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“A History of World War II”—A Queer Eye on Sharp Nazis, at The Marsh, S.F.

“A History of World War II”—A Queer Eye on Sharp Nazis, at The Marsh, S.F.

John Fisher’s Victorious One-Man Army by Barry David Horwitz John Fisher is obsessed with WWII. When he was a kid in the Marin suburbs, John Fisher found a way to escape his family’s bigoted outlook. He and his older brother studied the battles of WWII, and played them out in excruciating detail in the woods behind their house. John’s “A History of WWII” analyzes and illustrates the battles, with more details than I’ve ever heard before. We are enlightened by…

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“Allegiance”—Dark, Yet Uplifting, At CCCT, El Cerrito

“Allegiance”—Dark, Yet Uplifting, At CCCT, El Cerrito

Jay Kuo Uses Japanese Internment to Celebrate the Human Spirit by Jennifer Ann Charron “Allegiance” connects the shameful history of Japanese American internment during WWII with a family’s story of hope and resilience. We follow the Kimura family from their Salinas farm to captivity in a Wyoming relocation camp. But “Allegiance” is no downer. This plucky musical is jam-packed with heartening songs of family, love, and redemption. After some dissonance, Jay Kuo’s writing rises to brilliance. While “Allegiance” vividly portrays…

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“A Streetcar Named Desire” Spellbinds, Chills, at African American Shakespeare. S.F.

“A Streetcar Named Desire” Spellbinds, Chills, at African American Shakespeare. S.F.

Millennial Notes Tennessee Williams Disrupts Sex and Class  by Gilad Barach The African American Shakespeare Company’s “A Streetcar Named Desire” is simply a masterpiece. Tennessee Williams would applaud too.  L. Peter Callender’s “Streetcar” goes beyond “Desire” to examine gender, alienation, class conflict, and sexual exploitation. We are captivated by Blanche’s wandering entrance and her tragic exit. Director Callender offers a brilliant and painful lesson about listening respectfully to women. His “Streetcar” (1947) mixes brilliant acting, handfuls of unexpected laughter, a…

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“Watch on the Rhine” Fights Fascist Future, at Berkeley Rep

“Watch on the Rhine” Fights Fascist Future, at Berkeley Rep

Lillian Hellman Dramatizes Altruistic Actions by Barry David Horwitz Berkeley Rep’s choice of  Lillian Hellman’s “Watch on the Rhine” (1941) plunges us into the pre-World War Two time of indecision, cowardice, and sporadic bravery. Hellman’s play illuminates the 1930s, when “good” folks could still turn their eyes away from the Nazi invasions, and live in their isolated bubbles. The U.S. is at a crossroads in 1941, even though Fanny Farrelly (sprightly Caitlin O’Connell), D.C. social butterfly, doesn’t get it. Maybe…

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