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Our critics weigh in on local theater

Beach Blanket Babylon: A North Beach perennial featuring crazy hats, media personality caricatures, a splash of romance, and little substance. Now with Rod Blagojevich! Wednesdays, Thursdays, 8 p.m.; Saturdays, 6:30 & 9:30 p.m.; Sundays, 2 & 5 p.m.; Fridays, 6:30 p.m., $25-$80, Club Fugazi, 678 Green (at Powell), 421-4222.

Big City Improv: Actors take audience suggestions and create comedy from nothing. Fridays, 10 p.m., $15-$20, Shelton Theater, 533 Sutter (at Powell), 882-9100,

Brain-Dead Alive: The Primitive Screwheads bring the blood. Sat., Oct. 24; Thu., Oct. 29; Fri., Oct. 30; Sat., Oct. 31. Great Star Theater, 630 Jackson (at Kearny).

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Breve: An abbreviated version of Under the Gypsy Moon, for lunch. Saturdays. Continues through Nov. 21, $73-$94. Teatro ZinZanni, Piers 27 and 29 (Embarcadero & Battery), 438-2668,

Creature: Mary Shelley's Frankenstein from the perspective of the monster. Starting Oct. 23, Thursdays-Sundays. Continues through Nov. 7, The Thick House, 1695 18th St. (at Arkansas), 401-8081,

Dogsbody: Theatre of Yugen's adaptation of The Iliad. Oct. 22-24, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, 701 Mission (at Third St.), 978-2787,

The Future Project: Sunday Will Come: A collaboration between Sean San Jose and dancer Erika Chong Shuch, among others. Through Nov. 7, 8 p.m., $15-$25. Intersection for the Arts, 446 Valencia (at 15th St.), 626-3311,

Goldfish: A comedy by John Kolvenbach. Through Nov. 8. Magic Theatre, Fort Mason, Bldg. D (Marina & Buchanan), 441-8822,

Halloween in the Castro: New horror opera. Oct. 23-31, 8 p.m., $20-$40, Metropolitan Community Church, 150 Eureka (at 18th St.), 863-4434,

Hamlet: Performance by the San Francisco Shakespeare Festival; actors discuss the production afterward. Sat., Oct. 24, 2 p.m. Glen Park Branch Library, 2825 Diamond (at Bosworth), 355-2858,

Hasheesh Eater: Fritz Hugh Ludlow's play set in old San Francisco. Fridays-Sundays. Continues through Oct. 31, Mama Calizo's Voice Factory, 1519 Mission (at Van Ness), 690-9410,

Heidi Chronicles: Wendy Wasserstein's award-winning play. Thursdays-Sundays. Continues through Oct. 24. The Next Stage, 1620 Gough (at Bush), 333-6389.

Her Naked Skin: A performance by the A.C.T. Master of Fine Arts Program. Wednesdays-Sundays. Continues through Oct. 31. Zeum Theater, 221 Fourth St. (at Howard), 820-3320,

Hold Me Closer Tiny Dionysus: A retelling of Euripides' The Bacchae, with Ms. Trixxie Carr. Thursdays-Saturdays. Continues through Oct. 24. Mama Calizo's Voice Factory, 1519 Mission (at Van Ness), 690-9410,

I Heart Hamas: Tragicomic solo show by Jennifer Jajeh, about the Middle East. Thursdays, Saturdays, 8 p.m. Continues through Oct. 24, $20, Off-Market Theater, 965 Mission (at Fifth St.), 820-1656,

I Prefer Fur: Victoria Doggett's play about a man, a woman, and a cat. Sun., Oct. 25; Sun., Nov. 1; Sun., Nov. 8; Sun., Nov. 15. Off-Market Theater, 965 Mission (at Fifth St.), 820-1656,

International Czech Theater Festival: Visiting Czechs join the Flying Actor Studio for new physical theater. Oct. 21-28, $15-$35. The Marsh, 1062 Valencia (at 22nd St.), 826-5750,

Jekyll & Hyde: The Gothic Musical: Presented by the Royal Underground Theatre Company. Fridays-Sundays. Continues through Oct. 31. Fort Mason, Laguna & Bay, 345-7500,

Little Dog Laughed: Douglas Carter Beane comedy, directed by Ed Decker. Wednesdays-Sundays. Continues through Nov. 8. New Conservatory Theatre Center, 25 Van Ness (at Market), 861-8972,

Loveland: A solo comedy by Ann Randolph. Thursdays-Saturdays. Continues through Nov. 14. The Marsh, 1062 Valencia (at 22nd St.), 826-5750,

Meet the Samsas: Inspired by Franz Kafka's Metamorphosis, directed by Sarah Beth Parks. Through Oct. 24. Boxcar Theatre, 505 Natoma (at Sixth St.), 776-1747,

Monday Night Marsh: On select Mondays a different lineup of musicians, actors, performance artists, and others takes the stage at this regular event that's hosted local celebs like Josh Kornbluth and Marga Gomez in the past; see for a lineup of future shows. Mondays, $7. The Marsh, 1062 Valencia (at 22nd St.), 826-5750,

Mrs. Whitney: John Kolvenbach's comedy about heartbreak. Oct. 21-Nov. 22. Magic Theatre, Fort Mason, Bldg. D, Marina & Buchanan, 441-8822,

New Works at the Marines: The first show in the ongoing series is Rick Reynolds' Love, God, Sex (and other stuff I don't have). Mondays, Tuesdays. Continues through Nov. 17. Marines Memorial Theater, 609 Sutter (at Mason), 771-6900,

Night of the Living Artist: A benefit for Climate Theater with a host of performers, including John Gilkey, Tim Barsky, The Miscreants Cabaret, and Pi Clowns. Sat., Oct. 24, 9 p.m., $20. Climate Theater, 285 Ninth St. (at Folsom), 263-0830,

Not a Genuine Black Man: Brian Copeland's solo show opens once again. Fridays, Saturdays. Continues through Nov. 22. Off-Market Theater, 965 Mission (at Fifth St.), 820-1656,

November: David Mamet's comedy about President Charles Smith and his bid for reelection. Oct. 23-Nov. 22. American Conservatory Theater, 415 Geary (at Mason), 749-2228,

Pearls Over Shanghai: Thrillpeddlers brings back the Cockettes. Saturdays, Sundays. Continues through Jan. 1, $30. The Hypnodrome, 575 10th St. (at Bryant), 377-4202,

Point Break Live!: The boys are back in town again. Starting Oct. 23, Fridays, Saturdays, 9 p.m. Continues through May 1, Metreon, 101 Fourth St. (at Mission), 369-6000,

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