Robert Avila

Hot house Magic

Taylor Mac's The Lily's Revenge lights up Magic Theatre with earthy flower power

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arts@sfbg.com

THEATER Talk about community theater. New York City drag artist Taylor Mac doesn't just bring his Obie Award–winning 2009 show to town, but a good swath of the town to the show. That includes six local directors and something like 40 local actors and musicians, with host Magic Theatre producing in collaboration with queer performance collective THEOFFCENTER and a large handful of other Bay Area players (Climate Theater, Crowded Fire, elastic future, Erika Chong Shuch Performance Project, Shotgun Players, and TheatreWorks).Read more »

Age against the Machine

Geoff Hoyle's Geezer lives!

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arts@sfbg.com

THEATER Death-defying acts of autobiography enliven the main stage at the Marsh this week in Geoff Hoyle's unadorned yet dazzling new solo show. Developed with director David Ford — and one of the very best things to come from the Marsh's fertile performance breeding grounds all year if not longer — Geezer takes a serpentine course through the accomplished career of the longtime Bay Area actor and physical comedian to confront the challenges, epiphanies, and qualified, but nonetheless quality, opportunities of aging and mortality.Read more »

Outside and inside

A burgeoning queer performance scene in the Bay Area is creating new zones

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Inside job

Beardo's take on Rasputin reaches deep, fishes around, and comes up perfectly weird 

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arts@sfbg.com

THEATER A man lies in the woods, his arm in a hole. A mystic? A mushroom hunter? A mad monk maybe? He's in tatters, grimy, seemingly unconscious, bearded.Read more »

Harmonic canons

Schick Machine hits the right notes, while Lady Grey is upstaged

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THEATER A gorgeous clutter of instruments fills the stage at Z Space/Theater Artaud this week, and audiences, after an eye- and earful of Schick Machine, are invited to go up and play them, too. A musical background is unnecessary: Nothing on stage likely resembles anything you grew up practicing, and anyway all that's called for is a little rhythm. The show itself gives you a healthy dose, amid a wonderfully designed, gently madcap, almost cosmological musing on the nature and origins of rhythm as well as our yearning embrace of it (and vice versa).Read more »

Mother courage

Lynn Nottage's Ruined finds life amid atrocity in the Congo

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arts@sfbg.com

STAGE As outrage mounts at the vicious repression of civilians in Libya, Lynn Nottage's 2009 Pulitzer Prize-winning play Ruined reminds us of the ongoing crimes against humanity — in particular the strategic use of sexual violence against women — carried out routinely for years in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The devastating civil war that began there in 1998 continues today as one of the most destructive on the planet, having taken well more than 5 million lives.Read more »

The shakes

Sharp and entertaining, Collapse pulls back from the brink of subversion

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THEATER When your free-form sister (Amy Resnick) arrives from Los Angeles with a yoga mat, but without a job, a place to go, a return ticket, or a care in the world—except for an unopened package some guy named Bulldog asked her to hand off when she got to Minneapolis — it's unsettling. What's even shakier, though, is such a visit combined with a marriage teetering on the brink, a job or two in the balance, and a worldwide economic depression. It's then that foundations critically loosen, supports buckle, things suddenly fall apart. Read more »

Two's a crowd?

Comical and existential, The Companion Piece explores life and love as a vaudeville act

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The Companion Piece is a charmingly inventive new work of devised theater conceived by actor Beth Wilmurt and directed by Mark Jackson for Z Space. It unfolds as a series of arch "meta" vaudevillian routines by a frustrated long-time duo (played with uncommon chemistry and comedic finesse by Wilmurt and Christopher Kuckenbaker).Read more »

'Too Much' -- and more

A one-off "queer marathon" turns into a second annual 10-hour event

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arts@sfbg.com

THEATER/DANCE/PERFORMANCE Too much of a good thing can be a good thing. That became clear to artist/curators Julie Phelps and Keith Hennessy last year with the unexpected success of "Too Much!," a no-holds-barred marathon of contemporary queer performance originally conceived as a cheeky 20th anniversary celebration of Hennessy's lauded yet uncompromising career as performer, choreographer, and activist.Read more »

Curtain calls

YEAR IN THEATER: This was a year of magical keeping-it-realism on Bay Area stages

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