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Culture, The Exhibitionist Aurora Honors Lanford Wilson with Trilogy of Plays About a Family

Aurora Honors Lanford Wilson with Trilogy of Plays About a Family

Tom Ross, Aurora Theatre Company’s artistic director, remembers what an impression Lanford Wilson’s plays Talley’s Folly and Fifth of July made on him when he saw them on Broadway in the early '80s. Those, along with Balm in Gilead,…
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Culture, The Exhibitionist Controversial Neil LaBute Unfiltered in 'This Is How It Goes' at the Aurora

Controversial Neil LaBute Unfiltered in 'This Is How It Goes' at the Aurora

Tom Ross, the artistic director of the Aurora Theatre Company, says his favorite playwrights have a unique, distinctive voice - there's no mistaking that you're watching their work. That's one of the reasons he likes Neil LaBute, whose controversial plays…
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Culture, Stage Hindsight


Telling a story backward is a device that comes up infrequently enough to surprise critics. A whodunit called Memento hit big in movie theaters a few years ago, and everyone was very impressed that a writer could spin a murder…
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Culture, Stage The Force

The Force

The hero of Kenneth Lonergan's painfully funny play is a security guard named Jeff, just bumped from the Navy, who watches the lobby of a middle-income high-rise in Manhattan. He doesn't pack a gun. He doesn't save anyone's life. In…
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Culture, Stage <i>A Karen Carpenter Christmas</i>

A Karen Carpenter Christmas

Writer/director Tom Ross' perennial holiday show at the Marsh (now in its eighth year) provides a lot of pleasure in its own small, dopey way. The Carpenters' bland songs never did much for me: Richard's immaculate production and Karen's smoothly…
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Culture, Stage

The Weir

In a tiny, rural Irish pub, a small group of locals meets for companionship and to escape the biting wind: Brendan (Allen McKelvey), the youngish pub owner; Jack (W. Francis Walters), a single, middle-aged mechanic who's such a regular that…
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Culture, Stage

Pimpernel and The Homecoming

The Scarlet Pimpernel Not a note of Frank Wildhorn's music, not a word of Nan Knighton's banal lyrics, has an iota of creativity or originality. And whenever Robert Longbottom's famously revised production threatens to display wit or energy, along comes…
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Calendar, Night&Day

Sharin' and Karen

Considering the awfully tempting material Tom Ross and Morey Goldstein had to work with, their parody of the Carpenters could have been ruthless. They had a goofy drummer in an evening gown, after all; a brother-sister duo whose wholesome image…
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Culture, Stage

Aisle Seat

A Pig's Life A Place With the Pigs (A Personal Parable), by Athol Fugard, goes up this week at Aurora Theatre Company in Berkeley. The only Fugard play not set in South Africa, Pigs is nonetheless close to the playwright's…
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