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Our critics weigh in on local theater

Point Break Live! Keanu Reeves' legacy looms large over this most excellent theatrical spoof of Kathryn Bigelow's 1991 film about a Los Angeles cop who goes undercover to infiltrate a gang of adrenaline-junkie surfing bank robbers. Never mind that the shoestring budget puts hiring Reeves, who starred in the film as FBI agent Johnny Utah, beyond the reach of the show's producers, New Rock Theater. While the plucky theatergoer selected at the start of each performance by audience applause to fill in for Reeves may not necessarily possess the star's cheekbones or surfer's physique, he (or she) will very likely manage to turn in at least as convincing a performance. Like Bigelow's movie, the stage adaptation hyperventilates. Familiarity with the film isn't mandatory, but it certainly helps us keep up with the hectic pace. Open run on Sundays at Fat City, 314 11th St. (at Folsom) S.F. Tickets are $25; call 866-811-4111 or visit www.pointbreaklive.com. (Chloe Veltman) Reviewed July 9.

Red State. The San Francisco Mime Troupe's latest politically charged musical comedy tackles its worthy subject — citizens must hold government responsible for how their tax dollars are spent — with its usual cheeky pluck. Yet overall the show fails to deliver either a rousing call to arms or a satisfying theatrical tale. On the theatrical front, this 90-minute show takes more than 30 minutes to get off the ground. We spend a lot of time simply hanging out with the hardscrabble folk of Bluebird, Kansas, learning about each one of them in painstaking detail before we get to the meat of the plot: It's Election Day 2008, the rest of the country has voted itself into a dead heat, and only Bluebird's votes can break the tie. Very few people in this country need to be told what hangs in the balance based on what Bluebird does, and yet the story quickly becomes not about the power of the vote but the power of not voting at all. Huh? Through Sept. 28 at parks and public sites across the Bay Area. Free; call 285-1717 or visit www.sfmt.org. (Molly Rhodes) Reviewed July 9.

51 & Counting: A musical comedy by Mary Ann Boyd about finding just the right job. Sept. 4-13. The Garage, 975 Howard (at Sixth St.), 289-2000.

The Best Man: Gore Vidal's political nail-biter follows two presidential front-runners. Through Sept. 28. $40-$42. Aurora Theatre, 2081 Addison (at Shattuck), Berkeley, 510-843-4822.

A Boy and His Soul: Colman Domingo's one-man soul music opera. Through Sept. 14. The Thick House, 1695 18th St. (at Arkansas), 401-8081.

Call Mr. Robeson: A musical tribute to Paul Robeson by various composers. Sept. 5-7. Phoenix Theatre, 414 Mason (at Geary), Suite 601, 989-0023.

Fool for Love: Jean Shelton directs Sam Shepard's play about the love tragedy of Eddie and May. Through Sept. 6. $10-$30. Actors Theatre San Francisco, 855 Bush (at Taylor), 345-1287.

Frozen: Eastenders Repertory Company's production of the Tony-nominated drama by Bryony Lavery about a mother, a serial killer, and a psychiatrist. Through Sept. 14. Eureka Theatre, 215 Jackson (at Front), 788-7469.

Grey Gardens: A musical about East Hampton's eccentric recluses, Edith "Big Edie" Ewing Bouvier Beale and daughter Edith "Little Edie" Bouvier Beale, who live in the mouldering estate known as Grey Gardens. Through Sept. 14. Mountain View Center for the Performing Arts, 500 Castro (at Mercy), Mountain View, 650-903-6000.

In My Corner: A coming-of-age memoir by Joe Orrach, one of the stars of Teatro ZinZanni, which tells his story through jazz, Latin, and rock 'n' roll music. Sept. 5-14. Intersection for the Arts, 446 Valencia (at 15th St.), 626-3311.

Open Season: A Queer Performance Spectacular: Thea Hillman reads from her book, Intersex: For Lack of a Better Word, along with guest readers. Through Sept. 14. The Garage, 975 Howard (at Sixth St.), 289-2000.

Peering Through the Portal: An interdisciplinary performance by Lenora Lee, Wang Dance, and Melody Takata. Sat., Sept. 6; Sun., Sept. 7. CounterPULSE, 1310 Mission (at Ninth St.), 626-2060.

Pericles: Shakespeare's Prince Pericles embarks on an epic journey. Through Sept. 21. Free. www.sfshakes.org. Presidio Parade Grounds, Lincoln & Montgomery.

San Francisco Fringe Festival: The 17th annual festival, featuring 286 performances of 48 plays throughout the city. Sept. 3-14. www.sffringe.org. Multiple San Francisco locations.

Shopping! The Musical: Songs and sketches about shopping. Daily. $23-$29. www.shoppingthemusical.com. Shelton Theater, 533 Sutter (at Powell), 433-1226.

Simon Boccanegra: Verdi's emotional opera about the relationship between a father and daughter, performed by San Francisco Opera. Sept. 5-24. War Memorial Opera House, 301 Van Ness (at Grove), 864-3330.

Sins Invalid: An Unshamed Claim to Beauty in the Face of Invisibility: An evening of erotic spoken word, performance, dance, and song from Rodney Bell, Nomy Lamm, Leroy Franklyn Moore Jr., Maria R. Palacios, Cara Page, Noemi Sohn, Seeley Quest, and Patty Berne. Fri., Sept. 5; Sat., Sept. 6. Brava Theater Center, 2781 24th St. (at York), 647-2822.

Slow Time and Unnecessary Conversation: Paige Sorvillo and Blindsight Dance in a multimedia performance. Mon., Sept. 8; Tue., Sept. 9. Noh Space, 2840 Mariposa (at Florida), 621-7978.

Spring Awakening: Three teenagers — a rebel, an innocent, and a misunderstood loner — tell their coming-of-age stories in this musical. Sept. 4-Oct. 12. Curran Theatre, 445 Geary (at Taylor), 551-2000.

Third Eye: Documentary theater by John Caldon that explores the themes of marriage and love. Sept. 4-27. Mama Calizo's Voice Factory, 1519 Mission (at Van Ness), 690-9410.

 
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