SF Mime Troupe rocks the boat in Ripple Effect

Jul 07

SF Mime Troupe rocks the boat in <i>Ripple Effect</i>

I must admit that for a while there, I ceased looking forward to the July Fourth debut of the latest San Francisco Mime Troupe show at Dolores Park. The productions were feeling slack or worse, forced. The writing was off and the politics came off as strident or silly rather than relevant or even entertaining.Happy to report that this year's show, Ripple Effect, is a major improvement.

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Music soars in Cutting Ball’s Tontlawald

Feb 24

Music soars in Cutting Ball’s <i>Tontlawald</i>

Darkness. Voices. Chanting. Then drumming and clapping.

The opening of Cutting Ball Theater's Tontlawald is electrifying. The sheer power of joined voices, unamplified, is undeniable and extraordinarily beautiful.

In John Bischoff's stunning arrangements, the vocal music in this world-premiere production emerges as the star of the show. Performed by the seven-member ensemble, the music, which ranges from Sarah Hopkins' "Aboriginal Song" to a delicious slice of Mozart's The Magic Flute to doo-wop and barbershop quartet sounds, is reason enough to see this fitfully engaging, ultimately disappointing exercise in experimental storytelling.

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Cutting Ball revives a Bone to gnaw on

Jan 21

Cutting Ball revives a <i>Bone</i> to gnaw on

In the summer of 2008, Cutting Ball Theater threw audiences an incredible Bone. The play, part of the evening known as Avant GardARAMA!, was Eugenie Chan’s Bone to Pick, a one-act that re-imagined the myth of Ariadne, a princess of Crete and a key player in the whole Theseus/Minotaur tussle.

Chan’s play fascinated because it took a dusty old myth and gave it a compelling spin. Ariadne, known as Ria here, is haggard waitress at the end of the world. She was left on the island of Naxos by her new groom (Theseus, here called Theo) at the moment of her greatest happiness. She had just helped her new husband slay the Minotaur (actually her half-brother), and they were heading off to a glorious future together.

But for whatever reason, Theo dumped her. And here it is 3,000-some years later, and she’s a waitress in what’s left of a diner near the end of time. In her craziness/loneliness, she cycles through her life and takes a journey – possibly real, possibly imagined – into a meat locker that leads to a labyrinth of sorts filled with memory and emotion.

Oh, and meat.

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Cutting Ball announces 10th anniversary season

Jun 02

Husband-and-wife team Rob Melorse and Paige Rogers are the creative force behind San Francisco’s The Cutting Ball Theater. The company is heading into its 10th anniversary season. Photo courtesy Marin Independent Journal One of the Bay Area’s most committed alternative theater companies, The Cutting Ball Theater has anounced its 10th Anniversary season....

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Review: `avantGARDARAMA’

Aug 15

Felicia Benefield is Mare in Suzan-Lori Parks’ Betting on the Dust Commander, one of three avant garde plays in The Cutting Ball Theatre’s avantGARDARAMA at the EXIT on Taylor. Photos by Rob Melrose. Chan’s `Bone’ trumps Parks, Stein in evening of experimental plays««« I’ll come right out and say I’m not a fan of avant garde...

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Eugenie Chan spins into Avant GardARAMA!

Jul 17

Four years ago, Cutting Ball Theater continued its search for the edge that cuts with the first Avant GardARAMA!, a festival of short, experimental plays. The quest for cutting-edge theater never ends, so Cutting Ball is reviving the festival, which opens Friday, July 18 and continues through Aug. 16 at the EXIT on Taylor. The roster of playwrights includes some...

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