Magic Up Against some funny creeps

Feb 11

Magic <i>Up Against</i> some funny creeps

Playwright Theresa Rebeck, a master of barbed contemporary dialogue, conducts an interesting experiment in the Magic Theatre’s world premiere of What We’re Up Against.

Her Petri dish is a big-city architectural firm – all glass and metal in Skip Mercier’s sleek, mostly black, white and gray set. Her chosen bacteria: the architects, all of whom turn out to be antiseptic assholes.

To stir the chemical reactions, Rebeck introduces elements commonly found in the workplace: power plays, raging sexism, vaulting ambition, moronic behavior and that ever-powerful agent, greed.

The architects at this particular firm are mostly isolated from the outside world. We hear about some client interaction, but the focus of their activity is internal. There’s not talk of spouses, significant others, children, parents, pets, groceries or dry cleaning. This nearly two-hour, two-act drama (with some hearty if stinging comedy) has a sharp focus and that is unpleasant behavior from unpleasant people.

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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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Review: `An Ideal Husband’

Jul 06

Opened July 5, Bruns Memorial Amphitheater, Orinda Julie Eccles is Gertrude Chiltern and Stacy Ross is Laura Chevely in California Shakespeare Theater’s production of An Ideal Husband by Oscar Wilde. Photos by Kevin Berne   Ferocity marries wit in Cal Shakes’ lively `Husband’«««« Nothing ages like happiness, or so Oscar Wilde tells us in...

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