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Author: Robert M. Gardner

“Monsoon Wedding” Dazzles at Berkeley Repertory Theatre

“Monsoon Wedding” Dazzles at Berkeley Repertory Theatre

Mira Nair Imports Spectacle, Songs, Sweethearts—Bollywood Style by Robert M. Gardner “Monsoon Wedding” transports us to Delhi and gives us insights into modern India. This musical comedy reveals Indians’ stereotypes and candid views of Americans. I enjoyed learning about modern Indian culture and customs, and realize that Indian culture, like all cultures, is still in flux. “Monsoon Wedding” depicts the well-to-do Verma family’s frenzied preparations for the elaborate arranged marriage of their daughter, Aditi Verma (enchanting Kuhoo Verma) to the…

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“The Events”: Shock and Terror at Shotgun Players, Berkeley

“The Events”: Shock and Terror at Shotgun Players, Berkeley

David Grieg Exposes Our Innermost Fears by Robert M. Gardner Caleb Cabrera (The Boy) is a wild force of nature. A lithe, seething, multi-faceted actor, Cabrera moves as easily across the stage as he does from character to character. The play opens with the Boy speaking from his perch off-stage as an innocent aborigine, speaking to an unseen trio of ships full of convicts.  The scene changes when he enters and engages the vicar, Claire (the dynamic Julia McNeal) and…

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“End of the Rainbow”: Judy Dazzles Again, at Lesher Center, W.C.

“End of the Rainbow”: Judy Dazzles Again, at Lesher Center, W.C.

Janelle Lutz Sings the Highs, Lows of Judy Garland’s Life by Robert M. Gardner It is 1968 in a hotel room in London at the Ritz where Judy Garland (the spectacular Janelle Lutz) arrives with her fiancée Mickey Deans (the younger, suave Clinton Williams). Judy is playing a five week stand in a comeback tour at the Talk of the Town. Judy complains about the size of the room and the lack of alcohol. When Mickey Deans reminds Judy that…

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“To The Bone” Hits Home at Ubuntu Theater, Oakland

“To The Bone” Hits Home at Ubuntu Theater, Oakland

Lisa Ramirez Traps Latina Torment in a Cage by Robert M. Gardner Ubuntu Theater Project’s “To The Bone” by Lisa Ramirez shocks us with its immediacy.  Writer and lead actor, Lisa Ramirez brings us this brutally honest play about five immigrant women working—under degrading conditions— in a poultry factory in New York state. Olga (a ferocious Lisa Ramirez) dominates and bullies her Latina friends. Olga’s rebellious daughter Lupe (the sparkling Juliana Aiden) turns up the heat as a powerful, wisecracking,…

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