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Author: Susan Dunn

“Mahabharat”—Heroic Immersion, at Naatak, Palo Alto

“Mahabharat”—Heroic Immersion, at Naatak, Palo Alto

Sujit Saraf Spins Complex Epic in Drama, Music, Dance by Susan Dunn It’s like swallowing a whale. That’s what it has meant to the plucky and talented all-volunteer team producing an adaptation of the Mahabharata, the world’s longest epic poem, now on stage at the Cubberley Theater in Palo Alto. The new musical is Naatak Indian Theater’s most ambitious project yet. Onstage, the colors are mesmerizing, dancers in three classical styles are enchanting, the singing is clear and penetrating, and…

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“Two Mile Hollow” Ridicules Ruling Class, at Ferocious Lotus, S.F.

“Two Mile Hollow” Ridicules Ruling Class, at Ferocious Lotus, S.F.

Winkler Throws Privileged Whites to the Birds by Susan Dunn Leah Nanako Winkler is on a mission.  She’s tired of the old theater formulas:  white folks sitting around the dinner table airing their angst, exploding their family myths, and then closing ranks against any outsiders. In “Two Mile Hollow,” affluent whites are targets of satire with a double twist: Asian actors play exaggerated versions of all the white folks. Winkler pursues the privileged Upper Crust portrayed in “white people by…

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“Soft Power” Musical Brings Hard Laughs, at The Curran, S.F.

“Soft Power” Musical Brings Hard Laughs, at The Curran, S.F.

Hwang/Tesori Challenge East/West Diplomacy  by Susan Dunn The Opening Night audience went wild at The Curran! “Soft Power,” a  new play within a musical, on its world premiere tour, with a first rate almost all Asian cast, delivers a hilarious and emotionally compelling show. Tony Award-winning playwright, David Henry Hwang, replays recent political history and the “America First” movement. Hwang and composer Jeanine Tesori examine the U.S. power grab versus isolationism, mirroring a democracy that is failing us. The show…

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“All the Shah’s Men” Highlights CIA Conspiracy in Iran Coup, at Arabian Shakes, S.F.

“All the Shah’s Men” Highlights CIA Conspiracy in Iran Coup, at Arabian Shakes, S.F.

Matthew Spangler Reveals Strings behind Shah’s Puppet Regime  by Susan Dunn Iran is headline news, and “All the Shah’s Men” dives into the 1950s history of how we got to where we are today with this volatile nation. By re-enacting a 1953 U.S.-instigated regime change, Arabian Shakes challenged me to figure out who were the villains in the CIA’s “Operation Ajax,” and who they are today. “Ajax” was the first political coup by a fledgling CIA organization. carried out surreptitiously…

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