the_wiz

‘The Wiz’ at Berkeley Playhouse proves energetic, soulful yet surprisingly flat

Retelling of family classic 'The Wonderful Wizard of Oz' fails to excite

It’s hard to think of any story that would lend itself to a theater or film adaptation better than the story told in L. Frank Baum’s “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz.” Its stirring adventure, fantastical environments and dynamic characters seem to demand visual representation. Indeed, several successful screen and stage
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diebenkorn.andrew.fox

‘This Is How It Goes’ examines sexism, race

Neil LaBute is not your average storyteller, to say the least. There is nothing he loves more than making his audience feel uncomfortable — and rightfully so. With his plays, he seeks not to tell warm tales of the goodness of humanity but rather strives to dissect the flaws of
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Gay-penguins

Gay penguin play delights in San Francisco

Marc Acito's play follows a gay penguin family at Central Park Zoo

When’s the last time you saw an award-winning play about gay chinstrap penguins? Luckily for you, “Birds of a Feather” is playing in San Francisco and can help you cross that one off your list — and it’s delightful. Written by Marc Acito, the play examines issues surrounding same-sex marriage,
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priscilla

Lead from ‘Priscilla, Queen of the Desert’ reflects on how the show resonates with genderqueer community

Actor discusses the different reactions to the show in small and large cities

Coming to the Orpheum Theater in August, the Broadway spectacle “Priscilla, Queen of the Desert” follows three drag performers driving a bus through the Australian Outback to a gig in Alice Springs. Wade McCollum plays Tick — known onstage as Mitzi — the lead character who has secretly arranged the
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divinesister.courtesy.new.conservatory.theatre.center

‘The Divine Sister’ delights audiences with hilarious homage to Hollywood films about nuns

Charles Busch's play gets the seal of approval from the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence on opening night

Somehow, nuns are always funny. Despite their integral place in religious orders and their work in many communities, most of our associations with women in wimples come from movies and television like “Sister Act,” “The Sound of Music” or the classic “The Singing Nun.” With all of these penguin-dressed comedies
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oleanna.staff.sasha.chebil

Mamet’s ‘Oleanna’ dares audiences to choose a side

Tense drama at EXIT Theatre examines sexual politics in academia

On June 6, Spare Stage Theatre Company held its opening night for Stephen Drewes’ revival of David Mamet’s “Oleanna” at the quaint EXIT Theatre near Union Square. Although first produced in 1992, the issues of sexual politics in academia and the ever-present power struggle between men and women found in
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By and By

Science fiction play ‘By and By’ considers ethical problems associated with cloning

Actors each take on several roles in thrilling drama from Shotgun Players

For its latest theatrical concoction, Shotgun Players has cooked up something like no other. Premiering this past weekend at The Ashby Stage was “By and By,” a new play written by San Francisco playwright Lauren Gunderson, a science fiction thriller that explores the realistic possibilities of cloning and the ethical
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el1.courtesy.kevin.berne

‘Dear Elizabeth’ brings to life the letters of Elizabeth Bishop and Robert Lowell

Playwright Sarah Ruhl and director Les Waters reunite for new play at the Berkeley Rep

A theatrical production that takes its entire script from a 30-year correspondence of letters between two 20th-century poets may not sound like the most appealing of plays for the audiences of today. However, Pulitzer- and Tony-nominated playwright Sarah Ruhl and director Les Waters have masterfully crafted together one of the
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