Shadows fall on suburbia in Yockey’s beguiling Bellwether

Oct 12

Shadows fall on suburbia in Yockey’s beguiling <i>Bellwether</i>

Audacious, entertaining and chilling, Steve Yockey’s world-premiere Bellwether at Marin Theatre Company goes where few plays dare to tread.

What starts out as a satiric look at suburban living – Bellwether is a nice neighborhood, we’re told over and over again, a gated community commuter distance from an unnamed big city – quickly becomes a potent family drama. A husband and wife (Gabriel Marin and Arwen Anderson) have hit some rocky ground as they and their about-to-turn-7 daughter try adjusting to suburban living.

The show becomes a crime thriller when little Amy disappears from her bed while her mom was downstairs with a neighbor and a bottle of wine. And then it turns into something Stephen King might dream up in a novel or short story. Yockey delves into the underworld of suburbia, a dark, dangerous place that balances the shiny, happy existence up top. That Yockey – MTC’s playwright in residence for the 2009-10 season – anchors the fantastical aspects of the story with his exploration of family life in the suburbs does him credit. He and director Ryan Rilette manage something very tricky here with a tone that shifts from satirical comedy to high drama to horror.

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Beth Wilmurt goes `Boating’ in Berkeley

Jun 10

You’ve heard about monsters being unleashed and wreaking havoc in New York? Well, Beth Wilmurt was just such a monster. The San Francisco-based actor played a ferocious dragon in the final scenes of Beowulf: A Thousand Years of Baggage, the Shotgun Players/Banana Bag & Bodice musical that headed to New York after its award-winning birth in...

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Theater review: `The Lieutenant of Inishmore’

Apr 23

Opened April 22, 2009 at Berkeley Repertory Theatre’s Roda Theatre, EXTENDED THROUGH MAY 24! Padraic (Blake Ellis, front center) finds himself in a spot of trouble when he’s set upon by fellow terrorists from his Irish splinter group (from left) Brendan (Rowan Brooks), Christy (Danny Wolohan) and Joey (Michael Barrett Austin) in Martin McDonagh’s...

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Review: `TRAGEDY: a tragedy’

Mar 20

Opened March 19, 2008, Berkeley Repertory Theatre’s Thrust Stage Thomas Jay Ryan, Marguerite Stimpson and Danny Wolohan. Photos by Kevin Berne Laughing through the tragic darkness three stars Our top story tonight Reportedly, during a preview performance of Will Eno’s TRAGEDY: a tragedy at Berkeley Repertory Theatre, an audience member rose up mid-show...

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Wolohan out!

Mar 11

One of my favorite Bay Area actors, Danny Wolohan, is moving on. Wolohan was voted by American Theatre magazine as one of the country’s seven actors “worth traveling to see,” and I wholeheartedly agree. I first met Wolohan when I interviewed him during his stint in the Aurora Theatre Company’s Tough! That was in 2000, and since then, Wolohan...

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