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Sandy and Danny both believe their summer fling is over -- and then Sandy unexpectedly enrolls at Rydell High, where Danny's the leader of the pack. But when good girl Sandy attempts to rekindle their sweet romance, it threatens to ruin greaser Danny's stud reputation. The hit 1978 movie starring John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John quickly became a musical phenomenon with catchy sing-along tunes like "Summer Nights," "You're the One That I Want," "We Go Together" and "Greased Lightning," and this stage version, packed with high-energy choreography, remains a perennial favorite. Join the Pink Ladies, the T-Birds and the rest of the gang at the Lesher Center for the Arts - Hofmann Theater in Walnut Creek, and discover why Grease is most definitely the word.
Considered by many to be the funniest farce ever written, Noises Off reveals the hilarious backstage antics and drama of a group of small-town actors attempting to perform a dreadful flop called Nothing On. This play-within-a-play is a comedic triumph of slamming doors, falling trousers and ... flying sardines. Written by award-winning English novelist and playwright Michael Frayn (Copenhagen, Democracy), this comedy of errors remains a crowd pleaser 35 years after its debut. You may also know it as a 1992 film starring Michael Caine, Carol Burnett, Christopher Reeve and John Ritter. Now you can catch all the madcap comedy of Noises Off on the stage of the San Francisco Playhouse.
Thirty years after Peter Brook's legendary production of the Indian epic Mahabharata took the theater world by storm comes its breathtaking next chapter, Battlefield. The devastation of war is tearing the Bharata family apart, and the new king must unravel a mystery: How can he live with himself in the face of the devastation and massacres that he himself has caused? Hailed as a "dazzling piece of theatre" by The Guardian, Battlefield raises vital questions that are at once timeless and devastatingly current. See this vital new work, directed by multiple Tony Award-winning director Peter Brook and Marie-Helene Estienne, at the American Conservatory Theater in San Francisco.
World-famous pop superstar Rachel Marron has hired former Secret Service agent Frank Farmer to protect her from an anonymous stalker. At first, the headstrong and free-spirited Marron finds herself at odds with her disciplined and risk-averse bodyguard -- but as her stalker's threats intensify, she and Farmer begin to fall in love. The Bodyguard is a breathtaking musical adaptation of the 1992 romantic thriller, here starring Grammy-nominated R&B star Deborah Cox. Her powerful voice will fill the San Jose Center for the Performing Arts with such irresistible tracks as "I'm Every Woman," "I Have Nothing" and one of the biggest-selling songs of all time: "I Will Always Love You."
From the Emmy Award winning duo who gave us TV's groundbreaking animated comedy series 'South Park' and the critically acclaimed co-creator of Broadway's Tony Award winning comedy 'Avenue Q' comes 'The Book of Mormon', a satiric comedy about two Mormon elders sent to Uganda for a mission. However, their naivete and gullibility will send their mission off the roof and have them clashing head to head with the local tribe. 'Mormon' is a comical, sensible and highly entertaining musical that has proven its worth nine times over in the 2011 Tony Awards, thanks to its talented cast, smart and vibrant employment of parody, and catchy scores that makes The Daily Show's Jon Stewart "so angry" simply because it is "so good."
A timely drama exploring the hot-button issue of sexual harassment in the workplace, Brilliant Lies "strikes some dangerous sparks" (The New York Times). Written by David Williamson, the most produced playwright in the history of Australian theater, this razor-sharp work centers on Susy, an attractive young woman who, after losing her job, accuses her boss of sexual harassment. A mediator is called in to find out the truth -- only to discover that the truth is not so easy to find. Don't miss this "serious comedy" from Firescape Theatre and The Beverly Hills Playhouse of San Francisco.
Still highly relevant more than 70 years after its publication, the provocative play The Children's Hour demonstrates how insidiously a lie can destroy lives. Martha and Karen run an all-girls boarding school, but when a troublemaking student spreads a rumor about a romance between them, the scandal rips apart friends and relationships. Even after the student realizes the damage she has done, she sticks by her falsehoods, leading to tragedy for the two women. This gripping drama, playwright Lillian Hellman's debut, ran for two years on Broadway and launched her success in writing for the stage and screen. See this rare revival at the 6th Street Playhouse in San Francisco.
Lovably morose CB and the rest of the gang become teenagers in the tragicomedy Dog Sees God, and their adolescence isn't pretty. Everyone's favorite dog has died from rabies, spurring CB to question the existence of an afterlife. Meanwhile, his best friend is a burn-out, his sister has gone goth, his ex-girlfriend has been institutionalized and his other friends are too inebriated to give him any sort of guidance or comfort. A run-in with a bullied artistic kid offers CB peace of mind and sets in motion a friendship that will push teen angst to the very limits. Drug use, suicide, eating disorders, teen violence, rebellion and sexual identity collide and careen toward an ending that's both haunting and hopeful as Dog Sees God comes to the Shelton Theater in San Francisco.
At morning's first light, a new edifice representing the soaring power of the empire will be unveiled: the glorious Taj Mahal. But in Pulitzer Prize finalist Rajiv Joseph's Guards at the Taj, the two hapless guards assigned to protect the palace will soon experience a ghoulishly funny existential crisis that will shake their faith in God, the empire and each other. Exuberantly comic, shockingly brutal and deeply tragic, the play asks us to ponder the ways in which we define beauty, perfection and, as suggested by The New York Times, "the human price paid throughout history for the caprices of the mighty." Hailed as "one of the most provocatively talented American playwrights" by the Los Angeles Times, Rajiv Joseph's Guards at the Taj is a modern theatrical must-see. It's now at the Marin Theatre Company in Mill Valley.
The Harlem Renaissance comes to brilliant life in Berkeley at Black Repertory Group's production of Langston Hughes' classic Little Ham. This romantic urban comedy set in the Jazz Age centers on a vibrant, resilient community whose residents dream of hitting it big playing the local numbers game. But then downtown's white mob moves in, convincing local smooth operator "Little Ham" to help them take over Harlem. Still, that won't keep down this neighborhood's indomitable spirit in this feel-good production.
Custom Made Theatre's Brian Katz brings Kurt Vonnegut's wildly popular third novel Mother Night to San Francisco on the stage as a funny, ironic, and metafictional tale of duplicitous spies. Also a love story, the book-turned-movie-turned-play follows Howard W. Campbell, whom true Vonnegut fans might remember from Slaughterhouse Five as the American-born Nazi propagandist. This time around, however, things are a little more complicated. Campbell's past comes back to haunt him and his quiet life in New York City as we learn we was actually a double agent for the allies, and passed along secrets through his anti-Semitic radio broadcast. Thanks to a series of betrayals, Campbell now awaits his fate at a jail cell in Jerusalem. Vonnegut's classic non-linear storytelling brings audiences on a journey to piece the puzzles of Campbell's life together, most of which reflect the last century's great historical events.
A fun-loving Manhattan heiress, her na´ve but good-hearted guardian and her adoring beau get into all sorts of trouble during a summer weekend by the beach in Atlantic City. Set in the 1920s, this light-hearted musical by Vincent Youmans, Irving Caesar and Otto Harbach finds carefree young Nanette giving her fiance Tom the cold shoulder, running off to (gasp!) Atlantic City. She is pursued by her guardian Jimmy Smith, Jimmy's lawyer Billy, their wives and a wise-cracking maid. The musical features the tunes "I Want to be Happy" and "Tea for Two." See it at The Eureka Theatre in San Francisco.
Fasten your seatbelts as fun-filled musical Priscilla Queen of the Desert rolls into San Francisco's Eureka Theatre. Based on the popular cult film, this high-energy musical adventure follows three disco drag queens aboard a battered old bus on a road trip through the Australian Outback. The journey becomes a touching, life-changing experience as the three companions search for and find love, friendship and acceptance. This hilarious and heartwarming production features dazzling costumes as well as a virtual hit parade of dance and sing-along favorites, including "It's Raining Men," "I Love the Nightlife" and "I Will Survive."
Though they're both in their mid-50s, Sharon and Robyn make an unlikely pair of roommates, much less friends -- Sharon's a staid Midwestern divorcee, who's happy to ante up her personal info, while her new renter Robyn's a hard-edged vegan from the Bronx, who plays her cards close to the vest. But when The Roommate finally does show her hand, revealing some shocking secrets, it spurs a surprising reaction in Sharon, proving it's never too late to take a gamble on changing your life. The San Francisco Playhouse stages the Bay Area premiere of this dark comedy by multi-award-winning playwright Jen Silverman.
In Seussical the Musical, cats wear hats and audiences wear smiles -- both two sizes too large. It's almost impossible not to grin when this all-ages musical adaptation of Dr. Seuss' stories plunges you into the whimsical world of Cat in the Hat, Horton Hears a Who! and many more classics. The Cat in the Hat links the stories of a young girl who is a "thinker of strange and wonderful thinks," and Horton the Elephant, who's out to prove that "a person's a person, no matter how small." Seussical's cast of favorite characters, including the Whos of Whoville, Horton and the Cat himself, brings a sense of wonder and fun to this colorful family fave at San Francisco's Alcazar Theatre.
Composer Jason Robert Brown is behind a string of big musicals, including two that earned him Tonys: The Bridges of Madison County and Parade. Now's your chance to see his first major work, Songs for a New World, which mixes pop, gospel, jazz and classical styles into a musical, historical adventure. This exquisitely crafted musical revue explores the many changing visions of the American dream, spanning all the way from Columbus' first voyage to the present. The journey begins at Spreckels Performing Arts Center in Rohnert Park.
A true cult classic, Sordid Lives is a hilarious "black comedy about white trash" that was nominated for more than 30 awards during its long run in Los Angeles. Written by Del Shores, the author of Daddy's Dyin' (Who's Got the Will?), Sordid Lives puts a comedic twist on a story of unconditional love, acceptance and coming out in a colorful small-town Texas family. The entire clan has converged for the funeral of Peggy, the family's matriarch and a good Christian woman ... in spite of the fact that she died during a tryst in a seedy motel room with her much younger, much married neighbor. Watch the family struggle to avoid a mortifying funeral in the San Francisco premiere of Sordid Lives at the New Conservatory Theatre Center.