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Our critics weigh in on local theater

I'm Yours! Or: Deranged by Love. In Precarious Theatre's original production, it's all fun and games until people start singing. Freely adapted from an episode in Don Quixote, the show concerns two pairs of young lovers who stumble through a long series of misunderstandings and mistaken identities en route to true love. (The plot wouldn't be out of place in Shakespeare, and in fact served as the basis for a lost play he possibly co-wrote.) There's much to admire here, from Christian Cagigal's ingenious puppet work to the precise, energetic performances by the cast. The problem is that writer and director Matthew Graham Smith decided a mere romantic comedy wasn't enough — what we really needed, apparently, was a musical. That's a shame, because from the unnecessary opening number to the uninspired love songs, the original music by H.P. Mendoza (Colma: The Musical) is far too earnest and conventional for an otherwise irreverent and inventive play. Almost every time somebody starts singing, the show's tone and pace get thrown out of whack; it would have been better for everyone involved to drop the musical and just focus on the comedy. Through October 25 at Exit Theatre, 156 Eddy (at Taylor), S.F. Tickets are $10-$30; call 800-838-3006 or visit www.precarioustheatre.com. (Chris Jensen) Reviewed Oct. 15.

Animal Kingdom: When the Queen of Animals decides to retire, a wild contest breaks out among candidates. Oct. 23-Nov. 8. Boxcar Playhouse, 505 Natoma (at Sixth St.), 776-1747.

Fifth Book of Peace: A dance piece based on text by Maxine Hong Kingston that interprets the testimonies of war veterans. Oct. 24-26. Dance Mission Theater, 3316 24th St. (at Mission), 273-4633.

Galileo: Bertolt Brecht's play about the later life of Galileo Galilei. Through Oct. 26. The Garage, 975 Howard (at Sixth St.), 289-2000.

Good Breeding: In Robert O'Hara's erotic and feminist new adaptation of the Greek Oresteia, the House of Atreus becomes a New York club resembling Studio 54. Through Oct. 25. $11.50-$20.50. www.act-sf.org. Zeum Theater, 221 Fourth St. (at Howard), 820-3320.

His Heart Belongs to Me: In this drama by Jerry Metzker, a gay man struggles to deal with the death of his partner. Oct. 23-Nov. 8. Theatre Rhinoceros, 2926 16th St. (at South Van Ness), 861-5079.

March to November: Using Chloe Veltman's article about the dearth of leftist activist theater as a springboard, Sleepwalkers Theatre offers a classic hero story. Oct. 23-Nov. 8. Phoenix Theatre, 414 Mason (at Geary), Suite 601, 989-0023.

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

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.

Quality of Life: Worldviews collide when a religious Midwestern couple visits a free-spirited couple. This drama by Jane Anderson stars Laurie Metcalf, JoBeth Williams, and Dennis Boutsikaris. Oct. 24-Nov. 23. American Conservatory Theater, 415 Geary (at Mason), 749-2228.

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

Rogue El Gato: A very bad cat attempts to save his hometown from pollution in this family-friendly parable. Oct. 28-Nov. 8. Intersection for the Arts, 446 Valencia (at 15th St.), 626-3311.

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.

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).

War Peace: The One Drop Rule: Youth Speaks/Living Word Productions presents a hip-hop theater piece that imagines an apocalyptic, post-drought Bay Area. Thu., Oct. 23, 7 p.m.; Fri., Oct. 24, 7 p.m. Project Artaud Theater, 450 Florida (at 17th St.), 626-4370.

 
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