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The White Snake 

When: Tuesdays, Thursdays, Fridays, 8 p.m., Saturdays, 2 & 7 p.m., Sundays, 2 & 7 p.m., Wednesdays, 7 p.m., Thu., Dec. 27, 2 & 8 p.m., Fri., Dec. 28, 8 p.m., Sat., Dec. 29, 2 & 8 p.m. and Sun., Dec. 30, 2 & 7 p.m. Continues through Dec. 23 2012
Price: $14.50-$99
Mary Zimmerman’s The White Snake is a visually stunning adaptation of an ancient Chinese fable. In this world premiere Berkeley Rep production, the visionary director once again demonstrates the magic of low-tech. The play uses artful puppetry and minimalist impressionistic design flourishes to tell the tale of a snake from the spirit world who transforms herself into a woman to join the mortals on Earth and seduce a trusting man. Zimmerman has made a career of revamping classics, reinventing myths and fables in surprising ways that remind us of their relevance. The White Snake reconsiders the specter of a snake as a symbol of sorcery and temptation and of the battle between good and evil. The play may not be as narratively engaging as Zimmerman’s other works (Metamorphosis Argonautika or The Arabian Nights), but it a striking spectacle of stage design and performance art. Through December 23 at Berkeley Repertory Theatre (2025 Addison St., Berkeley). $35-$93. 510-647-2949. 510-647-2949 or
— Erika Milvy


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