Independent Theater Reviews for the San Francisco Bay Area



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

December 17, 2017

42nd Street Moon’s production of The Secret Garden is very well sung, costumed and performed. Unfortunately, it seems to have overstretched the theater’s technical capabilities, taking away from the audience’s enjoyment of the show.

December 15, 2017

If you’re going to see a production of A Christmas Carol in the Bay Area this year, it ought to be from A.C.T. Its annual production is a treat for the senses. James Carpenter takes the stage for his twelfth year as Scrooge in the Geary Theater. No matter how many times you’ve seen Dickens’ classic Christmas story, A.C.T.’s show is beautiful, touching and surprising.

December 13, 2017

TheatreWorks’ production of David Sedaris’ sarcastic show, The Santaland Diaries, is fabulous. If you’re not already familiar with the one-man show, Max Tachis performs a great version of the offbeat holiday comedy. If you already know the show, it’s a delightful, more optimistic version of the script.

December 9, 2017

The Los Altos Theatre Company’s Christmas show this year is rough. The tickets are a good deal for a live performance, but the show is weak overall and there’s nothing that can compensate for that. I’m not even sure that I can write a plot summary of The 1940s Radio Hour because there’s no plot to summarize. In the show, a New York radio station puts on a Christmas broadcast. That's it.

December 8, 2017

Jules Verne’s classic story, Around the World in 80 Days, is fun, fast-paced Victorian adventure at its finest. It has struggled over the years with its various stage and screen adaptations, however, which often try to make the story even crazier than what Verne wrote. TheatreWorks’ holiday show sticks close to the book and is even more funny, clever and enjoyable than the book.

December 6, 2017

During its best moments, the show is a hilarious riff on Dickens’ classic tale, but sometimes it feels like a different plot is being forced down the audience’s throats. There’s a good show in there, but the script needs to be workshopped and polished some more.

December 1, 2017

Joyful, heartbreaking, and satisfying, Bright Star, the new musical by Steve Martin and Edie Brickell, comes to San Francisco’s Curran Theater. Featuring the two lead actors from the original Broadway production in their compelling roles, this is a fabulous show you won’t want to miss. Bright Star tells two interlocking stories about hardship and resilience in the American South during the 1920s and 40s. The protagonists of each plotline, Alice Murphy (played by Carmen Cusack) and Billy Cane (A.J. Shively) are filled with a spirit and fortitude that tugs at the heartstrings of audience members and keeps them engaged until the last lines of the play.

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