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2016 Winter Arts Guide: Theater 

Wednesday, Jan 20 2016

Centuries before Netflix, Hulu, or Amazon Prime, folks would gather around their local theaters when they were in the mood to watch other humans doing human things from an appropriately removed distance. Times changed, and the urge to binge-watch an entire season of House of Cards can feel inescapable. But when San Francisco's theaters began to post their 2016 winter schedules, that TV remote started to look more and more like old news. With a lineup like this, even those of us with the deepest indentations on our couches would be able to find a reason to put on pants and trade a screen for a scrim.

If you're going to all the trouble of getting dressed up and going out, it's best to really "go for it." We're talking satin-blazers-and-music-by-the-Four-Seasons-level going for it. For all your over-the-top show tune needs, check out SHN's classic musical Jersey Boys, at the Orpheum Theater, opening Jan. 22.

On the other side of the coin is New Conservatory Theatre Center's Jan. 30 world premiere of Sagittarius Ponderosa, by contemporary playwright MJ Kaufman. What Jersey Boys has in glitz, Sagittarius Ponderosa has in heart. The sharp commentary on what it means to be a member of the trans community is sure to hit home with many San Franciscans.

The second world premiere of the season is Selkie, a fictional story of a mermaid searching to recover her lost powers. Though the fantastical drama is worlds away from its NCTC counterpart, the work, which opens on Feb. 12, at favorite local theater, Z Space, also employs themes of otherness and humanity in a Northern California-esque setting.

Wrapping up February is George C. Wolfe's The Colored Museum, presented by the African-American Shakespeare Company on Feb. 13 at the Buriel Clay Theater. Written in 1987, The Colored Museum is as relevant as ever, touching on what it means to be an African-American in contemporary culture through a brilliant blend of observation and humor. Using a more cornball approach to comedy, SHN unveils the live version of '80s super-hit Dirty Dancing, which opens at the Golden Gate Theater on Feb. 23. It's probably best to snag tickets early for this one, because the classic love story has a following that rivals the likes of The Rocky Horror Picture Show. If you can show us someone whose heart doesn't do a little (dirty) dance every time they hear, "I've Had The Time Of My Life," we can show you a filthy liar.

Rounding out the winter theater season is Binge-Worthy Journalism, an inside look at the makings of uber-popular podcast, Serial. Created by and performed by Serial creators Sarah Koenig and Julie Snyder, Binge-Worthy Journalism opens on March 6 at Berkeley's Zellerbach Hall. Whether you happen to be a die-hard fan of the series, or if you simply have an interest in contemporary culture, do yourself a favor and make the mini trek to Berkeley to see these Peabody Award winners in action.

See the links below for more of the 2016 Winter Arts Guide.

Who’s Coming to Town?








About The Author

Laura Jaye Cramer


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