THE TOP TEN DRAMAS, COMEDIES, MUSICALS + TOP TEN ACTRESSES IN DRAMA & MUSICALS.
THE TOP TEN REGIONAL DRAMAS & COMEDIES
STUPID FUCKING BIRD—SAN FRANCISCO PLAYHOUSE—A brilliant production based on Chekhov’s “The Seagull”. It lifts it intoa modern play-within-a –play through current feeling and scene after scene of mockingly uproarious conversations from modern theatre to the nature of attraction between old men and women.
ONE MAN, TWO GUVNORS—BERKELEY REP—This was one funny play. I nearly laugh my tuchis off watching the antics of Don Donahue.
CHOIR BOY—MARIN THEATRE—They closed the season with a superb production of Tarell Alvin McCraney’s powerful play. It featured seven brilliant actors.
LOVE AND INFORMATION—AMERICAN CONSERVATORY THEATRE—For 90 minutes I was spellbound by Carly Churchill’s play. This was company of very fine actors presenting over 50 scene lets, most of which involved two characters.
GLENGARRY GLEN ROSS—SHELTON THEATRE—This small company presented an outstanding production of the David Mamet’s drama with fine acting. It was a perfect cast of male performers.
RICHARD III—MARIN SHAKESPEARE—This is my favorite Shakespeare play and this was a magnificent production of the Bard’s play.
A STREETCAR NAMED DESIRE—ROLE PLAYERS ENSEMBLE
I had seen oh so many productions of this Tennessee Williams play including Marlo Brando on the stage and also working on the film at Warner Brothers with Marlo, I thought I had seen it all. This production was fantastic. I thought I was seeing it for the first time, it was that good.
FOR THE LOVE OF COMRADS—NEW CONSERVATORY THEATRE CENTER—This was an enthralling two hour production with a splendid cast and perceptive direction. The cast was outstanding in this production of the Irish play.
AH WILDERNESS—AMERICAN CONSERVATORY THEATER.—A wonderful dreamlike production. I love this O’Neill play and this company was perfect.
STAGE KISS—SAN FRANCISCO PLAYHOUSE—This is one of the funniest plays I have seen this year. Even if you don’t know about backstage machinations I am sure you will enjoy it. It had a superb cast delightfully directed by Susi Damilano.
MOLIERE’S TARTUFFE—BERKELEY REP—a more serious and frightening version of Moliere’s classic. A fast pace two hour and twenty minute farce. Director Dominique Sarrand brought an abundance of magnificent energetic acting on the part of the cast
MIRANDOLINA! MISTRESS OF A TUSCAN INN—CENTER REP OF WALNUT CREEK—Center Rep managed an extraordinary feat with a new. Very siliver-tongued translation with some of the company finest actors
FIFTH OF JULY—AURORA THEATRE COMPANY—I had seen this play several times in the past and this was an outstanding version of Lanford Wilson’s play Director Tom Ross assembled a brilliant cast of fine actors to present this play.
MOUNT MISERY—CUSTOM BALL THEATRE— Andrew Saito’s play was an intriguing history drama about Donald Rumsfeld. Beautifully acted
DON QUIXOTE—MARIN SHAKESPEARE COMPANY—This is a brilliant new version of the Man from La Mancha. It’s lighthearted and funny
THE TOP TEN REGIONAL MUSICALS
A beautiful production of Leonard Bernstein work. This was John Caird’s version which was darker than the American version and more articulate that the original New York production.
GRAY GARDENS—CUSTOM MADE—A marvelous production. It was a bold and very imaginative musical.
A LITTLE NIGHT MUSIC—AMERICAN CONSERVATORY THEATRE—This marked the fifth time I had seen this musical seeing the original and London production. Director Mark Lamos had an incrediable cast from New York joining the locals to fill the roles.
THE ADDAMS FAMILY—SAN JOSE STAGE—A wackily entertaining musical. A wonderful cast who were spot on in their characters
ANYTHING GOES—CENTER REP OF WALNUT CREEK Cole Porter would have been proud of this production. It was as good as the productions I have seen in New York and London. Cast was perfect with top flight singers singing the Cole Porter songs.
COMPANY—SAN FRANCISCO PLAYHOUSE—Director Susi Damilano assembled an outstanding cast of 15 actors and singers to present this first class production of the Sondheim musical.
TRIANGLE—THEATRE WORKS—It was a wonderful world premiere musical that was a mixture of opulent, chamber sounds from the early 1900’s and a contemporary sound from today’s world. This was a beautiful production that should have a life of its own with a top flight New York and Los Angeles cast.
DOGFIGHT—SAN FRANCISCO PLAYHOUSE—a moving, stimulating and wonderful all rolled up in one terrific musical. The score was harmonious and engaging.
SAIL AWAY—42nd Street Moon—This was a very professional Noel Coward musical that I originally saw on Broadway. Wonderful music.
SCROOGE IN LOVE—42nd Street Moon—A world premiere and was a delightful and charismatic
THE CABLE CAR NYMPHONIAC—FOGG THEATRE
The new musical was really not a “camp musical” but more on the order of “Next to Normal”. It took a hard hard and hilarious look a gender roles. Tony Asaro’s excellent score reminded me of William Fin or Tim Kitt.
HOME STREET HOME—a new rock musical by Fat Mike that premiere here at Z Space. The musical was remincent of <i>Rent</i> and </i>Spring Awakining</i>
NICK AND NORA—42ND STREET MOON—Greg MacKellan really went on a limb to present this rarely seen musical that failed on Broadway. He did assemble a damn fine cast and it was fun to watch this musical.
MAX UNDERSTOOD—PAUL DRESHER EMSEMBLE—A new musical by Nancy Carlin and Michael Rasbury .It a striking production about a fifth grader boy with autism
WHERE’S CHARLIE—42ND STREET MOON—director Dyan McBride assembled a top notch cast to present this charming musical.
HEATHER THE MUSICAL—RAY OF LIGHT—The company presented the first regional musical production after its Off Broadway run. It was a swinging affair with an outstanding cast of young singers.
TOMFOOLERY—LANDMARK MUSICAL THEATRE—rarely performed today but Jon Rosen’s little group of singer/players sung a vigorous dose of 30 songs senseless songs.
THE BARBARY COAST REVUE—BALANCOIRE CLUB—I was pleasantly surprise by this wonderful group who gave a 90 minute history of San Francisco. The songs were parodies of songs created by Bay Area artists
AMEILIE, A NEW MUSICAL—BERKELEY REP—one of the most charming musicals I have seen this year. It had an enjoyable score of light airy music one would find in a Disney film sung by a very talented cast.
FOODIES—SHELTON THEATRE—this little group of four brilliant singers has been a San Francisco entertaining landmark for three years. It’s beautifully paced, bouncing and a tuneful musical that reminded me of those Billy Barnes musical revues that I would see when working in Hollywood
LIZZIE—RAY OF LIGHT—Rocking good musical featuring four women who front the six piece rock band,
THE ADDAMS FAMILY—PALO ALTO PLAYERS—an excellent production of the Andrew Lippa musical that I first saw.
MOMENTS OF TRUTH—3GIRLS THEATRE COMPANY—this charming little chamber musical by Caroline Altman was a gem. The direction was spot on and the four member cast was excellent.
THE LIGHT IN THE PIAZZA—SPRECKLES THEATRE COMPANY—this was gorgeous production of the Adam Guettel’s musical
EMMA THE MUSICAL—THEATREWORKS—I saw Paul Gordon’s musical a second time and I enjoyed it more since it has been tighten a bit to make it more delightful musical It reminded me of a Richard Rodger score
HOW TO SUCCEED BUSINESS WITHOUT TRYING—BAM—a very energetic music by this new young groupl
THE TOP TEN REGIONAL ACTRESSES IN
COMEDY & DRAMA
(In order of their productions)
MARIA LEIGH—LATE; A COWBOY SONG—CUSTOM MADE THEATRE—she radiated kindness, defenselessness and eccentricity all at the same time as Mary
CATHLEEN RIDDLEY—TREE—SAN FRANCISCO PLAYHOUSE.-She gave a brava performance as Mrs. Price in the San Francisco Playhouse production of Julie Herbert’s <i>Tree</i>. Her portrayal of the character’s dementia induced both shock and sympathy
CARRIE PAFF—STUPID FUCKING BIRD—SAN FRANCISCO PLAYHOUSE—She played the role of the stage and screen star Emma. She was superb in the role of a majestic and self-center actress.
REBECCA DINES —FALLEN ANGELS—THEATREWORKS—. Rebecca dazzling in the role who seemed happy in her marriage.
SARAH OVERMAN—FALLEN ANGELS—THEATREWORKS—She gave a brilliant over the top performance as woman who had settled into a dull marriage.
KIMBERLY KING—THE COUNTRY HOUSE—THEATREWORKS—She gave a wonderful performance as the ageing Broadway actress Anna. She skillfully maintains a balance between an unfaltering and strong character and a woman heartbroken from the loss of her youth
MELANIE DUPUY—STREETCAR NAMED DESIRE—ROLE PLAYERS ENSEMBLE— a wonderful compelling performance as Blanche DeBois. She captured the fragile spirit of the character
DESIREE ROGER—THE KID THING—NEW CONSERVATORY THEATRE CENTER—She was outstanding as Darcy and her tour de force of acting at the end when she reveals the real reason for resistance was powerful.
MONICA HO—IN LOVE AND WARCRAFT—CUSTOM MADE THEATRE COMPANY—She gave an engaging performance as Evie. Her wonderful, expressive face revealed Evie’s longings, pages and susceptibilities.
CARRIE PAFF—STAGE KISS—she was terrific as the actress. It is hard for this talented actress to become the world’s worst actress in both play-within-a-play.
There were many excellent actresses in production but they were too numerous to mention.
THE TOP TEN ACTRESSES IN REGIONAL
RINABETH APOSTOL—THE CABLE CAR NYMPHONMANIC—FOGG THEATRE—she was outstanding as Gloria. She sometimes looked like Marilyn Monroe in the musical. She had mellifluous vocal cords when singing.
BRITTANY DANIELLE—NICK AND NORA—42ND STREET MOON—Brittany was a worthy successor of Myrna Loy in the original “Thin Man Series”. She had great vocal cords in her song.
HEATHER ORTH—GREY GARDENS—CUSTOM MADE THEATRE Heather gives a flawless performance in the dual role of Edith in the first act and Little Edie in the second act
MARY GIBBONEY —GREY GARDENS—CUSTOM MADE-.—Mary gives a brilliant performance as Edith in the second act. Stooped over, you swear she was an 80 year old woman.
ALLISON F RICH—THE ADDAMS FAMILY—SAN JOSE STAGE. She was outstanding in the role of Mortica. In fact she was Mortica. Also outstanding a Mimi in “Sail Away” at 42nd Street Moon. She made the role her own with her powerful singing chops.
MOLLY BELL—ANYTHING GOES—CENTER REP OF WALNUT CREEK—She was sensational as Reno Sweeney. She made the role her own with her blithe, jazzy original phrasing.
SAMANTHA BARK—AMELIE—BERKELEY REP—She was very charismatic in the role and her sweet vocal cords were beautiful to hear.
JENNIFER MITCHELL—LIGHT IN THE PIAZZA—SPRECKLES THEATRE COMPANY—-She was captivating with her radiant soprano voice as Clara.
LIANNE MARIE DOBBS—EMMA THE MUSICAL—THEATREWORKS— she was enchanting as Emma. Her vocal cords were untainted and iridescent in her songs.
CHLOE CONDON—HOW TO SUCCEED BUSINESS WITHOUT REALLY TRYING—BAM—-She gave depth to the role of Rosemary and she had strong vocal cords in her renditions of the songs.