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Our critics weigh in on local theater

Under the Gypsy Moon. Storylines don't really matter in a Teatro ZinZanni production; they just provide a loose framework for the circuslike acts everyone comes to see while they enjoy a fancy five-course meal. In the group's latest three-hour show, the Spiegeltent is invaded by thieving gypsies (so much for political correctness), who, in addition to being skilled swindlers, are also (surprise) skilled blues singers, jugglers, and acrobats. As one would expect, the trapeze work is impressive, especially the comic rope-play by Sabine Maier and Joachim Mohr, who manage to fall over themselves without falling down. The evening's most satisfying moments, however, happen on the ground. A juggling number set to Prince's "Kiss" is simple but delightful, and Mat Plendl dazzled the audience with his mastery of the hula hoop. Unfortunately, too many of the cabaret's comedy bits are lame. Punny punchlines delivered by a Henny Youngman-like character played by Geoff Hoyle (the original Zazu in the Broadway production of The Lion King) are especially groan-inducing. Those cheesy moments leave a bad taste in your mouth, as does some of the food, which is passable but not stellar. While Under the Gypsy Moon does deliver some magical moments, unless you've got a lot of disposable cash, it's an evening perhaps best left to the tourists to enjoy. Through Jan. 31 at the Spiegeltent, Pier 29 (at Battery), S.F. $117-$195; 438-2668 or www.zinzanni.org. (Will Harper) Reviewed Sept. 30.

Akin: Noah Kelly and Sarah McKereghan's dark thriller returns to S.F. Thursdays-Saturdays. Continues through Feb. 6. Exit Theatre, 156 Eddy (at Taylor), 931-3847, www.theexit.org.

Animals Out of Paper: Rajiv Joseph's comedy, directed by Amy Glazer. Tuesdays-Saturdays. Continues through Feb. 27. SF Playhouse, 533 Sutter (at Powell), 677-9596, www.sfplayhouse.org.

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Aurélia's Oratorio: Circus-themed show by Aurélia Thierrée. Through Jan. 31. Berkeley Repertory's Roda Stage, 2025 Addison (at Shattuck), Berkeley, 510-647-2949, www.berkeleyrep.org.

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

Doubt, A Parable: John Patrick Shanley's story about "improper relations" at a Catholic school. Wednesdays-Sundays. Continues through Feb. 28. New Conservatory Theatre Center, 25 Van Ness (at Market), 861-8972, www.nctcsf.org.

Eat, Pray, Laugh: Wednesdays, 8 p.m. Continues through Feb. 24, $20, www.aliciadattner.com. Off-Market Theater, 965 Mission (at Fifth St.), 336-0513, www.cafearts.com/offmarket.

Fiddler on the Roof: Tuesdays-Sundays. Continues through Feb. 21. Golden Gate Theatre, 1 Taylor (at Market), 551-2000.

Frankie and Johnny in the Clair de Lune: Written by Terrence McNally. Thursdays-Saturdays. Continues through Feb. 13. Royce Gallery, 2901 Mariposa (at Harrison), 558-1749, www.roycegallery.com.

Loveland: Ann Randolph's solo show. Saturdays, Sundays. Continues through Feb. 26. The Marsh, 1062 Valencia (at 22nd St.), 826-5750, www.themarsh.org.

Medea vs. Medea: Staged reading. Sun., Jan. 31, free. Exit Theatre on Taylor, 277 Taylor (at Ellis), 931-3847, www.sffringe.org.

Meisner: Jim Jarrett's one-man show. Sat., Jan. 30. Marines Memorial Theater, 609 Sutter (at Mason), 771-6900, www.marinesmemorialtheatre.com.

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 www.themarsh.org for a lineup of future shows. Mondays, $7. The Marsh, 1062 Valencia (at 22nd St.), 826-5750, www.themarsh.org.

The Nose: Fridays, Saturdays, 8 p.m. Continues through Jan. 30, $15-$22, www.internationaltheaterensemble.com. Shelton Studios, Pier 26 (at Embarcadero), 882-9100, www.sheltonstudiossf.com.

Oedipus el Rey: Luis Alfaro re-envisions Oedipus. Starting Jan. 28, Tuesdays-Sundays. Continues through Feb. 28. Fort Mason, Laguna & Bay, 345-7500, www.fortmason.org.

Pearls over Shanghai: Thrillpeddlers brings back the Cockettes. Fridays, Saturdays. Continues through April 24, $30. The Hypnodrome, 575 10th St. (at Bryant), 377-4202, www.thrillpeddlers.com.

Point Break Live!: The boys are back in town again. Fridays, Saturdays, 9 p.m. Continues through May 1, www.pointbreaklivesf.com. Metreon, 101 Fourth St. (at Mission), 369-6030, www.westfield.com/metreon.

Real Americans: Dan Hoyle's new show, about small-town America. Thursdays-Saturdays. Continues through March 6. The Marsh, 1062 Valencia (at 22nd St.), 826-5750, www.themarsh.org.

Red Light Winter: Two thirtysomething New Yorkers go to Amsterdam. Thursdays-Saturdays. Continues through Feb. 10. The Next Stage, 1620 Gough (at Bush), 333-6389.

Rent: The Musical: The Royal Underground Theatre Company's production. Fridays, Saturdays. Continues through Feb. 21. Fort Mason, Laguna & Bay, 345-7500, www.fortmason.org.

Round-Heeled Woman: The Play: Z Space presents Jane Prowse's play about a woman who wants to have sex. Tuesdays-Sundays. Continues through Feb. 7, $20-$50. Z Space, 450 Florida (at 17th St.), 626-0453, www.artaud.org.

Rumpelstiltskin: Presented by the Young Performers Theatre. Saturdays, Sundays. Continues through Feb. 14, www.ypt.org. Fort Mason, Bldg. C, Marina & Buchanan.

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

The Mark Ten's Fantastic Parade: Maria Breaux' play about a band heading into the studio. Through Jan. 30. Boxcar Theatre, 505 Natoma (at Sixth St.), 776-1747, www.boxcartheatre.org.

Tony 'n' Tina's Wedding: Saturdays, 7 p.m.; Fridays, 7 p.m., $88.50-$115.50, www.tonyandtinasanfrancisco.com. Swiss Louis Restaurant at Pier 39, 2 Beach (at Embarcadero), 421-2913, www.swisslouis.com.

Wave: A Marsh Youth Theatre production. Jan. 29-Feb. 7. The Marsh, 1062 Valencia (at 22nd St.), 826-5750, www.themarsh.org.

Wicked: Meet the witches of Oz. Through April 11. Orpheum Theater, 1192 Market (at Eighth St.), 551-2000.

Women on the Way Festival: Through Jan. 31. 289-2000, www.ftloose.org. Multiple San Francisco locations, multiple addresses.

Wozzeck: Presented by Ensemble Parallele. Sat., Jan. 30; Sun., Jan. 31. Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, 701 Mission (at Third St.), 978-2787, www.ybca.org.

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