Girl Anachronism

18 December, 2011 Theater No comments
Girl Anachronism

American theater started as a criminal act. The first play performed in English in the colonies was Ye Bare and Ye Cubbe, a satirical stab at the English throne performed in rural Virginia in 1665. As Shakespeare’s contemporaries could attest a generation before, the Puritans were no fans of theater. Performing plays was a crime under their governance, and so was breaking the Sabbath—so this play performed in a tavern on Sunday was doubly forbidden, even disregarding any treasonous content. The show was reprised in a command performance in court, where it was judged harmless.

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Alien Nation

13 November, 2011 Theater No comments
Alien Nation

THEATER REVIEW: BERKELEY

Show #110: The Internationalist, Just Theater, November 6.

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Stages of Grief

Stages of Grief

It’s hard enough dealing with grief when you understand what happened, and why and how it happened, but when what’s happening to someone you love is completely incomprehensible, it’s mighty hard to get your mind around it and resign yourself to anything. For whatever reason, plays all over Berkeley depict families dealing with highly unconventional versions of loss.

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No One Expects the Russian Revolution

No One Expects the Russian Revolution

Shotgun Players’ 2008 premiere of Beowulf: A Thousand Years of Baggage was such a resounding success—winning the Glickman Award for best play to premiere in the Bay Area that year—that it’s no wonder that Shotgun commissioned Beowulf playwright Jason Craig and composer Dave Malloy to write another song-play for the company. Beardo is another raucous musical celebration of a legendary badass, this time Grigori Rasputin, the mystic “Mad Monk” who advised the last of the Russian Tsars, Nicholas II, and his wife, the Tsaritsa Alexandra.

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It’s Not Easy Being Queen

It’s Not Easy Being Queen

As acclaimed as he is for original works such as Shotgun Players’ The Death of Meyerhold and The Forest War, what’s particularly fascinating about local writer-director Mark Jackson’s work is his treatment of classic texts, from inventive stagings of Shakespeare’s Macbeth for Shotgun and Strindberg’s Miss Julie at Aurora to dizzying choreography-oriented desconstructions such as Juliet at San Francisco State and his Three Sisters riff Yes, Yes to Moscow at the San Francisco International Arts Festival. Somewhere in between are his adaptations, which bear the unmistakable mark of his strong visual and highly stylized approach while remaining much more of a conversation with the original work than a reinvention of it.

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The Drums of War

17 September, 2010 Theater No comments
The Drums of War

 

THEATER REVIEW: BERKELEY

Show #93: The Salt Plays, Part One: In the Wound, Shotgun Players, September 11.

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