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Author: Victor Cordell

“The Four Immigrants” Hits the Heights, at TheatreWorks, Palo Alto

“The Four Immigrants” Hits the Heights, at TheatreWorks, Palo Alto

Min Kahng Makes a Musical Masterpiece by Victor Cordell “This land was made for you and me,” song by Woody Guthrie –Or was it? In 1904, four young men of differing backgrounds and aspirations, each tired of the old ways in Japan, meet in transit to San Francisco and form a bond.  One is an artist, Henry Kiyama, who ultimately will record their triumphs and failures in a uniquely Japanese medium—manga (pronounced with a hard g), a comic book style,…

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“Much Ado About Nothing”: A Barn Burner at Marin Shakes, San Rafael

“Much Ado About Nothing”: A Barn Burner at Marin Shakes, San Rafael

Shakespeare’s comedy of errors in which all’s well that ends well by Victor Cordell A moonshine swillin’, cigar smokin’, spittoon hawkin’ bachelorette as a member of a feuding clan in Appalachia?  This is Beatrice?  This is Shakespeare?  While Marin Shakes is among the most conservative of the 10 or so “Shakespeare theater companies” in the Bay Area (yes, you read that correctly—10 or so), they’ve broken the mold with a hilarious hillbilly version of “Much Ado About Nothing,” replete with…

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Phèdre: The character is absorbing; the characterization is spellbinding, at Cutting Ball, San Francisco.

Phèdre: The character is absorbing; the characterization is spellbinding, at Cutting Ball, San Francisco.

The cost of uninvited lust runs high. by Victor Cordell Death, betrayal, incest, intrigue, mendacity.  Just another day in the lives of the ancient Greeks.  This installment, Jean Racine’s 17th Century treatment of Euripides’ “Hippolytus,” reveals the treachery  of Theseus’s wife, who is impelled to defend her son’s claim to Theseus’s crown, and to keep her stepson, Hippolytus, from succeeding. Racine’s French script, as translated by Rob Melrose, is brilliantly concise. Cutting Ball Theater’s production is directed by Ariel Craft…

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“Overnight” Asks, “What Price Progress?” at Flight Deck, Oakland

“Overnight” Asks, “What Price Progress?” at Flight Deck, Oakland

Power of the people keeps the flame growing strong. by Victor Cordell American society is a web of contradictions.  We have broken the mold of change by creating new cultures, mores, institutions, products, and processes.  Yet we vigorously resist change that wends too closely to our own doorstep. Oakland’s Ragged Wing Ensemble and its partners have created an interesting theatrical mash-up in response to recent real life events.  The trigger was the ground breaking for a high-rise a half block…

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