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‘Blithe Spirit’ delivers laughs, exudes luxury

Noel Coward’s hilarious play “Blithe Spirit” has been revived with gusto and skill at the California Shakespeare Theater (Cal Shakes) in the East Bay. The production has an impressive combination of clever dialogue and actors with precise comic timing who accentuate the wit. Like Oscar Wilde’s plays, Coward’s are full of banter and silliness, and just as Rupert Everett seems born to perform Wilde, the Cal Shakes cast is perfect for the play.

‘War Horse’ shines in artistry, not storytelling

The new SHN production of “War Horse” in San Francisco is all spectacle: amazing lights, sounds, sets, song and staging, as well as some impressive life-sized horse puppets operated by multiple puppeteers. “War Horse” is the epic story of a boy and his horse before and during World War I and tells of how both sides took turns caring for and loving the horse; if you saw the Spielberg film last year, this is a less polished version of the story. The play, however, equals, if not exceeds, the extravagance and drama of the film.

Stanford Summer Theater roots for the middle-class man in ‘Curse of the Starving Class’

On the surface, “Curse of the Starving Class,” written by Pulitzer Prize winner Sam Shepard, is the story of an American family that slowly deteriorates thanks to a fraudulent land speculator who toys with their lives in the countryside. However, the play also addresses many deeper, modern issues, such as poverty, overbearing corporations and alcoholism.