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“Dance of the Holy Ghosts” Takes Us to Church, at Ubuntu, Oakland

“Dance of the Holy Ghosts” Takes Us to Church, at Ubuntu, Oakland

Marcus Gardley: Poet of Dysfunctional Love  by Robert M. Gardner Marcus (talented Michael Curry) recites poetry as he fumbles through puberty and on to adulthood, the mediator for his fractured family. Ubuntu Theater’s “Dance of the Holy Ghosts” by Marcus Gardley uses the talents of an all-Black cast to tell a powerful Oakland story in music and poetry. As we enter the Oakland Peace Center, Director Michael Socrates Moran’s impressive cast of versatile actors and gifted singers sweep us away…

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“Widowers’ Houses” Ridicules Gentrification, at Aurora, Berkeley

“Widowers’ Houses” Ridicules Gentrification, at Aurora, Berkeley

Millennial Notes Bernard Shaw’s Comedy Dissects Dirty Deals by Michael V. Rodriguez But what about the widowers and the widows? Who are they? What about the tenants and their children? Where will the working class live when their derelict apartments are renovated and rented to the gentry? We leave the Aurora Theatre with these unsolved problems as the giant video screen displays photos of the homeless encampments in front of Berkeley City Hall. “Widowers’ Houses” shows us the lavish lives…

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“A Streetcar Named Desire” Thrills, Chills, at Ubuntu Theater, Oakland

“A Streetcar Named Desire” Thrills, Chills, at Ubuntu Theater, Oakland

Lisa Ramirez Dazzles as Star-Crossed Blanche DuBois by Robert M. Gardner Tennessee Williams elicits emotions far beyond the daily lives of his working class characters in the 1940s French Quarter in New Orleans. Under the capable hands of Director Emilie Whelan, Ubuntu Theater Project injects new life into “A Streetcar Named Desire” (1947) and we are the grateful recipients. Stephanie Anne Johnson’s innovative lighting with naked light bulbs adds starkness to the red curtained bare stage. Theater in the round…

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“Red Speedo” Exposes Our Competitive Madness, at Center REP, Walnut Creek

“Red Speedo” Exposes Our Competitive Madness, at Center REP, Walnut Creek

Lucas Hnath’s Dramedy Scales Shakespearean Heights by Barry David Horwitz “This is a man …” says the anxious man in suit and tie, pacing poolside, and pointing at a blond, muscled swimmer in a red Speedo, who is hunched over and depressed. We are looking at a vast and shabby indoor pool. The stage features an actual swimming lane of that pool, full of chlorinated water–with red, white, and blue plastic floaters. You can’t ask for a funnier or more…

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