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“It’s Only a Play” Dazzles with Stage Scandals, at NCTC, S.F.

“It’s Only a Play” Dazzles with Stage Scandals, at NCTC, S.F.

Terrence McNally Whips Up a Golden Egg by Barry David Horwitz “It’s Only a Play” mixes all the jokes and clichés about theater we’ve ever heard. Like circling vultures, the playwright and cast await the Opening Night reviews of the play within the play, “The Golden Egg.” What a passel of funny and wonderfully egotistical theater folks! McNally gives us a satirical, ridiculous, and delightful peek behind the A-List. The actors, director, producer, and writer are all assembled in a…

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“As You Like It”: Double Meaning Under the Stars, at Cal Shakes, Orinda

“As You Like It”: Double Meaning Under the Stars, at Cal Shakes, Orinda

Millennial Notes Jessika D. Williams Commands as Rosalind by Nicholas Leither The Bruns Amphitheate in the Orinda hills offers a singular charm to every performance. Here, you sit outside as the sun sets, burnishing the hills in gloaming light.  The air transforms from warm to chill, while birds—even the occasional bat—swoop behind the set.  What better place to stage Shakespeare’s “As You Like It,” set mostly outside in a forest? And yet, in Cal Shakes new interpretation, the enchanting Forest…

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“The Lion King” Roars at SHN Orpheum in San Francisco

“The Lion King” Roars at SHN Orpheum in San Francisco

Young and Old Thrill to Sparkling African Folklore by Sysamone Phaphon Last weekend I went to a live theatrical musical for the first time. I attended “The Lion King” on Sunday evening with my two children. My son, Ari, age eight, had quite a bit to say about the display on stage. In particular I found one comment interesting: “I liked it because it had a lot of African Americans performing in it.” I should share that he’s a bit…

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“Safe House” Breaks for Freedom, at Aurora Theatre, Berkeley

“Safe House” Breaks for Freedom, at Aurora Theatre, Berkeley

Millennial Notes Black Lives, White Rules by Benjamin K. Sloan Before the Civil War, hundreds of thousands of African Americans were living in the South as “free” people—a status that constituted a misnomer, and still does.  Aurora Theatre tells us the horrifying story of pre-Civil War “free” Black people in “Safe House” (2014) by Keith Josef Adkins. Director L. Peter Callender snakes us through the treacherous Kentucky countryside in 1843, where the law is only a suggestion, and the white…

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