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“Sweat”—A Passionate Portrait of U.S. Workers, at ACT, S.F.

“Sweat”—A Passionate Portrait of U.S. Workers, at ACT, S.F.

Millennial Notes Lynn Nottage’s Masterpiece Shines Bright Light on Rust Belt by Beau McGlasson Battered billboards loom over a local watering hole, a caustic picture of America’s Rust Belt. Lynn Nottage’s “Sweat,” winner of the 2017 Pulitzer Prize, brilliantly paints a stark contrast between the warm wood-paneled local bar and the harsh, worn-out billboards hovering overhead. It’s spring of 2000, and her Reading, Pennsylvania steel workers cling to hard, dangerous jobs and dwindling pay—tinder waiting for a spark. Steel-workers celebrate…

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“Topdog/Underdog”—Taut and Absorbing, at Ubuntu, Berkeley

“Topdog/Underdog”—Taut and Absorbing, at Ubuntu, Berkeley

Suzan-Lori Parks Sings a Layered Tale by Kim Waldron It’s the rhythm, the music in the language, that captures us. A young man piles up milk crates, tops them with flat cardboard, and lays down three slightly bent cards. He picks up one card in one hand and two cards in the other, and throws them down in new positions—all the while chanting.  The rhythmic language of Three Card Monte grabs us: “Watch me close watch me close now: who-see-thuh-red-card-who-see-thuh-red-card?…

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“Saturday Night” Romances with Charm, at 42nd Street Moon, S.F.

“Saturday Night” Romances with Charm, at 42nd Street Moon, S.F.

Millennial Notes Stephen Sondheim’s Love Story Makes Us Swoon by Maggie Lohmeyer It happens to us all. What are we going to do this weekend? Who’s free? What movie do we go to? Who’s picking up the tab? In the 1955 musical “Saturday Night,” Stephen Sondheim tackles the awkwardness of dating in Brooklyn in 1929, on the edge of the Great Depression. We follow a dashing group of working-class young men. Ted (quirky Jesse Cortez), Artie (comical Mike Birr), Ray…

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“Revolt. She Said. Revolt Again.” Exhilarating, at Crowded Fire, S.F.

“Revolt. She Said. Revolt Again.” Exhilarating, at Crowded Fire, S.F.

Alice Birch’s Women Revel in Un-Civil Disobedience    by Kim Waldron The career woman wants more time off from work.  The young girl is forced to marry her rapist. A woman feels trapped by even the idea of married life.  Fear of rape. Domestic violence as a family tradition. Everything in “Revolt. She Said. Revolt Again.” reminds me of another woman I know. British playwright Alice Birch captures the world as it is. Then she issues a manifesto for revolution…

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