriage that goes wrong. Through April 27. Phoenix Theatre, 414 Mason (at Geary), Suite 601, 989-0023.

School for Scandal: A spirited comedy by Richard Brinsley Sheridan, directed by John Hull. April 10-12. Eureka Theatre, 215 Jackson (at Front), 788-7469, www.eurekatheatre.org.

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