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Culture, Stage The House Edge: Berkeley Rep and Aurora Stack the Decks Against Their Audiences

The House Edge: Berkeley Rep and Aurora Stack the Decks Against Their Audiences

A kerchief-laden servant. Three sisters of varying degrees of goodness and shades of pigmentation. An older, housebound woman who's lost her mind but has a direct line to the dead. And a heroine forced to choose between autonomy and community,…
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Culture, Stage "Coraline": Even Stephin Merritt can't save SF Playhouse's disappointing musical

"Coraline": Even Stephin Merritt can't save SF Playhouse's disappointing musical

Sometimes an idea is so good that it can't get out of its own way. When I first heard about the musical adaptation of Neil Gaiman's novel Coraline, I practically peed myself in spite of the hostile reviews dogging last…
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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 Been There, Staged That

Been There, Staged That

Caryl Churchill and Tony Kushner are friends, which is why finding one play by each of them in full production at the Berkeley Rep seems so cozy. (Kushner's Homebody/Kabul is on the old Thrust Stage; Churchill's Cloud Nine is next…
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Culture, Stage Once More With Feeling

Once More With Feeling

"Christ, it's nonstop with these aunts!" hisses Hedda. "What?" says Tesman, her new husband and nephew of the aunts in question. Poor Hedda Tesman, nee Gabler, is already sick of her marriage and her annoying in-laws, but instead of repeating…
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