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    SF Weekly's Ultimate Guide to Bay Area Filmgoing

    I go to movies hoping for the kind of excitement that can tune up a person's entire mental and emotional system. One of the few times I got it in recent years came after a screening at the Galaxy of…
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    Culture, Stage

    Now Showing!

    Whatever Happened to Sister George? Writer/director F. Allen Sawyer's spoof of lesbian movies often drags when it should sparkle, even getting preachy about Hollywood's treatment of lesbians at one point. Sister George (the formidable Stephanie Taylor) is the tough-talkin' nun…
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    Film,

    Zoom Lens

    "A Carrie White Christmas" Brian De Palma's terrific 1976 film of Stephen King's Carrie swoops through the telekinesis and madness catalyzed by a girl's terrifying first period. This movie helped make stars out of Sissy Spacek, the homely, lonely Carrie…
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    Culture, Stage

    Now Showing!

    Harvey Fierstein's script, though no longer fresh, has a genuine emotional appeal. Director Ed Decker and the New Conservatory Theater Center manage to capture a surprising amount of Fierstein's sensibility, mostly thanks to Paul Tena's performance; he almost effortlessly embodies…
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    Culture, Stage

    Stage

    Gummed Up Gum. By Karen Hartman. Directed by Jean Randich. Produced by the Magic Theater. Starring Laura Flanagan, Esperanza Catubig, Aldo Billingslea, and Helen Shumaker. At the Magic Theater, Fort Mason Center, Building D, through May 23. Call 441-8001. Good…
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    Culture, Stage

    Now Showing!

    The centerpiece of this program of shorts by the Shotgun Players (spread out over two nights) is Ethyl Eichelberger's Dasvedanya Mama, directed by Mark Swetz. Dasvedanya Mama is the late Eichelberger's spoof of Three Sisters and The Seagull, though "spoof"…
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    Culture, Stage

    Stage

    The Zoo Story As he did in the searing drama Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, Edward Albee approaches human frailty metaphorically in his 1959 one-act The Zoo Story. Characters reveal themselves by talking at each other, and conversations that begin…
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    Culture, Stage

    As You Like It

    Shakespeare's great romantic comedy features probably his best female role -- Rosalind, the banished princess who knows what love is and is not, who understands both its importance and its limits -- yet you wouldn't know it from this Shotgun…
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    Culture, Stage

    Stage

    Solo Gig2 This one-man show by former 49ers fourth-round draft pick Scott Barry recounts his failed efforts to make a living playing football. Barry speaks in the ecstatic cadences of a spoken-word poet, accompanied by a beatnik string bass (played…
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    Culture, Stage

    Hollis Mugley's Only Wish; Seeds Sold; Grey-Haired Smoochies With Rufus

    This Intersection/Black Artists Contemporary Cultural Experience co-production of three short plays by Keith Josef Adkins makes for a fun, if thin, evening. Director Edris Cooper-Anifowoshe underscores the sitcom aspects of Adkins' writing by playing the themes from The Jeffersons and…
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    Culture, Stage

    Stage Capsule

    Amphibians Billy Roche's exploration of changing standards of manhood in small-town Ireland gets an affectionate, thoughtful rendering from director Cliff Mayotte and the DEO Ireland company, who successfully create a misty atmosphere of regret and disappointment. Wexford, a small coastal…
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    Culture, Stage

    Corpus Christi

    Terrence McNally's 1998 play is like those paintings that portray Jesus as African or Latin -- an attempt to expand the meaning of "created in his image" -- but where those attempts broaden, Corpus Christi shrinks and excludes. Despite McNally's…
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    Culture, Stage

    Stage Capsules

    New Wrinkles Morris Bobrow, Rita Abrams, and former Chron theater critic Gerald Nachman's new comedy revue about middle age is well-staged, clever, and inoffensively entertaining. It's also unilluminating. Comedy canards that appeared in Erma Bombeck columns 20 years ago (like…
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    Culture, Stage

    God's Donkey

    A Traveling Jewish Theater's reimagining of the life of Moses proves a true evening of contemporary sacrament (unlike, say, Corpus Christi). Director Corey Fischer and performers Eric Rhys Miller and Aaron Davidman collaborate with composer Daniel Hoffman (who plays violin,…
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    Culture, Stage

    Stage Capsules

    Transcendental Wild Oats In 1843, Bronson Alcott dragged his family, including daughter Louisa, to a farm near Harvard to found an experiment in transcendental utopianism he called "Fruitlands." Supported in the project by Englishman Charles Lane, he and his benefactor…
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    Culture, Stage

    Mimzabim!

    This Subterranean Shakespeare/Climate Theater co-production of John O'Keefe's 1985 play has moved to the city after a stint in the East Bay. It's in a great SOMA space, the Omni Circus Theater, really a multiuse garage/studio in which paintings and…
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    Culture, Stage

    Stage Capsules

    Civil Sex Brian Freeman's play about activist Bayard Rustin strives to lift from obscurity a man instrumental to the struggle for black civil rights (he co-organized the 1963 March on Washington) whose flamboyance and sexual orientation also made him a…
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    Culture, Stage

    Sunday on the Rocks

    Theresa Rebeck's intelligent but ultimately unsatisfying script gets a remarkable production by the erinys theater troupe and director Zanne Gerrard. Elly (Arwen Anderson), an unhappy ad copywriter, lives in a cheap rental with three other women. She begins this particular…
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    Culture, Stage

    Stage Capsules

    Don't You Ever Call Me Anything But Mother A year or two ago, I was walking on Van Ness when a woman approached me and told me an incoherent hard-luck story, after which I gave her some money and walked…
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    Culture, Stage

    Culture Clash: Mission Magic Mystery Tour

    In this world-premiere commission for Brava, the famed Latino comedy troupe Culture Clash combines music, poetry, video, comedy, and dramatic vignettes to create a loving, sometimes impudent portrait of its favorite S.F. neighborhood. The show is at its best when…
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    Culture, Stage

    Now Showing!

    Speed-the-Plow This being the second production of this play in two months (Into-the-Fire mounted the show in February), one might think David Mamet's script is of some import. It's not. The show is a mechanical construction. All a director can…
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    Culture, Stage

    Now Showing!

    Wit Margaret Edson's script is a cancer play. Despite the Pulitzer and the hype, this show has the same masochism, the same manipulation, the same false redemption -- cancer ennobles and improves the protagonist -- as every other cancer play…
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    Film,

    Zoom Lens

    One night at the Kabuki ... At a recent 10:50 p.m. Saturday screening of Boogie Nights at the Kabuki Theater, the audience got something less than the Full Monty. For two hours and 15 minutes we had patiently borne the…
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    Culture, Stage Witchcraft

    Witchcraft

    Irish writer Emma Donoghue's 1997 book Kissing the Witch, subtitled "Old Tales in New Skins," is a collection of reworked fairy tales in some rather tired feminist lesbian trappings. In tale after tale (13 in all), men are batterers, lunatics,…
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    Culture, Stage

    Stage

    Kings and Queens of Denial The Magic Fire. By Lillian Garrett-Groag. Directed by Jack O'Brien. Co-produced by the Berkeley Rep and the Old Globe Theater. Starring Kandis Chappell, James R. Winker, Alexandra Muhler, and Lauren Marie Sliter. At the Berkeley…
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  • clipping at Brava Theater Sept. 11
    Sub Pop recording artists 'clipping.' brought their brand of noise-driven experimental hip hop to the closing night of 2016's San Francisco Electronic Music Fest this past Sunday. The packed Brava Theater hosted an initially seated crowd that ended the night jumping and dancing against the front of the stage. The trio performed a set focused on their recently released Sci-Fi Horror concept album, 'Splendor & Misery', then delved into their dancier and more aggressive back catalogue, and recent single 'Wriggle'. Opening performances included local experimental electronic duo 'Tujurikkuja' and computer music artist 'Madalyn Merkey.'"

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