There’s no escapin’ the joys of this Scapin

Sep 23

There’s no escapin’ the joys of this <i>Scapin</i>

If you want to see what funny looks like, you should see Bill Irwin in a comedy. In recent years, he’s been fairly serious, what with his stage work in shows like Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf (a Tony Award-winning turn opposite Kathleen Turner) or The Goat, or Who Is Sylvia? (opposite Sally Field) and his movie work as a dedicated dishwasher-loading dad in Rachel Getting Married.

But Irwin is a clown in the purest sense. The Bay Area knows him as one of the founders of the Pickle Family Circus, and his alter ego, Willy the Clown, is as beloved as they come.

We’ve seen Irwin on the American Conservatory Theater stage in the last few years, in his luminous Fool Moon project with David Shiner and the conundrum of Beckett’s Texts for Nothing, but his return as the title character in Moliere’s Scapin, ACT’s season opener, is reason to cheer.

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Theater review: `Romeo and Juliet’

May 31

Opened May 30, 2009 at the Bruns Amphitheater Alex Morf and Sarah Nealis are the star-crossed young lovers in the California Shakespeare Theater’s season-opening production of Romeo and Juliet. Photos by Kevin Berne Youthful passion, ancient hate heat up Cal Shakes’ `R&J’««« ½ An explosion of color, violence and surprising beauty, the...

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Theater review: `War Music’

Apr 02

Opened April 1 at American Conservatory Theater Soldiers rock out with their “guns” out in American Conservatory Theater’s War Music, a world premiere adaptation written and directed Lillian Groag. Photos by Kevin Berne.   Not much music, not much war in ACT’s academic `War Music’«« American Conservatory Theater’s...

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Review: “Rock ‘n’ Roll”

Sep 18

Opened Sept. 17, 2008   Rene Augesen is Esme and Manoel Felciano is Jan in a scene set at Prague’s John Lennon wall in the American Conservatory Theater production of Rock ‘n’ Roll by Tom Stoppard. Photos by Kevin Berne   ACT gives Stoppard’s heavy `Rock’ a mighty roll«««1/2 Rock ‘n’ Roll has a beat – a...

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ACT casts `Rock ‘n’ Roll,’ partners up for `Phedre’

Aug 22

Manoel Felciano, a San Francisco native who used to work at Recycled Records on Haight Street, plays Jan, the central character in Tom Stoppard’s Rock ‘n’ Roll, an ACT production. Photo by Ashley Forrette Photography With all this buzz about, there must be a new theater season about to start. First up is news from American Conservatory Theater....

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Review: `Curse of the Starving Class’

May 01

Opened April 30 at American Conservatory Theater Pamela Reed (left) as Ella, chucks artichokes out of the fridge across a prone Jack Willis as Weston and toward Jud Williford as her son, Wesley in ACT’s Curse of the Starving Class by Sam Shepard. Photos by Kevin Berne   Shepard’s revised `Curse’ still packs punchThree stars Let it...

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