A hitch in the getalong: Looking back at 2014′s best

Dec 22

A hitch in the getalong: Looking back at 2014′s best

Reviewing the shows I reviewed this year, I was struck by two things: first, and as usual, there’s an abundance of talented people doing great work at all levels of Bay Area theater; second, this was a lesser year in Bay Area theater. Perhaps the reason for the later has to do with the changes in the Bay Area itself – artists are fleeing outrageous rents,...

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Double good, double fun in Cal Shakes’ Comedy

Jun 29

Double good, double fun in Cal Shakes’ <i>Comedy</i>

A visiting stranger makes a keen observation: "Your town is troubled with unruly boys." The trouble is, he ends up being one of the unruly boys, and that's the fun of Shakespeare's The Comedy of Errors, a masterfully chaotic comedy now at California Shakespeare Theater's Bruns Amphitheater.

As farces go, this Comedy requires us to believe that two sets of not-so-bright twins with the same names – the upper-class set is called Antipholus, the slave set is called Dromio – cause confusion, consternation and furious frustration when roaming the streets of Ephesus of the same day. Once over that hump (and Shakespeare makes it pretty easy), the farce clicks along like a finely tuned laugh machine until brothers are reunited, a father's search is fulfilled and a courtesan gets her diamond ring back.

Director Aaron Posner strikes the right tone from the start...

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Bucky’s back and better than ever

Feb 06

Bucky’s back and better than ever

I've probably seen D.W. Jacobs' R. Buckminster Fuller: The History (and Mystery) of the Universe five times now, and I get something new out of it every time. I saw the one-man show starring the extraordinary Ron Campbell about 14 years ago when it opened in San Francisco at Theatre Artaud. That production ran for over a year, went on tour, then came back about a year later. I thought I might get weary of Bucky and his fascinations, but that was never the case.

Now History/Mystery is back...

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Review: `Pericles’

Jun 01

California Shakespeare Theater production opened May 31, 2008, Bruns Amphitheater, Orinda The eight-member cast of California Shakespeare Theater’s Pericles puts on a jousting pageant on stage at the Bruns Memorial Amphitheater in Orinda. Photos by Kevin Berne Cal Shakes season opens with radiant romp«««« Rich, rewarding, adventurous Presented as a...

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