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UnGender Performativity 

Wednesday, Jan 22 2014

Nancy Opel, who has starred on Broadway in productions such as Urinetown and Fiddler on the Roof, had never been in a play by Stockton-raised playwright Taylor Mac. But she didn't hesitate when asked to play Paige, the mother of a Marine who's done three tours of Afghanistan and a daughter searching for a third-sex gender identity in Mac's Hir. "It's edgy in a way we don't do in New York. It doesn't try and find easy answers for anything," Opel says. Mac, a singer-songwriter, playwright, and actor, has produced 16 plays and performance pieces. In 2011, his five-hour extravaganza, The Lily's Revenge, with six directors, 31 actors, lots of eye shadow, glitter and sequins, played at the Magic. Hir doesn't run as long, but it's equally big, says Opel. "There are all of these crazy images," she said. "You think, 'Oh, it's a comedy — oh, oh wait a second, it's shocking.' It's so interesting and truly not run of the mill. I like the size of the play."

The Magic Theatre presents Hir at 8 p.m. and continues through Feb. 23 at Fort Mason Center, 2 Marina Boulevard, Building D, third floor, S.F. Tickets are $20-$55; call 441-8822 or visit

Jan. 29-Feb. 4; Feb. 6-9; Feb. 11-16; Feb. 19-23, 2014

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Emily Wilson

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