Best Thoughtful Theater - 2005
Last Planet Theatre
351 Turk (between Hyde and Leavenworth), 440-3505, www.lastplanettheatre.com
Secreted away in a drafty dance hall at the bottom of an otherwise nondescript building, Last Planet is a sparkly thing in the heart of the Tenderloin District. Since it launched in 1998, the company has consistently staged challenging programs featuring provocative performances and evocative sets. Its most recent show, Rainer Werner Fassbinder's The Bitter Tears of Petra Von Kant, presented as part of the company's season of "Guilt & Betrayal"-themed pieces, was a delicious blend of divinity and depravity. Previous productions include Harold Pinter's Moonlight, Josephine the Mouse-Singer by Michael McClure, and Henrik Ibsen's Brand. Here's a group of theater-makers willing to take risks. What else would you expect from the troupe that brought the world its first ever festival of Wallace Shawn plays?