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.
American Conservatory Theater’s A Christmas Carol
Ghosts in chains, portly men dancing jigs, a cooked goose, and profound character rehabilitiation - there’s a reason A Christmas Carol is the world’s favorite tale of holiday haunting. This week, the spooks of Christmas past, present, and future take the stage at ACT, as they’ve done every December for the past 35 years. Charming and beautifully-produced, this holiday show is well worth checking out.
December 1-24. American Conservatory Theater, 415 Geary Street. Tickets are $15-150 at 415-749-2228 or act-sf.org.
African-American Shakespeare Company’s Cinderella
Before local ODC Theater resident Catherine Galasso jets off to Paris and New York with her latest show, she's premiering Bring On The Lumière! right here at homebase. The show—a combination of dance, theater, light, and illusion—is inspired by the French forefathers of film, the Lumière brothers. Like all of her work, Galasso pushes the boundaries of traditional performance in an exploration of uncharted territories. We took a few minutes of Galasso's time to talk about Bring On The Lumière!.
Teatro Zinzanni’s German circus tent has been an integral part of Pier 39 for the last eleven years. In honor of On the Air - after which the show’s fate is still unknown - we spoke with Kristin Clayton, the opera diva who’s been with Teatro Zinzanni since the beginning.
When a Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright who enjoys pushing buttons tackles race, there are going to be some theatrical fireworks. That's just math. David Mamet's latest Broadway hit, Race is a scathing courtroom comedy making its west coast debut at ACT this month.
One woman’s desperate need to escape threatens her family and the world in the bending, twisting landscape of Sticky Time. With 360 degree projections, surround sound and choreography, this is Crowded Fire’s most technically ambitious production yet.
Halloween in San Francisco isn’t complete until you’ve absorbed the bloody mayhem of Shocktoberfest, now in its twelfth year of gore and festive holiday shrieking. The bloodthirsty Parisian theater tradition of Grand Guinol meets film noir in Fear Over Frisco, Thrillpeddlers' latest.
Presenting three shorts by playwright Eddie Muller, this year’s Shocktoberfest does some time traveling through San Francisco’s history - modern day deja vu in The Grand Inquisitor, post-WWII hysteria in An Obvious Explanation, and back to the Prohibition for The Drug. We meet a disfigured artist, the reclusive widow of San Francisco’s most notorious serial killer, and a doctor who plays fast and loose with some un-FDA approved substances.
Skewering San Francisco’s gay porn industry of the early ‘80s, Ronnie Larsen’s hit comedy has made the rounds in New York, Boston, Miami, Chicago, and LA. Slapstick, strip teases, and directors yelling things about being meaner and dirtier make it as lurid and uninhibited as one would hope from a play called Making Porn.
When the doomed love of Pelleas and Melisande first premiered in 1893, it subverted the French realism that was all the rage in the Parisian Belle Epoque. Innovative French symbolist Maurice Materlinck - one of the most respected writers of his time - penned a lush, avante garde fairytale that blends elements of Cinderella and Romeo and Juliet.
Shakespeare’s doomed heroine Desdemona is getting a lot of theater time this month. For fresh interpretations of the misunderstood Venetian beauty who met her untimely end at the hands of her husband, Othello, you can check out the high profile Toni Morrison-Peter Sellars collaboration or the black box experimental interpretation where Desdemona really is a whore.
Cal Performances presents the United States premiere of the collaboration between Nobel Prize-winning novelist Toni Morrison, renowned director Peter Sellars, and one of Africa’s greatest vocalists Rokia Traoré. Together they create a beyond-the-grave conversation between Othello’s Desdemona and Barbary, the woman Shakespeare identifies as the African nurse who raised her.