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  • Article

    Stage Capsules

    Don't You Ever Call Me Anything But Mother A year or two ago, I was walking on Van Ness when a woman approached me and told me an incoherent hard-luck story, after which I gave her some money and walked away. Seeing John O'Keefe's 1983 play is a lo...

    by Michael Scott Moore on March 1, 2000
  • Article

    St. Eleanor

    Eleanor: Her Secret Journey sounds like a PBS documentary, but it's really a charming one-woman show that takes Eleanor Roosevelt's famous pluck as its subject. Jean Stapleton can't seem to escape from Eleanor roles. She's spent the last few years re...

    by Michael Scott Moore on February 23, 2000
  • Article

    Kinetic Energy - Robert Moses' Kin

    Robert Moses takes a large bite of his rather undancerly bacon burger lunch and watches the NBA highlights playing on the restaurant TV with the same look of impenetrable concentration he gets while creating a new dance. He's been asked to describe h...

    by Rachel Howard on February 23, 2000
  • Article

    Stage Capsules

    The Visions of Simone Machard Thick Description's staging of Brecht's World War II-era play is the only show I've ever seen whose staff includes a head groundskeeper (Hugh Garrison Tracy). It needs groundskeeping because the sunless small new stage...

    by Michael Scott Moore on February 23, 2000
  • Article

    Cartoon of the Playwright as a Gay Man

    Barebacking is sappy, corny, campy, disgusting, tasteless, self-referential, and the funniest thing by John Fisher I've ever seen. I've missed his best stuff, admittedly -- Medea, the Musical predates me; someone else went to see The Joy of Gay Sex...

    by Michael Scott Moore on February 16, 2000
  • Article

    Stage Capsules

    In Rob Becker's world there are two kinds of people: women and men. They have "different languages, different customs, and different histories." Men hunt; women gather. Men negotiate; women cooperate. These pop psychology clichs are presented as ins...

    by Joe Mader on February 16, 2000
  • Article

    Watered-Down Mamet - The Water Engine and Mr. Happiness

    David Mamet calls his play The Water Engine "an American fable," but engines using water for fuel, strangely, aren't the stuff of pure imagination. Inventors have toyed with the idea for years, both in and out of America; French plans for a water eng...

    by Michael Scott Moore on February 9, 2000
  • Article

    Stage Capsules - Miss Julie and The Caretaker

    Miss Julie August Strindberg wrote in his preface to this play: "I do not believe ... in simple stage characters; and the summary judgments of authors -- this man is stupid, that one brutal, ... and so forth -- should be challenged by the Natur...

    by Michael Scott Moore on February 9, 2000
  • Article

    Spiel and Tippy-Toe - Mister Schpill and Mister Tippeton

    Gilles Sgal is a former student of Marcel Marceau whose parents were killed by the Nazis, and his current play is an allegory of racist totalitarianism set in an abandoned circus. His works often attempt to evoke horror by running desperately in the...

    by Michael Scott Moore on February 2, 2000
  • Article

    Stage Capsules - Give Me Shelter and Love! Valour! Compassion!

    Give Me Shelter Wendy Weiner's sweet, slight solo show suggests friendship is more important than a space to call your own. While searching for her first Manhattan apartment, Diana, who remains unseen by the audience, encounters various oddballs, a...

    by Joe Mader on February 2, 2000
  • Article

    A.E.I.O.U. - The Invention of Love

    The last time one of Tom Stoppard's plays had its American premiere in San Francisco, last spring, I wrote that it "wouldn't be above Stoppard to spin a whole script around a minor and meaningless point of grammar." My point was that the theater worl...

    by Michael Scott Moore on January 26, 2000
  • Article

    Stage Capsules - Civil Sex, Haggard Tiercel, The Irish ... and How They Got That Way!

    Civil Sex Brian Freeman's play about activist Bayard Rustin strives to lift from obscurity a man instrumental to the struggle for black civil rights (he co-organized the 1963 March on Washington) whose flamboyance and sexual orientation also made h...

    by Michael Scott Moore on January 26, 2000
  • Article

    A Shot at the Stage - Up Your Ass

    Anyone who's seen I Shot Andy Warhol knows Valerie Solanas did it partly because Warhol refused to produce Up Your Ass and then failed to give back the script. In fact, the script surfaced again only a couple of years ago, at the bottom of a trunk fu...

    by Michael Scott Moore on January 19, 2000
  • Article

    Stage Capsules - The Bare Bones Zone and The Gin Game

    The Bare Bones Zone For their evening of one-acts, the Bare Bones Theatre group has the good sense to include Christopher Durang's "For Whom the Southern Belle Tolls." This spoof of The Glass Menagerie features Gwen Lindsey, who couldn't be much b...

    by Joe Mader on January 19, 2000
  • Article

    Stage Capsules - The House of Yes and Mating Cries

    The House of Yes Wendy MacLeod's terrible play relies mostly on the "shocking" exposition of a past sin (brother-sister incest, ho-hum) and its consequences. Director Lori Glumac doesn't bring much to this dog, making a number of clumsy mistakes her...

    by Joe Mader on January 12, 2000
  • Article

    A Tale of Two Nancys - Spank

    "My name is Mistress Nancy," says Mistress Nancy, striding into her kitchen-utensil dungeon with a plate of cookies, "and I will be your dominatrix this evening." She wears, or spills out of, a too-small leather teddy which you have probably seen in ...

    by Michael Scott Moore on January 12, 2000
  • Article

    Theater of the Inevitable - Beach Blanket Babylon, Shear Madness, Tony n' Tina's Wedding

    Beach Blanket Babylon Sooner or later, you're obliged to go: Your maiden aunt, your widowed grandmother, your Uncle Erwin and Aunt Wilhelmina from the Midwest, or some other such person is coming to town. He, she, or they want to see some theater ...

    by Joe Mader on January 5, 2000
  • Article

    Mad Poetry for All - Megan and the Magic Compass

    There's a good chance that people who normally visit theaters in San Francisco will notice the slim range of plays open in this dead week between Christmas and New Year's and assume there's nothing to see. They might read that Megan and the Magic Com...

    by Michael Scott Moore on December 29, 1999
  • Article

    Sweet Millennial Cheer - "The Falling Girl" and "The Kitchen Side of the Door."

    If I'm reading our general mood right, the 21st century is about to dawn in America with the same unfounded optimism that ushered in the 20th. Most of us who aren't raving, apocalyptic millenarians have to admit to feeling -- vaguely, and for no go...

    by Michael Scott Moore on December 22, 1999
  • Article

    Stage Capsules - Transcendental Wild Oats, Yu San (Harmony), and Who's Afraid of Edward Albee?

    Transcendental Wild Oats In 1843, Bronson Alcott dragged his family, including daughter Louisa, to a farm near Harvard to found an experiment in transcendental utopianism he called "Fruitlands." Supported in the project by Englishman Charles Lane, ...

    by Joe Mader on December 22, 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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