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Author: Michael V. Rodriguez

“Dry Powder” Ignites Greedy Passions, at Aurora, Berkeley

“Dry Powder” Ignites Greedy Passions, at Aurora, Berkeley

Millennial Notes Sarah Burgess Dissects Financiers’ Brains by Michael V. Rodriguez I felt like a community college student at a Harvard Business School law class watching “Dry Powder.” I felt scared, afraid, and alone, but Sarah Burgess brings us into the fold, quickly, appealing to our malicious impulse to delight in others’ losses. Her bickering businessmen in a surgical setting hold our attention better than a Netflix sitcom. Burgess transforms the mysterious world of finance into dark comedy. “Dry Powder”…

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“Quixote Nuevo” Attacks La Frontera, at Cal Shakes, Orinda

“Quixote Nuevo” Attacks La Frontera, at Cal Shakes, Orinda

Millennial Notes Octavio Solis Gives Quixote Purpose by Michael V. Rodriguez Playwright Octavio Solis has rejuvenated Don Quixote. Emilio Delgado plays Quixote as the classic knight errant we want to believe in. But where Quixote of the past has given in, “Quixote Nuevo” stands strong. He clings to his convictions till the end, wildly swinging his sword at the giant border wall separating him from the beauteous Dulcinea. As the sun sets at Cal Shakes, Dulcinea becomes a living idol,…

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“Hamlet”—Family Affair Rocks Outdoors, at Marin Shakes, San Rafael

“Hamlet”—Family Affair Rocks Outdoors, at Marin Shakes, San Rafael

Millennial Notes Shakespeare, Currier Hold Mirror Up to Vengeance by Michael V. Rodriguez Lush trees surround Forest Meadows Amphitheatre, offering shade. Birds sing and crows inch closer to the action. “Hamlet” intertwines with nature. As Hamlet (flawless Nate Currier) wields an assault rifle, wearing plaid pajama bottoms. Even  his off-mic lines from the front rows ring clear and resolute. Currier evokes a young Hamlet who knows too much for his own good. Nate Currir draws us onto his side by…

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“Scapegoat”—Comic Artist Soars Close to Sun, at Playground Festival, S.F.

“Scapegoat”—Comic Artist Soars Close to Sun, at Playground Festival, S.F.

  Millennial Notes William Bivins Grapples with Graphic U.S. Racism by Michael V. Rodriguez In William Bivins’ play, there’s one thing alt-right and Black Lives Matter protesters can agree on: they both hate “Scapegoat.”  The Black superhero, created by aging graphic novelist Clive Booker, fights racism by absorbing racists’ negative energy. Clive’s curious critique of race relations in his floundering comic art irritates everyone, including himself. In this action-packed drama of creator and created, Bivins sketches the dangers of commenting…

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