an-iliad

‘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,
Read More…

metamorphoses.ALEXANDER

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
Read More…

pakhan.assassins

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
Read More…

rhino

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
Read More…

Chinglish

Bilingual ‘Chinglish’ lost in translation

If you give a cursory glance to the current signs on the walls of the Berkeley Repertory Theatre, you might think yourself insane. In the men’s bathroom (nevermind why I was there), in lucid black ink, a framed piece of paper displays Chinese characters with the following statement beneath: “Salute
Read More…

fisherman'swife

‘The Fisherman’s Wife’ tickles with tentacles

Imagine with me, if you will, a common scenario. There’s a man and a wife. They’ve been together for a while. The heat they once shared has all but died out. Instead of any romance, they just have rows, and in place of any affection, there’s just stale, monotonous boredom.
Read More…

merchantvenice.jayyamada

Shakespeare update wows in SF

There’s something automatically intriguing about a production of “The Merchant of Venice,” Shakespeare’s most controversial play. Yes, even for San Francisco.  Though the city rarely shies away from addressing contentious subjects, something about “Merchant” raises brows. San Francisco is progressive, certainly, but progressive stops where political correctness begins. Fortunately for
Read More…

myfairlady.sfplayhouse

‘My Fair Lady’ delights at SF Playhouse

While the idea of reinventing a classic Broadway musical may seem slightly questionable at first thought, the SF Playhouse takes this concept to new bounds, delivering an exceptional production of “My Fair Lady” that will transcend any doubts one may have. Taking the story of George Bernard Shaw’s “Pygmalion” and
Read More…