Into The Woods

A confession is in order. I love Sondheim. I adored “Into The Woods” when it was presented by The Oregon Shakespeare Company at the Wallis in 2014. I rushed to take grandchildren to the 2015 film with Meryl Streep. I  ...

Needles and Opium

Robert Lepage’s 1991 creative drama of transatlantic love, loss and foreign complications intersperses tales of American jazz trumpeter Miles Davis (1926-1981) (outstanding Wellesley Robertson III) and French writer, playwright and filmmaker, Jean Cocteau (1889 –1963) (marvelous Olivier Normand) with a  ...

Red Velvet

Ira Aldridge is an unsung hero of the long-running civil rights struggle. Born in 1807, the African American actor fled the U.S. to perform in Europe, where he had a 40-year career and was quite popular in Russia. But how  ...

Leni

“Leni,” a powerful two-person high wire act, examines the controversial Leni Riefenstahl (1902-2003), the 1930s extraordinary filmmaker and vilified Hitler propagandist. “Leni” is part exposition, part cross-examination and part psychoanalysis. This intermissionless 80-minute production explores, but of course, cannot  ...

The Illusion

Misplaced pride leads a man to cast out his only son. Fifteen years later, aching regret leads to a desperate quest to discover what became of the boy. What the father finds – or thinks he finds – are at  ...

Roe

Since its Supreme Court ruling in 1973, Roe v. Wade, which legalized abortion in the United States, has been a lightning rod that continues to electrify public opinion. It serves as a seismograph that registers politicians’ and citizens’  ...

Interview with playwright Lisa Loomer

In late February, I had a chance to sit down with playwright Lisa Loomer (“The Waiting Room,” “Girl Interrupted”) to discuss her play “Roe,” now at Berkeley Rep. My own experience with the political and practical history of winning and  ...

Sheldon Harnick, musical theater legend.

Sheldon Harnick’s mind was stuck on a lyric, but his body was on the move. He walks or finds other ways to get moving to free his creative process when he’s suffering a case of writer’s block.A truck was  ...

To Kill a Mockingbird

The program for Florida Repertory Theatre’s powerful production of “To Kill a Mockingbird” lists Maycomb, Ala., 1935 as the time and setting. That is partially correct: Director Robert Cacioppo’s smart staging of the classic, based on Harper Lee’s 1960  ...

Hand to God

“Hand to God,” a Tony-nominated, riotously funny romp, shaded with black undertones, uses a foul-mouthed sock puppet to demonstrate the shocking results when one is freed from society’s moral restraints. Playwright Robert Askins accomplishes this lesson using ribald humor overlaying  ...