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Winter 2019 Arts Preview: Theater

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Marissa Rudd, left, and Michelle E. Jordan star in TheatreWorks’ “Marie and Rosetta” in Palo Alto, a show with music based on the life of Sister Rosetta Thorpe. (Courtesy Kevin Berne)

The theater season serves up major tours, revivals, musicals, comedy and drama and a premiere or two.

Border People: The solo show by award-winning actor-playwright Dan Hoyle is based on his conversations with immigrants, refugees, asylum seekers, and “border crossers of all kinds.” Through Feb. 23. $25-$100. Marsh, 1062 Valencia St., S.F., www.themarsh.org

King of the Yees: Francis Jue and Krystle Piamonte star in the San Francisco Playhouse show by Lauren Yee, who calls it “a love letter to my family, and to San Francisco and its vibrant and historic Chinatown community.” Through March 2. $35-$125. 450 Post St., S.F., www.sfplayhouse.org

Late Company: New Conservatory Theatre presents the drama by Canadian playwright Jordan Tannahill about a family grappling for redemption after the suicide of their son, who was bullied about his sexuality. Through Feb. 4. $25-$55. Walker Theatre, 25 Van Ness Ave., S.F., www.nctcsf.org

Seascape: American Conservatory Theater Artistic Director Pam MacKinnon makes her directing debut with the troupe with Edward Albee’s satire about a newly retired couple interrupted at the beach by huge English-speaking lizards. Through Feb. 17. $15-$125. Geary Theater, 415 Geary St., S.F., www.act-sf.org

American Night-The Ballad of Juan Jose: Los Altos Stage Company presents the South Bay premiere of Richard Montoya’s comedy about a Mexican immigrant whose ferocious preparation for his citizenship exam takes him on a fantastical journey. Jan. 24-Feb. 17. $20-$30. Bus Barn Theater, 97 Hillview Ave., Los Altos, losaltosstage.org

Spending the End of the World on OkCupid: The premiere by local writer Jeffrey Lo poses the question: What would you do with if you knew you had only 12 hours to live: Spend it with family, friends, or online? Jan. 25-Feb. 17. $15-$35. Pear Theatre, 1110 La Avenida St., Mountain View. www.thepear.org

Sweeney Todd: Hillbarn Theatre serves up Stephen Sondheim and Hugh Wheeler’s popular (and bloody) musical about the Demon Barber of Fleet Street. Jan. 24-Feb. 10. $35-$52. 1285 E. Hillsdale Blvd., Foster City, www.hillbarntheatre.org

Metamorphosis: Berkeley Repertory Theatre brings back Mary Zimmerman’s Tony Award-winning production — in a wading pool — based on the myths of Ovid. Jan. 24-March 10. $40-$115. Peet’s Theatre, 2025 Addison St., Berkeley, www.berkeleyrep.org

Creditors: David Greig adapts August Strindberg’s 1888 psychodrama about a sexual triangle taken to destructive extremes. Jan. 25-Feb. 24. $35-$70. Aurora Theatre Co., 2081 Addison St., Berkeley, www.auroratheatre.org

Something Rotten: Broadway San Jose presents the funny Tony-nominated musical comedy about playwright brothers Nick and Nigel Bottom who are stuck in the shadow of Renaissance rock star Will Shakespeare. Jan. 29-Feb. 3. $43–$158. Center for the Performing Arts, 255 S. Almaden Blvd., San Jose, www.ticketmaster.com

Ashby Stage February Performances: Shotgun Players invite local performers to their stage: Aaron Davidman in “The Shooting Gallery” (Feb. 1-3); Bay Area Storytelling Hijacked, produced by Scott Sanders (7 p.m. Feb. 4); Josh Kornbluth in “Josh’s Brain Improv” (8 p.m. Feb. 8-9, Feb. 15-16) and “Heart Wrench: A Valentine’s Edition of the San Francisco Neo-Futurists’ “The Infinite Wrench,” its series of short plays that don’t ask audiences to suspend disbelief. (8 p.m. Feb. 13-14). $15. 1901 Ashby Ave., Berkeley, www.shotgunplayers.org

Lamplighters Music Theatre: In its 66th season, the troupe known for staging Gilbert and Sullivan works presents Sondheim’s “A Little Night Music.” 2 and 8 p.m. Feb. 2, 2 p.m. Feb. 3. $22-$65. Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, S.F., www.ybca.org

Building Broadway: The nonprofit San Francisco Arts Education Project continues its 50th anniversary season with the premiere of an original musical revue (featuring performers ages 9 to 14) that “celebrates and deconstructs the best of Broadway.” Feb. 2-17. $20-$40. Gateway Theatre, 215 Jackson St., S.F., www.cityboxoffice.com

Cat on a Hot Tin Roof: San Jose Stage Co.’s 36th season centerpiece is Tennessee Williams’ Pulitzer Prize-winning masterpiece, directed by Lee Sankowich. Feb. 6-March 3. $32-$72. 490 S. First St., San Jose, www.thestage.org

Never Ever Land: Awesome Theater’s comedy, written by Sang S. Kim, tells the tale of Peter, a lost man looking to find clarity after a rough breakup with his girl Wendy, aided by his sponsor Hook. Feb. 7-March 28. $18-$25. PianoFight, 144 Taylor St., S.F., www.eventbrite.com

A White Girl’s Guide to International Terrorism: San Francisco Playhouse commissioned the premiere by Chelsea Marcantel about a Louisiana woman whose prospects for the future look bleak until her YouTube channel attracts a mysterious commenter. Feb. 7- March 2. $30. Creativity Theater, Yerba Buena Gardens, 221 Fourth St., S.F., www.sfplayhouse.org

Mother Courage and Her Children: Ubuntu Theater Project stages Bertolt Brecht’s acclaimed musical drama, translated by Tony Kushner, which explores devastating effects of war and the motives of those who plan to profit by war. Feb. 9-March 3. $15-$45. Lisser Hall, Mills College, Kaplolani Road, Oakland, www.ubuntutheaterproject.com

Off the Page: Word for Word, the San Francisco troupe that performs short stories verbatim, opens a series of staged readings showcasing works in development with Jeffrey Eugenides’ “Complainers.” 7 p.m. Feb. 11. $20 suggested donation. Z Below, 470 Florida St., S.F., www.zspace.org

Hamilton: Tickets apparently are available for the return of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s blockbuster musical phenomenon about America’s founding father Alexander Hamilton. Feb. 12-Sept. 8. $111-$526. SHN Orpheum Theatre, 1192 Market St., S.F., www.shnsf.com

The Last Servant of Sister Imani: TheatreFirst presents the drama by Cleavon Smith, an exploration of injustice, about the lives and rise of two college friends who share a love of music. Feb. 14-March 3. $10-$30. Live Oak Theater, 1301 Shattuck Ave, Berkeley, www.theatrefirst.org

Violet: Bay Area Musicals stages the 1960s-set show inspired by the short story “The Ugliest Pilgrim” about a woman on a journey to heal featuring a folk-bluegrass score by Jeanine Tesori of “Fun Home” fame and book by Brian Crawley. Feb. 14-March 17. $35-$65. Alcazar Theatre, 650 Geary St., S.F., bamsf.org

Beau Jest: The Tabard Theatre Company stages James Sheridan’s comedy about a Jewish woman who hires an actor to play a boyfriend who meets her parents’ approval. Feb. 15-March 10. $16-$44. Theatre on San Pedro Square, 29 N. San Pedro St., San Jose, www.tabardtheatre.org

Her Portmanteau: American Conservatory Theater presents Mfoniso Uodofia’s “mother-daughter, sister-story story,” a drama that’s part of a nine-play series exploring the history of Nigerian immigration in the U.S. through the perspective of one family. Feb. 15–March 31. $15-$110. Strand, 1127 Market St., S.F., www.act-sf.org

West Side Story: Berkeley Playhouse presents Arthur Laurents, Leonard Bernstein, Stephen Sondheim and Jerome Robbins’ groundbreaking musical updating “Romeo and Juliet” to New York in the 20th century. Feb. 15-March 17. $20-$40. Julia Morgan Theatre, 2640 College Ave., Berkeley, www.berkeleyplayhouse.org

Wonderland: Central Works premieres the comedy by Gary Graves about an accountant who gets summoned to the White House described as “Lewis Carroll meets Franz Kafka.” Feb. 16-March 17. $15-$38. Berkeley City Club, 2315 Durant Ave., Berkeley, www.centralworks.org

Cats: Andrew Lloyd Webber’s enduring 1981 musical based on “Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats” by T. S. Eliot boasts “new sound design, direction and choreography for a new generation.” Feb. 19-24. $43-$153. Center for the Performing Arts, 255 S. Almaden Blvd., San Jose, www.broadwaysanjose.com

Hello, Dolly: Betty Buckley plays the title role in national tour of the award-winning revival of Jerry Herman and Michael Stewart’s everlasting musical directed by Jerry Zaks. Feb. 19-March 17. $56-$226. Golden Gate Theatre, 1 Taylor St., S.F., www.shnsf.com

Schooled: Bad Rep Theatre’s 2006-set production, which fuses music, spoken word and hip hop, explores the challenges and trajectories of the students, teachers and administrators of an underserved school in Central California. 8 p.m. Feb. 21-23. $16.50. Z Below, 470 Florida St., S.F., www.zspace.org

Why Would I Mispronounce My Own Name?: Solo writer-performer Irma Herrera — a lawyer and activist– explores (with humor) implications and subtleties of “foreign” names. Feb. 23-March 23. $20-$100. Marsh, 2120 Allston Way, Berkeley, www.themarsh.org

Fiorello!: 42nd Street Moon presents the Tony Award-winning musical by Sheldon Harnick and Jerry Bock about how Fiorello H. La Guardia successfully rose from a crusading lawyer to Congress to running New York City. Feb. 27-March 17. $30-$75. Gateway Theatre, 215 Jackson St., S.F., www.42ndStMoon.org

Bullets Over Broadway The Musical: Foothill Music Theatre stages the musical based on Woody Allen and Douglas McGrath’s screenplay for the movie of the same name about a struggling playwright who makes a deal with the mob to get his show onstage. Feb. 28-March 17. $12-$36. Lohman Theatre, Foothill College, 12345 El Monte Road, Los Altos Hills, www.foothillmusicals.com

Transfers: Crowded Fire offers the local premiere of the play by Lucy Thurber about the choices facing two young men from the Bronx in pursuit of a scholarship to attend an elite New England college. Feb. 28-March 3. $10-$35. Potrero Stage, 1695 18th St., S.F., www.crowdedfire.org

Bay Area Cabaret: Guitarist-vocalist John Pizzarelli appears in two separately ticketed performances: first, a Nat “King” Cole Centennial, and later, with his wife, musical theater star Jessica Molaskey, in their Café Carlyle act with jazz and tunes from the Great American Songbook. 3:30 and 7:30 p.m. March 3. $65. Venetian Room, Fairmont Hotel, 950 Mason St., S.F., www.bayareacabaret.org

The Great Leap: BD Wong appears in American Conservatory Theater’s production of Bay Area playwright Lauren Yee’s San Francisco-set sports-themed political comedy partly inspired by her father’s short-lived basketball career. March 6-31. $15-$110. Geary Theater, 415 Geary St., S.F., www.act-sf.org

Marie and Rosetta: TheatreWorks presents the West Coast premiere of the musical play by George Brant about guitar playing, rock ‘n’ rolling Sister Rosetta Thorpe and her life on the 1940s gospel circuit. $40-$100. March 6-31. Lucie Stern Theatre, 1305 Middlefield Road, Palo Alto, www.theatreworks.org

La Ronde: Experimental troupe Cutting Ball stages Eric Bentley’s translation of the provocative play by Arthur Schnitzler, a “pas de deux of class and carnality” that premiered in Berlin in 1920. March 14-April 14. $10-$45. Exit on Taylor, 277 Taylor St., S.F., cuttingball.com

In Old Age: Magic Theatre stages the world premiere of the play by Nigerian-American Mfoniso Udofia, the fifth in a cycle chronicling the life of a Nigerian immigrant woman living in the U.S. March 27-April 21. $15-$75. Fort Mason, Building D, Marina Boulevard and Buchanan Street, S.F., www.magictheatre.org

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