Theresa Rebeck gets deep inside kitchen politics.
Marin Shakes’s Cymbeline is a madcap hodgepodge — and a musical.
Playwright Luis Alfaro returns to Magic Theatre with the start of an epic American trilogy.
Scottish playwright Linda McLean’s back with another disturbing play at the Magic, and it’s a weird one.
John Patrick Shanley has written a lot of plays. He’s best known for 2004’s Doubt, a Parable, which won him a Pulitzer, Tony, Obie, Drama Desk, and a bunch of other awards, but he’s been cranking out plays since the early 1980s. He’s also the screenwriter of such films as Moonstruck, Congo and Joe vs. the Volcano, and I will defend the latter as easily his greatest work. I start with this list of his credentials because when I saw his latest play, Storefront Church at San Francisco Playhouse, my take-away was that this guy isn’t really a playwright.
Magic Theatre brings back one of its most famous premieres, 35 years later. My review of Buried Child is on KQED Arts.
It’s an exhausting week, with five openings back-to-back in five days. The first of them is Mark Jackson’s staging of Marin Theatre Company’s The Beauty Queen of Leenane, Martin McDonagh’s often hilarious, aching and brutal portrait of a needy and manipulative elderly mother and her resentful 40-year-old daughter/caretaker. My review is in today’s Marin Independent Journal.
Hey, who am I? Who are you? What are we doing here? Where is here, anyway? What’s this needle doing in my arm? And shouldn’t there be a baby in that crib, instead of just a chicken leg? Playwright Octavio Solis explores life’s eternal questions in the world premiere of Se Llama Cristina, and I give you the full report on the KQED Arts blog.
It’s not often that you see a guy in a Mexican wrestling mask just sitting in the audience at the theater, but then, it’s not every day that you see a play about professional wrestling. Everyone knows that wrestling is just as scripted as your average play, with the characters, twists, and outcomes all determined in advance, but I don’t know how much crossover there really is between the audiences of the ring and those of the stage.
Bay Area audiences have become familiar with the devilish and often bloody-minded wit of Martin McDonagh over the last decade or two, largely thanks to excellent productions of the London-born Irish playwright’s The Beauty Queen of Leenane, The Pillowman and The Lieutenant of Inishmore at Berkeley Repertory Theatre. But Berkeley Rep’s had no monopoly on McDonagh by any means, as his plays have been staged by Magic Theatre, TheatreWorks, Wilde Irish and Cal Performances, among others. Now SF Playhouse gets into the act with the regional premiere of A Behanding in Spokane, which debuted on Broadway two years ago.