The Winter’s Tale, San Diego

  In the classic Mel Brooks routine 2000-year-old Man, Brooks’ character says one of the keys to his longevity is eating nectarines. ‘Half a peach, half a plum, it's a hell of a fruit.’ “The Winter’s Tale” is somehow  ...

Gidion’s Knot, Berkeley

“Gidion’s Knot,” Johnna Adams’ astonishing two-character play, rivets the audience as it explores vital societal issues — children’s free expression and its limits, cyber-bullying and parental versus society’s rights. As you enter the theatre, you find yourself in a  ...

Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike, LA

      It is not possible to write a review of "Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike" without invoking the ghost of Anton Chekhov. Lest one be tempted, within the program playwright Christopher Durang provides  ...

Hir, SF

Move over George Bernard Shaw! There’s a new kind of war between the sexes being waged in the weird world of performer/singer/songwriter/playwright Taylor Mac (“The Lily’s Revenge”). And not just the same old two sexes that Noah ushered onto his  ...

Mother Courage and Her Children, Washington, DC

Masterful, magnetic, and entertaining best describe the outstanding performance seen Feb. 6 by stage and screen star Kathleen Turner in the uniquely engaging Arena Stage production of Bertolt Brecht’s masterpiece “Mother Courage and Her Children.” With lines like “No one  ...

The House That Will Not Stand, Berkeley

Slavery, freedom, power, the position of women, racial inequality, degrees of color — so many serious subjects come up in Marcus Gardley’s uneven “The House That Will Not Stand.” But, for some reason, the Bay Area native, now a New  ...

Bethany, San Diego

There is an emerging genre describing the economic downturn that began in late 2008 and continues today. Mass layoffs, foreclosures, the dystopian trajectory of the banking crisis — we are reliving these nightmares in fiction. Add "Bethany" to the list.  ...

Richard III, Washington, DC

The Folger Shakespeare Library’s Elizabethan theater has been transformed from its usual proscenium stage to theater in the round for Robert Richmond’s extraordinary production of “Richard III.” Every element — actors, costumes, scenic design, lighting, sound design and music —  ...

In the Time of the Butterflies, San Diego

Political revolutions are perceived as a male-dominated undertaking. In the 1950s, however, it was four sisters who inspired a Caribbean nation to topple one of Latin America’s most brutal dictators. How these women born to privilege went from  ...

Man in a Case, Berkeley

In real life Mikhail Baryshnikov is definitely not a Chekhov character. Instead of settling into a boring, if comfortable, retirement, the famed dancer (now in his mid-60s) is constantly reinventing himself. A brief early stint in the movies (“The Turning  ...