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    Culture, Stage Striking 6

    Striking 6

    "Striking 12 is a cross between a GrooveLily concert and a holiday fairy tale," explains Brendan Milburn, keyboardist and one-third of GrooveLily, the New York alternapop trio that wants to make a yearly tradition of settling in Palo Alto (or…
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    Culture, Stage Dining Out

    Dining Out

    Stage critics are notorious louts. We say rude things; we don't dress up for opening night. Most of us make embarrassing dinner guests. But Alexander Woollcott -- the fat snob who covered theater for the New York World in the…
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    News, Postscript

    Market Economics

    "Reviving Market" has been a San Francisco opium dream for as long as the city's main street has felt sullen with strip joints and shuttered storefronts, which is to say for most of its life since World War II, and…
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    Culture, Stage Bring Us In

    Bring Us In

    Controversy is so rare on Broadway that some theatergoers forget that their overpriced tickets don't always entitle them to comfortable seats. Rock musicals, anniversary revivals, extended pee jokes, outrages by John Waters, and other faux controversies have steeled audiences against…
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    Culture, Stage Literary Sampling

    Literary Sampling

    The happiest game Tom Stoppard has played onstage may be Travesties, his 1974 blender-spin of 20th-century revolutionaries who all lived in Zurich in 1917. James Joyce, writing Ulysses; Tristan Tzara, developing dada; and Vladimir Lenin, receiving news of a distant…
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    Culture, Stage

    Our Town

    Thornton Wilder's folksy play about Grovers Corners (actually Peterborough), N.H., has a dark undertow of protest that makes it relevant in wartime: At least one of the town boys will die in the First World War. But the play isn't…
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    Culture, Stage

    Rush Limbaugh in Night School

    Charlie Varon has revived and revamped his hilarious 1994 solo tour de force, a satire that may owe more than a little to Tom Stoppard's Travesties (see above), about Rush Limbaugh and a cast of mostly still-relevant national figures from…
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    Culture, Stage Watching Zora Neale

    Watching Zora Neale

    Ever since Alice Walker found a certain unmarked grave in Florida 31 years ago, Zora Neale Hurston has enjoyed the sort of career that the literary world of the 1930s and '40s -- both in midtown Manhattan and in Harlem…
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    Culture, Stage

    Pugilist Specialist

    The Berkeley-based Riot Group has been hiding from local audiences for the last few years, not just in La Val's Subterranean Theatre, but also in New York, London, and the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. Pugilist Specialist is the group's latest Edinburgh…
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    Culture, Stage

    Oy Vey in a Manger

    "Trampolina, you can't go around making comments about Hitler like that," says Winnie, the mainstay of the Kinsey Sicks, San Francisco's homegrown a-cappella-group-in-drag. "Imagine the Führer." Winnie and friends wait for guests to come to their…
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    Culture, Stage Rent Controllers

    Rent Controllers

    "I have a building over on Park," says Bill Hayes, a high-powered managing agent for exclusive Manhattan apartment buildings, who looks like a corporate lawyer and talks with the bluff seriousness of a yuppie playing golf, "that has a rule…
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    Culture, Stage

    "Significant Others"

    Tom Kelly's collection of five brief plays about gay relationships ranges from the depressive worldliness of a gay cruise, where a man almost commits suicide, to the hopeful virginal groping of a pair of boys in a janitorial closet during…
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    Culture, Stage Energy and Grace

    Energy and Grace

    The first time Mark Lundholm smacks his bald head on a light at one wing of the stage -- hard enough to make it rattle -- people gasp. The second time he does it, they wince. The third time, they…
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    Culture, Stage A Delight in <i>Horrors</i>

    A Delight in Horrors

    Some shows are too spectacular and silly for a critic to touch. Baz Luhrmann's La Bohème was a good example. So was Moulin Rouge!, his movie. What can you say about a fat impresario with a mustache dancing around with…
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    Culture, Stage

    Ben Franklin: Unplugged

    The thing about Josh Kornbluth is that he really does look like Ben Franklin: the longish hair, the glasses. One thing he learns, though -- during the course of this one-man show about the revolutionary Franklin and his royalist son,…
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    Culture, Stage

    Two Fools

    Gracie's a typical San Francisco lesbian. "I promised myself not to fall in love with someone who lives more than 45 minutes from my house by public transport," she tells Luna, a Costa Rican woman now from Amsterdam who visits…
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    Culture, Stage The Real Fling

    The Real Fling

    René Augesen walks on as a London blonde in jeans and a trendy green coat, boots and a scarf, looking dangerously excited. "I'm in the mood to push it," she says to her lover Henry, after his wife and her…
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    Culture, Stage

    Fist of Roses

    Philip Kan Gotanda's new play is the latest and most abstract entry in the race for good "documentary theater," à la The Laramie Project. The playwright interviewed people in women's shelters, jails, and "violence re-education" programs to study why some…
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    Culture, Stage

    Pageant

    The only problem with a mock beauty pageant performed in drag by men in a gay theater, with real judges in the audience, to subvert the culture's glossy dominant paradigm of female beauty, is that -- well, there are a…
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    Culture, Stage One Step Beyond

    One Step Beyond

    Here's the point: When the brief, intense, intermissionless, odd, and in some ways very formal Eurydice ended on the night I attended at the Berkeley Rep, half the audience was crying. Everyone knew how it would turn out; reworking a…
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    Culture, Stage

    "69 Stories: One Pervert's Tale" and "No Good Deed"

    Mollena Williams' first monologue, 69 Stories, started three years ago as a sort of pervert's confessional: Theater mixed with post-show Q&A about sadomasochism and your more elaborate electrico-sexual tools. It told a charming but rambling story that ranged from her…
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    Culture, Stage

    Train Stories

    Wayne Harris' terrific new one-man show at the Marsh deals with three characters on and around a Pullman car in the 1940s, who each tell fragments of a story about a lean and beautiful young woman named Jessie Blue Ribbons.…
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    Culture, Stage Shock and Yawn

    Shock and Yawn

    The quaint Gothic horror plays classified as Grand Guignol started as ripped-from-the-headlines realism: Paris' Théâtre du Grand Guignol specialized in true-crime stories of prostitutes, murderers, and madmen. Yes, things moved on to necrophiliacs and spattered blood as soon as possible,…
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    Culture, Stage Buzz-Worthy

    Buzz-Worthy

    William Golding's first novel, Lord of the Flies, tells the horrid little story of boys from an English boarding school whose plane crashes on a remote island without parents or schoolmasters. Woman's Will is a company of East Bay women…
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    Culture, Stage

    The Producers

    Sure, it's Mel Brooks; sure, it started as a now-ancient film; and sure, taking it seriously just kills the fun. But The Producers feels old. You have the tasteless flaming queers, the busty flute-voiced Swedish blonde, the boobie jokes, the…
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Slideshows

  • 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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