Robert Avila

The tender line

Cutting Ball's docudrama Tenderloin explores its own backyard

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arts@sfbg.com

THEATER A couple of days after the opening of the Cutting Ball's documentary play, Tenderloin, I spotted independent filmmaker Rob Nilsson crossing the street at Taylor and Eddy, less than a block from the theater. Drawn to the neighborhood and its residents for decades, Nilsson is one of the more prominent artists who have found inspiration, collaboration and a kind of authenticity in the Tenderloin, long among San Francisco's poorest and liveliest districts.Read more »

I'm not there

Iranian playwright Nassim Soleimanpour marks his Bay Area debut — by proxy — in White Rabbit, Red Rabbit at SFIAF

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THEATER Political borders have their way with the bodies of ordinary people, but ideas are harder to stop at an airport or checkpoint. So when Iranian playwright Nassim Soleimanpour found himself unable to leave Iran (having demurred from mandatory military service, the state demurred in providing him a passport), he decided to send on a play that would stand in for him, and maybe stand for something more.Read more »

A dog's life

TheatreWorks revives Of Mice and Men for a new era of desperation and solidarity

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arts@sfbg.com

THEATER There's a clipped Spanish twang in the roughhewn but lucid English of George Milton (Jos Viramontes) and Lennie Small (A.J. Meijer), the iconic bindlestiff protagonists in Of Mice and Men. It's the only obvious bit of updating in TheatreWorks' and artistic director Robert Kelley's generally faithful rendering of the 1937 John Steinbeck classic (a stage adaptation penned by the author himself for a Broadway premiere the same year).Read more »

Bon voyage

At home with the Russians, from Berkeley's Ashby Stage to Moscow's Golden Mask festival

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THEATER Bay Area audiences set off for The Coast of Utopia with Shotgun Players' production of Voyage, the first play in Tom Stoppard's celebrated 2002 trilogy based on the lives and careers of certain radical Russian émigrés in 19th century Europe. Read more »

Pre-boarding call: Jorge De Hoyos’s “Departing Things”

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In the last few years, Los Angeles–born and San Francisco–based dancer-choreographer Jorge De Hoyos has worked with Sara Shelton Mann and Meg Stuart, traveled with Keith Hennessy’s Turbulence project, performed in Laura Arrington’s supersized SQUART marathon at Headlands Center for the Arts, and much, much more — including projects by Christine Bonansea, Sommer Ulrickson, Erika Chong Shuch Performance Project, Jesse Hewit/Strong Behavior, Pearl Marill/Pump Dance Theater, Naked Empire Bouffon Company, and Jenny McAllister. You may also have been one of the 25 or so lucky souls who traipsed after him in Golden Gate Park when he and Macklin Kowal went about in delirious Euro-drag for Bonjour le matin.

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50/50

Dancer-choreographers work through the pros and cons of getting older in Jess Meets Angus

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arts@sfbg.com

DANCE Strange how being "of a certain age" can bring so much uncertainty along with it. In the installment of Berlin-based choreographer Silke Z.'s "Just Between Us — The Generation Project" making its US premiere at CounterPULSE this weekend, two guys, at least, will move boldly forward into the middle ages.Read more »

Alive and kicking

New works by Minna Harri and Christine Bonansea at the Garage

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THEATER Art is a life and death matter at the Garage this weekend, with the premieres of Dead/Alive and No Exit, two new contemporary dance-performance works from Minna Harri Experience Set and Christine Bonansea, respectively.Read more »

Right about now

Custom Made Theatre's Little Brother adapts Cory Doctorow's SF-based teen terrorism tale -- and it's probably the most exciting thing on stage right now

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THEATER It's a rare thing, really too rare, to find an audience eagerly erupting into political discussions between acts of a play. But that's what Little Brother inspires, and in an unaffected way, without pretension or unwelcome goading. It's too cool, confident, and contemporary for that. Read more »

Too much in the son

A theater director wrestles history and Hamlet in Ghost Light, and this time it's personal

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Way out East

A dose of American Realness amid the NYC festival season

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THEATER The shows have been as varied and changeable as the weather this January in New York City, where the annual conference of the Association of Performing Arts Presenters (APAP) acts as catalyst for, by now, no less than four new-work festivals in the realms of theater, dance, and contemporary performance.

Near the beginning of the month, it got cold enough at night to make your nose hairs chime like little Christmas tree bells. "Every time you sneeze," a friend explained to me, "a whole shitload of angels get their wings."Read more »