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Comment Archives: stories: Arts & Culture: Theater

Re: “Finding the Other

For information and to purchase tickets online for Bamuthi's performance on Monday, November 2 at the Berkeley Rep, go to

Posted by Felicia Gustin on 10/30/2009 at 8:51 AM

Re: “An Amplified American Idiot

I agree,Its about how the music and production fit. And it was perfect..If you want a story,go see Cats. But if you want entertainment, can' beet this performance!!

Posted by george evankovich on 09/23/2009 at 3:48 PM

Re: “Untamed and Unmastered

The Master and Margarita Play was THE worst play I have seen in fifty years. Thank you for making me glad I will die some day. If I had to go thru eternity with the memory of that piece of Shit in my memory I would truly sell my soul to the devil.

Posted by starfire on 07/19/2009 at 9:47 PM

Re: “The Great Recession: Too Big to Satirize?

It's the SFMT's 50th year, but they've done way more than 50 plays.

Posted by Guy Haines on 07/08/2009 at 6:44 PM

Re: “Man About Town

A few corrections:

The title of the show is Lettucetown Lies.

Perseus was a hero, not a god.

It's Donna Summer, not Summers.

Posted by Guy Haines on 07/08/2009 at 6:40 PM

Re: “From Motown to Oaktown

Saw Jericho Road on opening night - terrific. - a well - written complex script that courageously confronts issues of race and relationships. The cast is superb.

Posted by Maire McShane on 06/18/2009 at 10:51 AM

Re: “Crazy Love


Thank you for your review of the Cal Shakes Romeo and Juliet (6/3/09), to which we offer a small corrective. Contrary to your belief that the production that opened on May 30 was unadulterated, Shakespeare's text was indeed heavily cut - it just didn't look like it because director, Jonathan Moscone worked so hard together with myself and text coach, Nancy Carlin, to keep in all of the rhythm of the text as well as the passages that matter. Romeo and Juliet is 25850 words long, and Cal Shakes cut the play to to 19615 words.

Philippa Kelly, Cal Shakes resident dramaturg

Posted by Philippa Kelly on 06/03/2009 at 4:16 PM

Re: “The Lives of Saints

I saw it, and there was this AMAZING young actress! Her name was Rebecca Lieber, and she was extremely talented. Each one of her 6 amazing lines dug deep into my stone cold heart. They forced tears out of my sorry eyes, just to see a young girl portray such an amazing role in the way she did. I feel she should be honored in some way. I have never seen acting so touching and amazing.

Posted by Buttbutt on 04/22/2009 at 2:48 PM

Re: “Five-Year Breakup

i am somewhat shocked at this critics review of this show. It seems to me that this person came to the performance with a preconceived notion that he or she was not going to like what they saw.

It is also apparent by the specifics they gave that they did not pay attention to what was happening before there eyes. things like "sensible shoes." if that was something that was important enough for this critic to put in their review i should bring attention that Cathy ( Ekman ) wears high heals during the show!

I have seen the Masquers Playhouse's production of The LAst Five years many times and i fall in love with it all over again every night. i find its honesty to be refreshing.

Please dont let this one persons hatred over Jason Robert Brown and his show overshadow the hard work that these people have done to create a show like this. A show like this is a huge undertaking, and yes the show is almost all song, but that doesn't mean that the actors dont have to use there acting abilities and Ekman and Cozart are wonderful vocalists and actors every night on that stage!

I find the bare set to be refreshing as well, just like the show it strips away all the cover ups and allows you to examine things as they are.

i am disappointed in this critics inability to let their personal opinions be put aside and review a show for what it is and not what they think it should be!

Posted by Eric Johnson on 04/16/2009 at 11:37 PM

Re: “Bewitched, Bothered, and Bewildered

Though I can understand the opinion that the universal uniforms could be confusing, and the use of the witches controversial, I found the acting to be tremendously deep. I disagree heartily that Weak as Macbeth is "yelling by rote" - any shouting she uses is infrequent, and is fully in keeping with the role. Her interactions with Lady Macbeth and her soliloquys in particular were dynamic and full of humanity. The acting across the board elevated this production to something really special, I found. I was very moved.

Check out the Inside Bay Area review for a different perspective.

Posted by Daryl Shawn on 10/23/2008 at 10:09 AM

Re: “Consider the Bat Boy

I just saw this production on Sunday and it was excellent! As just an amature show goer I did not find any issues with the vocals or songs. I was completely enthralled in the performances and story. I had not previously known the story of Bat Bay, so it was very new and fresh for me.
I would recommend this show to all I know - Although there was some blood and sex, it was not over done and it was portrayed in a way that was fantastical and amusing.
A definite A+ from me!

1 like, 0 dislikes
Posted by Sara Kaplan on 10/13/2008 at 11:04 AM

Re: “Suffering Shakespeare

I guess we just disagree.
I have greater expectations from a pro company than an amateur one. There is a reason the shows demand the ticket prices they do. Resources, training, experience all play into the equation.
I wouldn't expect you to be nice....fair yes.
THAT to me is the job of a critic.
A local high school talent show, a community theater, a regional theater, and a professional theater all should have their own critieria as to reviews and how they are delivered.
The world has enough Simon Cowells.

Posted by Steve on 08/24/2008 at 8:22 AM

Re: “Suffering Shakespeare

The job of a critic is not to be nice. The job of a critic is to know the difference between a good and bad performance, and to give an honest appraisal to the public about a performance s/he has seen. It is the job of the actors, the director and the production company to deliver a solid performance - especially if they have gone to the trouble to invite a critic to review said performance.

What Mr. Hurwitt has written does not in any way come across as "spiteful." This review is actually more entertaining and grounded than the shows themselves!

Regardless of whether actors are paid or not, and regardless of whether a theatre company is pro or amateur, it's the job of the theatre company to put on a performance that is worth watching, and the job of a director to choose actors who can fulfill their duties on stage, and put the play into a context that is compelling and serves the play. To call this review spiteful for expecting a production to be at least on solid footing with the chosen material (why would you do a clown version of Shakespeare if you know nothing about the art of clowning and/or arent' prepared to train your actors to learn that art?) is just ridiculous.

Posted by Joshua Stein on 07/21/2008 at 9:01 AM

Re: “Suffering Shakespeare

wow...just plain harsh.
These are not paid actors. This is not ACT or the Curren.
One of these theaters is even FREE. I appreciate respecting an audiences time and letting them know what to expect.
There is no reason or excuse for belittling the actors performing for free. It does not come across as comes across as spiteful.

Posted by Steve on 07/18/2008 at 10:49 AM

Re: “Mom, Iran, and Barbie

Dear Paul,

Gosh! Remind me never to disagree with you about anything.

Waking up to smell the bile,

Posted by Sam Hurwitt on 04/17/2008 at 4:22 PM

Re: “Mom, Iran, and Barbie

Wow, Mr. Hurwitt, you certainly know how to bring to mind the word "asshole." I don't know you and hope I never meet you because of your toxic manor of describing theater that to many of us seems beautiful, sensitive and even profound.

Lois Grandi could not have chosen a better play to conclude her 13 year run. "When something Wonderful Ends" is nostalgic about our past, you, me and every one else in the audience and delicately stamps it with a truth we don't want to hear--unconscious, wasteful, victims of consumer propaganda. But the play suggests hope: if we become aware of our past we may not repeat it, we can wake up and do something about it. We can change.

You do not seem to have woken up. Walnut Creek does not seem to have woken up. It is sad we are losing relevant, prophetic theater like Playhouse West. When will our community wake up?


Posted by Paul on 04/17/2008 at 2:59 PM

Re: “The Prince and Princess Diaries

Prince and Brandon are the revival of theater, or rather are the "Reality" version of it -- Reality TV has never come close to their humor. If I was to make a suggestion, I would be knit-picking to say that they could use a Vanna White (or Ryan Seacrest) to obtain audience "picks" and pass out their fabulous prizes. In any event, you won't be disappointed at the fun.

-- Chris Fure, Berkeley CA

Posted by Chris Fure on 03/18/2008 at 2:09 PM

Re: “The Prince and Princess Diaries

Yes, go see Jukebox Stories! I've seen it twice already! Great show, great theatre company. Thursdays are pay-what-you-can nights, for those of you who are like my impoverished student self.

And see any other Imact Theatre show you can. They are always incredible, especially Melissa Hillman's Shakespeare adaptations. Support independent theatre...that doesn't suck!

Posted by Mollie D.S. on 03/06/2008 at 1:02 PM

Re: “The Prince and Princess Diaries

Go see Jukebox Stories! You will NOT be disappointed. Clearly one of the smartest, most entertaining evenings you will have. I am going again this weekend. The material is wonderful; the artists are great. Do it!

Posted by Paul Ethier on 03/06/2008 at 11:43 AM

Re: “The Prince and Princess Diaries

Go see Prince G. live... because you just can't see him on TV or at the movies and sadly, you can't play with his little action figure. ;)

Impact- "theatre that doesn't suck"
You gotta love that slogan!

Posted by Mr. Allen on 03/06/2008 at 11:19 AM

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