Catastrophist unleashes contagious drama – catch it

Jan 31

William DeMeritt is Nathan in Lauren Gunderson’s The Catastrophist produced by Marin Theatre Company and Round House Theatre. Photos courtesy of Marin Theatre Company; Director of Photography Peter Ruocco; Lighting Designer Wen-Ling Liao; Costume Designer Sarah Smith San Francisco playwright Lauren Gunderson was already one of the most admired and produced...

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Josh Kornbluth saves the world with Citizen Brain

Oct 24

Josh Kornbluth saves the world with <i>Citizen Brain</i>

Josh Kornbluth is really working the Empathy Circuit these days. Unlike, say, the Borscht Belt or the nearly vanished cabaret clubs, the Empathy Circuit isn't any sort of entertainment network. It's the complex wiring that winds through various parts of our brains and allows us to feel empathy – that is, the ability to care about, imagine or even try to feel the feelings of another being.

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Raging with Marty @ ACT’s Strand

Dec 02

Raging with Marty @ ACT’s Strand

If Martin Moran wanted to tell me about his trip to the dentist, I would stop whatever I was doing and listen in rapt attention knowing that Moran is a master storyteller and will inevitably find every telling detail, every character nuance, every link to something bigger than just the story he's relating.

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This Lion is king at ACT

Apr 21

This <i>Lion</i> is king at ACT

If Benjamin Scheuer were simply a musical act, I'd happily go see him in concert and buy his albums. his voice can go from sweet to gravelly, aggressive to tender, rollicking to romantic even within the space of a single song, and the same can be said for his guitar playing. He puts himself out there in his music, and in addition to being aurally pleasing, his music is also deeply satisfying.

But Scheuer is more than a concert act. He's also a playwright and actor. So his version of a concert is the one-man autobiographical musical The Lion now at American Conservatory Theater's Strand Theater.

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Pops is tops in ACT’s Satchmo

Jan 21

Pops is tops in ACT’s <i>Satchmo</i>

John Douglas Thompson is tall and handsome, which is to say, he looks nothing like Louis Armstrong. But so deft is Thompson's performance as the legendary trumpeter in Terry Teachout's captivating Satchmo at the Waldorf that audiences could almost swear they were in the company of the late, great man himself.

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Slice of SF life in fascinating Pornographer’s Daughter

Jan 23

Slice of SF life in fascinating <i>Pornographer’s Daughter</i>

Liberty Bradford Mitchell's story of pornography, family and murder could so easily come across as a public form of therapy. Given what she and her family have been through, that would certainly be understandable and maybe even interesting in a sort of voyeuristic way. But Bradford Mitchell, working with director Michael T. Weiss as crafted something much richer and more interesting in The Pornographer's Daughter, a solo show for performer and rock band now at Z Below.

Bradford Mitchell is the daughter of Artie Mitchell and niece of Jim Mitchell, the infamous Mitchell Brothers, purveyors of porn and major players in ...

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