Portrait of the Autist as a Young Boy

Portrait of the Autist as a Young Boy

New musical Max Understood brings us into the world of an autistic boy.

Read my review on KQED Arts. Read more

Seven Against Illyria

25 February, 2014 Theater No comments
Seven Against Illyria

A magnificent seven local actors–all female–take on Shakespeare’s ever-durable comedy Twelfth Night. My review is on KQED Arts.

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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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It’s a Shame About the War

11 February, 2012 Theater No comments
It’s a Shame About the War

It’s clear as soon as you enter the theater at Walnut Creek’s Lesher Center for the Arts that Center REPertory Company is taking a fanciful approach to Arms and the Man, George Bernard Shaw’s 1894 romantic comedy about people with dangerously lighthearted notions of what it means to fight in a war.

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Thursday Double Play

Thursday Double Play

Show #100: In the Maze of Our Own Lives, The Jewish Theatre, October 20.

Show #102: Crimes of the Heart, Cinnabar Theater, October 22.

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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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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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A Rosensweig by Any Other Name

13 January, 2010 Theater 1 comment
A Rosensweig by Any Other Name

Although San Jose Rep and TheatreWorks had both done the play in the past, the late Wendy Wasserstein’s 1992 Broadway hit had somehow never made it to San Francisco until now, so I’d never seen The Sisters Rosensweig before Saturday night—nor, if truth be told, had I seen any of Wasserstein’s plays. I had some vague notion that it had something to do with Chekhov’s Three Sisters, because of my unexamined assumption that anything with three sisters had to be informed by that play, from Lear’s daughters to Daisy Duck’s nieces. Turns out the Rosensweigs aren’t Chekhovian in the slightest, although Wasserstein tosses in a few Three Sisters references in the same offhand, apropos-of-nothing way that distinguishes a lot of play’s bon mots.

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