Based on two successful comedy albums of the 1960s, “When You’re In Love, The Whole World Is Jewish” promises nostalgic dollops of good-natured, goyim-friendly guilt and guffaws at the Marines’ Memorial Theater this weekend.
The original album, “You Don’t Have To Be Jewish,” featured soon-to-be classic schtick by a cast that included Lou Jacobi, Jack Gilford and Arlene Golonka. “When You’re In Love” was the sequel and featured a young Valerie Harper filling in for Golonka. Read More
It was a tough opening night for the cast of “Talk Radio” at Actors Theatre of San Francisco. Anyone unfamiliar with Eric Bogosian’s acerbic play might not have known that lead actor Christian Phillips was valiantly trying to correct a technical glitch of the radio station set at the beginning of the show.
With expert, seamless ad-libs, Phillips, in radio talk-show host mode, asked for a sound engineer and gamely tried to keep things going before finally breaking that fourth wall and stopping the show for a few minutes. Read More
Sutton Foster, who officially opens the new Feinstein’s at the Nikko nightclub today, is a charming contradiction to the George Bernard Shaw maxim, “Those who can, do. Those who can’t, teach.”
Foster clearly can do. She racked up five Tony nominations in the past decade — for all but one of her past six Broadway gigs — and won twice, for “Thoroughly Modern Millie” and “Anything Goes.” Read More
As if Jason Graae isn’t busy enough in “Little Me,” he’s taking two of his nights off to perform in a concert of Frank Loesser tunes with 42nd Street Moon company members and Tony nominee Emily Skinner (“Side Show”), who is making her San Francisco debut. Read More
Those not familiar with “Little Me,” the final show in 42nd Street Moon’s current season, could be surprised to discover that the title character is a lady named Belle Poitrine who, much like Lorelei Lee, comes from “the other side of the tracks” in search of a little fame, a lotta fortune and, of course, true love.
It’s an irony not lost on Los Angeles-based actor Jason Graae, who headlines the revival of the Cy Coleman-Carolyn Leigh musical opening Saturday; it originally starred Sid Caesar in 1962 and was revived in 1999 with Martin Short. Read More
Like its undocumented protagonist struggling to find a place in the city of strangers, “Stuck Elevator,” a world premiere at American Conservatory Theater, resists easy categorization.
It is musical, but not really “a musical.” It is occasionally operatic, more than just a song cycle, and yet not wholly any of the above.
On the surface, it is 81 hours in the life of Guang, an undocumented Chinese immigrant who is trapped in the titular device. Read More
If the big-box jukebox musicals leave you full but unsatisfied, you might want to try the creative and tuneful sampler “Show Me Yours” at the Alcove Theater.
Subtitled “Songs of Innocence & Experience,” the focus of this collection is original works by Pen and Piano, the Alcove’s resident company of composers, lyricists and hyphenates of the New Musical Theater of San Francisco.While the subject matter — vagaries of romantic relationships — is hardly new and not every song is a winner, the approach is frequently fresh and engagingly played. Read More
Start with the wit of Oscar Wilde, blend in an Austin Powers palette and an effervescent musical score and you get “Being Earnest,” the exuberant new musical making its world premiere at TheatreWorks in Mountain View.
When “The Importance of Being Earnest” premiered in 1895, London’s The Times reported, “The story is almost too preposterous to go without music.” Read More
We all have issues, and New York writer-director Ben Rimalower deals with his creatively in “Patti Issues,” his autobiographical show framed by diva worship.
His “Patti” is Patti LuPone, who has said, “I don’t know if I was a conduit for him, but it has less to do with me than with how Ben came into himself, given the stuff he had to deal with as a kid.”
The “Issues” revolve around how Rimalower’s childhood changed when his father came out as gay and exited the family, and how Rimalower worked though his own sexual identity in the wake of those events. Read More
The first track of Patti LuPone’s new album, “Far Away Places,” is called “Gypsy in My Soul,” and the Broadway star, who opens this week at Live at the Rrazz, has lived the role in both upper- and lower-case versions.
Norma Desmond, Reno Sweeney and Eva Perón are all larger-than-life theater characters, and Elaine Paige, the diminutive queen of British musicals who makes her San Francisco cabaret debut at the Venetian Room on Friday, has played all three to great success.
A visit to the West End star’s fan-friendly website offers snapshots of the award-winning singer-actress with a wide range of celebrities including a comical juxtaposition of Paige with another recent Bay Area Cabaret guest, the 6-foot-plus Tommy Tune. Read More
You can call him a theater composer, a writer of art songs, or an originator of operas. It’s all the same to Ricky Ian Gordon, who is visiting San Francisco for the West Coast premiere of “Green Sneakers” at Fort Mason on Tuesday.
“I don’t really see them as different,” says Gordon, who grew up listening to Kurt Weill, Gian Carlo Menotti and Marc Blitzstein. Read More
It’s been said that it’s good to be king. Film and television star Bruce Campbell will demonstrate just how good Saturday when SF Sketchfest presents “Hail to the King, Baby” at the Castro Theatre.
The combination screening, onstage interview and meet-and-greet schmoozefest is the next in a long line of fan events for Campbell, spurred by the long-standing cult success of the film franchise that includes “The Evil Dead” (1981), “Evil Dead II” (1987) and — to be screened at the event — “Army of Darkness” (1992).
He knows the drill. Read More
If you only know “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof” from the toothless but highly watchable film starring Elizabeth Taylor and Paul Newman, then get thee to the African-American Shakespeare Company for a thoroughly engaging, if slightly uneven, take on the work. Read More
Unquestionably one of the most influential playwrights of the 20th century, the late Harold Pinter almost inevitably invokes the word “dark” as an adjective for his plays. On Monday at the Herbst Theatre, stage and screen actor Julian Sands seeks to expose other facets of the complex Nobel Prize-winning author, actor and director.
“There is a light, bright, entertaining side of Pinter which inevitably comes to the fore if you make the effort to present a rounded portrait of him, his sensibility and his work,” Sands says.
He speaks from firsthand knowledge. Read More