Magic Theatre

A family from the Philippines living in San Francisco is the subject of Magic Theatre’s premiere “The Gangster of Love.”  (Courtesy Jennifer Reiley)

Epic immigrant story loses focus in Magic’s ‘Gangster of Love’

The most interesting character in “The Gangster of Love,” Jessica Hagedorn’s Magic…

 

Weightless, a world-premiere rock opera by The Kilbanes (Bay Area couple Kate Kilbane and Dan Moses) , opens at Z Space in February. [Courtesy Emily Sevin)

Winter 2018 Arts Preview: Theater

The theater season serves up major tours, offbeat experiments, musicals, comedy and…

 

Julia McNeal is excellent in the first play of Magic Theatre’s premiere “The Eva Trilogy.” (Courtesy Jennifer Reiley)

Solo performance illuminates Magic’s ‘Eva Trilogy’

“Eden,” the beautiful, poetic first play in Barbara Hammond’s “The Eva Trilogy,”…

 

Sam Shepard, pictured at the Cannes Film Festival in 2005, made his name writing and acting, on stage and the big screen.(Courtesy Hahn-Nebinger-Klein/Abaca Press/TNS)

Remembering Sam Shepard, man of the West

Literary, theater and film folks are mourning the death of the great…

Sam Shepard, pictured at the Cannes Film Festival in 2005, made his name writing and acting, on stage and the big screen.(Courtesy Hahn-Nebinger-Klein/Abaca Press/TNS)
From left, Carl Lumbly, Safiya Fredericks and Rafael Jordan star in the premiere of Han Ong’s “Grandeur.” (Courtesy Jennifer Riley)

Magic Theatre’s ‘Grandeur’ considers fame and failure

One man sits in the center of a darkened apartment. Another struggles…

From left, Carl Lumbly, Safiya Fredericks and Rafael Jordan star in the premiere of Han Ong’s “Grandeur.” (Courtesy Jennifer Riley)
From left, Patrick Alparone, Lauren English and Greg Jackson appear in Magic Theatre’s “The Baltimore Waltz.” (Courtesy Jennifer Reiley)

‘Baltimore Waltz’ gets a little too wacky

Play endings are notoriously hard to write. But in director Jonathan Moscone’s…

From left, Patrick Alparone, Lauren English and Greg Jackson appear in Magic Theatre’s “The Baltimore Waltz.” (Courtesy Jennifer Reiley)
Andrew Pastides and Jessi Campbell are excellent in Magic Theatre’s “Fool for Love.” (Courtesy Jennifer Reiley)

Magic starts golden season with searing Shepard

“I don’t love you. I don’t need you. I don’t want you,”…

Andrew Pastides and Jessi Campbell are excellent in Magic Theatre’s “Fool for Love.” (Courtesy Jennifer Reiley)
Richard Montoya appears in “Nogales” at Magic Theatre. (Courtesy Jennifer Reiley)

Magic Theatre’s ‘Nogales’ takes on border town issues

Richard Montoya, of the iconic Los Angeles-based performance group Culture Clash, is…

Richard Montoya appears in “Nogales” at Magic Theatre. (Courtesy Jennifer Reiley)
Christine Jamlig plays a woman who finds her father (Ogie Zulueta) dead in Magic Theatre’s “Dogeaters.” (Courtesy Jennifer Reiley)

Marcos era doesn’t come into focus in ‘Dogeaters’

Enough happens in Jessica Hagedorn’s 1998 drama “Dogeaters,” now in a revised…

Christine Jamlig plays a woman who finds her father (Ogie Zulueta) dead in Magic Theatre’s “Dogeaters.” (Courtesy Jennifer Reiley)
Sarah Nina Hayon, left, and Lisa Anne Porter are excellent in Magic Theatre’s “Bright Half Life.” (Courtesy Jennifer Reiley)

Poignant, funny ‘Bright Half Life’

New York playwright Tanya Barfield’s “Bright Half Life,” now in a Magic…

Sarah Nina Hayon, left, and Lisa Anne Porter are excellent in Magic Theatre’s “Bright Half Life.” (Courtesy Jennifer Reiley)
Katharine Chin, left, and Jessi Campbell appear in Magic Theatre’s engaging production of “Fred’s Diner.“ (Courtesy Jennifer Reiley)

Denizens of ‘Fred’s Diner’ are wonderfully human

In “Fred’s Diner,” each of the three women working long hours in…

Katharine Chin, left, and Jessi Campbell appear in Magic Theatre’s engaging production of “Fred’s Diner.“ (Courtesy Jennifer Reiley)
COURTESY JENNIFER REILEYSean San Jose

Magic Theatre’s ‘Golden’ trilogy gets off to intriguing start

“Jesus lives here!” shouts a hyped-up, sweating Pastor Elias, delivering a sermon…

COURTESY JENNIFER REILEYSean San Jose
COURTESY JENNIFER REILEYFrom left

Family dynamics take original twist in ‘Sister Play’

The two thirtysomething sisters in John Kolvenbach’s new two-act play, “Sister Play”–…

COURTESY JENNIFER REILEYFrom left
COURTESY JENNIFER REILEYSean San Jose is excellent as a volatile man in a volatile family in Magic Theatre's production of Sam Shepard's "A Lie of the Mind."

Magic stages Sam Shepard’s ‘Lie’ with gusto

There’s a quiet, tender moment toward the end of Sam Shepard’s wounded-family…

COURTESY JENNIFER REILEYSean San Jose is excellent as a volatile man in a volatile family in Magic Theatre's production of Sam Shepard's "A Lie of the Mind."
COURTESY MAGIC THEATREMagic Theatre’s production of “And I and Silence” features

Magic Theatre’s ‘Silence’ succumbs to melodrama

The foreboding title “And I and Silence” hints at the dark nature…

COURTESY MAGIC THEATREMagic Theatre’s production of “And I and Silence” features
COURTESY MAGIC THEATREFrom left

Magic Theatre’s ‘Bad Jews’ a funny, biting family dramedy

Who exactly are the “Bad Jews” in Joshua Harmon’s dysfunctional-Jewish-family comedy-drama, a…

COURTESY MAGIC THEATREFrom left
COURTESY JENNIFER REILEYEddie Ray Jackson

Strong acting buoys Magic Theatre’s ‘pen/man/ship’

“I am a Negro man from an elite class!” proclaims the alcoholic,…

COURTESY JENNIFER REILEYEddie Ray Jackson
COURTESY JENNIFER REILEYMia Tagano and Rod Gnapp appear in Magic Theatre’s world premiere of “Every Five Minutes.”

‘Every Five Minutes’ intensely captures a man’s traumatic plight

In the world premiere of Scottish playwright Linda McLean’s uncompromising depiction of…

COURTESY JENNIFER REILEYMia Tagano and Rod Gnapp appear in Magic Theatre’s world premiere of “Every Five Minutes.”
COURTESY JENNIFER REILEYJax Jackson

‘Hir’ entertains with dysfunction

It felt like vintage Magic Theatre at the world premiere of “Hir,”…

COURTESY JENNIFER REILEYJax Jackson
Patrick Alparone (in air)

‘Buried Child’ kicks off Magic season with gusto

It’s odd to see a play at San Francisco’s venerable Magic Theatre…

Patrick Alparone (in air)