Les Misérables , NYC

Arnold Bennett, no stranger to the quotidian himself, once accused James Joyce of selecting the “dailiest day” as the subject of his novel Ulysses.  Les Misérables, then, could be said to concern itself with the most epical epic: it is the story of a  ...

Venus in Fur, San Francisco

Don’tcha just hate those people who, hearing of a local production of a hot new play, look down their noses and pronounce: “I saw it in New York”? “Venus in Fur”? I saw it in New York. And, while  ...

Accidental Death of an Anarchist, Berkeley

Full disclosure: I don’t much like farce. Slapstick and pratfalls and opening and slamming doors somehow never manage to tickle my funny bone. That said, I am forced to tell you that I could not stop laughing during Berkeley Rep’s  ...

Once on This Island, Palo Alto, Calif.

Be careful what you wish for. That’s the painful lesson learned by the Little Mermaid, who famously traded her fins for legs and a faithless boyfriend. It’s learned again by Ti Moune (Salisha Thomas), the plucky but doomed heroine of  ...

No Exit, NYC

“Why, [you’re] the torturer, of course,” Inez (Jolly Abraham) says to Cradeau (Bradford Cover) as she enters Jean-Paul Sartre’s "No Exit."  He says that this is “too comic for words,” but of course he is her torturer just as she  ...

Intimacy, NY

Thomas Bradshaw is a 33-year-old black American playwright who might as well have his middle name legally changed to Provocative, because no one seems to be able to talk or write about his work without conjuring that adjective. The most  ...

My Name is Ashher Lev

Asher Lev (Jason Karasev) is the son of an Hasidic couple, Rivheh (Anna Khaja) and Aryeh (Joel Polis). How you feel about "my Name is Asher Lev" may have as much to do with how you feel about proselytizing, ultra  ...

Love and Information, NY

They Know You Exist Caryl Churchill’s "Love and Information" is a solid one-hour play that happens to run for a little under two hours. Its fifty-seven scenes are connected thematically and not narratively, featuring over one hundred  ...

The Who and the What, San Diego

Family dramedies have a formula. The first half introduces the family and fellow travelers, their zany personality tics and the explosive revelations that could be their undoing. The second half exposes those revelations and sorts out the mess.  ...

Napoli! San Francisco

      “Napoli!,” a robust entertaining World War II comedy/drama by the great Italian playwright Eduardo De Filippo (1900-1984), revolves around the boisterous, amusing Neapolitan Jovine family, who turns to selling black-market goods to friends and  ...