Independent Theater Reviews for the San Francisco Bay Area

TRUSTWORTHY BAY AREA

THEATER REVIEWS

Alexandra Garfield uses her life-long love of theater, fifteen years of experience on stage and behind the scenes and two journalism degrees to bring you the best information about theater in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Recent Reviews

November 17, 2019

Since its debut in North America over 28 years ago, Miss Saigon  continues to delight audiences. The story is based on Puccini’s Madame Butterfly and cleverly places it in war-torn Vietnam, just before the fall of Saigon.

October 9, 2019

TheatreWorks’ newest show, Mark Twain’s River of Song,  is a laid back look at the world depicted in Mark Twain’s novels and memoirs, as narrated by the author himself. The production features three musicians on stage as part of the story who play a mix of old spirituals and new songs written for the show. Held together by only the loosest of plots, the play feels like a relaxed ride down the Mississippi River that Twain loved so much.

August 20, 2019

Definitely go see this show. Honestly, I can’t think of a reason why you wouldn’t want to see Wicked at any opportunity. Stephen Schwartz’s music and lyrics are fantastic and multi-layered, the costumes and sets are extraordinary and the story is thoughtful, heartfelt and exciting. Furthermore, Erin Mackey is a must-see Glinda as her wonderful performance makes the character seem even more real than usual.

June 8, 2019

There are two things that are critical to the success of any musical comedy: It must be fun and it must be heartfelt. School of Rock – The Musical is certainly fun, but it lacks the heart to become a classic.

May 23, 2019

Fiddler on the Roof is a classic. The story of Tevye, his daughters and his community have been a staple of musical theater since its premier in 1964. The movie musical from 1971 has ensured that generations of theater-lovers can experience this fantastic show, but there is nothing quite like seeing it in person.

May 12, 2019

The Lightning Thief: The Percy Jackson Musical is a rare musical that combines all of the magic of an epic fantasy with the fun of a children’s show. This musical hits the sweet spot, perfectly catering toward kids of all ages. Laugh-out-loud funny moments mix perfectly with realistic emotional turmoil and a story that will keep you on the edge of your seat. With a fantastic cast and a production that uses blackbox theater techniques and mainstage lighting design, this show will blow you away.

April 29, 2019

What sets this version of Vanity Fair apart, however, is playwright Kate Hamill’s marvelous retelling of the story, which sheds light on William Makepeace Thackeray’s “novel without a hero” in unique and often surprising ways. The play isolates two questions from the book, to refocus the story around and bring the audience into the world of the play: What do you want? And what will you do to get it? By posing these questions to the audience, Hamill takes the moral quandaries of the characters out of the abstract and forces audience members to confront their own vanity, greed and questionable decision making.

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