at The Marsh
We never understood how antidepressants could actually increase suicidal thoughts, especially in teenagers. How messed up is that? Well, Jennifer Berry is happy to tell you. After signing up for pharmaceutical companies' lists, sitting through hours of creepy "ask your doctor about" commercials and talking with ad reps, Berry put together a 75-minute rant against the industry's unethical determination to turn us--women and children specifically--into shiny happy people holding hands. (Berry is quick to clarify that she doesn't deny the legitimate benefit of these medications for mental illness, and neither do we.) Thankfully, Big Pharma isn't just soapboxing: Berry juxtaposes modern-day society with that major bummer, the Great Depression, and plays about 20 different characters. Because the last thing we need is more therapy.
Playing November 4 through December 10
Dream House at Phoenix Theatre
Elizabeth Fuller plays six different characters in her new solo show. But, they're all named Elizabeth, they're all sisters and Fuller herself is a self-described everyday multiple. It's enough to make your head spin. Again, thankfully, we're in the good hands of an accomplished artist who's landed playwriting fellowships with the NEA and is most well-known for being the cofounder of Independent Eye, one of the North Bay's best-kept theatrical secrets. In the past year, Fuller, with her partner Conrad Bishop, have ventured across the bridges to work with the likes of Shotgun Players. Now San Franciscans can see her--all of them--in Union Square.
Playing November 3 through 25
Killing My Lobster Faces the Music at ODC Theatre
Ever felt like you just wanted to break into song, in the middle of the street? Yeah, neither have we. But the Lobsters have been itching to, and now the popular sketch comedy troupe launches its first original full-length musical--ever. But it won't take place in the middle of the street. Spurred on by the success of their recent first-ever full-length play, the Lobsters give us a silly, show-tuney evening of sketches that include a musical tribute to the burrito and a spoof of West Side Story (substitute the Mission and the Marina), just to name a couple of the themes of Bay Area living. Tip: The Onion hosts a opening night, post-performance party on November 2.
Playing November 2 through 18
The Little Foxes at American Conservatory Theater
Few things can drive a person crazy as family and money. Both come into play in Lillian Hellman's The Little Foxes, an ACT revival opening this week. Set just after the Civil War, this dark comedy centers on the power- and money-hungry Regina, who stoops so low as to use her own young daughter in a scheme that ultimately pits her against her own brothers. The production just finished its previews, and word-of-mouth is already good. It should be: the play is helmed by the brilliant Laird Williamson and stars Jack Willis (Big Daddy in ACT's revival of Cat on a Hot Tin Roof) and Broadway veteran Jacqueline Antaramian, who, as Regina, follows the great footsteps of legends like Tallulah Bankhead, Bette Davis, Anne Bancroft, Elizabeth Taylor and Stockard Channing. No pressure or anything.
Playing through November 26
Photo of Jennifer Berry in Big Pharma by Kristopher Boldt.