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‘Meow Meow’ opens with a glitzy bang at Berkeley Rep

She’s performed all over the world from “Paris, Berlin, Istanbul, and now… Berkeley,” actress Meow Meow jests sarcastically. Berkeley Repertory Theatre’s season opener, “An Audience with Meow Meow,” written by and starring the international cabaret actress, singer and dancer opened last Friday with a glitzy bang — that is, a Read More…

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‘Cock’ doesn’t need to go to great lengths to please

For a play with only a sandpit stage, burlap-lined chairs and four characters, Michael Bartlett’s “Cock” has a lot to crow about. Yes, its bold title is an attention-grabber, but the award-winning show, which made its West Coast premiere last weekend at the New Conservatory Theatre Center in San Francisco, Read More…

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SF Fringe Fest thrills despite minor theatrical missteps

‘Ballet Russe Spectacle Variete’ Before the show even started, the 10 actors involved in “Ballet Russe” commanded the tiny theater space. The elder characters, Sergei (Brian Mathis) and Natasha (Lori Saltis) greeted each audience member with stern admonitions to take a passport — the playbill — and a potato to Read More…

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FSM celebrated in world premiere of local play

“Students do have power, and people getting together do have power,” said Lynne Hollander of the Oakland-based production for the new play “FSM.” “I hope that showing people their history will help people to see this, to empower them.” This fall marks the 50th anniversary of the Free Speech Movement Read More…

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Feminist charm prevails in ‘Rapture, Blister, Burn’

Drawing on a timeline of works from Jean-Jacques Rousseau to Dr. Phil, Gina Gionfriddo’s play “Rapture, Blister, Burn” is a fireball of quick wit and high stakes around the most thoughtful exploration of what it means to be a woman with options in a society that makes one feel guilty Read More…

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‘Wicked’ defies gravity in San Jose

Even before the curtain rose, the 2014-15 national tour production of “Wicked” promised to uphold the hit musical’s reputation for a dazzling theatrical experience during its engagement at the San Jose Center for the Performing Arts. The stage curtain itself is an elaborate map of Oz centered around the Emerald Read More…

JustDeserts

‘Just Deserts’ revitalizes an old classic tale

A previous version of this article incorrectly identified Juliette Capra as the wing designer. In fact, Megan Messinger was the wing designer. Orestes gets it in every Greek tragedy. Aeschylus and Euripides set him up with horror and madness, and every playwright sends the Furies after him. Berkeley-based playwright Carol Lashof Read More…