Theater and Stage

Plays, live performances, film, independent cinema. Plus behind the scenes, reviews and videos.
The Lion in Winter - Custom Made Theatre San Francisco Review

A campy Christmas at the Custom Made Theatre Company

The Lion in Winter is a family drama with stakes that make Lear look like a petty squabble. It’s 1183, and King Henry II of England rules a good chunk of Europe. His three sons all want the crown—and the hand of Alais, the French princess who is their...
The Eva Trilogy Review - Magic Theatre, San Francisco

A new Irish epic at Magic Theatre

Multi-part epics are always intimidating. They’re a big commitment to make in advance, and there’s a sense of failure if you don’t see them through. No one wants to be the quitter who only saw Voyage (in Stoppard’s The Coast of Utopia) or Das Rheingold (in Wagner’s Ring cycle)....

A French call to #resist

It’s been less than a year since the U.S. election, and theatergoers are surely already tired of plays that tackle authoritarianism. While Camus’ State of Siege (presented by Cal Performances and performed by the touring French company Théâtre de la Ville) fits into that category, it’s different enough not...
Imaginary Comforts, or The Story of the Ghost of the Dead Rabbit - Review

A very funny rabbi(t) at Berkeley Rep

Have you ever confused a rabbi with a rabbit? Me, neither, but it seems like a plausible mistake in Daniel Handler’s new play Imaginary Comforts, or The Story of the Ghost of the Dead Rabbit, at Berkeley Rep. Daniel Handler (best known by his young adult fiction pen name,...
The Mineola Twins Review -Cutting Ball Theater, San Francisco

Twin Trouble on Taylor

The Mineola Twins at Cutting Ball Theater opens with thunder and lightning. The intensity continues unabated throughout the show. Paula Vogel’s play follows a pair of small-town twins as they navigate the trials of sex, potential nuclear war, marriage, electroshock therapy, parenthood, and violent crime. Myra and Myrna have...
Theater Review: Hamlet at A.C.T. San Francisco

Stars align for a memorable ‘Hamlet’ at the ACT

The American Conservatory Theater’s Hamlet marks the debut of two greats who somehow (strangely) have never tackled this great play. John Douglas Thompson premieres his Hamlet, direct by A.C.T. artistic director Carey Perloff. The results make me thank whatever theater gods brought these two together to work on Shakespeare’s...
How I Learned to Drive - Custom Made Theatre San Francisco

Lessons in driving and empathy at Custom Made Theatre

Playwright Paula Vogel has been in the news a lot recently. She made her (shamefully overdue) Broadway debut with Indecent, which was nominated for the 2017 Best Play Tony. She started a national conversation around producers’ and critics’ biases when it comes to financing and reviewing plays by women...
video

Backstage Video: BTS at LUZIA by Cirque du Soleil (Now in Atlanta)

Stark Insider presents a backstage look at Cirque Du Soleil's newest artistic creation, Luzia. LUZIA is now in Atlanta. Cirque's "waking dream of Mexico" features everything we've come to expect from the spectacle: beautiful costumes, astonishing acrobatics, dancing, singing, audience engagement, and, overall, fine entertainment. But LUZIA has a unique...
Bill Hader - SNL

David Lynch’s Festival of Disruption adds Bill Hader

Comedian and SNL alum Bill Hader is the latest to be added to the Festival of Disruption. You know, the guy with this kind of headshot: Now in its second year and curated by founder David Lynch the Festival of Disruption is certainly evolving into one of the more interesting...
Theater Review: Luna Gale at Aurora Theatre, Berkeley

Blown away by Aurora’s ‘Luna Gale’

In the words of a character from Luna Gale, deciding a child’s future is an “awesome responsibility.” In this absorbing play, receiving its Bay Area premiere at Aurora Theatre, social worker Caroline must determine what to do about the case of baby Luna. Her meth-addicted parents are trying to...