Theater

Age against the Machine

Geoff Hoyle's Geezer lives!

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arts@sfbg.com

THEATER Death-defying acts of autobiography enliven the main stage at the Marsh this week in Geoff Hoyle's unadorned yet dazzling new solo show. Developed with director David Ford — and one of the very best things to come from the Marsh's fertile performance breeding grounds all year if not longer — Geezer takes a serpentine course through the accomplished career of the longtime Bay Area actor and physical comedian to confront the challenges, epiphanies, and qualified, but nonetheless quality, opportunities of aging and mortality.Read more »

Found in translation

From ancient Greek to modern French, Bay Area theatre explores the possibilities of translation

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Those who know nothing of foreign languages know nothing of their own.

— GoetheRead more »

Harmonic canons

Schick Machine hits the right notes, while Lady Grey is upstaged

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THEATER A gorgeous clutter of instruments fills the stage at Z Space/Theater Artaud this week, and audiences, after an eye- and earful of Schick Machine, are invited to go up and play them, too. A musical background is unnecessary: Nothing on stage likely resembles anything you grew up practicing, and anyway all that's called for is a little rhythm. The show itself gives you a healthy dose, amid a wonderfully designed, gently madcap, almost cosmological musing on the nature and origins of rhythm as well as our yearning embrace of it (and vice versa).Read more »

Mother courage

Lynn Nottage's Ruined finds life amid atrocity in the Congo

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arts@sfbg.com

STAGE As outrage mounts at the vicious repression of civilians in Libya, Lynn Nottage's 2009 Pulitzer Prize-winning play Ruined reminds us of the ongoing crimes against humanity — in particular the strategic use of sexual violence against women — carried out routinely for years in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The devastating civil war that began there in 1998 continues today as one of the most destructive on the planet, having taken well more than 5 million lives.Read more »

The shakes

Sharp and entertaining, Collapse pulls back from the brink of subversion

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THEATER When your free-form sister (Amy Resnick) arrives from Los Angeles with a yoga mat, but without a job, a place to go, a return ticket, or a care in the world—except for an unopened package some guy named Bulldog asked her to hand off when she got to Minneapolis — it's unsettling. What's even shakier, though, is such a visit combined with a marriage teetering on the brink, a job or two in the balance, and a worldwide economic depression. It's then that foundations critically loosen, supports buckle, things suddenly fall apart. Read more »

Normal love

Two stars of Tony hit Next to Normal sound off on musical theater's future

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arts@sfbg.com

THEATER Despite widespread critical acclaim, three Tony Awards, and a Pulitzer Prize, Next to Normal is something of a tough sell.

"It's a story about a bipolar mother and how her family deals with her disease," Curt Hansen explains, "and how it affects the kids, and how they also contribute to the disease."

Hansen plays Gabe, the seemingly perfect son of afflicted mother Diana. As one of Next to Normal's seven characters — performed by only six actors — Hansen has a pivotal role in the show. Read more »

Classic 'Rock'

Daniel Heath and Ken Flagg combine restorations in the glorious Man of Rock

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arts@sfbg,com

THEATER Only the barbarity of these dark dumb days could make someone nostalgic for the Reagan era. A simpler time? Not for most — hairstylists maybe least of all. But in The Man of Rock, New Jersey in 1986 appears mercifully devoid of economic mayhem, quasi-fascist politics, or the doom-shrouded future they portend, which is probably why this lively new music-blasted comedy can rock so well. Heavy metal, yes; heavy going, no.Read more »

More than child's play

What's the matter with the grimly fiendish stage treatment of Coraline?

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Heavenly landing

Cynthia Hopkins traverses time and space — and the extremes of success and failure — to reach the sublime

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arts@sfbg.com

THEATER A rare sighting the weekend of Nov. 18-20 at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts: Cynthia Hopkins, as intergalactic space pilot Ruom Yes Noremac, a post-human "Druoc" in a floppy silver space suit hovering high above the stage of the Novellus Theatre, returning from the far distant future ... to do what? "Save the earth, of course."Read more »

East Bay studs

Machismo? It's complicated in David Cale's Palomino and Impact's The Play About the Naked Guy

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Kieran McGrath, a carefree 32-year-old Irishman living in New York City, would like to be a writer someday. In the meantime, he has a temporary job subbing for a friend as a carriage driver in Central Park. Its fortuitous, because the material for his first book will conveniently climb into the back of his palomino-drawn carriage in the form of an upscale pimp named Marsha and the series of rich and lonely Manhattan women she represents.Read more »