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Our critics weigh in on local theater

Addicted: A Comedy of Substance. It's just what it says: a show about back-monkeys. Mark Lundholm is a comedian with broad shoulders and a no-bullshit style. He offers 80 minutes of stand-up and autobiography on the theme of his own addictions to booze, speed, coke, bad relationships, and television. "An addict is energy without grace," he says, moving around the stage like a human torpedo. He amuses the audience with stories about the time he woke up naked on a sidewalk, say, with a candy cane up his ass ("How'd it get there? I don't know"), then shifts unobtrusively to starker material, like the story of holding his baby daughter after a long binge, still high, and deciding in a fit of self-loathing to walk out on wife, child, and responsibility. This bleak undertow gives Addicted a dimension beyond stand-up. Not only did Lundholm steal the family truck and start a brutal life on the streets; not only did he try to hold up a liquor store and carjack a Lexus; not only did he live for a while under an Oakland overpass; not only did he try to blow his own head off (with a pistol that jammed) -- the whole stupid tragedy was sui generis, born and nursed in his own head. It's very sad. But it also hits a universal nerve. Through Dec. 12 at the Marines Memorial Theatre, 609 Sutter (at Mason), S.F. Tickets are $25-40; call 771-6900 or visit (Michael Scott Moore) Reviewed Nov. 24.

Little Shop of Horrors. The touring Broadway revival of the 1982 off-Broadway hit features a newly enormous man-eating plant, not the 9-foot Muppet from 20 years ago but a mountainous, hydraulic-driven Frankenflower that requires a team of puppeteers. Michael James Leslie does the voice -- "FEED ME!" -- and sings the churning, sinister funk songs. He's good, though his vocal presence doesn't match Levi Stubbs' performance in the 1986 musical film. Lenny Wolpe plays a surprisingly sensitive and menschy Mushnik, the flower-shop owner; Tari Kelly is powerful as Audrey the blond sexpot, especially in her ballads "Somewhere That's Green" and "Suddenly Seymour." Anthony Rapp also does good work with shop assistant Seymour's Jewish patter but struggles a bit with the songs, unless the off notes in his voice are meant to be part of Seymour's character. Overall it's a strong revival, passing through town for no reason except that two more decades have passed since the original production and audiences still turn out to see big, dumb shows about carnivorous plants from outer space. Through Dec. 5 at the Golden Gate Theatre, 1 Taylor (at Market), S.F. Tickets are $34-81; call 512-7770 or visit (Michael Scott Moore) Reviewed Nov. 17.

"Welcome to the Hypnodrome." For five years the Thrillpeddlers troupe has mounted old scripts from Paris' notorious Théâtre du Grand Guignol; director Russell Blackwood (with his former partner, Daniel Zilber) put on an annual revue called Shocktoberfest! featuring short plays about sadists and lunatics. Now the troupe has its own théâtre in a gloomy converted warehouse South of Market. The Hypnodrome is part theater, part Halloween fright-maze, and "Welcome to the Hypnodrome" is a production of three short Guignol plays intended to show off the space. Unfortunately, the plays are lame. Except for Jill Tracy and Ginette Baljour, and in one case Eric O'Brien, the actors seem stiff and bored, and nobody manages to cast a Gothic spell. Unless a director works this material into something camp-outrageous or funny, Guignol isn't worth reviving, and for some reason Blackwood has thrown no energy into creating a spectacle. Through Dec. 18 at the Hypnodrome, 575 10th St. (at Bryant), S.F. Tickets are $18-20, or $45-50 for two in a "Shock Box"; call 248-1900 or visit (Michael Scott Moore) Reviewed Oct. 27.

Also Playing

2-on-2 Theatresports
Fort Mason, Bldg. B, Marina & Buchanan, 474-6776.

Actors Reading Writers
Berkeley City Club, 2315 Durant (at Ellsworth), Berkeley, 510-843-4822.

Are We Almost There?
Shelton Theater, 533 Sutter (at Powell), 433-3040.

BATS: Sunday Players
Fort Mason, Bldg. B, Marina & Buchanan, 474-6776.

Beach Blanket Babylon
Club Fugazi, 678 Green (at Powell), 421-4222.

Big City Improv
Shelton Theater, 533 Sutter (at Powell), 433-3040.

Bright River
Traveling Jewish Theatre, 470 Florida (at Mariposa), 285-8282.

Calliope's Carousel
Zeum Theater, 221 Fourth St. (at Howard), 777-2800.

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
Young Performers Theater, Bldg. C, Fort Mason (Marina & Buchanan), 346-5550.

Circles & Squares: A Weird Show
The Marsh, 1062 Valencia (at 22nd St.), 826-5750,

Comedy Improv at Your Disposal
Shelton Theater, 533 Sutter (at Powell), 433-3040.

The Dharma of Dollars
The Marsh, 1062 Valencia (at 22nd St.), 826-5750,

Aurora Theatre, 2081 Addison (at Shattuck), Berkeley, 510-843-4822,

Noh Space, 2840 Mariposa (at Florida), 621-7978.

The Flying Dutchman
War Memorial Opera House, 301 Van Ness (at Grove), 864-3330.

Improv Revolution
Off-Market Theater, 965 Mission (at Fifth St.), 896-6477,

Jacob Marley's Christmas Carol
Actors' Theatre Second Stage, 533 Sutter (at Powell), 296-9179.

Kinsey Sicks: Oy Vey in a Manger
New Conservatory Theatre Center, 25 Van Ness (at Market), 861-8972,

Les Liaisons Dangereuses
SFSU Campus/Little Theater, 1600 Holloway (at 19th Ave.), Creative Arts Bldg., 338-2467.

Let It Snow!: An Improvised Holiday Musical
Shelton Theater, 533 Sutter (at Powell), 433-3040.

Love, Chaos & Dinner
Pier 29, Embarcadero (at Battery), 273-1620.

Meanwhile, Back at the Super Lair
La Val's Subterranean Theater, 1834 Euclid (at Hearst), Berkeley, 510-234-6046.

Monday Night Improv Jam
Climate Theater, 285 Ninth St. (at Folsom), 364-1411.

One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest
Actors Theatre San Francisco, 533 Sutter (at Powell), 296-9179.

Our Town
The Playhouse, 536 Sutter (at Powell), 677-9596.

Pugilist Specialist
Magic Theatre, Fort Mason, Bldg. D, Marina & Buchanan, 441-8822.

Really Rosie
New Conservatory Theatre Center, 25 Van Ness (at Market), 861-8972,

Rush Limbaugh in Night School
The Marsh, 1062 Valencia (at 22nd St.), 826-5750,

Santaland Diaries and Season's Greetings
Shelton Theater, 533 Sutter (at Powell), 433-3040.

Shelley Mitchell's Talking With Angels
Herbst Theatre, 401 Van Ness (at Grove), 392-4400.

"Stories by Tobias Wolff"
142 Throckmorton Theatre, 142 Throckmorton (at Madrona), Mill Valley, 383-9600.

Sugar Plum Fairy
San Jose Repertory Theatre, 101 Paseo de San Antonio (at South Third St.), San Jose, 408-367-7255,

"Throckmorton Stories"
142 Throckmorton Theatre, 142 Throckmorton (at Madrona), Mill Valley, 383-9600.

The Va Va Voom Room
Empire Plush Room, York Hotel, 940 Sutter (at Hyde), 885-2800.

When You Comin' Back, Red Ryder
The Next Stage, 1620 Gough (at Bush), Trinity Episcopal Church, 333-6389.

White Christmas
Curran Theatre, 445 Geary (between Taylor and Mason), 551-2000.


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