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Culture, The Exhibitionist Actor Louis Parnell plays out our virtual insanity in The Nether

Actor Louis Parnell plays out our virtual insanity in The Nether

In San Francisco, one can easily imagine a future where everyone is completely immersed in technology, because it's already happening all around us.  Whether on smartphones or desktops, playing video games or checking social media, emailing or texting, it's…
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Calendar, Night&Day Light Is Heavy -- and Light Again

Light Is Heavy -- and Light Again

Comedy is not what we associate with Tennessee Williams. But Period of Adjustment, one of Williams' lesser-known plays, is every bit a comedy. A Christmas comedy. Could the master of lyrical poignancy succeed in a genre so foreign to his…
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Calendar, Night&Day Two Men Walk Into a Subway Station...

Two Men Walk Into a Subway Station...

Two strangers experience a startling encounter on a New York City subway platform. It leads them to a tenement building, where they engage in a lengthy verbal exchange that covers the very meaning of existence. Welcome aboard. You’re on the…
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Culture, Stage "The Fantasticks": SF Playhouse adds heft to the world's longest-running musical

"The Fantasticks": SF Playhouse adds heft to the world's longest-running musical

The New York stage has produced a lot of unlikely success stories. Few are as unlikely as The Fantasticks. The small-scale musical quietly premiered at Manhattan's Sullivan Street Playhouse in May 1960, and proceeded to run on the same off-Broadway…
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Culture, Stage S.F. Playhouse's <i>One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest</i> crams too many actors onto a small stage

S.F. Playhouse's One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest crams too many actors onto a small stage

One of the most powerful aspects of live theater is its ability to make us sit through abnormal human behavior. When the recipe is right, the discomfort we feel while experiencing people behaving strangely or even psychotically onstage (like Shakespeare's…
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Culture, Stagecap

Coronado

Dennis Lehane is the current go-to guy for gritty drama soaked in family tragedy. He wrote books that were adapted for the screen for Ben Affleck's Gone Baby Gone and Clint Eastwood's Mystic River. In 2004, he joined the writing…
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Culture, Stagecap

Reckless

It's Christmas Eve, and Rachel, a loving mother and wife, has just discovered that her husband has taken a contract out on her life. This realization causes her to step out the window — literally — and into a new…
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Culture, Stage

Prelude to a Kiss

In this comedy, playwright Craig Lucas puts a literal spin on the age-old cliché "He became a completely different person after we were married." The courtship between affable medical publisher Peter and insomniac barmaid Rita passes uneventfully enough in a…
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Culture, Stage

Art

It's not hard to see why Yasmina Reza's play Art caused such a fuss when it appeared in Paris, London, New York, and just about everywhere else from the late 1990s onward. The tightly wound, bittersweet comedy in which three…
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Calendar, Night&Day Fiends Forever

Fiends Forever

Few things last for almost 200 years. Corpses rot, buildings crumble, governments fall. But a horror novel published in 1818 by a 21-year-old Mary Shelley remains so relevant that its themes have been reworked repeatedly in books and movies. Now…
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Culture, Stage

The Fantasticks

The longest-running play in American history is also musical theater's cheesiest self-parody, a sweet, dumb story about two fathers who pretend a Montague-and-Capulet-style feud as an excuse to keep their kids, Luisa and Matt, apart. The hope, of course, is…
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Culture, Stage

The Smell of the Kill

In a just world, this savage little comedy about suburban wives would be banned. Nicky, Debra, and Molly chat with Updike-y realism in an upscale kitchen about their marriages, careers, and near-middle-aged disappointments, while their apelike husbands howl nonsense and…
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Culture, Stage Dead Ends

Dead Ends

When Rebecca Gilman premiered her first play, The Glory of Living, in 1996, it must have seemed a little behind the curve: The fashion for murderers-on-the-run had already peaked a couple of years before with the movie Natural Born Killers.…
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Culture, Stage

It Had to Be You

If you're opening a new theater near Union Square, your inaugural production probably should be a crowd-pleasing comedy that doesn't strain any brain cells. That's what the Playhouse delivers with It Had to Be You, a 1981 romantic (if surreal)…
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Culture, Stage

Dangerous Corner

Updating J.B. Priestly's noirish murder mystery from 1932 about denial among the young and fashionable is a nice idea, and should work well enough set in a hip Silicon Valley loft. But Bill English's production gets about halfway there and…
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