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.
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.)
After the typically slow first half of January, this was a particularly busy theatre week around the Bay Area, not least because ACT and Berkeley Rep’s openings were set for the same night.
Fifth show of 2010: Wretch Like Me, 142 Throckmorton Theatre, January 18.
I reviewed this one in today’s Marin Independent Journal, so pick up a paper if you’re in the neighborhood or check it out online.
Also you should check out the show. It’s a good’un.
It took a long time for me to catch up with Loveland, Ann Randolph’s latest solo show at the Marsh. It opened back in October as a follow-up to her previous hit Squeeze Box, both the Los Angeles Times and LA Weekly’s pick for best solo show of 2002, which enjoyed a much-extended eight-month run at the Marsh last year. And I have to admit, I missed that one entirely. I also missed the initial run of Loveland but had a second chance when it returned this month for another extension.
Third show of 2010: A Round-Heeled Woman, Z Space at Theater Artaud, January 16.
Although San Jose Rep and TheatreWorks had both done the play in the past, the late Wendy Wasserstein’s 1992 Broadway hit had somehow never made it to San Francisco until now, so I’d never seen The Sisters Rosensweig before Saturday night—nor, if truth be told, had I seen any of Wasserstein’s plays. I had some vague notion that it had something to do with Chekhov’s Three Sisters, because of my unexamined assumption that anything with three sisters had to be informed by that play, from Lear’s daughters to Daisy Duck’s nieces. Turns out the Rosensweigs aren’t Chekhovian in the slightest, although Wasserstein tosses in a few Three Sisters references in the same offhand, apropos-of-nothing way that distinguishes a lot of play’s bon mots.