Fourteenth show of 2010: Oedipus el Rey, Magic Theatre, February 3.
Thirteenth show of 2010: Animals out of Paper, SF Playhouse, February 2.
Aurora’s first main stage production to come out of its annual Global Age Project new works series, Joel Drake Johnson’s The First Grade isn’t at all what the title or the set might lead one to expect. Nina Ball’s scenic design is themed around a first grade classroom, with a hand-printed alphabet banner, inspirational posters on the wall and lockers that look drawn in crayon or chalk. Wall panels rotate to form a kitchen interior or the exterior of a house.
Eleventh show of 2010: Fiddler on the Roof, SHN, January 27.
I reviewed this one for today’s Marin IJ, so pick up a copy or check it out online.
Not quite an hour in length, Caryl Churchill’s two-actor one-act A Number isn’t nearly as well known as some of the British playwright’s older works such as Top Girls and Cloud 9, but it’s a marvelous, compact gem in its own right.
I’m writing this on the same MacBook that suffered a meltdown yesterday morning, but with a new hard drive and a blank slate. The friendly folks at M.A.C. weren’t able to retrieve any data from my suddenly collapsed hard drive, which proved completely unresponsive.
The next step is to drop a thousand or two to have the specialists take te drive apart in their Clean Room and try to work their magic on the disc inside, or to try this crazy home remedy that some people swear by: putting the HD in the freezer for a day inside multiple plastic bags to keep the moisture out, which supposedly will make it come back to life for maybe 20 minutes so I can try to grab what I can off it it. People swear that it works, though they can’t say why, but the potential to damage it further worries me. I certainly don’t have a thousand bucks to spare, but at the same time that’s three years of writing, photos and whatnot that would be lost to me if I can’t retrieve them somehow. My gut feeling is to spend the money and take it to the pros, because it’s just not something I’m comfortable taking a chance on.
In the meantime, here I am typing on an amnesiac computer, which is mostly distressing but also a teensy bit liberating.
The Bay Area has been fortunate enough to have seen a bit of an Athol Fugard revival in the last couple of years, with Blood Knot at American Conservatory Theater in 2008 and My Children! My Africa! at Marin Theatre Company in ’09. This week Berkeley Repertory Theatre added a new work by the great South African playwright into the mix with the West Coast premiere of 2009′s Coming Home, a sequel to Fugard’s 1995 play Valley Song, which Berkeley Rep produced in 1998 at the Lorraine Hansberry Theatre featuring Anika Noni Rose. (Curiously enough without knowing that, I imagined Rose in the same role at some point while watching Coming Home.)
Naturally, because it is The Way of Things, no sooner do I start a blog than my faithful laptop fails me, suddenly making the Click of Death and plummeting into hard drive failure. While I was writing my next post, in fact–which it seems will have to wait.
For now, off to the repair shop to see if they can salvage all my writing from the last few years. And yes, I know, I should have backed that up. Thank goodness I emailed some of it to myself over the years, anyway. In any case, I’m hopeful, though it may get spendy. In the meantime, we’re experiencing technical difficulties. Please stand by.