‘The Lion King’ transports and transfixes in SF

Since its premiere in 1994, there has been one sound that retains the power to both excite and empower. It’s a piercing, raw and wholly bewitching chant that can stir even the most ornery of curmudgeons out of their embittered stupor. Out of silence, the words come thundering in: “Nants
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Impact’s newest plays on Shakespeare, entrepreneurship

We don’t live in the era of harebrained schemes. We live in the era of venture capitalism and innovative ideas and TED talks. So in this milieu of “anything is possible” — an idea that has persisted despite cries of “The economy! The death of American hegemony! Obesity!” — it
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Student production of Woody Guthrie musical charms

This year marks the 100th birthday of America’s traveling troubadour, a man literally born from dust and shaped by the land — a man named Woody Guthrie. In timely fashion, UC Berkeley’s Department of Theater, Dance, and Performance Studies premiered “Woody Guthrie’s American Song” this past Friday in what was
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Morbid student farce funny yet contrived

Well, BareStage Productions’ musical comedy “Death and Other Hobbies” didn’t make me want to off myself, so that’s good. It focuses on Corbin Vickers (Alexander Kownatzki), who throws a party for his eccentric cast of friends and family before committing suicide. This soon unravels into a murder mystery party when
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‘Einstein on the Beach’ mesmerizes Zellerbach

Writing a review of “Einstein on the Beach” is a  profound challenge. The opera is hailed as one of the crowning artistic achievements of the 20th century and remains among the most important contributors to modern performance culture. And yet, despite the glitz and glamor surrounding the opera, the endless
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SF Playhouse pleases with emo comedic musical

With the presidential election only a few weeks away, it’s easy to see the battle between Romney and Obama becoming increasingly bitter, ruthless or, frankly, absurd. Forget about all of that. These boys are but docile lambs, feeble filibusters and infirmed old grannies compared to the badassery that is Andrew
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‘An Iliad’ a one-man show

There are a few reasons that the man seated next to me may have dozed off midway through Wednesday night’s performance of “An Iliad” at the Berkeley Rep. For one, it was the dead middle of the work week. For another, the average American’s attention span is shrinking. And third,
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BareStage’s ‘Metamorphoses’ animates classic, Greek myths

One was the face of Nature … A lifeless lump, unfashion’d and unframed / Of jarring seeds, and justly Chaos named,” says Ovid in the introduction to his infamous poem “Metamorphoses.” Completed in the year A.D. 8 and composed of more than 20 episodes of Greek mythology, “chaos” would be
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Shotgun Players’ ‘Assassins’ kills it

How could one little man cause such universal grief and anguish? More importantly, why would he?” These stimulating questions blossomed into the 1990 musical “Assassins,” a spectacle that lures its audience into a world suspended in time and space, alternating between fiction and history to create a “dreamlike vaudeville” in
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Ionesco’s ‘Rhinoceros’ charges into Zellerbach

Imagine striding along the grand-rue of a tranquil French village, whereupon you suddenly cross paths with an agitated, stampeding rhinoceros trampling everything in its way. What would you think? In essence, this is the question asked by Eugene Ionesco in the first act of his supremely absurdist play “Rhinoceros,” performed
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