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♦ “Angels in America”—More Powerful & Prophetic than Ever, at Berkeley Rep

♦ “Angels in America”—More Powerful & Prophetic than Ever, at Berkeley Rep

Kushner & Taccone Magically Make “More Life!” by Barry David Horwitz Part One: “Millennium Approaches” More than 25 years ago, I saw the first production of Angels in America at the old Eureka Theater in the Mission, in 1991. Now we can celebrate Angels‘ brilliant connections between our personal lives and U.S. history, thanks to Tony Taccone’s astounding anniversary production at Berkeley Rep. Artistic Director Taccone has created the perfect vehicle for Tony Kushner’s Pulitzer Prize and Tony Awards winning…

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“The Effect”—A Litmus Test for Love, at S.F. Playhouse

“The Effect”—A Litmus Test for Love, at S.F. Playhouse

Millennial Notes Lucy Prebble Exposes Scientific Fallacies by Tyler Jeffreys At S.F. Playhouse, the West Coast premiere of Lucy Prebble’s “The Effect” artfully explores the mysteries of love–with spectacular  staging by Director Bill English. Prebble sets up an experiment using a hormone to fight depression— but does the hormone also make love blossom? “The Effect” thrives on Nina Ball’s set design and Brooke Jennings’ costumes. Ball and Jennings join forces to create an eerie sci-fi wonderland. The angular room boasts…

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“Lucia Berlin: Stories”–A Dark, Rich World, at Word for Word, S.F.

“Lucia Berlin: Stories”–A Dark, Rich World, at Word for Word, S.F.

A Spellbinding Journey, Unadulterated and Moving by Kim Waldron Ominous jazz music hints at danger, vaguely threatening figures creep in, bent over, shadowy, in a parade choreographed for menace not beauty. A woman asleep in the foreground wakes up, disoriented, then recognizes her surroundings: Detox Ward. She, Carlotta (sardonic Jeri Lynn Cohen), proceeds to describe the Detox experience, honestly, brutally, hilariously. Since she is the only woman in the Detox Ward, Carlotta inspires gallantry. All the patients get Nembutal at…

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“The Motherf**ker with the Hat”: A Compelling Ride, at Four Lost Souls, S.F.

“The Motherf**ker with the Hat”: A Compelling Ride, at Four Lost Souls, S.F.

Stephen Adly Guirgis’ Rollicking Rollercoaster of Sex & Addiction   by Joan-Kirsti Brennan In Man’s Search for Meaning, Viktor E. Frankl describes an “existential vacuum”: people “haunted by the experience of their inner emptiness, a void within themselves.” Searching for answers outside themselves, the characters in Stephen Adly Guirgis’ sharp New York comedy orbit the void, hoping to fill it with drugs, love, sex, violence, or even nutritional beverages. Set Designer Travis Clark and Director Peter Allas have wittily created settings…

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