PREVIEW There is something to be said for staying put. For one thing, you become part of a community. Anne Bluethenthal may have grown up in Greensboro, N.C. not the easiest place when she was a kid if you were shy and Jewish but she has been living and working in the Mission for more than 20 years. In one of her earliest pieces in San Francisco, Fish Can Sing, she paid tribute to Milly, the girl who walked away when the other kids threw stones at her. When Bluethenthal posits that the personal is political, she knows whereof she speaks. Read more »
Even for a company as committed to keeping on the move as ODC/Dance, debuting five world premieres in two programs is pushing the envelope of what is creatively possible not only for in-house choreographers Brenda Way and KT Nelson, but also for the performers who have to learn the stuff.
ODC's dancers are up to the challenge. They are fast; they are athletic; and they luxuriate in their own physicality. They are gorgeous as individuals and as an ensemble. Daniel Santos speeds up a turn as if he's being unspooled. Read more »
It's hard for a contemporary reader to fathom why indeed, it was probably hard for many non-Eire readers to fathom even then but when Edna O'Brien's debut novel, The Country Girls, came out in 1960, she was considered a disgrace to all of Ireland. Priests burned it in churchyards and denounced it from the pulpit. Read more »
PREVIEW The first time I discovered feminism wasn't just for white women who ate organic produce, I was eavesdropping on one of my mom's phone calls. She was going off about some ex-boyfriend and a few "lazy-ass mothafuckas" before declaring that neither her mother, nor her mother's mother, nor her mother's mother's mother had taken any bullshit and she didn't plan to break the chain now. Put in those terms, my 10-year-old brain started to think that the word feminism might just apply to every woman I knew who had the nerve to survive in my Fillmore neighborhood. Read more »
Planet Mamet is normally a very manly-man's world, where alpha males growl, snap, and try to steal one another's bones. Women either similarly play rough or become obstacles to the overweening guy-versus-guy competition. Ergo, Boston Marriage is an anomaly: seldom staged since its 1999 premiere, this is a most atypical David Mamet play in that the characters are all female, the language florid, and the tone giddy even, well, campy.
It probably seems more so than hitherto in John Fisher's Theatre Rhinoceros staging. Read more »
Over Feb. 14 to 16, Yannis Adoniou and Tomi Paasonen's oddly named offspring, Kunst-Stoff, celebrated its 10th anniversary. The company had its first performance during the dot-com bubble at what was then San Francisco's most in venue, Brady Street Theater where you couldn't find a parking place but did get some of the edgiest performances in town. You wouldn't dare miss Kunst-Stoff's total concept theater, in which multimedia reigned to suggest high-tech, futuristic fantasies. Read more »
The two women invited to a mysterious dinner party in the American Conservatory Theatercommissioned Brainpeople have no idea why they're there. For some time we're not sure why we are either. After detouring into the uncharacteristically straightforward screenplays of The Motorcycle Diaries and Trade, playwright José Rivera is back in quirky magic-realist overdrive. Too much of this 80-minute one-act feels propelled by a willful eccentricity less delightful than pointless. Read more »
The best comedians always shear close to the bone with their truths, but believe it or not, few are necessarily a gut bust in conversation. Why is this a surprise? After all, the comic is on the interviewer's mic, not on the clock and on script. Yet W. Read more »