Through the Cracks

Through the Cracks

Who hasn’t wondered what his or her life would be like if, well, everything were different? It’s the sort of reflection that nobody really indulges in when everything’s going well, but that tends to consume one’s mind when one’s life seems to be going nowhere. That certainly describes the siblings in Lauren Yee’s new play Crevice: Liz is a jobless 27-year old Ivy League grad who recently caught her fiancé cheating on her and now never leaves the couch (a strikingly similar situation to that of a character in Kim Rosenstock’s dark comedy Tigers Be Still, but that’s a very different story). Rob, 29, is supposedly an actor but hasn’t worked in years, and both of them are still living with their mom, waiting for something to happen. And something does. Liz and Rob get a taste of what might have been when they slip through a crack in the floor into a parallel world in which their every wish has come true, and that’s not necessarily good news.

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A Tighter Titus

A Tighter Titus

Titus Andronicus is William Shakespeare’s bloodiest tragedy, and for centuries it was also generally considered to be his worst. Although the playwright’s contemporaries loved it, it wouldn’t regain popularity until after Word War II, when all the play’s hand-chopping, child-killing, rape, decapitation and cannibalism no longer seemed as outlandish as it once did. In the age of the slasher flick, Titus’s Grand Guignol elements are once again its primary selling point.

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High School Confrontational

High School Confrontational

THEATER REVIEW: BERKELEY

Show #109: The Chalk Boy, Impact Theatre, November 5.

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For the Love of the Game

23 September, 2011 Theater No comments
For the Love of the Game

THEATER REVIEW: BERKELEY

Show #80: Of Dice and Men, Impact Theatre, September 2.

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Look Away, Disneyland

Look Away, Disneyland

When you’re a little kid at Disneyland, you may understand on some level that the Donald Duck waddling around shaking hands isn’t actually the cartoon character magically come to life but some oversize, mute representation of him. But it takes a bit of personal growth to go from knowing deep down it’s a guy or gal in a costume and actually thinking what it must be like to wear that thing on a sweltering Southern California summer day.

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Accidents Will Happen

Accidents Will Happen

There’s such a thing as being accident-prone, but when your body is covered with scars from freak incidents like falling on picket fences (and you’re not a stuntman for a living), you’ve got to start looking at something other than chance.  That’s the trouble with Evan in Disassembly, the latest of several plays by Atlanta playwright Steve Yockey to play Impact Theatre (and its first Yockey world premiere all its own, after 2009’s simultaneous premiere of Large Animal Games with Dad’s Garage in Atlanta).

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Lock Up Your Teenagers

27 February, 2011 Theater 3 comments
Lock Up Your Teenagers

When I heard that Impact Theatre artistic director Melissa Hillman was going to be helming Romeo and Juliet this year, the tag lines started to write themselves in my mind (“never was a story of more whoa”–that sort of thing). Although Impact specializes in new plays, Hillman’s own stagings for the company each year have been fast-paced productions of Shakespeare (or other classics like John Ford’s ‘Tis Pity She’s a Whore).

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Ten for Twenty-Ten

31 December, 2010 Theater 6 comments

Here we are pretty much back where we started on this blog, with my Top Ten list of my favorite shows for the year. It was awfully hard to whittle the 126 shows I saw this year in the Bay Area down to ten, which is probably a good sign: that’s a far better problem to have than not being able to think of ten good ones. I limited myself to shows that actually opened in 2010, which disqualifies shows like Ann Randolph’s hilarious monologue Loveland that otherwise would be high on my list. Most links are to my original reviews earlier in the year, and the shows are more or less in order of preference.

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Can’t Tease Everybody

24 November, 2010 Theater No comments
Can’t Tease Everybody

I rarely miss a show at Berkeley’s Impact Theatre, because I’ve always liked the company’s fast and loose energy and its knack for finding outrageously funny new comedies. And from the name alone, The Play About the Naked Guy looked to be one of them. I’ve enjoyed several of the cast members in other things, and have been impressed with some of the shows director Evren Odcikin has helmed lately at Brava and Boxcar.

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Fowl Play

15 September, 2010 Theater 1 comment
Fowl Play

THEATER REVIEW: BERKELEY

Show #92: MilkMilkLemonade, Impact Theatre, September 10.

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