Stage

Collage boys

In Zona by 2boys.tv, life is a multilayered, dark queer cabaret
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As we enter the intoxicatingly rich world of Zona, we encounter a deceptively simple melodrama. It unfolds in shadow play on a gold-hued screen fronting a kind of rectangular tent at the back of the stage. We see the silhouette of a mother cradling her newborn infant, swaddled in a blanket, as an old recording of an Italian operatic duet comes seeping through. The woman sets the baby down and briefly retires from the scene, giving opportunity to a snarling beast which promptly swoops in and snatches up the child. Read more »

Pennies from heaven

Kirk Read's Southern gay evangelical fantasy pays off
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Growing up gay in a military family of evangelical Christians in the Reagan-era South sounds like a tight squeeze for anyone. But as Kirk Read affirms, however claustrophobic one's environment, there's always room for a good fantasy. Besides, Read likes tight squeezes. Read more »

Aerobiqueen

Adorable "That Girl" Edie shimmies, sings, and spices up the drag genre
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PREVIEW There ought to be a name for the ecstatic genre of drag where the drag queen whirls and twirls more than she lipsynchs, points, or occasionally stalks across the stage. I'm thinking of when the svelte Varla Jean Merman swings from the rafters or any number of Southern man-belles ringading-ding a song home in a whirlwind of wig-tossing backflips. Acrotranny? Choreodrag? Whatever it is, the fabulously kinetic Edie has made it her own. Read more »

"Getting in on the Ground Floor and Staying There"

A local female comedy duo who combine a powerful sexual magnetism with down-in-the-dirt, clit-tickling humor
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PREVIEW I read those articles in Vanity Fair blathering on about a woman's ability to be funny. First, Christopher Hitchens says women can be witty, but since they issue children, ours is a dignified, cerebral kind of humor. Unless we're fat or gay. Then along comes Alessandra Stanley's article, which fixates on how all the new funny ladies are smokin' hot, and if you're not, you won't ever get on MTV, or something. Read more »

Between two worlds and then some

Ishi: The Last of the Yahi traces history real and imagined
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There have been books, documentaries, feature films, and more than one play about Ishi, the last "wild" California Indian who emerged from the hills of northern California in 1911 and became friend and subject of renowned Berkeley anthropologist Alfred Kroeber and his colleagues. Read more »

Campaign pain?

SF Mime Troupe takes no election-year guff in Red State
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November's presidential election already looms on the horizon like a herpes outbreak, promising nothing so much as a painful, shame-filled denouement to a drunken and ill-conceived flirtation with someone you thought you knew. So it's refreshing that the San Francisco Mime Troupe's seasonal offering of free, rabble-rousing political theater is an election-year special in which the opposing candidates from the two monopolizing parties are conspicuously absent. Read more »

"Top of the Structure Is Not Empty"

Dozens of edgy choreographers ascend
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PREVIEW The Garage is the kind of tiny, funky, out-of-the-way theater we all thought wouldn't be able to survive the dealings of cutthroat real estate moguls. Fortunately choreographer and arts entrepreneur Joe Landini failed to buy into the pessimism. In 2003 he founded SAFEhouse (Save Art From Extinction) and last year moved his operations into a former garage at 975 Howard Street, a block still industrial enough to have available parking at night. Read more »

Domestic unrest

Visiting artists home-invade through dance, with varying results
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Survival often depends on one's ability to scurry around. Dancers and smaller-scale presenters must use their wits if they want to show their audiences more than homegrown fare. For the most part, the process at SCUBA — a presenters' network that shares companies out of Seattle, Minneapolis, Philadelphia, and San Francisco — works. Sometimes, however, there is a glitch. Read more »

Beyond belief

The Queer issue: The Busy World Is Hushed questions love, family, and faith
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THE QUEER ISSUE Aurora Theater takes on — reportedly — its first gay-themed work with a West Coast premiere of Keith Bunin's almost-too-smart The Busy World Is Hushed, a play that ultimately has as much to do with questions of Christian faith and the mixed blessing/burden of family as with sexual orientation. Read more »

Rare, medium, and well-done

The Queer Issue: 2008's Fresh Meat festival served up transgendered food for thought
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When Sean Dorsey started the Fresh Meat Festival in 2001, transgendered artists were sequestered inside the alternative club scene. With this new event, Dorsey threw the doors wide open. While transgender and queer performances still have a special attraction for their constituencies, the festival's need to move to Theater Artaud, its largest venue yet, proves its broader appeal.

This year's presentations ranged far and wide, and so did the quality. Read more »