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  • Article

    Stage Capsules - Babes in Arms, Broken Glass, and Under Western Eyes

    Babes in Arms 42nd Street Moon's latest staged concert may have the best song score (by Rodgers & Hart) of any musical ever, yet it's considerably less famous than many of its numbers, which include "Where or When," "My Funny Valentine," and "The L...

    by Michael Scott Moore on December 8, 1999
  • Article

    Radio Days

    For a while there, in the '30s and '40s, radio plays were big. You sat beside an enormous piece of walnut furniture with electronic guts and listened to actors' voices create comedies, soap operas, and the occasional serious drama. Beckett wrote bril...

    by Michael Scott Moore on December 1, 1999
  • Article

    Stage Capsules

    Dream Boy It seems likely that before Eric Rosen wrote the script for Dream Boy, he jotted down a list of items that would give his play Southern Gothic appeal: Cemeteries, ghosts, religious zealots, murder, and abandoned plantations pop up like so...

    by Michael Scott Moore on December 1, 1999
  • Article

    Dueling Tyros

    Last week saw a pair of major West Coast premieres by a pair of novice playwrights. Spring Storm, written by Tennessee Williams when he was 26, came to faltering life in Marin; and The Beauty Queen of Leenane, written by Martin McDonagh and first pro...

    by Michael Scott Moore on November 24, 1999
  • Article

    Stage Capsules

    jaywalking On NPR a few years ago, Marga Gomez seemed personable and sly, but live in her latest piece she's unbelievably amateurish and stiff. She speaks in awkward chunks of words, separated by ill-timed pauses that chop up the natural flow of se...

    by Joe Mader on November 24, 1999
  • Article

    Game Theory

    Milan Kundera has a famous theory of the novel that imagines its history as an evolutionary tree, with important books like Ulysses at the cruxes of major branching trends, and other books, like Tristram Shandy, at the start of little half-grown twig...

    by Michael Scott Moore on November 17, 1999
  • Article

    Stage Capsules

    New Wrinkles Morris Bobrow, Rita Abrams, and former Chron theater critic Gerald Nachman's new comedy revue about middle age is well-staged, clever, and inoffensively entertaining. It's also unilluminating. Comedy canards that appeared in Erma Bombe...

    by Michael Scott Moore on November 17, 1999
  • Article

    Half a Loaf

    Hillary and Soon-Yi Shop for Ties sounds like an idea for a Saturday Night Live sketch, one that would be funny for only a few minutes, and, in fact, the play is written in the same wacky variety-show structure as SNL. Instead of a story, we get a st...

    by Michael Scott Moore on November 10, 1999
  • Article

    Stage Capsules

    Glory Box Tim Miller, who lost an NEA grant because of his work's gay themes, has manipulated that setback to great personal and political advantage. His latest piece examines the threat that his Australian lover, Alistair, might be deported, thus d...

    by Joe Mader on November 10, 1999
  • Article

    Greensboro: A Documentary

    On Nov. 3, 1979, a day before Iranians stormed the American Embassy in Tehran, a handful of communist anti-Klan protesters had just begun a march through Greensboro, N.C., when a little fleet of pickups full of Klansmen and neo-Nazis sped up from beh...

    by Michael Scott Moore on November 3, 1999
  • Article

    Stage Capsules

    Wrong Mountain David Hirson's post-postmodern comedy hinges on Henry Dennett (Ron Rifkin), a poet who believes lack of a readership proves his brilliance; poetry is the only true art, while theater is pornography, affirming rather than challenging t...

    by Joe Mader on November 3, 1999
  • Article

    Panning for Gold

    Indigo Blues has the plot of a good folk song, like "Long Black Veil" or "Big Joe and Phantom 309." It's about a saxophonist named Moses who shows up, suddenly, at the plushly furnished country home of two sisters, Muriel and Clara Boudreaux. Moses...

    by Michael Scott Moore on October 27, 1999
  • Article

    The Living and the Dead

    George F. Walker's reputation is vast in Canada. "His work has been honored with six Chalmers Awards, five DORA Awards, and two Governor General's awards" in English-language drama, according to his bio -- that's 13 awards -- and lately he's been...

    by Michael Scott Moore on October 20, 1999
  • Article

    Stage Capsules

    The Glass Menagerie Probably the last thing the world needs is another production of The Glass Menagerie. Yet the Aurora Theater Company manages to dust off (though not redeem) the clunky symbolism of the play with some great acting and intelligent ...

    by Joe Mader on October 20, 1999
  • Article

    The Crucifixion of Galilei

    A version of The Life of Galileo nine years ago, by the Berliner Ensemble in Germany, may stand as the best play I've ever seen. The Wall had fallen eight months before, and without any special help from the costume designer, or the set, or histrioni...

    by Michael Scott Moore on October 13, 1999
  • Article

    Stage Capsule

    John Fisher's new historical farce is about a band of socialist-minded Jewish students in Poland who think that escaping to Russia during World War II is a good idea. Caught between Nazis and Soviets in the Polish borderlands, armed with a couple of ...

    by Michael Scott Moore on October 13, 1999
  • Article

    Let No One Deceive You

    "More perhaps than any other theater in America," wrote the San Francisco Chronicle in 1899, "the Tivoli made opera a democratic entertainment." That quote comes from The Threepenny Opera's program notes, and it's pertinent because the set for this n...

    by Michael Scott Moore on October 6, 1999
  • Article

    Stage Capsule

    Amphibians Billy Roche's exploration of changing standards of manhood in small-town Ireland gets an affectionate, thoughtful rendering from director Cliff Mayotte and the DEO Ireland company, who successfully create a misty atmosphere of regret and ...

    by Joe Mader on October 6, 1999
  • Article

    Imports and Domestics

    In its first Bay Area visit in nearly a decade, Miami City Ballet gifted its audience with Jewels, a literally sparkling attraction among George Balanchine's many plotless dances. Against a simple black backdrop tattooed with a swirling constellati...

    by Heather Wisner on September 29, 1999
  • Article

    The Quiet Storm

    The current Cal Shakes production of The Tempest lays a heavy emphasis on Prospero's magic, and the director's taste in supernatural effects would embarrass Liberace. Otherwise it's a surprisingly good show. The surprise is in the acting: Comika Grif...

    by Michael Scott Moore on September 29, 1999
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Goodnight, Galleries: Evictions, Rising Rents, and Tech Are Changing the Way San Franciscans See Art Goodnight, Galleries: Evictions, Rising Rents, and Tech Are Changing the Way San Franciscans See Art

"We have gotten an eviction notice." The words come from Anthony Williams, the co-founder of the Meridian Gallery, with a matter-of-factness that says everything about the art gallery scene in downtown… More >>

Salvage at Last: Shotgun Players Arrives at Its Final Stoppard Frontier Salvage at Last: Shotgun Players Arrives at Its Final Stoppard Frontier

Art and politics are bedfellows in Shotgun Player's presentation of Salvage, the third play in Tom Stoppard's Tony Award-winning trilogy, The Coast of Utopia. Brave in scope, anchored by the… More >>

Deal or No Deal?: Some Rescues Just Aren't Worth It Deal or No Deal?: Some Rescues Just Aren't Worth It

"Wow, what a douchebag." After I had said this for about the fifth time watching The Profit, CNBC's "save my small business" show, I realized that the way to succeed in… More >>

Authentically Yours: Feminist Porn Gets Political Authentically Yours: Feminist Porn Gets Political

Earlier this month, I walked into the dungeon of a Toronto sex club where a leather swing hung in the center of the room, suspended by chains. I ran my… More >>

She-Wolf: Bay Area Native and Comedian Chelsea Peretti Talks Oakland vs. San Francisco She-Wolf: Bay Area Native and Comedian Chelsea Peretti Talks Oakland vs. San Francisco

Full moons don't transform Chelsea Peretti into a wolf. Sometimes, all it takes is an annoying Twitter comment. Enter "Wolf Mode"— a highly intense state of spiritual unrest when Peretti assumes… More >>

Liar, Liar: ACT and 99 Stock Deceive Audiences, But to Very Different Effects Liar, Liar: ACT and 99 Stock Deceive Audiences, But to Very Different Effects

Venus in Fur, now at ACT, is an exercise in endurance for actors. The two characters, director Thomas (Henry Clarke) and actor Vanda (Brenda Meaney), never get to leave the… More >>

Hanging Out With Strangers: Wendy MacNaughton Is S.F.'s Cultural Anthropologist

Meanwhile in San Francisco: The City in Its Own Words by Wendy MacNaughton features whimsical drawings of different parts of the city alongside quotes from S.F. citizens describing each area.… More >>

Redeeming Paul Lynde: The Joys of Rediscovering the Forgotten Redeeming Paul Lynde: The Joys of Rediscovering the Forgotten

One of my developmentally disabled clients loves to watch old TV, and he cleverly figured out that he can go to YouTube and watch just about anything that ever existed.… More >>

So You're Naked on the Internet...: Join the Club So You're Naked on the Internet...: Join the Club

According to an unsurprising 2012 study, 80 percent of the photos on the Internet are of naked women. Even with Facebook and Instagram laying down the law when it comes to… More >>

Dreamscapes: A Photographer Processes the City's Essence Through His Gigantic Camera Obscura Dreamscapes: A Photographer Processes the City's Essence Through His Gigantic Camera Obscura

What John Chiara does with a camera — not just any camera, but ones so big he drives it around San Francisco on a flatbed trailer — is utterly time-consuming… More >>

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