Party People at Berkeley Rep: Necessary

Oct 25

<i>Party People</i> at Berkeley Rep: Necessary

There are ovations and there are ovations. The opening of an envelope gets a standing ovation these days, so the stand and clap doesn't really mean much anymore. But at the opening night of UNIVERSES' Party People at Berkeley Repertory Theatre, the audience was instantly on its collective feet at show's end, applauding thunderously, shouting and hooting. The appreciative cast bowed, expressed gratitude and exited the stage. The house lights came on, and still the clamor continued. A few audience members exited the theater, but mostly the noise grew in intensity until the surprised cast had to return to the stage and bow yet again.

It seemed a fittingly over-the-top reaction to an ambitious, over-the-top show that leaves you feeling moved by the wheels of history and the vagaries of the human heart.

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IPH… a picture paints a thousand words

Sep 28

<i>IPH…</i> a picture paints a thousand words

One general problem I have with Greek tragedy is that I’m not Greek and, most days, not terribly tragic. I’ve experienced, a time or two, the feeling of catharsis that can come from being immersed in godly and ungodly troubles. Fiona Shaw as Medea comes to mind, and Berkeley Repertory Theatre’s The Oresteia had its acutely emotional moments.

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A note to readers

Mar 28

After three months on hiatus, Theater Dogs is once again back in action! I was in Sacramento working for an excellent newspaper, but now I’m back in San Francisco and happily on the theater beat once again. At the risk of sounding sappy, can I just say how much I missed it? Oh, I saw some good theater: August Wilson’s Gem of the Ocean at Sacramento...

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Review: `Radio Golf’

Oct 15

Aldo Billingslea (left) is Harmond Wilks, C. Kelly Wright (center) is Harmond’s wife, Mame, and Anthony J. Haney is Harmond’s business partner, Roosevelt Hicks, in August Wilson’s Radio Golf at TheatreWorks in Mountain View. Photos by Mark Kitacka.   Superb cast tunes up Wilson’s `Radio’ at TheatreWorks««« ½   Even the...

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6 questions for August Wilson scholar/director Harry J. Elam Jr.

Oct 07

C. Kelly Wright and Aldo Billingslea head a top-notch cast of Bay Area actors in the TheatreWorks production of August Wilson’s final play, Radio Golf. Photo by David Allen August Wilson, according to Harry J. Elam Jr., is one of our greatest American playwrights. With two Pulitzers, the late Wilson was the most produced playwright of the 1990s and he looks to...

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Review: `Caroline or Change’

Apr 10

C. Kelly Wright is Caroline Thibodeaux in TheatreWorks’ Caroline, or Change (Anise Ritchie in the rear is The Moon). Photos by David Allen TheatreWorks tackles challenging `Caroline’ with soaring results Four stars (Rich, rewarding, moving) I cannot imagine any other Bay Area theater company other than TheatreWorks having the guts to produce one of the...

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