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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.

Beautiful Thing: Two working-class London teenage boys who fall in love. Wednesdays-Sundays. Continues through Jan. 3. New Conservatory Theatre Center, 25 Van Ness (at Market), 861-8972,

Better Homes and Ammo: An American family after the apocalypse. Starting Dec. 3, Thursdays-Saturdays. Continues through Dec. 19. Exit Stage Left, 156 Eddy (at Taylor), 673-3847,

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,

A Christmas Carol: The gang's all here in Dickens' classic. Dec. 3-27. American Conservatory Theater, 415 Geary (at Mason), 749-2228,

Cora's Holiday Hotpad: Sean Owens' comedy about Cora Values, owner of the Gas & Gulp Cafe. Starting Dec. 3, Thursdays-Saturdays. Continues through Dec. 12. Exit Theatre, 156 Eddy (at Taylor), 931-3847,

Cotton Patch Gospel: A bluegrass holiday musical. Thursdays-Sundays. Continues through Dec. 19, The Next Stage, 1620 Gough (at Bush), 333-6389.

Dames at Sea: A sly look at Hollywood musicals of the 1930s. Starting Dec. 4, Wednesdays-Sundays. Continues through Jan. 17. New Conservatory Theatre Center, 25 Van Ness (at Market), 861-8972,

Dear Allah, All I Want for Christmas Is a Menorah: Short plays about the holidays. Wed., Dec. 2. Brava Theater Center, 2781 24th St. (at York), 641-7657,

Greatest Bubble Show on Earth: Incredible bubble feats by the Amazing Bubble Man. Through Dec. 6, 1 p.m., $7-$10. The Marsh, 1062 Valencia (at 22nd St.), 826-5750,

I Heart SF: Tales of the city. Dec. 3-13. Boxcar Theatre, 505 Natoma (at Sixth St.), 776-1747,

KML's Holidays with Class: Staged reading of sketches by alumni of KML's classes. Dec. 4-6, Intersection for the Arts, 446 Valencia (at 15th St.), 626-2787,

Left Coast Leaning Festival: Dec. 3-5, 8 p.m., $10-$20. Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, 701 Mission (at Third St.), 978-2787,

Let It Snow!: Improv musical by the Un-Scripted Theater Company. Thursdays-Saturdays. Continues through Dec. 19. SF Playhouse, 533 Sutter (at Powell), 677-9596,

Life of Brian: Live on Stage: The Monty Python comedy film gets compacted down to Mission District size. Fridays, Saturdays, 8 p.m. Continues through Dec. 19, $20. Dark Room Theater, 2263 Mission (at 18th St.), 401-7987,

Love, Humiliation, and Karaoke: Enzo Lombard's solo comedy returns to S.F. after a New York run. Sun., Dec. 6. Stage Werx, 533 Sutter (at Powell), 730-3433,

Madonna's Christmas Celebration: The Virgin Mary, drag, and Top 40 hits. Tue., Dec. 8, 8 p.m.; Wed., Dec. 9, 8 p.m., $15-$20, Finn's Funhouse, 814 Grove (at Webster).

Me, Myself, and I: New solo works by D'Lo, Jeanne Haynes, Rachel Parker, and Anthem Salgado. Through Dec. 3, 7 p.m., $15-$25. Brava Theater Center, 2781 24th St. (at York), 641-7657,

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,

Nutcracker at the Zeum: The Mark Foehringer Dance Project takes on the classic. Starting Dec. 5, Saturdays, Sundays. Continues through Dec. 20, Zeum Theater, 221 Fourth St. (at Howard), 820-3320,

OVO: Cirque du Soleil returns to the city with a show about insects. Through Jan. 24, $42-$250. Grand Chapiteau, Third St. (at Terry Francois),

One Night Only Holiday Cabaret: Teal Wicks, Patty Duke, and members from the touring cast of Wicked. Mon., Dec. 7, 7:30 p.m. Theatre 39 at Pier 39, 2 Beach (at Embarcadero), 433-3939,

Pearls over Shanghai: Thrillpeddlers brings back the Cockettes. Fridays, Saturdays. Continues through Jan. 23, $30. The Hypnodrome, 575 10th St. (at Bryant), 377-4202,

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

ReOrient 2009 — The First 10 Years: Short plays exploring the Middle East. Thursdays-Sundays. Continues through Dec. 13, The Thick House, 1695 18th St. (at Arkansas), 401-8081,

Santaland Diaries: David Sedaris' classic hits S.F. for the eighth year in a row. Starting Dec. 5, Mondays-Sundays, 8 & 10 p.m. Continues through Dec. 30, $25, Off-Market Theater, 965 Mission (at Fifth St.),

She Stoops to Comedy: Gender-bending romp by David Greenspan. Tuesdays-Saturdays. Continues through Jan. 9. SF Playhouse, 533 Sutter (at Powell), 677-9596,

Shopping! The Musical: Songs and sketches about shopping. Fridays, Saturdays, $23-$29, Shelton Theater, 533 Sutter (at Powell), 882-9100,

Stateless: A Hip-Hop Vaudeville Experience: A multimedia collage by Dan Wolf and Tommy Shepherd. Thursdays-Sundays. Continues through Dec. 6. Traveling Jewish Theatre, 470 Florida (at Mariposa), 292-1233,

Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?: Presented by Actors Theatre of San Francisco, directed by Keith Phillips. Thursdays-Sundays. Continues through Dec. 19. Actors Theatre San Francisco, 855 Bush (at Taylor), 345-1287,

Wicked: Meet the witches of Oz. Through March 21. Orpheum Theater, 1192 Market (at Eighth St.), 551-2000.

The Wizard of Oz: Stephanie Temple takes on Oz. Dec. 5-Jan. 3. New Conservatory Theatre Center, 25 Van Ness (at Market), 861-8972,

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