THEATRE NEWS FOR SAN FRANCISCO BAY WEEK OF August 13
THEATRE NEWS FOR THE SAN FRANCISCO BAY AREA
BARBECUE by Robert O’Hara Directed by Margo HallSeptember 26 to November 11, 2017Tues, Wed, Thurs 7pm / Fri, Sat 8pm / Sat 3pm, Sun 2pmPreview Performances: September 26-29 at 8pm
) – San Francisco Playhouse (Bill English, Artistic Director; Susi Damilano, Producing Director) opens its fifteenth season with the Bay Area premiere of Barbecue by Robert O’Hara. In an unusual artistic feat, Margo Hall will direct and also act in the play.
The hard-partying, foul-mouthed O’Mallery family is staging an intervention for their drug-addicted sister, Barbara. With a plan inspired by reality TV, they have disguised their meeting as a family barbecue in the park—but soon it’s the whole family’s problems that are in the spotlight. Barbecue overturns our presumptions about race, poverty, and the American family in uproarious and incisive fashion. Written by Obie and Helen Hayes Award winner Robert O’Hara, this Barbecue serves up a healthy helping of sibling love and loathing.
“We are thrilled to present the Bay Area premiere of Barbecue, bringing Robert O’Hara’s distinctive voice to our theatre,” said Playhouse Artistic Director Bill English with the announcement. “O’Hara poses essential questions about race in America in a profound and hilarious way that will make us question our own subtle prejudices and give us a new perspective on the chasms in society.”
The cast of Barbecue features Jenny Brick, Edris Cooper, Susi Damilano*, Anne Darragh*, Margo Hall*, Halili Knox*, Kehinde Koyejo*, Adrian Roberts*, Teri Whipple, and Clive Worsley.
San Francisco Playhouse’s production of Barbecue is made possible by Executive Producer William J. Gregory, Producers Fred, Beth, & Leslie Karren; the Muir Family; and Arne and Gail Wagner, as well as Associate Producers Linda Brewer; Harry & Kay Rabin; Loni & Bob Dantzler; Margaret Sheehan; and Valerie Barth.
THEATREWORKS SILICON VALLEY GATHERSPLAYWRIGHTS AND COMPOSERS FOR 16TH ANNUAL NEW WORKS FESTIVAL August 11 – 20, 2017Lucie Stern Theatre, Palo Alto
Continuing its commitment to developing new works, TheatreWorks Silicon Valley will gather playwrights and composers from across the nation for its 2017 New Works Festival at Palo Alto’s Lucie Stern Theatre, where the public can attend performances, participate in a panel discussion with the artists, and share in the journey of developing new works for the American theatre. TheatreWorks Silicon Valley’s Director of New Works Giovanna Sardelli has announced a stellar line-up which includes staged readings of two musicals, three plays, and other special events. Among the musical highlights for 2017: the Tony Award-nominated Come From Away composers are coming to Palo Alto to rework their Fringe hit musical, and local audiences will get a sneak peek of a penetrating new work about the original bad girl group The Shangri-Las. Plays include outside/inside looks at Hollywood, an airline disaster, and a modern Faust. The popular festival runs August 11 – 20, 2017 at the Lucie Stern Theatre, 1305 Middlefield Rd., Palo Alto. Festival passes ($65 general/$49 season subscribers) and single event tickets ($20) can be purchased online at theatreworks.org or by calling (650) 463-1960.
TheatreWorks’ 16th Annual New Works Festival once again offers audiences an extraordinary opportunity to experience new musicals and plays in their early stages of development. Presented this year are two musicals: My Mother’s Lesbian Jewish Wiccan Wedding, a comic love story about a mother and the woman who changed her life by recent Tony-nominees (Come From Away) Irene Sankoff and David Hein; and Past, Present, Future: The Shangri-Las by David Stenn, a musical journey of the ground-breaking 1960s tough girl group and their mysterious end. Audiences will also see three play including: 3 Farids by Ramiz Monsef, a rollicking Hollywood comedy that rockets from casting calls to movie shoots to gala openings as three Arab-American actors combat the type-casting of Tinseltown; Tiny Houses by Stephanie Zadravec, a dramatic look at the deeply personal impacts of the downing of Malaysian Airlines Flight MH-17; and Deal with the Dragon, a darkly camp comedy with a Faustian twist by actor/author Kevin Rolston. Other events include a keynote address from famed clown and Cirque du Soleil star Jeff Raz, a bold late-night sketch event inspired by real-life internet interactions, and an open rehearsal of a new play in progress. For two busy weeks in August, patrons can applaud, debate, and help shape new works, and interact directly with the writers at a Meet the Artists Panel.
The Festival line-up is as follows:
READINGS OF MUSICALS:
PAST, PRESENT, FUTURE: THE SHANGRI-LAS Featuring the songs of the Shangri-Las By David Stenn8/13 @ 7pm • 8/17 @ 8pm • 8/20 @ 7pm
Composed of two sets of sisters, groundbreaking 1960s “bad girl” group The Shangri-Las charted the heartbreak of teenhood. After gigs with the Beatles and the Stones, their mysterious end is solved for the first time in this American musical journey.
David Stenn’s (Book) television credits span from Hill Street Blues to Boardwalk Empire. He is the author of two biographies, Clara Bow: Runnin’ Wild and Bombshell: The Life and Death of Jean Harlow, both edited by Jacqueline Onassis. His documentary Girl 27 exposed Hollywood’s best-suppressed scandal. Past, Present, Future is his first theatre piece.
MY MOTHER’S LESBIAN JEWISH WICCAN WEDDING Book and Music by David Hein and Irene Sankoff Directed by David Leon Lowenstein 8/12 @ 8pm • 8/16 @ 8pm • 8/19 @ 8pm
From the acclaimed, Tony-nominated authors of Broadway hit Come from Away, this comic and touching love story is based on Hein’s mother’s true story and is a musical valentine to a woman who changed everything in her life, and her family along with it.
READINGS OF PLAYS:
DEAL WITH THE DRAGON
Written and Performed by Kevin Rolston Developed with and Directed by M. Graham Smith 8/13 @ 3pm • 8/19 @ 12pm
A Faust for now, this modern look at the bargains that people strike to survive is both a grown-up fairy tale laced with terror and a darkly camp comedy. Wittily blending and subverting a coming-out story, ancient fable, and sordid confessional, it is a big-themed and sophisticated solo show for mature audiences. Last year’s workshop production at A.C.T.’s Costume Shop was hailed by KQED Arts as, “Sly, shocking, and won’t let you go. Gave me more after-the-fact pleasure than any other play this year.”
TINY HOUSES By Stephanie Zadravec Directed by Giovanna Sardelli 8/15 @ 8pm • 8/19 @ 4pm
This breakthrough play for our times starts with the Malaysian Airlines Flight MH-17 shot down over Ukraine in July 2014. Set in the days and weeks that followed, in tiny houses around the globe, this intriguing, tense, often funny drama explores the lives touched—and changed—by one of the defining events of our times. Contains mature language.
3 FARIDS By Ramiz Monsef Directed by Pirronne Yousefzadeh 8/18 @ 7:30pm • 8/20 @ 3pm
From comic casting calls to explosive movie shoots and glittering opening nights, Hollywood’s clueless mystique confronts a trio of Arab American actors trying to surmount the stereotypes of Tinsel Town. Bold physical comedy highlights this journey to the hilarious but intractable City of Angels. Contains mature language.
African-American Shakespeare Company’s 2017-18 Season to Explore Reality Versus Show
Following the most well attended season in the company’s history, AASC will expand back to 4 productions this season, beginning with A Midsummer Night’s Dream (fittingly for San Francisco, coming in mid-September when the city’s weather is at its warmest and most benevolent) set in the twin-island country of Tobago and Trinidad during Carnival at Taube Atrium; their holiday classic, Cinderella at the Herbst; A Streetcar Named Desire at Marine’s Memorial; Richard III at Taube Atrium in July
A Midsummer Night’s Dream: September 16-October 1; Cinderella: December 22-24;
A Streetcar Named Desire: March 4-18; Richard the III: July 14-29
– The African-American Shakespeare Company is proud to announce its 23rd season of producing theater in San Francisco. The theme of the season is officially being called Reality/SHOW, with each play presenting a variation on the question, “What is real and what isn’t?”
“One of the things I love most about the theater,” says Artistic Director L. Peter Callender, “is how adept in can be in pursuing notions of what is real and what is just show, and often, the interdependence of the two. From the magic, mayhem, and confusion in Midsummer’s forest and Cinderella’s dream of beauty and splendor and romance, to Blanche DuBois’ mystifying tales of love lost and family disappointments and Richard’s bending of the two elements in pursuit of his own, ultimately tragic gain, what we have is a season that in an essential way reflects the time we are in. What is reality? What is show?”
A Midsummer Night’s Dream September 16 – October 1stTaube Atrium (401 Van Ness Avenue) Director: Sherri Young
This ambitious production, complete with lovers, Amazon women, and mystical fairies takes one of Shakespeare’s most beloved plays and sets it in the twin island nation of Trinidad & Tobago during Carnival. “A Midsummer Night’s Dream has always been my personal Shakespeare favorite,” says Sherri Young, Executive Director of the company who is directing the production. “This will be a culturally vibrant production that incorporates elements that soar with the richness of Shakespeare’s language while entwining it with the cultural rhythms of the West Indies.”
This production is also a personal homage by Young to Artistic Director L. Peter Callender. “Many people think of Mr. Callender as this stern and intense Shakespearean actor. What many people don’t see is the man behind the image: funny, lively, vibrant, full of energy, and extremely creative. Almost each character in the production is an extension of Peter’s personality, especially Bottom. This Midsummer Night’s Dream is my gift to Mr. Callender who has made magic for our company for all these years.”
Cinderella December 22nd – 24th Herbst Theatre (401 Van Ness Avenue) Director: Sherri Young
All the laughter and impish joy of 2016’s first ever Herbst production of the company’s long-running tradition returns this holiday season. Since initially delighting audiences 23 years ago, new additions and flourishes have been added over the years to the story about a lowly scullery maid, who while thanklessly toiling away, gets the opportunity to pursue her dreams. In this case, abetted by an extremely sassy and opinionated fairy godmother along with a pair of particularly life-changing shoes.
A Streetcar Named Desire March 4th – March 18thMarines Memorial Theatre (609 Sutter Street)Director: L. Peter Callender
A struggle for power is at the heart of this dynamic Pultizer Prize winning and critically acclaimed play by Tennessee Williams. A Streetcar Named Desire reveals the depth of a volatile relationship between Stanley and Stella Kowalski. Gas is poured on the flame of that relationship when Stella’s sister, Blanche du Bois, arrives on their doorstep, fleeing from reality caused by her romantic illusions.
“The questions asked in 1947 when Streetcar premiered on Broadway may be asked today,” says Callender, “but in different ways. Though we are a different people in a different world, we are still intrigued, inspired and incensed by what goes on in the world. I want audiences to come to the theater but leave their preconceived notions at the door. All so that they may encounter Stella and Stanley, Blanche and Mitch, and Steve and Eunice as new friends worth getting to know, in this iconic play filled with truly unforgettable characters.”
Richard III July 14th – July 29th Taube Atrium (401 Van Ness Avenue) Director: Kristen Brandt
Starring AASC Artistic Director L. Peter Callender as the unapologetic king you love to hate, this exploration in masterful manipulation is one of Shakespeare’s most profound commentaries on power, family, and the right to rule. Richard III explores the Machiavellian rise of power of one of Shakespeare’s most fascinating and complex anti-heroes. In this story King Edward sits on the throne ending the decades-long War of the Roses, but his youngest brother Richard has his eyes on the crown. Fueled by an entitled lust for power and villainous panache, Richard’s path to glory is marked by seduction, murder, and betrayal. His darkly comedic ambition is no match for friends, family or enemies as he careens his way to the top.
“If a story about masterful manipulation, pursuit of power, family and the right to rule sounds eerily familiar and topical, you would be correct,” says L. Peter Callender. “From Shakespeare to The Sopranos, it’s a subject that is always looking for ways to be resurrected, reframed, and retold.”
About the African-American Shakespeare Company
The award-winning African-American Shakespeare Company (AASC) was established in 1994 by professional theater artists from the American Conservatory Theatre as an alternative answer to the “Color Blind Casting” initiative that began in the early 90s. While this initiative temporarily changed the diversity on stage, African-American Shakespeare Company noticed color blind casting was ignoring these artists’ rich cultural heritage and not making the most of their dynamic, cultural vibrancy that actors of color could bring to classical works. Moreover, “mainstream” classical theaters seem to lack the ability to truly attract diverse audiences. African-American Shakespeare Company inspired to highlight artist of color’s dynamic cultural vibrancy within classical productions.
The Summer is ½ gone and that means that the SF Mime Troupe’s summer season is ½ over.
Final upcoming Bay Area performances for WALLS are:
Glen Park Sat., Aug. 12 – 2:00 pm (Music 1:30) Chenery & Elk Sts., San Francisco 94131 Ticket Info: FREE (donation)
Washington Square Park – San Francisco, CA Sun., Aug. 13 – 2:00 pm (Music 1:30) Columbus & Union Sts., San Francisco, 94133 Ticket Info: FREE (donation)
Mill Valley Community Center, on the Back Lawn – Marin County, CA Thurs., Aug. 24 – 7:00 pm (Music 6:30)180 Camino Alto (at East Blithedale), Mill Valley 94941 Ticket Info: FREE (donation)
Willard Park – Berkeley, CA Sat., Aug. 26 – 2:00 pm (Music 1:30) Sun., Aug. 27 – 2:00 pm (Music 1:30)Hillegass Ave. & Derby St., Berkeley 94705 Ticket Info: FREE (donation)
Bayview Opera House – San Francisco, CA Thurs., Aug. 31 – 7:00 pm (Music 6:30) 4705 3rd St. (at Oakdale St.), San Francisco 94124 Tix Info: FREE ($20 suggested donation) RSVP: eventbrite.com
San Francisco Closing Weekend Peacock Meadow in Golden Gate Park – San Francisco, CASat., Sept. 2 – 2:00 pm (Music 1:30)240 JFK Drive & Peacock Meadow, San Francisco 94117 Ticket Info: FREE (donation)(Btw’n Panhandle and Conservatory of Flowers)
Dolores Park – San Francisco, CA Sun., Sept. 3 – 2:00 pm (Music 1:30) Mon., Sept 4 – 2:00 pm (Music 1:30) (Labor Day) 19th & Dolores Sts., San Francisco 94110 Ticket Info: FREE (donation)
2017 JAZZ EXPERIENCE AT THE LESHER CENTER CONTINUES THROUGH AUGUST
— This summer may be breaking heat records, but things are staying chill in the East Bay, where cool jazz is on tap at the Jazz Experience at the Lesher Center, presented by the Diablo Regional Arts Association. This phenomenal summer series, concluding its sixth season, offers jazz fans two opportunities to see each acclaimed artist, with shows at 5pm and 8pm. The festival continues August 12 with the unique sound of French-Dominican jazz vocalist Cyrille Aimée, concentrating on elements of Latin American, American, and Brazilian jazz. The Jamaican-born, American jazz circuit-trained pianist Monty Alexander will continue the series August 19, and vibraphonist Warren Wolf will headline the closing concert on August 26. All concerts are performed in the intimate Margaret Lesher Theatre at the Lesher Center, 1601 Civic Dr, Walnut Creek. New subscriptions and tickets for single concerts are on sale now. Single tickets ($40) are available at lesherjazz.org or 925-943-7469.
Dragon Theatre Late Night Line Up – Eric Rubin in August and a Sneak Peek at the Rest of 2017
Beginning in the summer of 2017 Dragon Theatre will be open late on select Friday nights to showcase some up and coming local talents and help make downtown Redwood City the peninsula’s premiere destination for entertainment.
Admission for these shows is $17 in advance or $20 at the door and each ticket includes one beverage to enjoy during the show.
All shows are aged 21+. Doors open at 10-ish (if there’s a show beforehand it might be closer to 10:15p) and shows start at 10:30p.
This series is sponsored in part by the Redwood City Civic Cultural Commission.
We kicked off the series in July with “Michael Riley and Friends: A Night of Serious Comedy.” We’re following up this successful kick off with Michael’s opener, Eric Rubin. Eric is bringing his new show, The Troubadour’s Mustache: A One-Man Musical Comedy to downtown Redwood City in August. The show was written by Eric Rubin and was directed by Dan Griffiths.
Cue the music. A pouty Spanish troubadour needs, no DEMANDS, all of your attention. What follows is a fusion of looped sounds, beatbox, hip hop/freestyle, storytelling, improv, metal guitar riffs and Eric’s awkward bird-like dancing.
In 2014, Eric waved bye-bye to the bureaucratic monotony of Washington, DC and embarked on a journey that would become the GREATEST journey ever journeyed upon. He created deep pools of sweat in a Burmese monastery. He chased that experience with a heaping glass of hedonism at the Thai paradise “The Sanctuary,” where liver cleanses and acid tabs are consumed interchangeably. He fell for a Danish ice queen, an Austrian shamaness, and an especially cold bowl of coconut ice cream.
What happens when you unwind your personal narrative at 35? The voice of doubt, confusion, regret, and siren songs of lives we might have lived grow strong. Eric will strive to reassemble the puzzle pieces and slay the voices beneath the stage lights. Odd, yes. Strange, sure. Groundless, Maybe. Somehow universal? …I’ll get back to you…
“I don’t understand WHAT this is? What’s wrong with him? Is he ‘all there?'” -Concerned audience member.
HILLBARN THEATRE ANNOUNCES BRAVO! 2017,ITS LARGEST ANNUAL FUNDRAISING GALA IN SUPPORT OF BAY AREA COMMUNITY ARTS INITIATIVES
The evening will also honor Jayne Zaban, award-winning dancer, choreographer and long-time supporter of the arts in the Bay Area
▪ SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 16, 2017 ▪
–Today, Hillbarn Theatre’s Executive Artistic Director Dan Demers announced BRAVO! 2017—its largest annual fundraising gala in support of Hillbarn Theatre’s Mainstage and Conservatory programs, as well as its community arts initiatives throughout the Bay Area—taking place on Saturday, September 16, 2017. The evening will also honor award-wining dancer and choreographer Jayne Zaban with the 2017 BRAVO! Award for her tireless dedication and service to Hillbarn Theatre and the greater Bay Area arts community. Individual tickets are $125. To purchase tickets visit: https://goo.gl/stcyYf.
The celebratory evening begins at 6 p.m. with a cocktail and hors d’oeuvres reception and silent auction, followed by a special presentation for Jayne Zaban. Immediately after, guests will be treated to live entertainment by some of the Peninsula’s brightest talent and a live auction featuring one-of-a-kind items and experiences including a Golden State Warriors Package.
“We are excited to be honoring a wonderful individual like Jayne Zaban this year. She continues to be a pillar to the arts community here in the Bay Area. I can’t think of a more deserving person for this year’s BRAVO! Award,” says Hillbarn Theatre’s Executive Artistic Director Dan Demers. “Last year’s record-breaking gala brought in a remarkable $100,000 to support the theatre arts and youth conservatory classes Hillbarn Theatre provides to the Bay Area. We look forward to having another record-breaking event this year.”
Led by Co-Chairs Rosemary Rodd and Lisa WolfKlain, the host committee for BRAVO! 2017 includes Daniel Brown, Liz Buljan, Lynn Carteris, Craig Courtin, Saili Gosula, Paul Hockett, Brooke Knight, Linda Koelling, Jan Pickering, Paul Regan and Jeff Schneider.
The Arts Academy School of Classical Ballet to open at Lucky Penny Community Arts Center Kirsten Livingston brings 25 years of teaching to Napa Valley Open House sessions set for Aug. 26 and Sept. 2
(Napa CA) A new school of ballet will begin classes in September at the Lucky Penny Community Arts center in Napa. Kirsten Livingston, the creator of The Arts Academy School of Classical Ballet, will teach students of all ages and levels beginning September 5th.
Livingston was born and raised in Santa Cruz, California, where she began training with Santa Cruz Ballet Theater at a young age, and went on to dance as a soloist and principal dancer with the company. Over the course of her ballet career she trained and performed with the School of American Ballet, San Francisco Ballet, and Pacific Northwest Ballet. Since beginning her teaching career over 25 years ago, she has taught and choreographed at studios from Carmel and Santa Cruz to the San Francisco Bay area.
Open house sessions will take place at the Lucky Penny Community Arts Center from 10:00 a.m. to 12noon on Saturday August 26th and Saturday September 2nd, providing an opportunity to meet Kirsten and learn more about her approach to ballet instruction and development. Regular classes are scheduled to being September 5th.
Learn more about Kirsten and The Arts Academy School of Classical Ballet at www.theartsacademynapa.com or email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 408-309-8029.
The Lucky Penny Community Arts Center is located at 1758 Industrial Way, Suite 208, in Napa. More information about the company and the Arts Center can be found at www.luckypennynapa.com.
OREGON SHAKESPEARE NEWS
OSF presents 30th annual Daedalus Project HIV/AIDS benefit has raised over $1.7 million since 1988
Ashland, Ore.— The Oregon Shakespeare Festival invites the public to its 30th annual Daedalus Project, a benefit for HIV/AIDS organizations. The 2017 Daedalus Project, themed “On a Wing and a Prayer: Witnessing 30 Years,” includes a full day of fund-raising activities on Monday, Aug. 21, culminating in the Daedalus Play Reading of Cabaret and the Daedalus Variety Show, which are both likely to sell out.
Since the first Daedalus Project was organized by OSF actor and director James Edmondson in 1988, the event has raised over $1.7 million for local, regional, national and international HIV/AIDS organizations. In the last 30 years, the Daedalus Project has created a tradition of remembrance, celebration and collective action for OSF’s company, community and audience.
“It’s an honor to participate in 30 years of generous, talented theater makers collaborating to make change,” said OSF Community Producer Claudia Alick, who is directing and producing the Daedalus Variety Show. “This year’s celebration reaches back to the first Daedalus and looks forward to the future. We are thrilled to be a part of an event that helps so many.”
Daedalus Project activities begin at 11 a.m. with the Daedalus Bake Sale (in the Angus Bowmer Theatre), the Daedalus ‘Kids Care, Too” Lemonade Stand, Daedalus Info Faire (on the Bricks) and the Daedalus Arts and Treasures Sale (in the Thomas Theatre), which will include an “Oracle Table” hosted by actor Michele Mais. The Arts and Treasures Sale also features the final opportunity to bid on the always-popular Daedalus Bears, which are inspired by the season’s plays. The artists in the OSF Costume Shop have decided to retire this tradition after years of lovingly and painstakingly crafting the bears. There will be no Daedalus 5K this year.
Actor Sara Bruner will direct the Daedalus Play Reading of the musical Cabaret. The performance will take place at 2 p.m. on Aug. 21 in the Angus Bowmer Theatre. Tickets are $35 and are available online or by calling the OSF Box Office at 800-219-8161.
The Daedalus Variety Show, which always sells out the Allen Elizabethan Theatre, is the main event of every Daedalus Project. Produced and directed by Claudia Alick and emceed by actor Christiana Clark, the event will be sign-language interpreted. The Daedalus Variety Show begins at 7:30 p.m. on Aug. 21; tickets are $40-$45 and are available online or by calling the OSF Box Office.
Sales of the Daedalus t-shirt, designed by Amanda Denbeck and printed by Chris Wapniarski at Rogue Print Shop, will begin Tuesday, Aug. 15, in “the Bricks” courtyard. The sales table will be open from 3:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. daily through Aug. 21.
The annual Daedalus Project is made possible by the passion and generosity of OSF company members, our patrons and our local community. Among those contributing their time and talents this year are Doreen O’Skea, Susan Whitmore, Ted Deasy, Amanda Haverick, Laurena Mullins, Marc Friedman, Alice Ly, Michele Mais, Tamra Mathias, Tasia Simon, Betsy Krausnick, Nancy Rodriguez, Elijah Goodfriend, Noah Goodfriend, Yi Shostrom, Brooklyn Williams, Spencer Claus, Emily Ota, Kate Ashworth, Tomi Douglas, Annie Paul, Laura Coe, Carol Kimball, Cassondra Fetty, Jessica Carr and Benajah Cobb.
OSF artistic associate James Edmondson had the original idea for an HIV/AIDS fundraiser 30 years ago. OSF Artistic Director Emeritus Jerry Turner named the event the Daedalus Project after the story of Daedalus from Greek mythology. Daedalus and his son, Icarus, were imprisoned in a labyrinth by King Minos, and by crafting wings from wax and feathers, Daedalus created a way out of the maze.
OSF invites and welcomes everyone, and believes the inclusion of diverse people, ideas, cultures and traditions enriches both our insights into the work we present on stage and our relationships with each other. OSF is committed to equity and diversity in all areas of our work and in our audiences.