“Our Practical Heaven” unmemorable at Aurora Theatre

Premiering at the Aurora Theatre this past week was local playwright Anthony Clarvoe’s “Our Practical Heaven” — a family dramedy consisting of a mere cast of six female characters differing greatly in terms of generations and personalities but strung together by the word “family”. Think “Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya
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SF Playhouse tips its hat to “Motherfucker”

Hats have a long history in professional theater. In Stephen Sondheim’s “Sunday in the Park with George,” the artist Georges Seurat sings an entire three-minute ode to “Finishing the Hat.” “Look, I made a hat,” he says, “where there never was a hat.” And, in SF Playhouse’s newest production, a
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Anything Goes Tour

‘Anything Goes’ Arrives in SF

The look, plot, dialogue, jokes and even the orchestral accompaniment of “Anything Goes” could easily seem dated. In Cole Porter’s famed 1934 musical, there’s a bit about Arrow shirt collars, Garbo’s salary and Mae West — references that have since gone the way of the cat’s pajamas. But, when you
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‘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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