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Our critics weigh in on local theater

Teatro ZinZanni's Hail Caesar! Loosely based on the love affair between Cleopatra and "Chef" Caesar, the current Egyptian-themed production by San Francisco's long-running dinner theater company, Teatro ZinZanni, combines the sensual-brash cabaret singing talents of Debbie de Coudreaux (the only American other than Josephine Baker to have starred at Paris' Moulin Rouge) with the vaudevillian swagger of ZinZanni old-timer Frank Ferrante. What little plot the show has is quickly subsumed by the happy business of eating, drinking, and watching Ferrante and de Coudreaux' capable supporting cast of clowns, acrobats, and contortionists perform daredevil exploits mere feet beyond our dinner plates. Thanks to the professionalism of the performers, the gorgeousness of the "Spiegeltent" setting, the decent cuisine, and copiously flowing booze, Hail Caesar! makes for an entertaining way to spend an evening. The performance would be significantly improved by a more carefully integrated plot, one that seamlessly weaves the entertainment into the delivery of each culinary course, with less reliance on lengthy and often embarrassing audience participation sequences. Through Sept. 21 at the Spiegeltent, Pier 29 (at Battery), S.F. Tickets are $123-$197; call 438-2668 or visit www.zinzanni.org. (C.V.) Reviewed June 11.

the break/s: Marc Bamuthi Joseph's multimedia hip-hop dance theater. June 19-21. Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, 701 Mission (at Third St.), 978-2787.

Circus Showcase Extravaganza: Student showcase directed by Sam Payne, featuring adult and youth solo and ensemble performances. June 19-21, 7 p.m.; Sat., June 21, 3 p.m.; Sun., June 22, 2 & 6 p.m. $12-$20. San Francisco Circus Center, 755 Frederick (at Arguello), 759-8123.

Fresh Meat Festival: Seventh annual Transgender & Queer Performance Festival. June 19-21, 8 p.m.; Sun., June 22, 7 p.m. $15. Project Artaud Theater, 450 Florida (at 17th St.), 626-4370.

The Golden Girls: The Gay Episodes: W/ Heklina, Cookie Dough, Matthew Martin, Pollo DelMar, Mike Finn, Laurie Bushman. Continues through June 28. $20. Mama Calizo's Voice Factory, 1519 Mission (at Van Ness), 690-9410.

Hairspray: John Waters' musical, directed by Matt Lenz. Continues through June 22. Orpheum Theater, 1192 Market (at Eighth St.), 512-7770.

Jack and the Beanstalk: Thrillpeddlers' Theatre of the Ridiculous Revival stages a comedy by Charles Ludlam. Continues through June 29. The Hypnodrome, 575 10th St. (at Bryant), 248-1900.

Journeys of the Angels: A drama about Vietnam by Roy Conboy. June 20-July 18. El Teatro de la Esperanza, 2940 16th St. (at South Van Ness), 338-1341.

Men in Uniform: Examines the men under the attire. Continues through July 6. New Conservatory Theatre Center, 25 Van Ness (at Market), 861-8972.

Queer Arts Festival: The month-long festival features theater, dance, film, and more at nearly 20 venues. Through June 30. www.queerculturalcenter.org.

Theodora, She-Bitch of Byzantium: Thrillpeddlers ushers in its Theatre of the Ridiculous Revival with Charles Busch's play. Continues through July 26. The Hypnodrome, 575 10th St. (at Bryant), 248-1900.

Tuna Does Vegas: A romp in Sin City from the Greater Tuna creative team. Tuesdays-Sundays. Continues through June 28. Curran Theatre, 445 Geary (at Taylor), 551-2000.

Work Eats Home: Six one-act plays by Sleepwalkers Theatre. June 19-July 12. www.sleepwalkerstheatre.com. Phoenix Theatre, 414 Mason (at Geary), Suite 601, 989-0023.

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