Howdy, strangers - Page 2

FALL ARTS PREVIEW: UK-based Action Hero collaborates with local artists on 'Stranger in a Strange Land' — plus more upcoming theater

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From Action Hero's "Frontman"

Chinglish The new comedy about East-West miscommunication from David Henry Hwang (M. Butterfly) has already been to Hong Kong but rebounds to the West Coast courtesy of Berkeley Rep. Aug. 24–Oct. 7; www.berkeleyrep.org

San Francisco Fringe Festival It's a phoenix, really, rising each September like a sassy, gangling, 41–headed bird of play. Sept. 5–16; www.sffringe.org

Invasion! Crowded Fire delivers its own politically pointed comedy of miscommunication and cultural misconceptions in its West Coast premiere of Jonas Hassen Khemiri's 2011 Obie-winner. Sept. 6–29; crowdedfire.dreamhosters.com

Geezer and The Real Americans The Hoyle boys — veteran clown and physical actor Geoff Hoyle and bounding son Dan, a theater sensation in his own right — return to the Marsh for re-runs of their respective, wildly popular solo shows. The Real Americans: Sept. 7–29; Geezer: Oct. 6–Nov. 18; www.themarsh.org

The Normal Heart Larry Kramer's 1985 play returns (in the new Broadway revival directed by George C. Wolfe) at a time when the history of the AIDS crisis has become endangered by a vague "normalizing" narrative of American progress, or what Sara Schulman aptly calls "the gentrification of the mind." Here's an opportunity to remember lots of things, not least those who died and fought, a great play, a vital movement, a continuing health emergency, and the importance of mass resistance. Sept. 13–Oct. 7, www.act-sf.org

Roughin' It 2: Theater. Oysters. Campfire. Booze. Again. Fresh from sold-out success with Duck Lake, PianoFight heads back up to Point Reyes for a second season of woozy waddling, shucking and jiving along the shore of Tamales Bay, featuring everything in the subtitle including brand new short plays harvested from a bed of delicious local playwrights. Sept. 15 and 22; www.pianofight.com

Assassins Shotgun Players mount the Sondheim musical about presidential recalls made and attempted from John Wilkes Booth onward, an election-year favorite directed by Susannah Martin. Sept. 26–Oct. 28; www.shotgunplayers.org

Rhinoceros Paris-based Theatre de la Ville's production of the Ionesco play — a modernist classic on individual resistance to tyrannical conformity — is a remounting of the company's acclaimed 2004 production, making its first US tour. Sept. 27–28, www.calperformances.org

Acid Test: The Many Incarnations of Ram Dass "Be Here Now" all over again in Lynne Kaufman's new play — not so much a theatrical return as a serious flashback — starring the exceptional Warren David Keith as the titular giant of 1960s counterculture, a Harvard prof turned LSD advocate and spiritual teacher. Oct. 4–Nov. 24, www.themarsh.org  

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