Dancing in the Lesbian Bar

Dancing in the Lesbian Bar

Show #25: The Beebo Brinker Chronicles, Brava! for Women in the Arts, February 26.

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Chalked up to Experience

28 February, 2010 Theater 1 comment
Chalked up to Experience

Director John Doyle previously came to American Conservatory Theater to kick off the national tour of his acclaimed stripped-down Broadway staging of Sweeney Todd, in which all the instruments were played by the actors. Now he’s back at ACT taking a similar tack with the core acting company and a few ACT MFA students on Bertolt Brecht’s The Caucasian Chalk Circle, in a new translation by local actress Domenique Lozano.

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Safety First

17 February, 2010 Theater 1 comment
Safety First

Safe House opens with a knife to the throat, a boy in a wheelchair threatening his mom in the woods. “Is this the end? Say yes,” he says, and although of course it’s only the beginning you can see immediately that its also the end. From there we can only go back to see how we got there.

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The Heartland According to Hoyle

The Heartland According to Hoyle

On Saturday Dan Hoyle unveiled The Real Americans, his much-anticipated follow-up to his long-running Marsh hit Tings Dey Happen, which won the Will Glickman Award for best new play to debut in the Bay Area in 2007. Son of acclaimed local comic actor Geoff Hoyle, Dan honed his particular brand of journalistic solo theater with 2004′s Circumnavigator and 2005′s Florida 2004: The Big Bummer. But the cross-section of players large and small in the game of Nigerian oil politics that he captured with chameleonlike skill in Tings was utterly enthralling, from warlords and militants to foreign oil workers and diplomats, and it was seemingly a hard act to follow. But with The Real Americans, he’s done a heck of a job.

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A Dazzling Rey

5 February, 2010 Theater 1 comment
A Dazzling Rey

Fourteenth show of 2010: Oedipus el Rey, Magic Theatre, February 3.

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Unhappy in Its Own Way

Unhappy in Its Own Way

Aurora’s first main stage production to come out of its annual Global Age Project new works series, Joel Drake Johnson’s The First Grade isn’t at all what the title or the set might lead one to expect. Nina Ball’s scenic design is themed around a first grade classroom, with a hand-printed alphabet banner, inspirational posters on the wall and lockers that look drawn in crayon or chalk. Wall panels rotate to form a kitchen interior or the exterior of a house.

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Send in the Clones

Send in the Clones

Not quite an hour in length, Caryl Churchill’s two-actor one-act A Number isn’t nearly as well known as some of the British playwright’s older works such as Top Girls and Cloud 9, but it’s a marvelous, compact gem in its own right.

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Welcome Home

24 January, 2010 Theater 1 comment
Welcome Home

The Bay Area has been fortunate enough to have seen a bit of an Athol Fugard revival in the last couple of years, with Blood Knot at American Conservatory Theater in 2008 and My Children! My Africa! at Marin Theatre Company in ’09. This week Berkeley Repertory Theatre added a new work by the great South African playwright into the mix with the West Coast premiere of 2009′s Coming Home, a sequel to Fugard’s 1995 play Valley Song, which Berkeley Rep produced in 1998 at the Lorraine Hansberry Theatre featuring Anika Noni Rose. (Curiously enough without knowing that, I imagined Rose in the same role at some point while watching Coming Home.)

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Isn’t It Tragic

Isn’t It Tragic

After the typically slow first half of January, this was a particularly busy theatre week around the Bay Area, not least because ACT and Berkeley Rep’s openings were set for the same night.

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