By Josh Edelson
By Chris Hall
By Jonathan Curiel
By Jonathan Curiel
By Sherilyn Connelly
By Mollie McWilliams
By Rachel Swan
By Erin Browner
Den of Thieves. The idea of a bunch of misfits trying to pull off the perfect crime has been done to death, then buried, then cremated, then reanimated as a zombie, shot by an angry mob, and buried a second time. But Den of Thieves, making its Bay Area premiere at SF Playhouse, has a lot going for it despite relying on this trope. Maggie is in a 12-step program for kleptomaniacs; Paul is her sponsor — in fact, he's in so many 12-step programs that he's probably your sponsor, too. These two characters, expertly played by Kathryn Tkel and Casey Jackson, are the appealing and resonant heart of a story that is fast, energetic, and hilarious. The script by Stephen Adly Guirgis (who also wrote Jesus Hopped the 'A' Train) charms from the very first moments, and feels far shorter than its two-hour run time. Not all is perfect: Wannabe Hispanic gangster Flaco (Chad Deverman) is almost irredeemably over the top, and "dancer" Boochie (Corinne Proctor) — exactly the character you'd imagine from her name — forgoes a top entirely in her line of work. And what's with the accents? We get it, people: You're in New York. Still, with the second act's strong opening, and two mobsters played with perfect comic timing, Den of Thieves keeps things animated and makes for a great night out. Through April 17 at SF Playhouse, 533 Sutter (at Powell), S.F. $40; 677-9596 or www.sfplayhouse.org. (Benjamin Wachs) Reviewed March 31.
... and Jesus Moonwalks the Mississippi: Presented by Cutting Ball Theater. Thursdays-Sundays. Continues through April 25, 800-838-3006, www.cuttingball.com. Exit Theatre on Taylor, 277 Taylor (at Ellis), www.sffringe.org.
Baby: A Musical: Presented by Ray of Light Theatre. Thursdays-Sundays. Continues through April 19. Off-Market Theater, 965 Mission (at Fifth St.), 336-0513, www.cafearts.com/offmarket.
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.
City Solo: Solo artists in the Bay Area. Sundays, 7 p.m. Continues through April 18, $15-$20, 917-363-9646. Off-Market Theater, 965 Mission (at Fifth St.), www.cafearts.com/offmarket.
DIVAfest: Featuring women writers, directors, and performers. Through May 1. Exit Theatre, 156 Eddy (at Taylor), 673-3847, www.theexit.org.
Hearts on Fire: Thelma Houston, El Vez, and Christine Deaver perform in Teatro ZinZanni's show. Wednesdays-Saturdays, 6 p.m.; Saturdays, 11:30 a.m.; Sundays, 5 p.m. Continues through May 16, $117-$145. Pier 29, Embarcadero (at Battery), 273-1620.
Macho Bravado: Alex Park's play about a soldier. Thursdays-Sundays. Continues through April 25. The Thick House, 1695 18th St. (at Arkansas), 401-8081, www.thickhouse.org.
Monday Night ForePlays: PianoFight's female-driven variety show. Mondays, 8 p.m. Continues through April 26. Off-Market Theater, 965 Mission (at Fifth St.), 336-0513, www.cafearts.com/offmarket.
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.
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.
Riot: A collaboration between ACT's MFA and Young Conservatory programs. Wednesdays-Sundays. Continues through April 17. American Conservatory Theater, 415 Geary (at Mason), 749-2228, www.act-sfbay.org.
Shadow Circus Vaudeville Theater: Folklore, mythology, monsters, and pop-culture parodies. Fri., April 16; Sat., April 17. Climate Theater, 285 Ninth St. (at Folsom), 263-0830, www.climatetheater.com.
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