Arts & Culture

Arts & Culture

Beyond borders

Benedictus draws from a real-life meeting to explore political power games
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An uneasy double consciousness attends the able and purposeful world premiere of Benedictus — now up at the Thick House — whose plot concerns a back-channel effort to avert an impending US invasion of Iran. Read more »

Beauty and the beasts

Shock it to me!
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SCREAM QUEEN What kind of a woman tempts both Dracula and Frankenstein? Gorgeous Veronica Carlson, that's who — star of Hammer classics Dracula Has Risen from the Grave (1968) and Frankenstein Must Be Destroyed (1969). Now an artist and devoted grandmother living in Florida, Carlson's coming to town to share her memories of the golden age of British goth horror as part of this weekend's "Shock It to Me!" film fest. Read more »

Take it sleazy

Supertrash Peepshow
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CULT FILM Erstwhile cofounder of San Francisco's late, lamented Werepad — a "beatnik space lounge" (among other things) — Jacques Boyreau, also a filmmaker (Candy Von Dewd), lives in Portland, Ore., these days. But he's dropping into town again with a characteristic surprise package in the form of the Supertrash Peepshow at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts. Read more »

Gay times

Celebrating the Rhino's three transformative decades of transgression
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A series of slide projections cycling through a gamut of theater posters greets audiences taking their seats at Theatre Rhinoceros's 30th season opener. Ranging in design from the openly trashy to the quietly tony, many of these posters offer eye-catching portions of skin and equally intriguing titles: Cocksucker: A Love Story, Deporting the Divas, Pogey Bait, Show Ho, Intimate Details, Barebacking, and Hillbillies on the Moon. Read more »

"You Should Stop Editing"

Ditching the posturing for intricate intensity
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REVIEW I should stop editing? Well, an unedited issue of the Guardian has sprung to my wild or tired mind more than once, whether it be rated X or composed entirely of photocopied press releases. In the case of Ema Harris-Sintamarian's show at Jack Fischer Gallery, the phrase "You Should Stop Editing" might function as a creative credo — one that allows the artist to range freely within works and between mediums. To put it bluntly, what the exhibit lacks in posturing, it more than makes up for in intricate intensity. Read more »

Reading is fundamental

Shoot 'em up, if you can, in Made Man
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Made Man

(Aspyr; PlayStation2, Windows)

A couple of weeks ago I was facing a stretch without the possibility of any money besides what I had in my pocket. I have experienced this before, and the way I have learned to deal with it is to stay in my apartment, sleep a lot, and eat very little, counting the days. At my age and with my diet of cigarettes and coffee, Internet porn will only go so far. So I have found that the best way to kill the hours when I am conscious has been to play video games. With my meager budget, I set aside what I needed to buy some games and hit the mall. Read more »

Cell mates

51802 charts love on the outside looking in
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Dance theater remains a thriving genre in Bay Area performance. To call it a subgenre of one or the other just doesn't allow due respect for offerings by the likes of Jess Curtis, Joe Goode, inkBoat, Rebecca Salzer, and Deborah Slater. Erika Chong Shuch's ESP Project, the resident company at Intersection for the Arts, is among the leaders in this field. Read more »

"American Dirge"

Ryan Coffey's mystic '60s
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REVIEW I confess: despite having a disproportionate appetite for '60s leftovers — from the children of Coca-Cola and Marx to the Mamas and the Papas, I eat it all up — I've felt my enthusiasm flagging in the past couple of weeks. Is it Summer of Love indolence? Brightblack ballyhoo? Regardless, what a stirring relief to come upon "American Dirge," a solo show at Tartine Bakery spotlighting the charmed collages of local up-and-comer Ryan Coffey. Read more »

Let there be bright

Keith Hennessy's Sol Niger at Project Artaud Theater
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Sol Niger ("Black sun" in Latin) sounds like a contradiction. Not that choreographer–theater maven Keith Hennessy is uncomfortable with oppositional thinking. But if you've ever experienced the gray-on-gray blanket that a solar eclipse throws over the world, you'll understand the appropriateness of the title of Hennessy's most recent work.

With a Bay Area premiere run kicking off Sept. Read more »

Lean and meaty

ACT delivers a tasty Sweeney Todd
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The word musical normally connotes light fare. But in its latest Broadway reincarnation, Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street lends, in addition to bravura performances, a bracingly morbid bite to American Conservatory Theater's new season.

Of course, that doesn't stop Sweeney from delivering vigorous entertainment. Director-designer John Doyle's attractively reconceived, Tony Award–winning revival of the groundbreaking Stephen Sondheim musical serves up a theatrical feast from, yes, soup to nuts. Read more »