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“The Tin Woman” Really Finds Her Heart, at Ross Valley Players

“The Tin Woman” Really Finds Her Heart, at Ross Valley Players

Sean Grennan Leaves Us Laughing & Crying by Mitchell Field Just home from wonderful opening night of “The Tin Woman,” a superbly produced tragi-comedy at Ross Valley Players. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry at this well-written, well-cast play, the title of which is a riff on the Tin Man in The Wizard of Oz.  But this titular woman, the sadly mis-named Joy (convincing Joanna Cretella), actually has a heart. But her heart is a transplanted one from a handsome, sushi-loving deceased photographer…

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“Topdog/Underdog”—Taut and Absorbing, at Ubuntu, Berkeley

“Topdog/Underdog”—Taut and Absorbing, at Ubuntu, Berkeley

Suzan-Lori Parks Sings a Layered Tale by Kim Waldron It’s the rhythm, the music in the language, that captures us. A young man piles up milk crates, tops them with flat cardboard, and lays down three slightly bent cards. He picks up one card in one hand and two cards in the other, and throws them down in new positions—all the while chanting.  The rhythmic language of Three Card Monte grabs us: “Watch me close watch me close now: who-see-thuh-red-card-who-see-thuh-red-card?…

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“Signs” Sends a Magical Signal, at PianoFight, S.F.

“Signs” Sends a Magical Signal, at PianoFight, S.F.

David Gerard, Master Magician, Enchants & Seduces by Barry David Horwitz When personable, mysterious, lithe David Gerard re-enters the small stage at PianoFight, after having introducing himself to us, we suddenly realize that we are here for more than the magic show. We are here because a master magician has willed us here, and now we are in his capable hands. When the sleek Gerard in black jacket and black hipster pants glides onto the stage to start the show…

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“Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike”–Playful Dark Comedy, at CCCT, El Cerrito

“Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike”–Playful Dark Comedy, at CCCT, El Cerrito

Millennial Notes Christopher Durang’s Riff on Chekhov’s Entourage by Emily Colby Anton Chekhov, Snow White, Maggie Smith, Voodoo, and a shirtless 20-something. It’s like TV’s Chopped, where unexpected ingredients come together to create a pop-culture challenge. But, instead of cuisine, CCCT is serving up a fresh, fanciful comedy, called “Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike.” Chekhov’s early 20th  century Russia finds a new home in 21st Century Bucks County, Pennsylvania, one of the swankiest suburbs in the U.S. Well,…

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