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Ghost Light 

When: Tuesdays, Thursdays, Fridays, 8 p.m., Saturdays, 2 & 8 p.m., Sundays, 2 & 7 p.m., Wednesdays, 7 p.m., Thu., Jan. 19, 2 p.m. and Thu., Feb. 16, 2 p.m. Continues through Feb. 19 2012
Price: $14.50-$73

Jonathan Moscone's theatrical version of himself might be slightly exaggerated, but it works well for a play about a child dealing with his father's death -- especially given that Jonathan's father, former San Francisco mayor George Moscone was a well-known, widely respected public figure whose career kept him somewhat estranged from his children. Ghost Light spawned from conversations between the younger Moscone, who directed, and Berkeley Rep artistic director Tony Taccone, who wrote the script. Some details may have been altered for the purpose of plot, but it hews to a fairly realistic storyline: Jonathan hears about the assassination of George Moscone first from a gelid Diane Feinstein, speaking numbly through his television screen, then from a police officer (Peter Macon), who comes knocking at the door. He has to confront that traumatic event first in therapy; then repeatedly in dreams; then in pop culture, where the term "Twinkie defense" quickly becomes common coin; and finally as an adult, such as when he was invited to consult on set for the movie Milk, which lionized fellow shooting victim-turned-LGBT-martyr Harvey Milk while underplaying his father's death. The play is dreamlike, sometimes ponderous, and often profoundly sweet, particularly as an encomium to San Francisco. Through February 19 at Berkeley Repertory Theatre (2025 Addison St., Berkeley). $14.50-$73. 510 647-2949 or

— Rachel Swan


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