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Culture, The Exhibitionist Bay Area Theater Veteran James Carpenter Stars in Berkeley Rep's <i>Macbeth</i>

Bay Area Theater Veteran James Carpenter Stars in Berkeley Rep's Macbeth

Bay Area actor James Carpenter has done his share of Shakespeare. (The American Conservatory Theater's Carey Perloff called him "...one of the finest American actors anywhere.") He’s performed in Macbeth several times, including playing the title role in a Santa…
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Culture, The Exhibitionist The Best Night You'll Ever Have In Hell: Shotgun Players' <i>Eurydice</i>

The Best Night You'll Ever Have In Hell: Shotgun Players' Eurydice

“Dazzling” and “smoldering” are the best words to describe Shotgun Players' multi-layered Eurydice — a play based on one simple turn of a man’s head. Confounding, comic, cacophonous, and constructed by master engineers playwright Sarah Ruhl, director Erika Chong…
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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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Calendar, Night&Day For the Bob Cratchit in Us All

For the Bob Cratchit in Us All

A.C.T. has staged A Christmas Carol for 35 years, but in today's political and economic climate, Carey Perloff and Paul Walsh's adaptation of the Dickens novella could hardly feel timelier. "The parallels between now and what was going on Dickens'…
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Calendar, Night&Day Timeless -- and Timely -- as Ever

Timeless -- and Timely -- as Ever

A.C.T. has staged A Christmas Carol for 35 years, but in today’s political and economic climate, Carey Perloff and Paul Walsh’s adaptation of the Dickens novella could hardly feel timelier. “The parallels between now and what was going on Dickens’…
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Calendar, Night&Day

A Scrooge Is Born

Had I been a child when I saw ACT's A Christmas Carol last year — innocent in the ways of costume design, wind machines, and theatrical lighting — the Ghost of Christmas Future would have haunted me forever. It was…
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Culture, Stage

Ctrl.-Alt.-Delete

James Carpenter plays the megalomaniacal guru of a venture capital fund in what should be, but isn't, an excellent satire of Silicon Valley. It should be excellent because it stars James Carpenter, and because the playwright, Anthony Clarvoe, knows how…
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Culture, Stage

Behind the Scenes

Love! Valour! Compassion! By Terrence McNally. Directed by Warner Shook. At the Berkeley Repertory Theater, 2025 Addison, Berkeley, through Jan. 3. Call (510) 845-4700. There's a point in the second act of Berkeley Rep's lovingly rendered production of Love! Valour!…
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Culture, Stage

Up Tempo

Sometimes it's wonderful to be reminded that the stage events we see are called plays, that they are intended to engage our imaginations and sometimes even provide amusement. Those of us who take our theater very, very seriously feel slightly…
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Culture, Stage

So Much to Love

One of the happier paradoxes associated with reviewing a successful production -- in this case, the California Shakespeare Festival's Much Ado About Nothing -- is that the more triumphant the effort, the more invisible its mechanics. There is a seamless…
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