TheatreWorks’ Pitmen paints poignant arts ed picture

Jan 29

TheatreWorks’ <i>Pitmen</i> paints poignant arts ed picture

Seeing some of the Bay Area's best actors collected on one stage is a pleasure in and of itself. But Lee Hall's The Pitmen Painters has other things to recommend it like its unapologetic championing of the arts as an essential part of being a fully formed human being.

Bringing this true story to life are James Carpenter, Dan Hiatt, Jackson Davis, Nicholas Pelczar and, in perhaps the most revealing performance, Patrick Jones. They're all wonderful actors, and to see them interacting and playing off of one another is worth the ticket price alone.

I reviewed the production for the Palo Alto Weekly.

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Hall’s journey from Billy to War Horse to Pitmen

Jan 20

Hall’s journey from <i>Billy</i> to <i>War Horse</i> to <i>Pitmen</i>

The Bay Area has been pretty good to Lee Hall of late. Last year, his musical adaptation (with music by Sir Elton John) of his movie Billy Elliot received rapturous notices (though closed a month early) at the Orpheum Theatre in San Francisco. It's a show that had already won the British scribe a 2009 Tony Award for best book of a musical.

Hall's Broadway follow-up to Billy was a play called The Pitmen Painters, another exploration of arts influence on the population of Northern England. Now that play makes its West Coast debut courtesy of TheatreWorks in Mountain View.

I spoke with Hall about his many and varied projects for an interview in the San Francisco Chronicle. Click for more.

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