Hapless slackers everywhere will turn a grim shade of chartreuse when they discover that one hapless slacker found a genie in his hookah. But any uncomfortable jealousy should evaporate when they realize the genie steals his dignity. And his pants.
Written by Michael Phillis (who also plays the unfortunate pants-less slacker), Wish We Were Here was a hit at the 2008 FringeNYC. Quirky and hilarious, this tale of master-tries-to-tame-unruly-genie-and-fails-utterly was a Time Out New York critic’s pick and got a shout-out from New York Magazine. Now it gets its west coast premiere at New Conservatory.
Eleven full-length plays and twenty works-in-progress make up the FURY Factory theater festival, with the Obie-winning Chekhov Lizardbrain as a quirky literary highlight.
Making its West Coast debut, Chekhov Lizardbrain is a meditation on the elusiveness of memory from Philadelphia’s acclaimed theater company Pig Iron. Named one of the top ten theater events in New York in 2008 by The New York Times, it's about a lonely botanist who attempts to rewrite his fractured past as he plies his plants with Chekhov.
Tough questions defy genre. Meaning, don’t be surprised if a modern dance performance actually turns out to be a discussion of what constitutes murder.
Choreographer Mary Carbonara investigates this violent verb in her latest piece, What Does It Feel Like to Kill Someone? Human beings do tend to kill one another, whether its on television or in a back alley or from a governmental war room. Our access to scenes of violence - both real and manufactured - is unprecedented in human history. So...what does that mean, on a personal level and as a global community? What is our responsibility and what is our point of action? To turn off the TV? To avoid taking up genocide as a career? To care?
If you’re prone to searching musicals for life lessons, the takeaway in Little Shop of Horrors is that you can find fame and fortune as a florist — if you’re willing to feed human flesh to a ravenous Venus flytrap.
Seymour (the florist) and Audrey II (the extraterrestrial plant he thinks will solve all his problems) have a mutually exploitative arrangment — Seymour uses Audrey II as his ticket out of his sketchy neighborhood and into a better life, and the man-eating space plant uses him for dinner.
Experimental work is given free reign at Cutting Ball's theater festival - making it a major creative luxury in a world where artistry doesn't always outrank minor considerations like budget. Or the understandable desire for ticket sales, when the known often outsells the unknown. Cutting Ball's annual festival offers artists a chance to test boundaries and audiences a chance to participate in the creative process. Here are the highlights of the five staged readings in this year's festival:
Chanticleer Goes Romantic
One of the world’s best male choruses, Chanticleer hits up its native San Francisco with bell-like harmonies and songs of desire, pain, and euphoria - basically, the sound of every emotion to ever trail hopefully after love.
Bonus: one their tracks graces the new Brad Pitt/Sean Penn movie, The Tree of Life. So if you want to hear this Grammy award-winning orchestra of voices live, check it out. (Amazing sound, no Brad Pitt - you'll have to weigh your priorities.)
June 3 and June 12. San Francisco Conservatory of Music, 50 Oak Street. Tickets are $20-44 at (415) 392-4400. (Additional dates in Santa Clara, Berkeley, Walnut Creek, and Napa.)
Drama as therapy, stylish theatrical fluff, sincere expression of love for our fair city—all are playwright-proclaimed possibilities here. A world premiere about San Francisco, The Edenites tells the stories of over-sexed trust fund babies, sci-fi geeks, bisexual socialites, famous writers, exes and new parents, and the world’s smartest roommate—stories that may sound alarmingly like your real life. (Depending on how many gay man dramas and debutantes your real life contains.)
If the thought of writing another dating profile makes you want to 1) thwack your head firmly against your desk, 2) stay single forever because it's easier than trying to be charming yet humble via the written word, 3) stand up and yell about how even Hemingway would've sucked at this - well, you might just be in luck. The internet and the wonders of technology are conspiring in your favor.
It might be a stretch to say that this summer’s Ring Cycle is the most epic opera event ever - but not by much. Wagner’s Der Ring des Nibelungen is widely considered one of the greatest operatic works ever created, featuring four operas worth of gods and heroes, great loves and tragic betrayal, dwarves and those ever-popular rings of power. Widely considered one of the leading producers of the cycle, San Francisco Opera pulls out all the stops with a brilliant roster of singers, one of the world’s most acclaimed Wagner conductors, and the vision of internationally celebrated director Francesca Zambello. Suffice it to say, the Ring Cycle’s singing Norse gods and Valkyries get the best treatment possible.
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