Tickety boo! Kneehigh, Berkeley Rep jazz up history in Adolphus Tips

Dec 08

Tickety boo! Kneehigh, Berkeley Rep jazz up history in <i>Adolphus Tips</i>

Spirits are high at Berkeley Repertory Theatre this holiday season. What's interesting is that the merry-making on stage in 946: The Amazing Story of Adolphus Tips – the singing, dancing and general revelry – is all in service to a story about war and a little-known and avoidable tragedy that cost nearly 1,000 during World War II. So it's happy about sad, which makes sense given the theater company at work here is Kneehigh, the Cornwall-based troupe that has made various Bay Area splashes.

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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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Holiday cheer in SF Playhouse’s sparkling She Loves Me

Dec 01

Holiday cheer in SF Playhouse’s sparkling <i>She Loves Me</i>

p>The 1963 musical She Loves Me is just a little gem of a musical – full of melody and charm and camaraderie and romance. The recent Broadway revival made a case for the show as sturdy, funny showcase for actors who can perfectly balance realism and musical comedy in a way that makes the show feel intimate and lived in even while it traffics in song and dance.

Just in time for the holidays, San Francisco Playhouse polishes this gem to a sparkling shine.

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Lost in Austen with Marin’s Christmas at Pemberly

Nov 30

Lost in Austen with Marin’s <i>Christmas at Pemberly</i>

We're all in need of some genuine Christmas cheer this year, and that's exactly what Marin Theatre Company's Miss Bennet: Christmas at Pemberley provides. It's sweet without being sappy. It's sharp, clever and funny with a warm undercurrent of genuine emotion. What more could you want from a holiday show (except maybe passed eggnog and a round of carols)?

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Wonderful women in Word for Word’s Aunt Hagar

Nov 20

Wonderful women in Word for Word’s <i>Aunt Hagar</i>

What you remember from Word for Word's production of All Aunt Hagar's Children, a full theatrical adaptation of the short story by Edward P. Jones, are the women. Such women. They make an impression on the audience the way they make an impression the story's narrator, a nameless young man who returned to his native Washington, D.C., nine months ago after serving in the Korean War.

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Cirque du Soleil’s Luzia low on thrills, big on beauty

Nov 18

Cirque du Soleil’s <i>Luzia</i> low on thrills, big on beauty

Having seen abundant Cirque du Soleil shows over the years, I've come to think of them as lovely packages. It's not what's inside the package that intrigues – we know each one will be filled with some of the world's best acrobats, assorted clowns and acts that range from prosaic to heartstopping, dopey to achingly beautiful. So it's not the content so much as the packaging itself that makes the arrival of a new Cirque show so exciting.

The newest touring show, Luzia is subtitled "a waking dream of Mexico" ...

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