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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Verklempt with laughter: Urie shines in Buyer & Cellar

Aug 21

Verklempt with laughter: Urie shines in <i>Buyer & Cellar</i>

Michael Urie is so freaking charming it's outrageous. The erstwhile scene-stealer from "Ugly Betty" landed in a one-man off-Broadway hit more than a year ago, and he's had the good sense to take this show – the perfect showcase for his prodigious talents – on the road, just like the big stars of yesteryear used to do.

The play is Buyer & Cellar by Jonathan Tolins, a fantasia on Barbra Streisand, which is to say an examination of fame, wealth, creativity and loneliness, among other things. It's a fascinating play with deep wells of compassion for the rich and famous and for the poor and ignored.<.p>

But perhaps above all else, it's funny. Really funny.

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Drag, disco, divas and – surprise – delight in Priscilla

Aug 23

Drag, disco, divas and – surprise – delight in <i>Priscilla</i>

Musical theater's rush to turn every movie into a Broadway show has taught us to tread carefully and lower our expectations. For every Billy Elliot or Hairspray or The Producers there's a Cry Baby or Catch Me If Yo Can or The Little Mermaid or Shrek or Sunset Boulevard or Sister Act or Leap of Faith or Young Frankenstein and the list goes on. And on

So it's understandable to come to the splashy Broadway musical adaptation of the absolutely charming 1994 movie The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert with some trepidation. Banishing original music and lyrics in favor of '70s and '80s disco and pop hits further lowers the bar of expectation as the tale of two drag queens and a transsexual on a road trip through the Australian outback makes its way to the stage

The surprise, then, is that Priscilla Queen of the Desert: The Musical is actually quite fun and not devoid of charm.

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Don Reed checks into The Kipling Hotel

Jan 05

Don Reed checks into <i>The Kipling Hotel</i>

I interviewed Don Reed about his new autobiographical solo show The Kipling Hotel, which opens this weekend at The Marsh Berkeley.

You can read the article here.

This is the second chapter in what will likely be a trilogy of solo shows about the Oakland native's life. The first was the phenomenally successful East 14th, which ran at The Marsh for 2 1/2 years – no mean feat for a guy who lives in Los Angeles and works as the warmup comedian for "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno."

Here's what didn't make the newspaper...

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Goodbye, for now

Dec 28

Hello, loyal Theater Dogs readers. First, I’d like to thank you for bothering to show up here in the first place. I’m so grateful (and have been since the blog started in August, 2006) for your support. I love writing this blog, and I hope you’ve enjoyed reading it. That said, Theater Dogs is going on a bit of hiatus. I’m taking a new job at...

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Review: `Red State’

Jul 05

Opened July 4 in Dolores Park The cast of the San Francisco Mime Troupe’s Red State includes (from left) Lisa Hori-Garcia, Lizzie Calogero, Robert Ernst and Adrian C. Mejia. Photos by David Allen Great songs make Mime Troupe’s `Red State’ sing«««  This Fourth of July, at the premiere of SF Mime Troupe’s latest opus, Red State,...

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