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Category: Plays

“A Midsummer Night’s Dream”:  A Tropical Paradise, at African-American Shakespeare, S.F. 

“A Midsummer Night’s Dream”:  A Tropical Paradise, at African-American Shakespeare, S.F. 

Millennial Notes Shakespeare Explores a Labyrinth of Love by Tyler Jeffreys I am ecstatic that my first live Shakespeare play is “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” at African-American Shakespeare Company. Some young thespians think that a Shakespeare production will be boring. They are way Wrong! In this “Midsummer,” the romantic fairy tale is transported to the small but culturally rich islands of Trinidad & Tobago. I would buy the audio book: William Shakespeare recited with Trinidadian accents! The music is a mix of soft electronic and island favorites like Calypso and Soca. And the…

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“Measure for Measure” of Lust and Rage, at Cal Shakes, Orinda

“Measure for Measure” of Lust and Rage, at Cal Shakes, Orinda

Shakespeare Gets Masterful Acting, Stylish Staging by Kim Waldron Director Tyne Rafaeli stages Shakespeare’s “Measure for Measure” in contemporary times. The brilliant modern costumes give us our first clue to this production’s spirit. Some characters sport regalia: police wear uniforms, government officials sport “suits,” nuns float in their habits. But the citizenry? They all wear the garb of punk resistance. We know these clothes from the young artists in San Francisco and Oakland who demand affordable rent, gather to Occupy,…

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“Luna Gale”: An Education in Social Work, at Aurora Theatre, Berkeley

“Luna Gale”: An Education in Social Work, at Aurora Theatre, Berkeley

Rebecca Gilman’s Documentary Honesty Hits Home  by Jeff Dunn Are you considering a career in social work? Want to be a hero? Well, you will get a whiff of reality at Rebecca Gilman’s harrowing, almost documentary-style “Luna Gale” at the Aurora Theatre. There, I followed a social worker as she tries to do her job in 14 scenes, each with a place and time projected over the stage, like a “Law and Order” procedural. Each scene depicts an interview immersed…

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“How I Learned to Drive” Stings with Candor, at Custom Made Theatre, S.F.

“How I Learned to Drive” Stings with Candor, at Custom Made Theatre, S.F.

Paula Vogel Provides Tender Moments amid Frenzy by Ishai Padawer Learning to drive, like sex, is a rite of passage. In the new production of Paula Vogel’s “How I Learned To Drive” at Custom Made Theatre, director Katja Rivera points out that rites of passage can be dangerous and damaging. So dangerous, in fact, that we may not recognize the damage until it’s too late. Rivera focuses on the rituals that shape us. Li’l Bit (the committed Amanda Farbstein), a…

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