Stage

Taylor made

Veteran dancemaker Paul Taylor triumphs with works new and old
|
()

a&eletters@sfbg.com

It's been easy getting used to having the Paul Taylor Company around. For each of the past five years, the group has presented three different programs of new and repertory works, courtesy of San Francisco Performances. Even taking into account the occasional repeat, this amounts to close to 50 pieces of choreography, an extraordinary overview of the artistic output of one of modern dance's giants.

But San Francisco Performances can no longer afford to host the company on such a regular basis. Read more »

Angel's wing

SF Playhouse's Jesus Hopped the "A" Train is right on time
|
()

› a&eletters@sfbg.com

Kudos to SF Playhouse for its part in introducing Bay Area audiences to Stephen Adly Guirgis. Guirgis is a member of New York's LAByrinth Theater Company — a collective that includes playwright John Patrick Shanley and actor Philip Seymour Hoffman. Read more »

Ouroboros rising

Big Death and Little Death
|
()

› a&eletters@sfbg.com

Never mind the ides of March, here comes year four of the Iraq War. Believe it or not, this whole illegal invasion-and-occupation business brought to you by the generally scary US government — that consortium of oil companies, political marionettes, neoconquerors, military wonks, and other capitalist heavies operating behind the flimflam of democracy and terror — is about to celebrate another birthday. Read more »

The Flowering Tree

Flowering after doomsday: the latest Adams-Sellars collaboration
|
()

The opera world has never been quite the same since director Peter Sellars teamed up in 1985 with composer John Adams to premiere Nixon in China. The production, which was unveiled in 1987 at the Houston Grand Opera, marked the start of one of the most brilliant artistic partnerships of our time. Read more »

Worth a shot

Mark Jackson's American Suicide brings can-do despair to life
|
()

› a&eletters@sfbg.com

Sam Small (Jud Williford) is an unemployed man in a fraying bathrobe with a limp Jimmy Dean sausage in his pocket, living off the bacon brought (literally snuck) home by his wife, Mary (Beth Wilmurt), a waitress. Sam's situation, aggravated by his well-thumbed copy of Hamlet, has led him to contemplate suicide.

Albert (Marty Pistone) — right across the hall from Sam and Mary's apartment 86 in number 69 — is sympathetic. Read more »

Chorophobics, beware

Fears of Your Life
|
()

For the last decade four baseball players have been staring at me as I sit at my computer. They never say anything, but their presence is uncanny. I first encountered them in a downtown office building where I was working. Every time I walked into that sterile lobby, they looked at me. There was something about those burning eyes, open smiles, and striped uniforms that made these players look more like skeletons than athletes. Read more »

Happy returns

The Birthday Party is agelessly cruel
|
()

› a&eletters@sfbg.com

A man hides from the world in a shabby seaside rooming house until two men arrive determined to take him away. The latter represent a kind of conformity, brutal and ruthless in its determination and tactics. Read more »

Control of resources

Danny Hoyle's deft performance carries his solo show, Tings Dey Happen
|
()

› a&eletters@sfbg.com

Among the usual tidings of war and occupation, the recent holiday season brought news that hundreds of people had been burned alive in a pipeline explosion in Lagos, the commercial capital of Nigeria and its largest city. Read more »

Funny business

SF Sketchfest is a serious concern to comedy lovers
|
()

› a&eletters@sfbg.com

The world has rushed headlong and with questionable taste into 2007. Whatever else that implies, it wouldn't be funny if not for SF Sketchfest. The annual comedy showcase, which sails in buoyantly every January, grows fresher by the year, despite being nearly as old as this increasingly passé century.

Admittedly, the Bay Area has several admirable places to go for comedy — evergreen locales like Cobb's, newer nooks like the Dark Room, and a couple yearly improv festivals, for example. Read more »

Surreal genius

Kaspar Hauser's mighty wind
|
()

Are Kasper Hauser's members the funniest people in San Francisco? Just try not busting a gut over the sketch troupe's new SkyMaul: Happy Crap You Can Buy from a Plane, a takeoff on the SkyMall catalogs you find on airplanes. An uncanny takeoff. Read more »