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Author: Irene Nelson

“Home” Sweet Home at Lorraine Hansberry Theatre, S.F.

“Home” Sweet Home at Lorraine Hansberry Theatre, S.F.

Samm-Art Williams Delivers a Lyrical Epic of Great Migrations by Irene Nelson The words of Samm-Art Williams’ “Home” knock me out—down-home country dialogue or poetic narrative, it’s all woven into the rhythm and movement of the blues, jazz, and spirituals. Sly, humorous story-telling and sweet memories combine with shockingly bad times to make “Home” a powerful journey. Myers Clark, Tristan Cunningham, Britney Frazier give “Home” the welcome it deserves under the strong direction of Aldo Billingslea. Williams loves street theater,…

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“Autobiography of a Terrorist”: Tricky Times, at Golden Thread, S.F.

“Autobiography of a Terrorist”: Tricky Times, at Golden Thread, S.F.

Saïd Sayrafiezadeh Laughs at Himself, and US, Too  by Irene Nelson My seat mate poked me, snorted and said,”Look at the program. This actor bio has her thanking her sorority sisters, do you believe it?” I had already read the director’s intro about speaking as a “White man” whose “duty” was to allow “those whose voices are silenced…be heard through mine.”  Huh? But then an actor (Damien Separi) introduces himself as the “playwright,” explaining he will be portraying his experience…

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“The Encounter” with an Amazon Tribe Enchants, at Curran Theatre, S.F.

“The Encounter” with an Amazon Tribe Enchants, at Curran Theatre, S.F.

Simon McBurney Gears Up Sounds of Amazon Beaming by Irene Nelson We see a man standing on stage in front of us, but through our headphones we actually hear him standing behind us, then to our right, and then to our left. Simon McBurney, still standing onstage, now tells us that he will blow in our right ears and we will feel his warm breath—and we do. We cannot call it illusion since he appears openly before us and explains…

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“Macbeth” Goes Primal at Theatre Lunatico, in San Rafael

“Macbeth” Goes Primal at Theatre Lunatico, in San Rafael

Shakespeare Remains All Too Timely by Irene Nelson An ensemble of 13 actors plays Shakespeare’s tragedy of ambition and tyranny with a black wall, three wooden crates, and a handful of props. Rather than a conventional stage, the audience is pressed up against the action, with most of it performed on the floor immediately before us. A stage without sets requires the audience to buy into an imagined world, to participate. The immediacy of the actors’ performances and Shakespeare’s words…

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