‘Steel Magnolias’ celebrates the trust and friendship of women and the importance of great hair

Truvy's Beauty Parlor provides the perfect sanctuary for six women who share and support each other in the joys, tragedies and curve balls that life throws at them, all while maintaining perfect hair.Hillbarn Theatre's production of this Robert Harling classic Steel Magnolias is true to the spirit of the...

Theater review: ‘The Creature’ an unbelievably good story

"I am satisfied!" says The Creature as his journey nears an end in Trevor Allen's adaptation of the famous Mary Shelley novel, Frankenstein. And so was I. Very. This production is a through-and-through masterpiece.If it was a bumper car ride at the fair, I'd circle back into line to...

Theater review: ‘Tiny Kushner’ a cerebral five course meal served by a master chef

Tony Kushner's mantel is a crowded place—a Pulitzer Prize, two Tony Awards, three Obies, a Golden Globe, an Emmy and the LAMBDA Literary Award for Drama—and he shows why in the Berkeley Repertory Theatre's reunion production of Tiny Kushner. Tony Taccone, a long-time friend and collaborator, and also artistic...

Theater review: ‘Groundswell’ a frothing thriller set to full boil

We all have dreams. But at what cost to score a "jackpot"?The bell tolls—forewarning atonement, compensation for past injustices, intentional or otherwise.And, after the fogs lifts in 'Groundswell', the terrifically tense new production that opened last night at the San Jose Repertory Theatre, we are left with a heightened...

Theater review: ‘Goldfish’ West Coast premiere at Magic Theatre

The Bay Area Premiere of "Goldfish" is a gritty and heart wrenching study by playwright John Kolvenbach into the bonds that unite us as fathers, mothers, sons and daughters and what happens when change threatens them.Leo (Rod Gnapp) is the father to a loving teenage son, Albert (Andrew Pastides)....

Theater review: ‘The Chosen’ an ideological evening

With 'The Chosen,' TheatreWorks' latest production tackles large issues, including the Holocaust, faith, and Zionism. Not bad for a Saturday night. As stage entertainment, however, it delivers mixed results.On the one hand, intensity and poignancy abound as two teenage boys and their fathers search for their place in a...

Theater review: ‘The Glass Menagerie’ at Coastal Repertory Theatre

How would you remember your past?In 'The Glass Menagerie', Tennessee Williams' first successful play as a playwright, we are drawn into the very personal memories of Tom Wingfield (Peter K. Owen) as he recalls his earlier life living with his loving, but often overbearing, mother and his shy, crippled...

Theater review: ‘First Day of School’ brings laughs

"Would you like to have sex with me?"David (Bill English) walks the school grounds asking other parents and watches as they react to his direct approach. Meanwhile his wife Susan (Zehra Berkman) is doing the exact thing across the lot, ending up eventually in a bagel shop, before their...

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.