Category Archive for: ‘Richard Connema’

A Smart, intimate Character Production of John Fisher’s “To Sleep and Dream”


John Fisher’s “To Sleep and Dream” opens the 36th season of Theatre Rhinoceros which the oldest continuing producing queer theatre in the world.  His latest drama is currently playing at Z Space Below through October 6th.

“To Sleep and Dream” is about a clan of wealthy Reagan-era Marin County family who has a lot of anxious-filled cocktail parties.  A simple patio becomes a stage on which the confidences and troubles of life are unraveled in this one hour and 35 minute production.  Paul and his son Jim argued about their shared past. Paul is an unfulfilled attorney who wants to control every aspect of a situation and will not allow other people to share in making decisions. His son who is indignant and a little snobbish has come out of the closet.  He wants to move to New York to become an actor. Also there is Diane, a go-getting younger attorney in Paul’s firm who wants to go to bed with Paul.  Into this mix is Everett who is a straight young man from Jim’s school.  Jim has the “hots” for him but Everett is not buying it.   This drama is a moving contemplation on remembrance, anticipation and the challenge of moving on.  John Fisher’s dialogue shines in the confrontations between father and son and Jim and Everett.

Ben Calbrese (recent graduate of the Theatre Arts department of SFSU) gives a mesmeric performance of the prickly, cerebral and aggressive Jim. His speech projection is perfect. Raul Bencmo Jr. a graduate of Tulane University and playing his first professional role gives a good performance as Everett. John Fisher gives a strong presentation as the father while Maryssa Wanlass is excellent in the role of Diane.

“To Sleep and Dream” is a smart, intimate character drama playing  at Z Below , 470 Florida Street, San Francisco through October 6th. For tickets and information call 866-811-4111 or visit Coming up next for Theatre Rhinoceros is Stephen Sondheim’s “Road Show” opening on January 2 and running through January 19 at the Eureka Theatre.


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