TheatreWorks’ slam-dunkin’ Donuts

Oct 11

TheatreWorks’ slam-dunkin’ <i>Donuts</i>

I guess I shouldn't be surprised that Leslie Martinson, director of Superior Donuts, should bring together such good actors. Martinson is also the company's casting director and has been with TheatreWorks for 26 years. Some directors say that casting is more than 50 percent of directing, and that's probably true for Martinson, though she's clearly a solid director (I loved her Theophilus North three years ago).

Howard Swain stars as donut shop owner Arthur Przybyszewski, an aging hippie who can't really be bothered by life, which he describes as "a derailment." He runs his shabby donut shop and doesn't much care that the new Starbucks across the street is killing his business. For him, the business has been dead for years. Swain conveys Arthur's detachment while making us care about him. Arthur has made some rough decisions in his life, and his troubled relationship with his now-dead father complicate his emotional life as well as his relationships with his own fractured family.

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TheatreWorks’ 2010-11 season is a wow!

Feb 18

The original cast of [title of show] included (from left) Heidi Blickenstaff, Hunter Bell (seated), Jeff Bowen (top), and Susan Blackwell. [title of show] will be presented as part of the 2010-2011 season at TheatreWorks. Photo by Carol Rosegg If the new TheatreWorks season only contained[title of show], I would be thrilled. I wanted desperately for this...

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August in Pawhuska, OK, or the joys of family drama

Aug 17

Shannon Cochran (left) is eldest daughter Barbara and Academy Award-winner Estelle Parsons is Violet, her drug-addled mother, in the national Broadway tour of August: Osage County, running through Sept. 6 at the Curran Theatre in San Francisco. Photo by Robert J. Saferstein   Where have all the family dramas gone and why did they become so unfashionable? With...

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E.M. Lewis wins major theater award

Apr 05

The American Theatre Critics Association has selected E.M. (Ellen) Lewis’ Song of Extinction to receive the 2009 Harold and Mimi Steinberg /ATCA New Play Award. The announcement was made April 4 at Actors Theatre of Louisville during the Humana Festival of New American Plays. The award includes a plaque and a cash prize of $25,000 –the largest national award for...

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Missing the Tonys

Jun 16

For the last four days I’ve been in Ashland, Ore., reviewing shows at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival for the San Francisco Chronicle (more on that later), and while the Tonys were on Sunday night, I was at the opening of a new musical adaptation of Shakespeare’s The Comedy of Errors. Of course I’ll watch the whole awards show on TiVo when I get...

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Ramping up to the Tony Awards

Jun 11

This Sunday, the Tony Awards will be handed out. Here’s what you need to know (and get busy organizing your Tony party — we’ve got to get those dismal ratings out of the basement so CBS will continue broadcasting the darn things). For the first time, there will be pre-ceremony Tony Concert chock full of juicy musical numbers from all the nominated...

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