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“Ragtime,” the Musical, Stuns and Wows, at Berkeley Playhouse

“Ragtime,” the Musical, Stuns and Wows, at Berkeley Playhouse

Terrence McNally’s Jazz Age Portrait Perfect for Now! by Cindi Stephan A stellar cast performs a magnificent Tony Award winning musical at just the right time. As the U.S. nears a breaking point, Berkeley Playhouse’s “Ragtime” shows Americans working against inequality and injustice. Musical movements and social change go hand in hand, and the 20s Ragtime Era explodes onstage with race, class and gender struggles, “giving the nation / a new syncopation.” The full title tells the tale: “Ragtime, the…

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“Bamboozled” Steals Your Heart, at Central Works, Berkeley

“Bamboozled” Steals Your Heart, at Central Works, Berkeley

Patricia Milton’s Comedy Pits Southern Comforts v. Black Values  by Barry David Horwitz Central Works has scored again with their World Premiere #58. Director Gary Graves has burnished Patricia Milton’s legal spellbinder to cast a bright glow over Black rights and Civil War history. Playwright Patricia Milton has a deft touch with comedy and with legal reasoning. By the end of her two act quasi-courtroom drama, we know who has done the crime—but no one does the time. Though justice…

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“The Vagina Odyssey” Refreshes Feminism, at Monkey House, Berkeley

“The Vagina Odyssey” Refreshes Feminism, at Monkey House, Berkeley

Sarah Kennedy Rediscovers Private Parts  by Sweta Chawla Sarah Kennedy has an alter-ego: she’s called Queen V; her funny, tenacious, and desperate “alter ego-gina.” V has been waiting for her moment to shine for decades, a veritable Miss Piggy under siege. Queen V delights us with the truth about Sarah’s inner journey toward feminine truth. The show is filled with juicy sensual adventures, and vivid self-discovery. V awakens Sarah to a feminist revolution that leads to the stage. She  opens…

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