Sponsored by the Crothers Global Citizenship theme dorm and accompanied by Resident Fellows Stephen Stedman and Corinne Thomas, twenty students traveled to Berkeley this past Sunday to see “Chinglish,” a comedy about cultural clash and the linguistic challenges encountered in Chinese and American relations.
When the performance begins, three people—two women (Rene Augesen and Annie Purcell) and one man (Anthony Fusco) in the middle—are on stage in a row, facing the audience, and they are each completely submerged, except for their heads, in a large urn.
Ram’s Head’s spring musical production in recent years has been largely about putting on formidable versions of recognizable shows that everyone can enjoy. This year, the board made a decision to choose something riskier, something less famous: the 1989 musical comedy “City of Angels,” written by Cy Coleman, David Zippel and Larry Gelbart. This risk paid off well for the company.
The production design at the SF Playhouse has been consistently remarkable this year, and “The Aliens” is no exception. The intimate space, where every facial expression is visible to the entire audience, proves the perfect venue for this slice-of-life play in which nothing really happens and yet every detail gains significance as the play unfolds.
The first time I saw a Mark Rothko painting up close was at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City. I liked it, though I’m pretty sure that half of my eagerness to approve was to be contrary about conventional art tastes. I’ve got a poster of one his paintings now, and the more I stare at it, the more calming I find it; it’s not just an aesthetically pleasing color swatch. But are his abstract expressionist paintings really art? This is one of the central questions of John Logan’s new play, “Red,” which introduces us to a fictitious version of Mark Rothko, born Marcus Rothkowitz, the famous Jewish-American Abstract Expressionist painter.
Harold Pinter’s plays have their charms, but they aren’t for everyone. They have a tendency to be abstruse and dialogue-heavy but place a lot of emphasis on what isn’t said, sometimes referred to as the “Pinter pause.” The San Francisco Shorenstein Hays Nederlander (SHN) production of Pinter’s first commercial success, “The Caretaker,” is no exception: it’s a faithful adaptation that will be sure to please Pinter fans but may be inaccessible to the casual viewer.