Robert Avila

GOLDIES 2010: Christopher Kuckenbaker

Bringing graceful work and alternately intense and quirky looks to the stage

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In September, the San Francisco Fringe Festival offered patrons an off-Beat gem, The Burroughs and Kookie Show. A deftly performed blend of homage and intimate psychic excavation, the play imagines William S. Burroughs (actor-playwright Christopher Kuckenbaker) as talk show host, opposite a deadpan, laconic musician named Loubis the Pubis (Louis Libert), and a missing cohost, "Kookie," symbolized in absentia by a small, empty chair. Tonight's guest? An unsuspecting actor named Chris Baker (Christopher Kuckenbaker again). Read more »

GOLDIES 2010: Jesse Hewit/Strong Behavior

A unique artist and part of a tight-knit, bold, savvy, young, and mostly queer milieu

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Most shows start with a request to turn off your cell phones. Tell Them That You Saw Me begins with an implicit request to leave your virtual mind outside. As the lights come up in this latest work from Jesse Hewit/Strong Behavior (which premiered after a residency at CounterPULSE in August), five utterly gobsmacked women, sprawled in enervated postures on floor and furniture, stare back at the audience for a very long time. Read more »

Different walls

Habibi adds an enigmatic viewpoint to a growing chorus of Palestinian voices

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arts@sfbg.com

Palestinian perspectives are in. You know it when a major filmmaker like Julian Schnabel makes a big-budget film like Miral, based on the book by Palestinian journalist Rula Jebreal (which recently screened at the Mill Valley Film Festival in advance of a general release next year).Read more »

Inside Iran: journalist Houshang Asadi reads in Berkeley tonight

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Iran's authoritarian regime still gets away with locking up artists and intellectuals for their opinions. (The renowned Iranian filmmaker Jafar Panahi spent three months in prison this year for speaking his mind in public.) The contours of this system of political persecution come to the fore in the most personal and riveting of terms as longtime Iranian dissident, journalist, and author Houshang Asadi talks about (and reads from) his new memoir, Letters to My Torturer: Love, Revolution, and Imprisonment in Iran, in conversation with journalist and author Jonathan Curiel (Al’ America: Travels Through America’s Arab and Islamic Roots) at Berkeley Arts and Letters. The event is co-sponsored by the National Iranian American Council, Amnesty International, the Center for Middle Eastern Studies, and the Graduate School of Journalism at UC Berkeley.

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Empire strikes back

Mark Jackson adapts Schiller's Mary Stuart for the post-9/11 generation

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Expansive roles

The Brothers Size gets apt Magic, while the play's the thing in Etiquette

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"Red" bayou

Marin Theatre enlivens the first entry in Tarell Alvin McCraney's Brother/Sister trilogy

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STAGE The young woman has something wrong with her; a chorus of women tell us so. They're neighbors in the same particular, yet nebulous, time/place: a housing project in a nameless small town in the Louisiana bayou, some time in the "distant present." As if floating on water, the young woman, an African American teen named Oya (Lakisha May), lies prone on a dais at the center of an otherwise bare stage as they speak of her. Read more »

Tender is the 'Loin

The San Francisco Fringe Festival brings the love, in many guises
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Mr. In-Between

John Fisher's adaptation of The Picture of Dorian Gray casts bright light on murky morals

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The final act

FALL ARTS: Bay Area stages cover the gulf and cruise the outer limits this fall
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