Hippin’ Shakespeare’s hop, selling Benzali’s Willy, trying Barker’s `Devil’

Always a lot going on in the big, wide world of Bay Area theater, so let’s get right to it.

The African-American Shakespeare Company is in the midst of MacB: The MacBeth Project, a hip-hop reimagining of Shakespeare’s classic tale of vaulting ambition. In this re-telling, MacBeth is reincarnated as a record industry mogul and his struggle for power involves becoming the top dog in the music business. Destiny intervenes in the form of three witches disguised as a pop trio – perhaps Destiny’s Child? – and the play revolves around corruption, greed, violence and, of course, music.

This production is part of Shakespeare for a New Generation, a national initiative sponsored by the National Endowment for the Arts in cooperation with Arts Midwest. The production was presented last August at the Colorado Shakespeare Festival and continues through Sunday, Oct. 5 at the Buriel Clay Theatre, 762 Fulton St., San Francisco. Tickets are $25 general, $20 students and seniors. Call 800-838-3006 or visit www.brownpapertickets.com or www.african-americanshakes.org for information.

LOMAN FAMILY REUNION: Film and television actor Daniel Benzali (“Murder One,” “NYPD Blue”), takes on one of the biggest roles in American drama. He’ll play Willy Loman in Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesman for Santa Rosa’s 6th Street Playhouse. The production Opens Friday, Oct. 3 and runs through Oct. 26 at the 6th Street Playhouse’s GK Hardt Theatre, 52 W. Sixth St., Santa Rosa. The production is directed by Sheri Lee Miller. The cast also includes Tori Truss of San Anselmo as Linda Loman, Tim Kniffin of Santa Rosa as Biff Loman and Michael Navarra of San Rafael as Happy Loman. Tickets are $14-$30. Call 707-523-4184 or visit www.6thstreetplayhouse.com for information.

BARKER RAISES THE DEVIL: Horror meister Clive Barker is best known as a novelist and sometime collaborator with Stephen King. But in the early ’80s, Barker wrote a collection of plays called Incarnations for his own company, The Dog Company. But with a marquee name like Barker’s the plays have popped up in productions around the world.

The East Bay’s Ragged Wing Ensemble presents the Northern California premiere of Barker’s The History of the Devil, described by the author as “John Milton meets John Grisham,” is a story of redemption, compassion and fear. It takes place at the Devil’s parole hearing, where audience members sit in as jurors and see evidence of the Devil’s actions throughout history.

The History of the Devil opens Friday, Oct. 3 and runs through Nov. 1 at the Central Stage, 5221 Central Ave., Richmond. Tickets are $15-$30. Call 800-838-3006 or visit www.raggedwing.org for information.

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