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.
THEATER REVIEW: SAN JOSE
Show #39: Lolita Roadtrip, San Jose Stage Company, April 24.
THEATER REVIEW: SAN FRANCISCO
Show #121: Coraline, SF Playhouse, November 20.
For a play that’s supposedly cursed, whose title theater people make a big show of not speaking aloud, the bloody tragedy Macbeth is performed so often that it’s a credit to William Shakespeare that it retains as much power as it does the umpteenth time around. And it’s a credit to director Joel Sass and his strong, multitasking cast that the California Shakespeare Theater production feels as electrifying as if it were entirely unfamiliar and perilous ground.
Ever since Jonathan Moscone started adding late 19th and early 20th century classics into California Shakespeare Theater’s seasons early in his decade as artistic director, the company has done an outstanding job with the works of George Bernard Shaw, Anton Chekhov and Oscar Wilde. Former San Jose Rep artistic director Timothy Near, who helmed Cal Shakes’s near-perfect 2008 production of Uncle Vanya, now takes on George Bernard Shaw’s 1893 play Mrs. Warren’s Profession, which was initially banned for its no-nonsense discussion of prostitution and particularly of society’s culpability for providing few economic alternatives for women.
Third show of 2010: A Round-Heeled Woman, Z Space at Theater Artaud, January 16.