What We Talk About When We Talk About Talking

What We Talk About When We Talk About Talking

What exactly is being communicated, and how is it different from what’s being said? For that matter, why’s it being said the way that it is?  These questions underlie a lot of the conversations in Precious Little, the latest show at Shotgun Players, but they’re questions that could as easily be asked of the intriguing, entertaining and elusive play itself. It’s written by Madeleine George, a New York playwright whose work I’m not familiar with, but I’m delighted to see that another one of her plays is titled Seven Homeless Mammoths Wander New England. She’s also from Amherst, Massachusetts originally, just like Circle Mirror Transformation playwright Annie Baker—or like Emily Dickinson, for that matter.

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Lazzi Come Home

Lazzi Come Home

Truffaldino Says No isn’t really a commedia dell’arte play, nor an adaptation of one. It is, however, about commedia stock characters, and what happens when one of them decides that he doesn’t want to be a guy who keeps doing the same thing over and over anymore.

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A Fracking Shame

A Fracking Shame

Shotgun Players has doubled down on its commitment to new plays lately. Last year’s 20th-anniversary season was entirely made up of commissioned world premieres, and after an impressively solid production of Tom Stoppard’s Voyage this spring, Shotgun unveils another commission. The Great Divide is a modern take on Henrik Ibsen’s 1882 play An Enemy of the People, updated to focus on current hot-button environmental issues. The playwright is Adam Chanzit, whose play Down to This closed in a Sleepwalkers Theatre production in San Francisco the same weekend this show opened in Berkeley.

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Hard Luck in Harlem

Hard Luck in Harlem

The first season that longtime American Conservatory Theater actor Steven Anthony Jones has programmed as the new artistic director of Lorraine Hansberry Theatre has been an interesting mix for San Francisco’s most venerable African-American theatre, from an odd pairing of one-acts—a broad slapstick bit of 1960s agitprop with a tense new Brazilian thriller—to a new version of LHT’s traditional Christmas pageant, to a drama about the British psychiatric system. Now the season closes with a trip back to the Harlem Renaissance, the Great Depression and Prohibition with Blues for an Alabama Sky, a 1995 melodrama by Pearl Cleage.

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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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Dead on Arrival

4 September, 2011 Theater No comments
Dead on Arrival

THEATER REVIEW: BERKELEY

Show #73: The Road to Hades, Shotgun Players, August 6.

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