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Our critics weigh in on local theater

Machinal: A drama by Sophie Treadwell in which mounting pressure stresses a mechanized society. Through Oct. 19. SFSU Campus/Little Theater, 1600 Holloway (at 19th Ave.) (Creative Arts Bldg.), 338-2467.

May Day Parade: Bugles, Bass Drums and the Baptist Church: A one-man comedy by Wayne Harris. Through Nov. 9. The Marsh, 1062 Valencia (at 22nd St.), 826-5750.

Moby Dick: The Musical: When a financial crisis hits their school, the girls of St. Godley's Academy for Young Ladies decide to mount a musical version of Moby Dick. Through Oct. 19. Theatre Rhinoceros, 2926 16th St. (at South Van Ness), 861-5079.

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The Monk: Based on a 1795 novel by Matthew Lewis, this is a gothic tale of a 17th-century Spanish friar, Ambrosio, led into dissolution by an impoverished nun and a dissolute aristocrat. Staged by No Nude Men Productions. Through Nov. 22. Exit Stage Left, 156 Eddy (at Taylor), 673-3847.

My Hot Lobotomy: A multidisciplinary comedy by David Szlasa that explores how far one character will go for peace of mind. Oct. 17-Nov. 2. CounterPULSE, 1310 Mission (at Ninth St.), 626-2060.

My Name Is Vera Cupido: A poetic search for love beyond death. Through Nov. 2. The Thick House, 1695 18th St. (at Arkansas), 401-8081.

Of Mice and Men: John Steinbeck's drama about California migrant field workers, directed by Keith Phillips and Phaedra Starr. Through Nov. 29. Actors Theatre San Francisco, 855 Bush (at Taylor), 345-1287.

Orchards: An evening of short plays adapted from stories by Anton Chekhov. Through Oct. 25. Off-Market Studio, 965 Mission (at Fifth St.), 896-6477.

The Rocky Horror Show: A live version of the film cult classic, produced by Ray of Light Theatre. Oct. 17-Nov. 15. Victoria Theatre, 2961 16th St. (at Capp), 863-7576.

Russian on the Side: In this one-man comedy cabaret, Mark Nadler performs musical classics from Stravinsky to Sondheim. Through Nov. 16. Marines Memorial Theater, 609 Sutter (at Mason), 771-6900.

Shocktoberfest!! 2008: Elemental Horror: A collection of one-act plays in the style of Grand Guignol terror theater, pitting the players against ice, fire, electro-magnetism, and each other. Oct. 16-Nov. 22. The Hypnodrome, 575 10th St. (at Bryant), 248-1900.

Snow White: A riotous spoof by Stephanie Temple. Through Oct. 19. New Conservatory Theatre Center, 25 Van Ness (at Market), 861-8972.

The Taming of the Shrew: Off Broadway West Theatre Company's adaptation of Shakespeare's tale. Through Oct. 18. Phoenix Theatre, 414 Mason (at Geary), Suite 601, 989-0023.

Tenaya Rocks! A Sexy Geological Cabaret: Tenaya Hurst is a geo-anthropactress — a comedic intersection of geologist, anthropologist, and actress. Through Nov. 15. $20. Stage Werx, 533 Sutter (at Powell).

Towle's Hill: A drama by Mark Kenward that tells the story of Gundlach Bundschu, California's oldest family-owned-and-operated winery. Through Nov. 21. The Marsh, 1062 Valencia (at 22nd St.), 826-5750.

Trolley Dances: Dancers use Muni's T-Third line as a stage for creative performances in this crowd-pleasing two-day event. Performances by Scott Wells and Dancers, Zaccho Dance Theatre, Epiphany Productions, San Diego Dance Theater, Philein / Zi Ru Tiger Hip Hop, and Adigun Sipho Capoeira Angola. Sat., Oct. 18, 11 a.m.; Sun., Oct. 19, 11 a.m. $1.50. Mission Bay Branch Library, 960 Fourth St. (at Berry), 355-2838.

Vampire Lesbians of Sodom with Sleeping Beauty, or Coma: In these two comedies by Charles Busch, vampiresses meet up in Sodom and a young office temp becomes the face of the 1960s. Through Nov. 1. Stage Werx, 533 Sutter (at Powell).

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