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Culture, The Exhibitionist Classic Abusurdist Play, "Ubu Roi" at the Cutting Ball - Ridiculous, Joyful, and Profound

Classic Abusurdist Play, "Ubu Roi" at the Cutting Ball - Ridiculous, Joyful, and Profound

In 1896, when the play premiered in Paris, audiences rioted after the first word "Merderer." The author, Albert Jarry, made up a philosophy, pataphysics, (Paul McCartney referenced it in "Maxwell's Silver Hammer"). The story of a mad king taking over…
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Culture, The Exhibitionist Extreme Theater: Strindberg's Chamber Plays in Rep at the Cutting Ball

Extreme Theater: Strindberg's Chamber Plays in Rep at the Cutting Ball

We'll admit it; we thought we knew the playwright August Strindberg, who died 100 years ago this year. We'd seen his most famous anti-heroine, Miss Julie, of the eponymous play, kill herself enough times and watched enough Strindberg and…
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Culture, Stage "Strindberg Cycle": Cutting Ball Stages the Chamber Plays

"Strindberg Cycle": Cutting Ball Stages the Chamber Plays

The Cutting Ball Theater's production of Strindberg Cycle: The Chamber Plays in Rep has no shortage of headline-makers. It falls on the 100th anniversary of Swedish playwright August Strindberg's death. It marks the first time all five of Strindberg's chamber…
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Calendar, Night&Day All the Neighborhood's a Stage

All the Neighborhood's a Stage

Many San Franciscans associate the gritty downtown neighborhood of the Tenderloin with crime, or Glide Memorial Church, or maybe ethnic restaurants. To documentary theater specialist Annie Elias, it had been a place to get in and out of as quickly…
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Culture, The Exhibitionist Cutting Ball Theatre's Rob Melrose on Chekhov, <i>Pelleas and Melisande</i>, and Taking Risks

Cutting Ball Theatre's Rob Melrose on Chekhov, Pelleas and Melisande, and Taking Risks

Rob Melrose is artistic director of the Cutting Ball Theater, which often stages experimental productions of classic works. To open the company's 2011-12 season, Melrose chose a classic that most people haven't heard of: Pelleas and Melisande, by Maurice Maeterlinck,…
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Calendar, Night&Day Emo on Fire

Emo on Fire

To read Maurice Maeterlinck’s Pelléas and Mélisande is to encounter a world of unexplained melancholia, gloomy forests and castles, and sweet, unconsummated love. In short, it’s pretty emo. But through the eyes of the consistently sensitive and imaginative folks at…
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Culture, Encore

Also Playing

The Bald Soprano. In 1948, the French-Romanian playwright Eugène Ionesco set about learning English. He didn't succeed. He did, however, manage to write an intensely ridiculous version of the dialogues he found in English-language primers ("This is my husband. We…
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Culture, Encore

Also Playing

The Bald Soprano. In 1948, the French-Romanian playwright Eugène Ionesco set about learning English. He didn't succeed. He did, however, manage to write an intensely ridiculous version of the dialogues he found in English-language primers ("This is my husband. We…
Tags: , , , , ,
Culture, Encore

Also Playing

The Bald Soprano. In 1948, the French-Romanian playwright Eugène Ionesco set about learning English. He didn't succeed. He did, however, manage to write an intensely ridiculous version of the dialogues he found in English-language primers ("This is my husband. We…
Tags: , , , , ,
Culture, Encore

Also Playing

The Bald Soprano. In 1948, the French-Romanian playwright Eugène Ionesco set about learning English. He didn't succeed. He did, however, manage to write an intensely ridiculous version of the dialogues he found in English-language primers ("This is my husband. We…
Tags: , , , , ,
Culture, Stagecap

The Bald Soprano

In 1948, the French-Romanian playwright Eugène Ionesco set about learning English. He didn't succeed. He did, however, manage to write an intensely ridiculous version of the dialogues he found in English-language primers ("This is my husband. We live in London.…
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Culture, Stage In <i>Krapp's Last Tape</i>, an old writer listens to his younger self

In Krapp's Last Tape, an old writer listens to his younger self

Alongside the deadly crime of uttering the word "Macbeth" within earshot of any actor, director, or stage manager involved in staging the legendarily cursed Scottish Play, external noise might be the contemporary theater scene's last taboo. Performers have been known…
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Culture, Encore

Also Playing

Endgame. Humanity is at the center of Rob Melrose's new production of Samuel Beckett's sepulchral 1957 masterpiece. This is no small achievement when you consider that the play is, like pretty much all of Beckett's dramatic works, surreal and largely…
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Culture, Stage Cutting Ball Makes a Beckett Play We Can Relate to--Too Bad

Cutting Ball Makes a Beckett Play We Can Relate to--Too Bad

Around the time of the centennial of Samuel Beckett's birth a couple of years ago, The Onion ran an article about the discovery of a lost play by the modernist writer. According to the satirical newspaper, scholars in Paris heralded…
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Calendar, Night&Day Leathered Up

Leathered Up

You've gotta love Elizabethan literature's golden nuggets of wisdom. Take this bon mot from Shakespeare's totally un-PC play, The Taming of the Shrew: "Such duty as the subject owes the prince/ Even such a woman oweth to her husband." Despite…
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Culture, Stage Unhappy Ending

Unhappy Ending

Of all the ways that a person might choose to kill himself, suicide by drowning has to be one of the strangest. Few people take their lives in this way. The idea of filling one's pockets with stones and walking…
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Culture, Stage

Bebop Beauty

Suzan-Lori Parks' cataclysmic The Death of the Last Black Man in the Whole Entire World is — to the detriment of the whole entire world — a play often discussed but rarely seen. The subject of countless articles about "reconfiguring…
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Culture, Stage Heir Abhorrent

Heir Abhorrent

Sigmund Freud, the bewhiskered grand pooh-bah of psychoanalysis, often sought inspiration from literature. His remarks on the Oedipal scheme in Hamlet, his theoretical essay "Creative Writers and Day-dreaming," and his psychobiographical essay "Dostoevsky and Parricide" attempted to understand the workings…
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Calendar, Performance Scot (Not) Free

Scot (Not) Free

ONGOING 5/13-6/11 Known by most actors as "the Scottish play" (superstition prevents them from saying the title aloud inside the theater), Shakespeare's Macbeth is one of the writer's grittiest accomplishments. It's a beautiful script, but when you get past the…
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Culture, Stage Through the Looking Glass

Through the Looking Glass

During the 19th-century reign of Napoleon III, well-appointed salons commonly boasted an abundance of gilt-framed mirrors. Yet the walls of the "Second Empire-style salon" -- the claustrophobic setting described in Jean-Paul Sartre's 1944 play Huis Clos (No Exit) -- are…
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