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Author: Robert M. Gardner

“Ain’t Too Proud—The Temptations” Dazzles with Harmony, at Berkeley Rep

“Ain’t Too Proud—The Temptations” Dazzles with Harmony, at Berkeley Rep

Otis Williams Reveals Life Behind Music by Robert M. Gardner “Ain’t Too Proud—The Life and Times of The Temptations” takes us on a whirlwind tour of music by The Temptations, The Supremes, and other Motown groups that we have loved for five decades.  The Motown Sound is the soundtrack of my youth, growing up in the Midwest before MTV. Even in the racially charged 60s, no one could deny the beauty and artistry that exploded out of Motown. The music…

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“Rashomon” Explodes Reality, at Ubuntu Theater, Oakland

“Rashomon” Explodes Reality, at Ubuntu Theater, Oakland

Philip Kan Gotanda Strikes a Blow for Truth by Robert M. Gardner Say a lie long enough and loud enough, and it becomes the truth.  “Rashomon” In Philip Kan Gotanda’s new adaptation of “Rashomon,” fake news and “alternative facts” take on a life of their own, as he presents us with contradictory accounts of a Samurai warrior’s violent death. Gotanda uses Akutagawa as the name of his main actor, a writer. Akutagawa is also the name of the actual 1920s…

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“Castle Happy” Recreates Hollywood Party, at Altarena Playhouse, Alameda

“Castle Happy” Recreates Hollywood Party, at Altarena Playhouse, Alameda

Dunn & Freed Score Scandalous Musical Intrigue by Robert M. Gardner “Castle Happy” provides us with many happy moments as we meet William Randolph Hearst (skilled Leland Morine) whose excellent baritone brings power and gravitas to Hearst’s character. He is paired with the wonderful Cindy Head, who plays Hearst’s mistress, the vivacious Marion Davies. The beautiful 1930s costumes showcase the exquisite sense of style of  Director Clay David, who is also the Costume Designer. The set is bare, with only…

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“A Life on the Ocean Wave” Whips Up a Storm, at Exit Theatre, S.F.

“A Life on the Ocean Wave” Whips Up a Storm, at Exit Theatre, S.F.

Stuart Bousel Serenades Ghosts, Sirens, and Sailors by Robert M. Gardner Lovers of the sea and the stories that surround it will enjoy careening across the stage (err…waves) with this rollicking production of “A Life on the Ocean Wave.” Greeted by Shantywoman (boisterous Christina Augell), the audience is soon singing the age-old question “What Do We Do with the Drunken Sailor?” By the way, “A Life” has a rollicking sub-title: “Being a Merrie Evening of Genuine Sea Chanty Sing-Along and…

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