2012 flasback: 10 to remember

Dec 21

2012 flasback: 10 to remember

One of the things I love about Bay Area theater is that picking a Top 10 list is usually a breeze. My surefire test of a great show is one I can remember without having to look at anything to remind me about it. The entire list below was composed in about five minutes, then I had to go look through my reviews to make sure they were all really this year. They were, and it was a really good year.

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ACT’s Normal Heart aches with passion, grief, history

Sep 21

ACT’s <i>Normal Heart</i> aches with passion, grief, history

In some ways, Larry Kramer's landmark play The Normal Heart is just a lot of yelling. Characters don't simply raise their voices, they scream, sometimes from the depths of their souls. And that's what makes this drama profoundly affecting rather than just loud. These characters have good reason to yell. Some do it from rage, some from fear, some from frustration, some from all of the above combined with grief and utter exhaustion.

To watch The Normal Heart, especially the stunning production directed by George C. Wolfethat opens the American Conservatory Theater season, is to experience a particularly dark chapter in American history – one that, in many ways, continues to this day.

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