Four Shows In One Week

Last week was a busy playgoing week: I saw four shows in seven days, all over the Bay Area. When you add in a night of writing group and an afternoon of rehearsals for a musical I wrote (more on that later), you can see why this post is a little delayed. Here’s some stuff I saw:

  • Theater for the Inattentive, adapted from John Ashworth’s collection Is The Barn Standing? by Victor Carrion, at San Francisco Theater Pub. This was like if you saw the One-Minute Play Festival and thought the pieces just dragged on way too long. Hyper-short plays, some almost haikus, taking place all around Cafe Royale. Every time I go to Theater Pub (which I can’t often because it conflicts with PlayGround), I feel like I’m in some holographic reincarnation of Caffe Cino. I fully expect we’ll be talking about how cool it was fifty years from now, just like Albee and Shepard and those folks talk about how cool they were back then.
  • Bone to Pick & Diadem, by Eugenie Chan, at Cutting Ball. An experimental version of the Ariadne story. For some reason, it’s really hard for me to explain it in a way that makes people want to go see it, but it’s really good, so go read these reviews: Hurwitt and Jones (sounds like a law firm) both give this show the praise it deserves here and here.
  • The Lion In Winter, by James Goldman, at Role Players Ensemble Theatre in Danville. My friend Eric Frashier Hayes directed and my new friend Sylvia Boebeck stars — and absolutely blew me away. I knew she was good from her work in last year’s Bay One Acts Festival, but holy crap. Afterwards, we all went out to a cabaret place in Danville and saw an older lady who brings her own boa to karaoke to sing “Hey, Big Spender,” so really it was two phenomenal performances in one night.
  • The Agony & Ecstasy of Steve Jobs, by Mike Daisey, at Berkeley Rep. I’ve already raved about the Last Cargo Cult, which is playing in rep with this one. As an Apple fanboy myself, although not to the extent of Mike (who apparently takes his Macbook Pro completely apart from time to time just to relax), I already knew a lot of the Steve Jobs stuff, but the part where he goes to China to see the workers who assemble Apple products by hand is fascinating and troubling. Follow his blog and you’ll see a lot of interesting shit, too, like how every time a tech person blogs about it, people who haven’t seen the show accuse him of trying to stir up trouble because the 13-year-olds working 18 hour days assembling iPhones surely must have a great life compared to living in a rural village.

They’re all still running, so click on some linkage and learn more. If I can see four plays and still write an entire goddamn musical*, surely you can see at least one.

(*Disclosure: The musical I wrote is only 10-minutes long; I was comp’d to Berkeley Rep and Cutting Ball; the Theater Pub is free but I tossed in five bucks anyway; and I paid full price for Eric and Sylvia’s show. Double full price, actually, because M went.)

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