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    Culture, Stage

    Aisle Seat

    Found Woman Women are still and regularly written out of history. When not invisible, women's stories are frequently deformed in their patriarchal telling. Some years ago, soprano Susheel Bibbs was asked if she would be interested in performing the role…
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    Culture, Stage

    Aisle Seat

    Yesterday My first question to Neal Shorstein is, Why a revival of The Boys in the Band, Mart Crowley's 1968 paean to gay self-loathing? Shorstein's response is immediate. "I was watching the video, which I hadn't seen before -- everybody…
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    Culture, Stage

    Aisle Seat

    Smoke Gets in My Eyes ... ... make it stop. You're in a theater, lost in an extraordinary performance, and then you spot it, far upstage, a hint, the merest whisper: fog. You freeze, waiting for the inevitable in-house cacophony.…
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    Culture, Stage

    Aisle Seat

    Out of the High School and Onto the Stage A poet can write in a garret. A singer can croon a cappella. But a playwright can't know what works without actors and an audience, especially an audience. Magic Theater's Young…
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    Culture, Stage

    Aisle Seat

    New Noh In 1968, Japan's first heart transplant was performed. The surgeon was charged with murder, because the heart of the brain-dead fisher was still beating when it was removed from his body. Without heart-death, the spirit of the fisher…
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    Culture, Stage

    Aisle Seat

    Truth or Dare Andrew Alty's latest play, Something About Us, has its American premiere at New Conservatory Theatre this week. I had a chance to speak with Alty during his quick visit from the U.K. My first question, however, is…
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    Culture, Stage

    Aisle Seat

    Bardolatry The California Shakespeare Festival's new artistic director is actor, director, producer, and carpenter Joe Vincent. It's more than a little fitting for a Renaissance man like Vincent to run a Shakespeare festival. He took time from his new duties…
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    Culture, Stage

    Aisle Seat

    Deep Debut The birth of a new theater company is always good news. But do we really need another production of Woyzeck? That was my pained response to the announcement that Big Tank Project plans to inaugurate its season with…
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    Culture, Stage

    Aisle Seat

    Shrewd Shrew ? When I think of great moments of misogyny in drama -- and there are so many, going back so many centuries, involving so much of Western literature, and sometimes I get so angry that it's all I…
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    Culture, Stage

    Aisle Seat

    Acting Like Directors I've been a fan of Frances Lee McCain's acting since I saw her astonishing work in the 1976 PBS film The War Widow. After I experienced McCain's painfully moving performance in Kindertransport (Marin Theatre Company, through Feb.…
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    Culture, Stage

    Aisle Seat

    Gotta Dance When I dream about reincarnation, my chief fantasy is that I can dance, that I can move with grace and sensuality. In this lifetime, I'd love to be able to do a time step (step, shuffle, hop --…
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    Culture, Stage

    Aisle Seat

    Tomorrow for the Young One of my greatest fears (after Newt Gingrich but before earthquakes) is that someday there will be no theater because the audience is too old to leave the retirement home. I decided that a little quest…
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    Culture, Stage

    Aisle Seat

    Webbed Feat First, an embarrassing revelation: I am Internetally challenged: I've never surfed the Net. Not only have I never been on-line, but I don't know a URL from a hole in the ground. When I learned that Shorenstein Hays…
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    Culture, Stage

    Aisle Seat

    Huey the Transformer I had the good fortune to see A Huey P. Newton Story for the second and, in a strange way, the first time. I had seen the production with a well-behaved, enthusiastic, adult audience and was hugely…
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    Culture, Stage

    Aisle Seat

    Breaking the Ice I used to think that ice sculpture was a very strange art form. I couldn't understand how any artist could put so much effort into an artwork that couldn't last beyond the next heat wave. At least…
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    Culture, Stage

    Aisle Seat

    Two Wrongs Make the Right There are two particularly repellent aspects of the resurgence of the right. First is the nostalgia for a time that never was, those glory days when there were no gays or lesbians, people of color…
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    Culture, Stage

    Aisle Seat

    Creature From the Marsh I am more than a little embarrassed to admit that in the five years I've been writing about theater in the Bay Area, I've never seen Josh Kornbluth perform. My motives were pure, I thought. I…
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    Culture, Stage

    Aisle Seat

    Newtonian Politics We Americans like to claim that our theater entertains; we leave politics to the politicians. There are a few notable exceptions, like '30s agitprop, but that's just propaganda (or so we claim). Of course, the myth of a…
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    News, Letters

    Letters

    At Ease With Brown As a first sergeant under Gen. Patton, a government worker, and a union leader, I've known Willie Brown ("The Last Seduction," Oct. 18) since he was applying to law school, and I've watched him grow into…
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    Culture, Stage

    Aisle Seat

    Starting Here, Starting Now Those of you who actually read the byline will notice that a new name appears this week. I thought it might be useful on this first day to tell you that I want Aisle Seat to…
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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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