Comedy and more fill Great Moment at Z Below

Aug 06

Comedy and more fill <i>Great Moment</i> at Z Below

There are so many great moments in The Making of a Great Moment, the new play from the scintillating San Francisco playwright Peter Sinn Nachtrieb, that it's hard to decide if the best ones are from the comic side or the more dramatic one. Certainly Nachtrieb, one of the sharpest, funniest playwrights working in this or any city, knows his way around a great line, and Great Moment, a Z Space production at Z Below, packs its 90 minutes with memorable lines and some big laughs.

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Theater Dogs’ Best of 2016

Dec 28

Theater Dogs’ Best of 2016

The theater event that shook my year and reverberated through it constantly didn't happen on Bay Area stage. Like so many others, I was blown away by Hamilton on Broadway in May and then on repeat and shuffle with the original cast album (and, later in the year, the Hamilton Mix Tape) ever since. Shifting focus back home, theater in the San Francisco Bay Area continues to be a marvel, which is really something given the hostile economic environment arts groups are facing around here.

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A Tour de force for Scheie and Nachtrieb

Apr 06

A <i>Tour</i> de force for Scheie and Nachtrieb

The tour group is just heading out when the enthusiastic guide, suddenly quite sensible, says, "You will need to extrapolate quite a bit if you wish to enjoy this tour."

That is, at once, an incredibly honest thing for a tour guide – any tour guide – to say because it's almost always true and a subtle wink at the theatrical adventure on which we are embarking in Peter Sinn Nachtrieb's beguiling world premiere A House Tour of the Infamous Porter Family Mansion with Tour Guide Weston Ludlow Londonderry, a commission from Z Space tailor made for its vast space and built on the prodigious talents of actor Danny Scheie.

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Threats of totalitarianism have never been so fun

Dec 08

Threats of totalitarianism have never been so fun

Our sorry political state may be sending the country down the toilet, but it sure is inspiring some grand entertainment. Veep and House of Cards offer two distinct points of view on the absurdity of Beltway power mongering. Lauren Gunderson's The Taming was a comic highlight of last year's local theater scene (review here) in its exploration of political game playing.

Now we have Peter Sinn Nachtrieb's The Totalitarians, a Z Space production in association with Encore Theatre Company and the National New Play Network.

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ACT’s MFA students frolic in kiddie Litter

Mar 07

ACT’s MFA students frolic in kiddie <i>Litter</i>

It’s a busy late winter for San Francisco playwright Peter Sinn Nachtrieb, and the busy-ness has a lot to do with unusual births.

?Later this month at the Humana Festival of New Plays at Actors Theatre of Louisville, Nachtrieb will premiere BOB, an “epic journey in just five acts” about a man born in a White Castle bathroom.

Closer to home, Nachtrieb is upping the baby ante but in only one act. Litter: The Story of the Framingham Dodecatuplets was written for the 12 students of American Conservatory Theater’s Master of Fine Arts Program Class of 2011. The comedy, complete with original songs, had its world premiere over the weekend at the Zeum Theater.

If you know Nachtrieb from his plays boom or Hunter Gatherers, you know that he is, in a word, hilarious. His comedy has edge and it can be heartfelt. He can slice you up and make it seem like the nicest possible thing to do.

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Theater Dogs and the Zombie Chicken Award

Apr 29

The geniuses over at Great Hera!, which translates into my friend and nerd queen Sarah Kuhn, have seen fit to award this humble little theater Web site a Zombie Chicken Award. It’s our first award of any kind, and we’re bursting with pride. And gratitude. We’d like to thank the Academy, the Board of Tony voters and our agents, who have believed in...

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