Sweat

The Taper is kicking off the 2018-19 season with a strong start, Lynn Nottage’s Pulitzer Prize winning “Sweat.” Written in 2015, “Sweat” has to do with the after effects of NAFTA, modern management style, and the 2008 downturn on a  ...

Much Ado About Nothing

Benedick and Beatrice hate each other until they love each other. Claudio and Hero love each other until they hate each other. Don Pedro seems to love everyone. His brother, Don John, seems to hate everyone – particularly himself.  ...

Barefoot in the Park

Neil Simon’s Barefoot in the Park is an amusing time capsule from the early 1960s – the clothing, the technology, the barely restrained longing for martinis and whiskey. Don Draper could walk in at any moment. In the wrong hands,  ...

Everybody

Despite a slow and inflated start, the West Coast premiere of “Everybody” at Cal Shakes, by award-winning playwright Branden Jacobs-Jenkins (“An Octoroon”) closes with a strong finish that resonates deeply and lingers in one’s thoughts. “Everybody” is a  ...

King of Cuba

National Book Award finalist Christina García, author of six novels, including the satirical, “King of Cuba,” from which this play is adapted, attended its world premiere opening at Berkeley’s Central Works on July 21, 2018. Unfortunately, novels, even well-regarded novels  ...

White

One of the more remarkable aspects of the bold and engaging “White” is that James Ijames’ inspiration for the play is taken from a real event — a white male artist hired African-American actresses to present  ...

Quixote Nuevo

How many works of literature can you name that have given rise to a regularly used English adjective? Not many? Me neither. But the word, “quixotic,” defined as “foolishly impractical, especially in the pursuit of ideals; especially marked by rash  ...

Soft Power

Just when I was bemoaning the dearth of newly minted original musicals, along comes “Soft Power,” a wonderfully innovative, exciting, intelligent and tuneful show, created by Tony-winning playwright David Henry Hwang ("M. Butterfly") and Tony-winning composer Jeanine Tesori ("Fun Home").  ...

The Humans

Either the emperor is wearing no clothes or I need to return to the Ahmanson and watch “The Humans” again. It won the Tony 2016, for best play. It has been greeted with accolades by major critics in its  ...

The Father

What goes on in the mind of someone with dementia? Way beyond the minor annoyance felt when we can’t find our car keys, it’s a world where conversations are recycled in an endless loop, time becomes meaningless and complete strangers  ...