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Author: Robert M. Gardner

“A Streetcar Named Desire” Thrills, Chills, at Ubuntu Theater, Oakland

“A Streetcar Named Desire” Thrills, Chills, at Ubuntu Theater, Oakland

Lisa Ramirez Dazzles as Star-Crossed Blanche DuBois by Robert M. Gardner Tennessee Williams elicits emotions far beyond the daily lives of his working class characters in the 1940s French Quarter in New Orleans. Under the capable hands of Director Emilie Whelan, Ubuntu Theater Project injects new life into “A Streetcar Named Desire” (1947) and we are the grateful recipients. Stephanie Anne Johnson’s innovative lighting with naked light bulbs adds starkness to the red curtained bare stage. Theater in the round…

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“Skeleton Crew” Reveals Workers’ Woes, at Marin Theatre, Mill Valley

“Skeleton Crew” Reveals Workers’ Woes, at Marin Theatre, Mill Valley

Dominique Morisseau Is Sticking to the Union by Robert M. Gardner In bringing “Skeleton Crew” to the Marin Theatre stage, Dominique Morisseau gives us a raw look at the lives of four auto workers in Detroit as their factory is closing in 2008. They face uncertainty and the loss of their jobs. Michigan has never recovered from the mass closings of its auto factories, brilliantly shown by Michael Moore in his 1989 documentary Roger and Me. The term “skeleton crew”…

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“Born Yesterday” Arouses Laughter, Reflection, at S.F. Playhouse

“Born Yesterday” Arouses Laughter, Reflection, at S.F. Playhouse

Garson Kanin Predicts Trumpian Times by Robert M. Gardner Set Designer Jacqueline Scott has fashioned a spectacular, opulent, hotel suite with floor to ceiling windows overlooking the U.S. Capitol. The stunning set features two story high pillars, a curving staircase, and elegant, crystal bedecked wall sconces. These lavish surroundings mask the corruption of Garson Kanin’s play, “Born Yesterday” (1946). In 1950, “Born Yesterday” tickled movie audiences, too, during the McCarthy Red Scare. Kanin’s play features a blustering, self-made billionaire, err…millionaire,…

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“Man of La Mancha” Gives Dreamers Hope, at Custom Made, S.F.

“Man of La Mancha” Gives Dreamers Hope, at Custom Made, S.F.

Katz and Dietrich Deliver a Timely & Rousing Musical by Robert M. Gardner In the opening scene of “Man of La Mancha,” Miguel de Cervantes (striking Edward Hightower) transforms himself onstage from the aristocratic writer to the woeful Don Quixote in dress and manner. He quickly musses up his hair, and adds age lines, bushy eyebrows, and beard.  While his creation, Don Quixote, wears medieval faux armor and fake sword, the rest of the cast appear in modern dress, bridging…

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