To Helen Back

Euripides, like many ancient Greeks, regarded passionate love as a form of insanity. So he might not seem like the most fitting playwright around whom to center your Valentine’s Day date. But his Helen, which gets a staged reading tonight by SF Theater Pub, is perhaps the only play from the era that’s tender and sweet (as opposed to scatological or eviscerating). In the play, Menelaus learns that the woman he thought was his wife, Helen of Troy, is only a phantom. Now confronted with the real deal, can he accept her and rebuild their marriage? SF Theater Pub, whose motto is “Make it good, keep it casual, have a beer,” has been staging readings and full productions in the Nob Hill bar Cafe Royale since 2010. It casts professionals and amateurs in shows including Greek classics, original works, and modern-day works such as Jesus Christ Superstar. For director and co-founder Stuart Bousel, the company fills San Francisco’s need for “a common stomping ground for the theater community, a place where audience and actors can mix much more freely -- and all get drunk together.”
Tue., Feb. 14, 8 p.m., 2012

 
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