Humanity shines in ACT’s Splendid Suns

Feb 16

Humanity shines in ACT’s <i>Splendid Suns</i>

Let's be honest: sitting in a beautiful theater watching a well-crafted play is an absolute privilege, so where better to challenge our very notions of privilege and confront the reality that much of the world's population is having a very different experience than those of us sitting in the velvet seats? With a play like A Thousand Splendid Suns, the world-premiere adaptation of Khaled Hosseini's 2007 novel now at American Conservatory Theater's Geary Theater.

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Hellishly fun Hand job at Berkeley Rep

Feb 11

Hellishly fun <i>Hand</i> job at Berkeley Rep

Hand to God is just the spiritual exploration we deserve at this point in our sordid human existence. Imagine if the current administration reimagined "Sesame Street" in its own twisted, greedy, egocentric, power-mad image and you might get something like Robert Askins' hit play now at Berkeley Repertory Theatre's Peet's Theatre.

In a small Texas town, the Lutheran church becomes the epicenter for that most human of showdowns: between good and bad, right and wrong, authority and anarchy, virtue and sin, reality and fantasy.

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Sacred and profane: much to mull in Playhouse’s Christians

Jan 29

Sacred and profane: much to mull in Playhouse’s <i>Christians</i>

While the San Francisco Playhouse audience was delving into Lucas Hnath's The Christians, a powerful, fraught examination of faith and organized religion, protestors were shutting down airports in demonstrations against the Trump administration's ban on immigrants from countries whose religions posed a perceived threat to our nation. In other words, the spiritual and emotional chaos inside and outside the theater were well matched.

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Gorgeous, moving Fun Home at the Curran

Jan 27

Gorgeous, moving <i>Fun Home</i> at the Curran

At only about 100 minutes, the musical Fun Home, manages to encapsulate a profoundly moving life experience: coming to terms with your parents as human beings and not just the people who gave you life then messed up that life one way or another.

What an extraordinary show to officially re-open the spectacularly renovated Curran Theatre, now in its 95th year and the ongoing project of Carole Shorenstein Hays and her family.

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Finding Neverland: never found, never lands

Jan 19

<i>Finding Neverland</i>: never found, never lands

I'm calling it: the use of Peter Pan as an automatic trigger for poignant reflections on lost youth and the emotional cruelty of aging is officially over. It's been over for a while, but apparently word has not spread to those still hoping to cash in on Captain Hook, Tinkerbell and the whole Neverland crew. That's unfortunate for the musical Finding Neverland.

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Glickman prize forJulia Cho’s Aubergine

Jan 13

Glickman prize forJulia Cho’s <i>Aubergine</i>

Julia Cho's Aubergine is the winner of the 2016 Glickman Award for the best new play to make its world premiere in the Bay Area. Aubergine was developed at Berkeley Repertory Theatre' Ground Floor, Center for the Creation and Development of New Work. The drama about a terminally ill father and his chef son opened in February at Berkeley Rep and was the first production in the newly refurbished and renamed Peet's Theatre.

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Irwin illuminates Beckett at ACT

Jan 12

Irwin illuminates <i>Beckett</i> at ACT

Bill Irwin wants to address everything you've ever wanted to know about Samuel Beckett but were afraid to ask. His casual one-man show On Beckett, now in a short run at American Conservatory Theater's Strand Theater, provides an excellent opportunity to explore the enigmatic Beckett from a safe distance and through utterly delightful filter of the inimitable Irwin.

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