Just add water: Metamorphoses returns to Berkeley Rep

Feb 01

Just add water: <i>Metamorphoses</i> returns to Berkeley Rep

Nearly 20 years later, Metamorphoses returns to Berkeley Rep, this time to the Peet's Theatre. The show remains stunning – still gorgeous, still moving, still an example of theater at its sumptuous best. There are moments that are stunning, thrilling, funny and breathtaking. After Berkeley Rep, the show ended up on Broadway, where Zimmerman won a Tony.

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Talking the talk, or not, in Berkeley Rep’s Chinglish

Aug 30

Talking the talk, or not, in Berkeley Rep’s <i>Chinglish</i>

Berkeley Repertory Theatre's season-opening production of Chinglish by David Henry Hwang presents the best possible circumstances to witness communication happening under the worst possible circumstances.

This is what you'd call a serious comedy, which is to say there are big laughs generated by a serious subject. That subject is, essentially, how hard it is for people to listen to and understand one another, and Hwang takes us into an extreme situation to demonstrate the many layers of communication.

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Just Wilde over Aurora’s Salomania

Jun 22

Just Wilde over Aurora’s <i>Salomania</i>

If only a 94-year-old scandal were sensational in ways we no longer understood, we could look back and wonder what all the fuss was about and why the media underestimated the taste of the general public and why the general public was so content to be constantly underestimated.

Alas, not much has changed since the early 20th century criminal libel suit that American dancer Maud Allan brought against British newspaper publisher Noel Pemberton-Billing after he described the interest in her dance piece Vision of Salomé as the "cult of the clitoris." That was the headline he used in his paper, the Vigilante, to describe the moral reprobates who were attracted to Allan's version of the play by Oscar Wilde, which had been banned since Wilde's very public downfall.

What we learn in Mark Jackson's fascinating and at moments electrifying new play Salomania is that the media, though their aims may be occasionally true, are a pawn in larger political games and panderers to public taste, which they help shape.

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Review: `Shining City’

Oct 05

Opened Oct. 4, 2008, SF Playhouse Paul Whitworth (left) is John, a grief-stricken widower, and Alex Moggridge is Ian, a fledgling therapist in the SF Playhouse production of Conor McPherson’s Shining City, a grand Irish ghost story. Photos by Zabrina Tipton   Ghosts go bump in McPherson’s luminous `Shining City’«««« SF Playhouse opens its...

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