A musical twist on The Shop Around the Corner charms at SF Playhouse.
Another summer, another Twelfth Night.
Everybody loves a good bad guy.
Is it worth it for theatrical designers to get an MFA? I asked a few in my latest feature for Theatre Bay Area.
Marin Shakespeare Company gets Wilde and witty with An Ideal Husband.
Isn’t it romantic? No, not really.
I have such mixed feelings about Seminar, the play now wrapping up its run at San Francisco Playhouse. On the one hand, it’s a new play by Theresa Rebeck, who gave us the sharp dark comedy
The Scene and the marvelously tangled crime caper Mauritius (as well as more flimsy endeavors such as the workplace sexism satire What We’re Up Against). What’s more, it’s directed by Amy Glazer, who introduced Rebeck to the Bay Area with The Scene at SF Playhouse, which she later directed as the feature film Seducing Charlie Barker, and who clearly has a great affinity for the playwright’s work. And as a satire of fiction writers’ workshops, Seminar is pretty sharp and funny and biting in its own right. Read more
San Francisco Playhouse’s Bauer is the umpteenth local production by prolific local playwright Lauren Gunderson in the last few years, after
The Taming and Exit, Pursued by a Bear with Crowded Fire Theater, I and You at Marin Theatre Company, By and By with Shotgun Players, Silent Sky with TheatreWorks, Emilie with Symmetry Theatre Company, and Toil and Trouble and the short “Damsel and Distress Go to a Party” with Impact Theatre Company. But it’s the very first SF Playhouse commission that has reached the company’s main stage season. As artistic director Bill English explained in his preshow speech opening night, he was so enthralled by a documentary about painter Rudolf Bauer that he saw on TV that he asked Gunderson to write a play about the artist. Like a lot of Gunderson’s recent plays, Bauer already had a subsequent production lined up before it premiered, and it’s going to New York’s 59E59 Theaters in the fall. Read more
There have been a number of dramas exposing the abuse of “fallen” young women in the Magdalen Asylums of Ireland, such as the film The Magdelene Sisters or the play Eclipsed by Patricia Burke Brogan that Wilde Irish did at Berkeley City Club in 2004. Monica Byrne’s new play What Every Girl Should Know takes place in a variant of that setting—this time it’s a Catholic reformatory in New York City circa 1914—but everything about it suggests that this is a very bad place where nothing good could possibly happen.
Marin Shakespeare Company digs up the first English revenge tragedy, and it’s awesome. You can find my review in today’s Marin Independent Journal.