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Check Out 'Hir' at the Magic Theater, and Two New Plays at Berkeley Rep This Month

A Man In a Case stars Mikhail Baryshnikov at Berkeley Rep. Photo: T. Charles Erickson

Here in the second half of January we have three premieres happening in the local theater scene.

First up, we have the world premiere of Hir, a new play by acclaimed New York City playwright and performer Taylor Mac. Mac previously brought his acclaimed, experimental work The Lily's Revenge to the Magic two years ago, and now he's back with a new work in which he does not perform. It's being called a "hilarious drama" involving a mother and two children, one a Marine, and the other a " tender, jaded [kid who is] sculpting a third-sex gender identity for hirself." Previews begin January 29. Get tickets here.

Next, at Berkeley Rep we have the West Coast premiere of A Man In a Case, a high-tech stage adaptation of two Anton Checkov short stories starring the one and only Mikhail Baryshnikov. The production comes out of the Big Dance Theater, who premiered it last year at Hartford stage, and the piece combines movement, music, and video along with the spoken word, and so obviously we'll get to see Baryshnikov do a little dancing. The show has only one preview, on January 25, and will play for 20 performances only starting January 26. Get tickets here.

And on Berkeley Rep's smaller Thrust Stage is the world premiere of Marcus Gardley's The House That Will Not Stand. The play was actually commissioned by Berkeley Rep as part of their Ground Floor program for the development of new work. Gardley is an Oakland native, and it's a story "about free women of color in 1836 New Orleans, where black Creole women entered into common-law marriages with rich white men." Previews begin January 31. Get tickets here.