Personally, the Hansel and Gretel story was the most damaging of my childhood. The idea that ruthless tyrant stepmoms of the world could be so evil as to effortlessly banish their children to the woods was enough to keep my little brain spinning until sunup. The crazy old witch with an appetite for plump children? Just the topping on the whole scary cake. If crazy women torturing children is your schtick, be assured that the tale has stood the test of time. Golden Gate Opera presents Hansel and Gretel on Friday, Oct. 28, and Sunday, Oct. 30, at the Marin Center. 10 Avenue of the Flags, San Rafael. Friday at 7pm; Sunday at 2pm. $15–$45. 415.499.6400.