Based on True Events

Using a sensational kidnapping case as its source material, June in a Box recalls events we'd just as soon forget.

According to the playwright, "any resemblance to real persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental."
Sharif Abu-Hamdeh
According to the playwright, "any resemblance to real persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental."

Details

Original songs by Beth Custer. Through March 31. Tickets are $10-$25; call 626-3311 or visit www.theintersection.org.
Intersection for the Arts, 446 Valencia (at 15th St.), S.F.

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Like The Ballad of Pancho and Lucy, Solis' last collaboration with Custer at Intersection for the Arts, June exploits the blurred line between fact and fiction. Featuring memorable songs, careening comedy, and rich layers of metaphor, June struggles to compete with Ballad's momentum and wit. The subdued, internalized quality of June ultimately creates an ironic effect on the audience. The gulf Solis constructs between historical events and the transformative power of legend demonstrates the crucial roles played by art and the imagination in making world events resonate with us long after they've been brushed aside. But our inability to truly connect with the action in a visceral way makes me wonder how long the production will stay in my mind. Solis even goes as far as to "refute" the newspaper headlines in his one short program note, an official-sounding legal disclaimer describing the play "a work of fiction ... not intended to depict true historical events. Any resemblance to real persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental." This seemingly tongue-in-cheek statement plays clever games with already-confused notions about the existence of empirical truth, but it's also highly alienating. Like a tree falling in a faraway forest, the evening I spent in the company of Solis, Custer, and their compadres may soon vanish into some dark corner of my memory to the point where I wonder if I experienced the production at all.

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