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

January 25, 2018

Sweet, interesting and thought provoking, Alabama Story is exactly the kind of show you want from a small local theater. Now playing at City Lights Theater in downtown San Jose, the show discusses the importance and impact of literature in a complex world. Dealing with issues of race and censorship, the show feels distinctly modern while being historically grounded in 1959 Montgomery, Alabama. Alabama Story tells two simultaneous but separate stories, one real and one fictional. Firstly, there is the true story of librarian Emily Reed and her real life battle against censorship of certain books in the public library system. In particular, she defends The Rabbit’s Wedding, a children’s book where a black bunny and...

January 20, 2018

Harold Pinter’s The Birthday Party is consistently ranked in the top 100 plays of the 20th century. Often it’s in the top 20. That does not necessarily mean that you’re going to enjoy it. A.C.T.’s production of The Birthday Party is very well designed, directed and performed but if you’re looking for a show with a plot you can follow, this is not that show.  It’s a confusing jumble of questions without answers from beginning to end.

January 17, 2018

Don Reed’s autobiographical one-man show will have you giggling from the first moment to the last punch line. In a brilliant mix of verbal and physical comedy, Reed tells the story of his college years at UCLA. The jobs he took and people he met come to life in his stand-up style show, especially the time he spent living and working at a retirement home known as The Kipling Hotel. I’m a naturally giggly person, but Reed’s performance pushed me to full belly laughs over and over. This one-man show is carefully tailored so that every joke lands and every moment either makes you think or laugh—often both.

January 16, 2018

Hershey Felder’s Our Great Tchaikovsky is a feast for the eyes and the ears. The set is gorgeous, the music is amazing and Felder’s performance is outstanding. The thoughtful show addresses modern issues while guiding the audience through Tchaikovsky’s life and work. To some extent, knowing the music is knowing the man; but the life of Piotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky is so much more. In his newest one-man show, Hershey Felder returns to the stage as the composer, insightfully telling Tchaikovsky’s life story while performing some of his best pieces.

January 13, 2018

The show is still in the rough stages and has a long way to go, but the core of the story Anderson tells is worth seeing. As it stands, the one-man-show has a loose structure based on visits from the authorities and growing up with an abusive father. The strongest moments in the show are elements that are unique to the stage show; vocalizations and improvisation. Anderson mimics his father’s harumphs and grumbles to great comedic effect, interspersed with his mother’s responding sighs.

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