Theater and Stage

Plays, live performances, film, independent cinema. Plus behind the scenes, reviews and videos.

Theater review: ‘The Pillowman’ a horrifically good time

Stephen King, your play is ready. Martin McDonagh, winner of an Olivier Award for best new play, brilliantly mixes black comedy, horror and crime drama into an innovative, and often disturbing, script. Throughout the opening night I kept thinking to myself that it would make a good little horror flick...

Theater review: ‘American Idiot’ an energetic journey

The lead actor John Gallagher, Jr., although looking more Jay Kay than Billie Joe, puts 110% into his role as the despondent teen looking to escape suburbia.

‘The Last Days of Judas Iscariot’: Wickedly hilarious and provocatively profound

Even before I stepped into the theater, the premise of this piece intrigued me. The entire play is set in purgatory, the place between heaven and hell where, according to the production's playwright Stephen Adly Guirgis, a Judge Littlefield (Bill Davidovich) has presided for over 140 years providing the last...

Theater review: ‘Brief Encounter’ a masterful composition of classic cinema and theater

Lights, camera, action! The romance of classic cinema—think Humphrey Bogart—married with the immersion of live theatre whisked me off for a brief rendezvous. It started innocently as any other theatre visit to the ACT on opening night; some murmur of excitement is always expected with the rolling out of the...

Theater review: ‘Awake and Sing!’ pulls no punches

Nothing like a great depression to get you in the mood to deal with love and money. It's like a sucker punch—all while trying to balance the checkbook on $26 a week and keep the family on the rails. 'Awake and Sing!', written in 1935 by Clifford Odets, pulls no...

‘As You Like It’: New season, new artistic director and new look at a Shakespeare classic

San Jose Rep's 2009-2010 season, which also marks Rick Lombardo's inaugural year, takes a bold leap with a modern interpretation of William Shakespeare's pastoral comedy, 'As You Like It.' The start of the play heralds this new era with three dramatic screen panels which span the entire height of the...

Theater review: ‘The Memory of Water’ in Palo Alto

Less money, less space somehow juices up the creative forces.

Theater review: ‘Yellow Face’ an entertaining look at race in America

I always admire people who can poke fun at themselves yet deliver a serious message. That's exactly what David Henry Hwang does with his mockumentary 'Yellow Face' and there is a lot to admire here. His narrative, which casts himself at the center of a part-reality, part-fictional account of...

Theater review: ‘Tommy’ at Coastal Repertory Theatre in Half Moon Bay

'Tommy', the infamous rock opera by Pete Townshend of The Who, is legendary stuff. Many a childhood was forever changed thanks to that record. It became the soundtrack of a generation; a teenage wasteland. The musical is based on the 1969 double album which tells a loose story about a...

Theater review: SF Playhouse ‘Cuckoo’s Nest’ captures emotion, oppression, spirit

My how times have changed. A lot of so-called  therapy today (not that I would know!) is based on spa-like treatment administered under the guise of "wellness." Patients are pampered and can tweet and Facebook to their narcissistic-heart's content. But there was a day, at least according to writer Ken...