Jean Schiffman

Megan Trout, left, and Celia Maurice appear in Shotgun Players’ production of “Vinegar Tom.”

Shotgun Players stage hypnotic ‘Vinegar Tom’

Caryl Churchill’s 17th century-set witch play is funny, musical, provocative

Megan Trout, left, and Celia Maurice appear in Shotgun Players’ production of “Vinegar Tom.”
‘Pride and Prejudice’ comes to TheatreWorks’ stage with music

‘Pride and Prejudice’ comes to TheatreWorks’ stage with music

But handsome production based on classic novel lacks Austen’s trademark tone

‘Pride and Prejudice’ comes to TheatreWorks’ stage with music
Sara Moore appears in “Atomic Clown” at Potrero Stage this week. (Courtesy Fernando Gambaroni)

‘Triptych of hell’ inspires ‘Atomic Clown’

Sara Moore details bad spell in funny semi-autobiographical play

Sara Moore appears in “Atomic Clown” at Potrero Stage this week. (Courtesy Fernando Gambaroni)
From left, Molly Shaiken, Olivia Levine, Jeunée Simon, Em Lee Reaves, Katie Rubin (replaced by Martha Brigham) and Erin Anderson appear in “The Daughters.” (Courtesy Jessica Palopoli)

‘Daughters’ a light look at SF’s lesbians through decades

Patricia Cotter’s premiere tackles complex issues with humor

From left, Molly Shaiken, Olivia Levine, Jeunée Simon, Em Lee Reaves, Katie Rubin (replaced by Martha Brigham) and Erin Anderson appear in “The Daughters.” (Courtesy Jessica Palopoli)
Will Dao and Rinabeth Apostol appear in Magic Theatre’s production of “The Chinese Lady.” (Courtesy Jennifer Reiley)

Magic Theatre’s ‘Lady’ fascinates

Lloyd Suh premiere details journey of first Chinese woman in U.S.

Will Dao and Rinabeth Apostol appear in Magic Theatre’s production of “The Chinese Lady.” (Courtesy Jennifer Reiley)
Michael Ray Wisely, left, and L. Peter Callender are excellent in African-American Shakespeare Company’s “Othello.” (Courtesy Lance Huntley)

Lead actors light up African-American Shakes’ ‘Othello’

Modern-dress version of tragedy is engrossing, electrifying

Michael Ray Wisely, left, and L. Peter Callender are excellent in African-American Shakespeare Company’s “Othello.” (Courtesy Lance Huntley)
From left, Dan Wheetman, Tony Marcus, Chic Street Man, Valisia LeKae and Rondrell McCormick sing up a storm in “Mark Twain’s River of Song” in Mountain View. (Courtesy Kevin Berne)

Tunes flow freely in ‘Mark Twain’s River of Song’

But TheatreWorks show could add focus on great writer’s words

From left, Dan Wheetman, Tony Marcus, Chic Street Man, Valisia LeKae and Rondrell McCormick sing up a storm in “Mark Twain’s River of Song” in Mountain View. (Courtesy Kevin Berne)
From left, Chris Herbie Holland, Therese Barbato, Aimé Donna Kelly and Nick Dillenburg appear in Berkeley Repertory Theatre’s “White Noise.” (Courtesy Alessandra Mello/Berkeley Repertory Theatre)

Effects of racism play out in ‘White Noise’

Berkeley Rep stages local premiere of Suzan-Lori Parks’ latest

From left, Chris Herbie Holland, Therese Barbato, Aimé Donna Kelly and Nick Dillenburg appear in Berkeley Repertory Theatre’s “White Noise.” (Courtesy Alessandra Mello/Berkeley Repertory Theatre)
From left, Rosie Hallett, Summer Brown, Michelle Beck, Monica Lin and Julia McNeal appear in American Conservatory Theater’s funny and fierce “Top Girls.” (Courtesy Kevin Berne)

ACT stages top production of ‘Top Girls’

Caryl Churchill’s modern classic a strong season opener

From left, Rosie Hallett, Summer Brown, Michelle Beck, Monica Lin and Julia McNeal appear in American Conservatory Theater’s funny and fierce “Top Girls.” (Courtesy Kevin Berne)
Stacy Ross and Phil Wong are excellent in Cutting Ball Theater’s world premiere of Megan Cohen’s “Free For All.” (Courtesy Ben Krantz)

Cutting Ball reimagines ‘Miss Julie’ with panache

‘Free For All’ cleverly updates Strindberg classsic

Stacy Ross and Phil Wong are excellent in Cutting Ball Theater’s world premiere of Megan Cohen’s “Free For All.” (Courtesy Ben Krantz)
Ryan Hill and Deborah Eliezer appear in foolsFURY’s “Dionysus Was Such a Nice Man.” (Courtesy Ben Yalom)

Zany antics spoil ‘Dionysus Was Such a Nice Man’

foolsFURY show unsuccessfully mixes comedy and tragedy

Ryan Hill and Deborah Eliezer appear in foolsFURY’s “Dionysus Was Such a Nice Man.” (Courtesy Ben Yalom)
Rey Lucas and Liz Sklar are excellent in California Shakespeare Theater’s “Macbeth.” (Courtesy Kevin Berne)

Actors take charge in Cal Shakes’ ‘Macbeth’

Tragedy boasts strong ensemble, innovative set design

Rey Lucas and Liz Sklar are excellent in California Shakespeare Theater’s “Macbeth.” (Courtesy Kevin Berne)
‘Rime of the Ancient Mariner’ a vivid, cautionary tale

‘Rime of the Ancient Mariner’ a vivid, cautionary tale

Word for Word brings Coleridge’s epic poem to life

‘Rime of the Ancient Mariner’ a vivid, cautionary tale
Jo Mei plays Hanako, a teen who kidnapped, in “The Great Wave” at Berkeley Rep. (Courtesy Kevin Berne/Berkeley Repertory Theatre)

Tension missing in Berkeley Rep’s ‘Great Wave’

U.S. premiere of political drama falls flat

Jo Mei plays Hanako, a teen who kidnapped, in “The Great Wave” at Berkeley Rep. (Courtesy Kevin Berne/Berkeley Repertory Theatre)
Leigh Rondon-Davis, left, and Christell Lewis appear in Crowded Fire Theater’s production of “Inked Baby.” (Courtesy Cheshire Isaacs)

Disparate stories don’t connect in ‘Inked Baby’

Crowded Fire production could go deeper

Leigh Rondon-Davis, left, and Christell Lewis appear in Crowded Fire Theater’s production of “Inked Baby.” (Courtesy Cheshire Isaacs)
From left, Anne Yumi Kobori, Michael Barrett Austin and Regina Morones appear in the Free Shakespeare in the Park 2019 production of “As You Like It.” (Courtesy John Western)

SF Shakes stages tuneful ‘As You Like It’

Final shows of free summer season come to The City

From left, Anne Yumi Kobori, Michael Barrett Austin and Regina Morones appear in the Free Shakespeare in the Park 2019 production of “As You Like It.” (Courtesy John Western)
From left, Cassidy Brown, Ron Campbell, Annie Abrams and Lance Gardner dazzle in TheatreWorks Silicon Valley’s “The 39 Steps.” (Courtesy Kevin Berne)

Slapstick heaven in TheatreWorks’ ‘39 Steps’

Quartet of actors awe in fast-paced comedy

From left, Cassidy Brown, Ron Campbell, Annie Abrams and Lance Gardner dazzle in TheatreWorks Silicon Valley’s “The 39 Steps.” (Courtesy Kevin Berne)
Emma Van Lare, left, and Sango Tajima appear in California Shakespeare Theater’s “House of Joy.” (Courtesy Kevin Berne)

‘House of Joy’ a rich fairy tale set in imperial India

Madhuri Shekar tells complex story in Cal Shakes premiere

Emma Van Lare, left, and Sango Tajima appear in California Shakespeare Theater’s “House of Joy.” (Courtesy Kevin Berne)
“The Play That Goes Wrong,” a riotous slapstick comedy, is onstage in a short run at the Golden Gate Theatre. (Courtesy Jeremy Daniel)

‘Play That Goes Wrong’ downright hilarious

Actors, crew display talent, bravery

“The Play That Goes Wrong,” a riotous slapstick comedy, is onstage in a short run at the Golden Gate Theatre. (Courtesy Jeremy Daniel)
Martha Brigham, left, and Lauren English are excellent in Just Theater’s “Cry It Out” onstage at Custom Made Theater. (Courtesy Jay Yamada)

‘Cry It Out’ addresses new mother work-life balance

Molly Smith Metzler’s humorous play could dig deeper

Martha Brigham, left, and Lauren English are excellent in Just Theater’s “Cry It Out” onstage at Custom Made Theater. (Courtesy Jay Yamada)