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Aurora’s ‘Breakfast with Mugabe’ is a tension-fraught 100-minute power struggle

A fascinating man who has never shied away from making controversial decisions, Robert Mugabe is at the center of Aurora Theater Company’s play “Breakfast with Mugabe.” The show, which examines Mugabe’s relationship with psychiatrist Andrew Peric, creates eerily lifelike representations of the Mugabe family while chillingly examine what can happen to someone who crosses their path in just the slightest wrong manner. Brilliantly acted and fraught with tension, the production made up for its early inactive moments with a truly poignant conclusion.

Cirque du Soleil’s ‘Kurios’ dazzles in San Francisco

It’s mind-blowing while subtle, overwhelming but specific. Cirque du Soleil’s “Kurios – Cabinet of Curiosities” is a dazzling mix of many varied acts. An elaborate steam-punk design combined with inventive new stretches of the human body and imagination makes “Kurios” a thrilling night of entertainment. While it doesn’t tell a specific story, the thrilling acrobatics…

Well-executed ‘Machinal’ delves into a 1920s murder trial

The TAPS production of Sophie Treadwell’s 1928 play this past weekend at the Nitery Theater was indeed mechanical — well-executed and smartly designed. Directed by Sammi Cannold ’16 and produced by Christina Medina ’15 as her senior project for TAPS, the show efficiently tells the story of a woman, Helen Jones (Elisa Vidales ’18), accused of murdering her husband and the path that led her there. Often symbolic rather than personal, we understand Helen’s journey intellectually without necessarily connecting emotionally.

Cops and Robbers skillfully provides insight into one Oakland cop’s perspective

A lone man stands on an empty stage. The lights come up as he begins to tell his story. It’s personal, it’s political, and it’s multifaceted — seventeen different perspectives, to be exact. Jinho “The Piper” Ferreira examines law enforcement, sexual violence and gun violence, the Black community and the media in his one-man play “Cops and Robbers.”

An exhilarating ‘Party People’ stuns at Berkeley Rep

“Power to the people.” This phrase is sung over and over in the exciting and thought-provoking production of “Party People” at Berkeley Repertory Theatre. The show examines both the Black Panthers movement and the Young Lords movement years later, by examining the aftermath – the falling outs, the deaths, the betrayals – of the lives of those involved. By incorporating a “hyperkinetic mix of live video, hip hop, jazz, rock, gospel, blues, Latin rhythms and spoken word”, “Party People” is an exhilarating 180-minute ride that inspires, educates, and fascinates.

AATP boldly produces satirical “Ching Chong Chinaman”

“Ching Chong Chinaman” — the title is shocking, invoking a pejorative term used towards Asians. The play is meant to be controversial, to make a statement. Directed by Saya Jenks ’16, the Asian American Theater Project’s (AATP) brave production of Lauren Yee’s play in Roble Dorm Theater this past weekend had many entertaining moments, but the production doesn’t quite make it clear what statement it wants to make or what story it wants to tell about race relations.