Theater

From left, Champagne Hughes, Kimberly Ridgeway and Don Wood appear in “The Human Ounce. (Courtesy Jim Norrena)

‘Human Ounce’ engagingly explores art and responsibility

‘The Supers’ packed with clowning and chaos

From left, Champagne Hughes, Kimberly Ridgeway and Don Wood appear in “The Human Ounce. (Courtesy Jim Norrena)
Scott Shepherd (foreground) and Elevator Repair Service bring “The Great Gatsby” to life in “Gatz.” (Courtesy Ian Douglas)

Fitzgerald classic springs to life in ‘Gatz’ at Berkeley Rep

‘Born in East Berlin’ explores pivotal Springsteen concert

Scott Shepherd (foreground) and Elevator Repair Service bring “The Great Gatsby” to life in “Gatz.” (Courtesy Ian Douglas)
The underwater world of “The SpongeBob Musical,” onstage at the Golden Gate Theatre, is a colorful place. (Courtesy Jeremy Daniel)

Soak up some fun at ‘The SpongeBob Musical’

Cartoon comes to life onstage with great cast, design, tunes

The underwater world of “The SpongeBob Musical,” onstage at the Golden Gate Theatre, is a colorful place. (Courtesy Jeremy Daniel)
From left, Desiree Rogers, Juanita Harris and Zoe Hodge appear in “The Trial of One Short-Sighted Black Woman vs. Mammy Louise and Safreeta Mae.” (Courtesy Lance Huntley)

Contemporary satire puts black female stereotypes on trial

Comedy brings to light back stories of Mammy, Jezebel characters

From left, Desiree Rogers, Juanita Harris and Zoe Hodge appear in “The Trial of One Short-Sighted Black Woman vs. Mammy Louise and Safreeta Mae.” (Courtesy Lance Huntley)
From left, James Carpenter, Anne Darragh and Julie Eccles appear in “The Children” at Aurora Theatre Company. (Courtesy Kevin Berne).

Senior scientists reunite post-nuclear disaster in ‘The Children’

Aurora stages West Coast premiere of Lucy Kirkwood’s drama about love and responsibility

From left, James Carpenter, Anne Darragh and Julie Eccles appear in “The Children” at Aurora Theatre Company. (Courtesy Kevin Berne).
From left, Kina Kantor, Susi Damilano, Jomar Tagatac and Mark Anderson Phillips appear in San Francisco Playhouse’s “Tiny Beautiful Things.” (Courtesy Jessica Palopoli)

Strayed’s advice works better on page than stage

Clever staging lifts SF Playhouse’s ‘Tiny Beautiful Things’

From left, Kina Kantor, Susi Damilano, Jomar Tagatac and Mark Anderson Phillips appear in San Francisco Playhouse’s “Tiny Beautiful Things.” (Courtesy Jessica Palopoli)
Kathryn Smith-McGlynn and Tony Hale appear in American Conservatory Theater’s production of Will Eno’s “Wakey, Wakey.” (Courtesy Kevin Berne)

‘Wakey’ a touching meditation on the meaning of life

Tony Hale charms in ACT production of Will Eno’s almost one-person show

Kathryn Smith-McGlynn and Tony Hale appear in American Conservatory Theater’s production of Will Eno’s “Wakey, Wakey.” (Courtesy Kevin Berne)
From left, Malcolm Rodgers, Hilary Hesse, Matt Weimer and Karen Offereins appear in Custom Made Theatre’s “How To Transcend a Happy Marriage.” (Courtesy Jay Yamada)

Strong casts, puzzling plays from Custom Made, Cutting Ball

‘How to Transcend a Happy Marriage,’ ‘Ways to Leave a Body’ prompt lots of questions

From left, Malcolm Rodgers, Hilary Hesse, Matt Weimer and Karen Offereins appear in Custom Made Theatre’s “How To Transcend a Happy Marriage.” (Courtesy Jay Yamada)
Edie Flores, left, and Carla Gallardo appear in Word for Word’s “Retablos,” based on playwright-director Octavio Solis’ memoir. (Courtesy Lorenzo Fernandez-Kopec)

Winter 2020 Arts Preview: Theater

Bay Area stages offer musicals, dramas, solo shows, local premieres and bigtime stars, too

Edie Flores, left, and Carla Gallardo appear in Word for Word’s “Retablos,” based on playwright-director Octavio Solis’ memoir. (Courtesy Lorenzo Fernandez-Kopec)
Justin Katz, left, and Mike Gaines originated The Edwardian Ball, running Jan. 24-25 at the Regency Ballroom. (Courtesy Marco Sanchez)

Edwardian Ball welcomes guests of all stripes

At 20 years, epoch bash is wild, warm and welcoming

Justin Katz, left, and Mike Gaines originated The Edwardian Ball, running Jan. 24-25 at the Regency Ballroom. (Courtesy Marco Sanchez)
Kate Robards’ solo show “PolySHAMory” runs at The Marsh through Feb. 8. (Courtesy Joan Marcus)

Open marriage goes wrong in funny ‘PolySHAMory’

Yet Kate Robards’ teasing show looks at complex issues slightly

Kate Robards’ solo show “PolySHAMory” runs at The Marsh through Feb. 8. (Courtesy Joan Marcus)
“Beach Blanket Babylon” — with its trademark San Francisco hat — celebrated with its final performance after 45 years on New Year’s Eve. (Ming Vong/S.F. Examiner)
“Beach Blanket Babylon” — with its trademark San Francisco hat — celebrated with its final performance after 45 years on New Year’s Eve. (Ming Vong/S.F. Examiner)
(L-R) Pristine Condition, Marshall Olds, Miss Bobby, Danny Isley, Link Martin. San Francisco, 1971 (Courtesy Fayette Hauser)

Fifty years later, the Cockettes are still kicking

Stage show celebrates legacy of ‘androgynous freaks’ ‘stickin’ it to the man’

(L-R) Pristine Condition, Marshall Olds, Miss Bobby, Danny Isley, Link Martin. San Francisco, 1971 (Courtesy Fayette Hauser)
Pamela Reed, center, plays the title character in Berkeley Repertory Theatre’s premiere of Sarah Ruhl’s “Becky Nurse of Salem.” (Courtesy Kevin Berne/Berkeley Repertory Theatre)

‘Becky Nurse of Salem’ takes on too many issues

Playwright Sarah Ruhl’s heavy handed in Berkeley Rep premiere

Pamela Reed, center, plays the title character in Berkeley Repertory Theatre’s premiere of Sarah Ruhl’s “Becky Nurse of Salem.” (Courtesy Kevin Berne/Berkeley Repertory Theatre)
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
Kim Epifano appears in “Rock & Mortar” at Z Space. (Courtesy Robbie Sweeny)

‘Rock & Mortar’ takes audiences on a journey through memory

Epiphany Dance Theater’s performance art piece transcends time

Kim Epifano appears in “Rock & Mortar” at Z Space. (Courtesy Robbie Sweeny)
From left, Alex Hairston (Disco Donna), Dan’yelle Williamson (Diva Donna) and Olivia Elease Hardy (Duckling Donna) sing up a storm in “Summer” at the Golden Gate Theatre. (Courtesy Matthew Murphy for Murphymade)

‘Summer’ turns up the old victrola

Disco queen’s hits sound great in shallow jukebox musical

From left, Alex Hairston (Disco Donna), Dan’yelle Williamson (Diva Donna) and Olivia Elease Hardy (Duckling Donna) sing up a storm in “Summer” at the Golden Gate Theatre. (Courtesy Matthew Murphy for Murphymade)
American Conservatory Theater is staging its popular production of “A Christmas Carol” for the 43rd year. (Courtesy Kevin Berne)

Holiday Theater 2019: ‘Christmas Carol’ and more

Classics, musicals, fairy tales and drag queens take to the stage for the season

American Conservatory Theater is staging its popular production of “A Christmas Carol” for the 43rd year. (Courtesy Kevin Berne)
In the San Francisco production of “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child,” John Skelley as Harry (second from right) and loved ones Hermione (Yanna McIntosh), Rose (Folami Williams), Ron (David Abeles), Lily (Natalie Adele Schroeder), James (William Bednar-Carter), Ginny (Angela Reed) and Albus (Benjamin Papac) gather at the train station. (Courtesy Matthew Murphy)

Eighth Harry Potter tale takes to the stage quite well

Special effects, tender story magically meld in hit show at the Curran

In the San Francisco production of “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child,” John Skelley as Harry (second from right) and loved ones Hermione (Yanna McIntosh), Rose (Folami Williams), Ron (David Abeles), Lily (Natalie Adele Schroeder), James (William Bednar-Carter), Ginny (Angela Reed) and Albus (Benjamin Papac) gather at the train station. (Courtesy Matthew Murphy)