“Noises Off” and Laughter On, at San Francisco Playhouse

“Noises Off” and Laughter On, at San Francisco Playhouse

Michael Frayn Tickles the Underbelly of Theater by Victor Cordell Give farce a chance. Let’s start by accepting that farce is not everyone’s cup of tea.  That said, farce comes in different sizes and flavors.  Michael Frayn’s much honored “Noises Off” succeeds because its writing crackles; it employs all manner of comedy; and its setting and storyline being about the theater itself sits well with the theater-going audience.  Yet, for it to work requires precision of execution in blocking and…

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“Wheels on the Bus” Takes Kids on Adventure, at Bay Area Children’s Theatre

“Wheels on the Bus” Takes Kids on Adventure, at Bay Area Children’s Theatre

Toddlers Delighted, Engaged by One-of-a-Kind Bus Ride by Rosa del Duca With trepidation, I arrived at the Bay Area Children’s Theatre in Oakland for a 10 A.M. performance of “The Wheels on the Bus.” It was raining cats and dogs, my 16-month-old daughter was cutting a new tooth (or four), and she had fallen asleep on the ride to the theater, which meant she was clingy, suspicious, and poised to have a meltdown.  I hoped I would not have to…

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“Beowulf” by the Bay Breaks New Ground, at WE Players, S.F.

“Beowulf” by the Bay Breaks New Ground, at WE Players, S.F.

WE Players Make America Geat Again  by Buzz Goldberg A saxophonist up on a hillside, nearly camouflaged by the surrounding foliage, sounds a clarion call. A woman gathers a massive length of rope with quiet intensity. A trio of performers hold aloft smoking, aromatic bowls of sage. These are some of the beautiful, poetic, and haunting images that present themselves in the early, outdoor scenes of We Players’ “Beowulf”—with dancers from inkBoat and the Rova Saxophone Quartet. But first, audience…

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“You for Me for You” Crosses Forbidden Borders, at Crowded Fire, S.F.

“You for Me for You” Crosses Forbidden Borders, at Crowded Fire, S.F.

Mia Chung Tracks Strangers in Strange Lands by Kim Waldron In “You for Me for You,” Playwright Mia Chung and Director M. Graham Smith track two North Korean sisters who are separately fleeing Our Dear Leader Kim Jong-Un. Their journeys lack any logical itinerary, turn surreal, and sometimes pass too slowly. Nevertheless, the sisters encounter moments so full of truth and high comedy that it’s worth the trip that leads us to a most unexpected outcome. Younger sister Junhee (a…

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