While others among the 7x7 editorial team instantly deleted an email this morning with the subject line, "So You Think You Can Lap Dance?" I, for one, saw promise. Turns out, the attention-grabbing one-liner is also a new monthly event at PianoFight in the Tenderloin.
Here's what you need to know about seven amazing stage shows headed our way.
It's a time of year for dinner dates and holiday gifts and roaming Union Square amid the bustle, so you may want to consider a couple of options for some December theater-going.
Coming up later this month and next in the local theater scene is a new parody musical involving last years big BDSM bestseller, and a star-studded revival of Harold Pinter's No Man's Land in its pre-Broadway, out-of-town tryout, starring Ian McKellen, Patrick Stewart, and Billy Crudup.
The summer is a fairly quiet time for Bay Area theater, but over in Orinda the California Shakespeare Theater usually puts on some terrific renditions of both Shakespeare plays and classic plays through the season. Next up, starting previews on July 3, is Shakespeare's beloved tragic romance Romeo & Juliet, directed by Shana Cooper.
The season is winding down at the American Conservatory Theater, with its productions of Arcadia and Black Watch both set to close this weekend; and at the Magic Theatre, where the American premiere of Mark O'Rowe's Terminus closes Sunday as well. But across the Bay there is still stuff happening at Berkeley Rep and CalShakes, with the latter having just kicked off its summer season last week, and a small S.F. company is doing Sondheim's great fairy tale mashup, Into the Woods.
For six whole decades, the Bay Area has been a hotbed for risk-taking theater. This Sunday, filmmaker Austin Forbord’s documentary Stage Left: A Story of Theater in San Francisco premieres on KQED as part of their Emmy Award-winning series Truly CA: Our State, Our Stories. The film raises the curtain on the long history of progressive and experimental theater in the Bay Area with more than 45 interviews (think Robin Williams, Bill Irwin, and Peter Coyote, to name a few) and rare archival performance footage.
There’s an inherent danger in marrying blockbuster musical theater with weighty subjects like political and social oppression. On one hand, the people must be entertained and stimulated...shiny lights everywhere, please! On the other, such stories demand a faithful and meaningful reading, with all respect paid to the maligned. And somehow, neither can be compromised.