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San Francisco Spotlight: June 2008

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Michael Hayden
The weather may not be much warmer here in the San Francisco Bay Area, despite June's arrival, but the local theater scene couldn't be hotter. The American Conservatory Theater presents John Ford's 'Tis Pity She's a Whore (June 5-July 6), directed by A.C.T. Artistic Director Carey Perloff. The already shocking love affair between a brother and sister goes from bad to worse when she gets pregnant, and then attempts to pin it on one of her suitors. A.C.T.'s own René Augesen plays the role of Annabella, while Tony Award-nominated Michael Hayden plays Giovanni. Music is composed and performed by cellist-singer Bonfire Madigan Shive.

Golden Thread Productions presents the world premiere of Yussef El Guindi's Jihad Jones and the Kalashnikov Babes (Thick House, June 5-29), about an Arab-American actor who wrestles with the promise of stardom and feeling as if he's betraying his family and culture if he takes on the part of a machine gun-strapping terrorist.

Theatreworks presents Stephen Schwartz's musical revue, Snapshots at Mountain View Center for the Performing Arts, June 18-July 13. A 30-year marriage that has lost its way comes to life through a box of old photos and some of the composer's most cherished songs, including "Popular," "Corner of the Sky," and "All Good Gifts." And in Berkeley, Keith Bunin's thought-provoking, moving look at religion, faith, and the complexities of the human heart, The Busy World Is Hushed makes its West Coast premiere at the Aurora Theatre, June 13-July 20.

Get ready to scream (and laugh) your head off at Exit Theatre, which presents Attack of the Killer B Movies! (June 13-22), featuring stage productions of Hitchcock's The Birds, Maxwell Anderson's The Bad Seed, and The Blob in rotating repertory. Not enough horror on your plate? Then head on over to the Willows Cabaret in Martinez for Evil Dead: The Musical (June 13-July 26). Like its silver screen predecessor, this production centers on five college students who get more than they bargained for when they break into an abandoned cabin in the woods. Featuring a splatter zone "where the gore hits the floor," here's a musical not to be missed.

Hairspray blows into town June 10-22 at the Orpheum Theatre. Based on the 1988 John Water's cult classic, this is the story of the unsinkable Tracy Turnblad who doesn't let a little body image get in the way of her dreams of dancing on the Corny Collins Show. Featuring a fabulous musical score from the talented Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman, you can't stop the beat on this lively production.

And there's more musical fun for Bay Area fans with Tuna Does Vegas at the Curran Theatre (June 17-28). Directed by Ed Howard, those lovable and eccentric characters from "the third smallest town in Texas" take their small-town shenanigans to Sin City. Ron Lytle's award-winning musical comedy, Oh My Godmother!, makes its San Francisco debut at the Zeum Theatre, June 26-July 26. The show is a zany reinterpretation of the classic Cinderella tale, with heaping doses of hilarity and outrageousness being this show's key ingredients.

Get ready to go camping with San Francisco's Cockettes. Original members of this legendary Bay Area theater troupe reunite to join up with Thrillpeddlers to comb through the cinematic archives of Dead Channels for live follies and film screenings as part of the Theatre of the Ridiculous Revival (The Hypnodrome, June 18-July 30). Meanwhile, New Conservatory Theatre shows off Men in Uniform (through July 6), a testosterone-suffused, sexy compilation of short plays that involves men in (and out of) uniform.

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