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Author: Michael V. Rodriguez

“Bright Shining Sea” Moves Us to Tears, at Playground Festival, S.F.

“Bright Shining Sea” Moves Us to Tears, at Playground Festival, S.F.

Millennial Notes Julianne Jigour Conjures Oceanic Unity by Michael V. Rodriguez The ocean taunts Angelinos. There’s 0% chance of rain, but there’s plenty of displaced water. “Bright Shining Sea” celebrates the frame of mind that receives and offers empathy. When we’re down and need the right people, we find them in odd places. A hellish heat wave pushes six Angelinos to the breaking point. In the wake of a severe drought, locals are plagued by memory loss, heartbreak, and miscarriage….

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“Waafrika 123” Transfixes with Fire, at TheatreFIRST, Berkeley

“Waafrika 123” Transfixes with Fire, at TheatreFIRST, Berkeley

Millennial Notes Nick Hadikwa Mwaluko Takes a Hard Look at FGM by Michael V. Rodriguez Bald, bright-eyed Awino (dazzling Troy Rocket) enjoys many privileges as the Chief’s first daughter.  But Awino hides a secret at their house on the edge of town. Although Luo people in Kenya expect their daughters to become wives and mothers, Awino envisions a more radical transformation. Awino denounces their clitoris in favor of a penis. Awino’s fledgling gender identity flickers dangerously at the edges of…

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“Timon of Athens”—A Raunchy, Violent Tale, at Cutting Ball, S.F.

“Timon of Athens”—A Raunchy, Violent Tale, at Cutting Ball, S.F.

Millennial Notes Shakespeare & Melrose Sell Short on Billionaires by Michael V. Rodriguez At first, like Leo DiCaprio in The Wolf of Wall Street, Timon stomps about the stage like a god on earth, reeking of self-importance and confidence: untouchable. But as Timon’s world begins to collapse, his hair goes wild. In a tizzy, he abandons his suits and round glasses in favor of squalor. Alone, he lives in a blue tarp tent, like the homeless Americans outside the theater,…

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“Iron Shoes” Weighs Us Down to Lift Us Up, at Shotgun Players, Berkeley

“Iron Shoes” Weighs Us Down to Lift Us Up, at Shotgun Players, Berkeley

Millennial Notes Kutulas, Carter, Shuch Reimagine Outdated Fairy Tales by Michael V. Rodriguez The heroines of “Iron Shoes” emerge from the sexist shackles of Russian and Romanian folk tales: “Finst the Falcon,” “The Enchanted Pig,” and “The Armless Maiden.” In these traditional tales, each maiden angers a patriarch and is forced to wear out a pair of iron shoes. To the delight of feminist fairy tale enthusiasts, “Iron Shoes” creates a new world where the heroines reject the sexist fate…

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