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Arts & Entertainment

Best Experimental Theater Company 

Art Street Theater

All Bay Area theater troupes are quirky. Some are deliberately weird. On the theatrical fringe you find actors and companies pushing the definition of "play" toward opaque, dancelike dreams, over-the-top comedy involving fire hoses, or incomprehensible mélanges of music and furniture destruction. Some of this is even funny. But none of it has the consistency or discipline of productions by Art Street. For four years running, under Mark Jackson, the company has produced the most interesting unconventional shows in the metropolitan region, from an eerie movement-deconstructed Romeo and Juliet (in R&J) to a cartoonish retelling of the Oresteia from the servants' point of view (in this year's Messenger #1). Almost alone on the so-called fringe, Art Street Theater has a keen sense of how not to waste your time.

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