Revealing universal truths in play ‘Wittenberg’

Aurora
David Allen/Courtesy

In some beautifully strange parallel universe, Doctor Faustus tempted Martin Luther to condemn the papacy. Both men, as professors at University of Wittenberg, mentored Prince Hamlet — compounding the brooding young man’s internal conflicts. This is life in “Wittenberg,” which seamlessly integrates the stories of “Hamlet” and “Doctor Faustus” into Read More…

BearStage

Delightful dystopian dreams in ‘Urinetown’

“Urinetown” is the most self-conscious musical ever written. It’s a play that makes the audience laugh before delivering a message that’s so in-your-face that it, too, becomes funny. It takes a light touch to present it in the right combination of force and farce, and the BareStage Production has exactly Read More…

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Spelling success in musical ‘Putnam County’

A collared, tie-dye shirt, some kid in suspenders with thick glasses and a bowtie and a multiracial gay couple. These are just a few of the quirks that make up the wacky world of “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee,” a musical comedy playing every weekend at the Julia Read More…

Ronald Guttman and Stacy Ross.

SF Playhouse brings forgotten artist back to life

Like Picasso, Kandinsky and Klee, Rudolf Bauer lived for and was one of the original masterminds of non-objective or abstract art. In 1938, Bauer was imprisoned by the Nazis for his “degenerate” art but risked his life by trading cigarettes for pencils and scavenging for scraps of paper to continue Read More…

Barestage

Navigating post-war burdens with deftness in ‘Blues’

It had certainly been a long, long time since Chet Monkawa actually felt lucky. At a lottery earlier that day, he and Earl Worthing — a resident from the San Francisco boarding house Monkawa runs —  entered a raffle for a modern American phenomenon: a brand-new television. Miraculously, they had Read More…

Gideons-Knot-Aurora-Theatre

“Gidion’s Knot” tangled with emotion at Aurora

A vibrant blue door frame matches the plastic moulded fifth-grade seats. The word “THINK” penned in calligraphy is the basis of an inspiring acrostic poem on the whiteboard. This brightly-lit classroom is the secretive world of “Gidion’s Knot,” which opened at the Aurora Theater in Berkeley and is running until Read More…