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What if, by engaging your imagination and opening your mind, you could alter reality and unlock the door to a world of wonders? Welcome to the realm of KURIOS - Cabinet of Curiosities from Cirque du Soleil. Step into the curio cabinet of an ambitious inventor who defies the laws of time, space and dimension in order to reinvent everything around him. Suddenly, the visible becomes invisible, perspectives are transformed, and the world is literally turned upside down in a place that's as beautiful as it is mysterious. Stunning acrobatics blend with unusual curiosity acts, and otherworldly characters spring to life before your eyes. Is this magical, mechanical land real, or just a figment of your imagination? You have to see it to disbelieve it.
From the pen of one of Britain's most provocative playwrights, Mike Bartlett, Cock is an exploration of attraction, ambivalence and commitment -- with a contemporary twist. When John takes a break from his longtime boyfriend, he surprisingly finds love in the arms of a woman. Torn between two lovers, neither of whom is ready to give up the fight, John must navigate tricky emotional waters. Caught in a complicated, contemporary love triangle, which identity will John ultimately choose? Cock was the recipient of the 2010 Olivier Award for Outstanding Achievement in an Affiliate Theatre.
It began as one man's story... became everyone's music… and is now Broadway's musical. MOTOWN THE MUSICAL is the true American dream story of Motown founder Berry Gordy’s journey from featherweight boxer to the heavyweight music mogul who launched the careers of Diana Ross, Michael Jackson, Smokey Robinson and many more. Motown shattered barriers, shaped our lives and made us all move to the same beat. Now, experience it live on stage in the record-breaking smash hit MOTOWN THE MUSICAL!
The Un-Scripted Theater Company takes on scripts! Working with a different guest playwright at every performance, the Un-Scripters interview the playwright on stage and then perform a cold "staged" reading of the first scene of an unfinished play. Afterward, they spend the rest of the evening finishing the play - totally improvised and working without scripts - starting from, you guessed it, Act One, Scene Two.
Based on her experiences traveling through Europe, the Americas and Africa, Edris Cooper-Anifowoshe's one-woman show explores the Black diaspora. Part travelogue and party history lesson, the performance focuses on the impact of migration and how Africans have both adapted to new cultural situations and left a permanent mark due to their emigration. Traveling While Black is the second part of Cooper-Anifowoshe's trilogy, Adventures of a Black Girl, and examines the post-slavery condition of Black travel, both fanciful and forced. Personal, poignant and smart, her performance lends a distinct perspective on transcontinental crossings.
International singing sensation and award-winning comedian Meow Meow has wowed audiences from the lights of London's West End to the backrooms of Berlin to the sails of the Sydney Opera House and the opium dens of Shanghai. Named a "cabaret diva of the highest order" by the New York Post and "one of the top performers of the year" by The New Yorker, Meow Meow's finally bringing her red-hot new show and unique brand of "kamikaze cabaret" to America. Adapted and directed by Emma Rice (Tristan & Yseult, The Wild Bride), An Audience With Meow Meow has it all: sizzling songs, biting wit, dancing boys, a spectacular set -- and a story of a celebrated diva teetering on the curtain's edge of dreams and reality.
Having mastered impressions of Tom Brokaw, Bruce Willis and Brad Pitt, comic-impressionist Colin Mahan takes on science-fiction blockbusters, '80s car crash movies and rock musicals in Ball Trap!: A Sci-Fi Space Opera! Find out if space car driver Ace Stickman can save the galaxy from an evil space warlord. You might even catch Mahan dancing in spandex! Opening for the man of many faces (George W. Bush, Michael Caine, Nicolas Cage, Jack Black) is Les Milton, who's been performing sketch comedy in the Bay Area for over 20 years.
The most scandalous, most salacious and most mysterious red light district that ever seduced a wayward soul was San Francisco's own Barbary Coast. The Barbary Coast Revue is a musical that tells the story of the wildest niche in the Wild West. Your host is none other than Mark Twain, who guides you into the dark heart of this dangerous and bygone world. Meet fresh young fortune seeker Jerry Thomas as he battles saloon keeper Shanghai Kelly for the attention of aspiring showgirl Alma de Bretteville. Many of San Francisco's most colorful characters and cutthroats, including Emperor Norton, Mammy Pleasant and Lillian Coit, make cameo appearances. A libretto of hit songs by Bay Area bands -- from the Grateful Dead to Green Day -- tie the past and the present together in this musical adventure, a success when it debuted in 2013, that's now been revised with new choreography and a larger cast.
Get your dramatic ducks in a row with a 3-show subscription (for first-time subscribers only) to the upcoming season at the Tony-winning Berkeley Repertory Theatre, one of the most innovative companies in the country. Your package begins with An Audience With Meow Meow, a bravura performance by groundbreaking singer-comedienne Meow Meow, who offers electrifying songs, a blowtorch wit and divine mayhem in equal measures. Next on your subscription bill, X's and O's (A Gridiron Love Story) is an intriguing docudrama that exposes the passion and the pain behind football's pervasive traumatic brain injuries. Based on actual interviews with football players and their families and fans, this world premiere will make you see America's favorite game in a whole new light. Finally, you'll thrill to the beat of One Man, Two Guvnors, a swingin' English farce inspired by A Servant of Two Masters wherein a modern-day British dolt with two jobs struggles to juggle his dual bosses. Backed by a live band that swerves between rockabilly and Beatles-esque pop, this topsy-turvy ride through loony love triangles and mistaken identities caps your subscription off with a delectable mish-mash of splendid comedy, pantomime and music-hall-style revue.
While Cabaret is back on Broadway, the colorful characters of Youth Musical Theater Company's production of the Kander and Ebb masterpiece are eager to entertain you with beloved musical numbers, including "Don't Tell Mama," "Willkommen" and "Maybe This Time." Step out of the modern world and back in time to the divinely decadent Kit Kat Klub of prewar Germany, where the music is tantalizing and the drinks are plentiful. Within the club, lives intertwine as a cabaret singer, an expat American writer and other misfits and outcasts of Weimar-era Berlin come together to escape a changing society where their kind is less than welcome and dark forces threaten to end the party forever.
In the latest version of this hilarious off-Broadway hit comedy, Tony-winner Roger Bart and funnyman Fred Willard act out vignettes from outrageous-but-true star memoirs live on stage. As seen on CNN, Bravo TV, NPR and elsewhere, the Drama Desk Award-winning Celebrity Autobiography has included such literary gems as "early poetry" by Suzanne Somers, reenactments of Tommy Lee and Pamela Anderson's courtship, Mr. T's acting tips and a "she said, he said, she said" account of Eddie Fisher, Debbie Reynolds and Elizabeth Taylor's torrid love triangle. Bart is best known as the Broadway star of The Producers, You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown, Young Frankenstein and many more, along with appearing on Desperate Housewives, while the legendary Fred Willard has made indelible appearances in movies like This Is Spinal Tap, Best in Show and Anchorman. He's also scored a pair of Emmy nominations for memorable guest turns on Modern Family and Everybody Loves Raymond.
Whether he's playing a Westchester housewife who's preparing her cabaret tribute to Edith Piaf, Cinderella's much-maligned stepmother in the style of Mildred Pierce, or the tough but warmhearted owner of a speakeasy, Charles Busch continues to delight and re-define his craft as a master humorist, illusionist and camp icon. The author of several hit plays (Tale of the Allergists Wife, Red Scare on Sunset, Flipping My Wig, Times Square Angel, Our Leading Lady, The Third Story, Die! Mommie! Die!, Psycho Beach Party, The Divine Sister and Vampire Lesbians of Sodom to name a few) takes the stage for for a performance featuring outrageous stories, music, tears and even some sequins.
Playwright Gene Gore tells the story of her own life in Cheesecake & Demerol, a wry and witty solo show that was named one of the best of the 2012 San Francisco Fringe Festival. Although born in the South during the Great Depression, Gene was not your typical Southern belle. She was much more interested in helping her ophthalmologist father surgically remove eyeballs than attend debutant balls in taffeta. But she gave up her dreams of medicine to marry a doctor and raise four children. When she finds herself pregnant yet again and her marriage starts to fall apart, what is she going to do next?
Abbott and Costello meet Samuel Beckett in the surreal hour of tense banter that is Harold Pinter's The Dumb Waiter. Two professional killers pass time in a basement room waiting for their next macabre assignment, punctuated by mysterious orders for food that descend via a dumbwaiter. The conversation seems nonsensical at first, but the tension between the two men soon begins to build -- and it all ends with one of Pinter's sharpest and most unexpected twists. Lachlan Bray directs a bold re-imagining of this sinister farce for the Rabbit Hole Theater Company.
The Un-Scripted Theater Company brings its fully-improvised, live theater thriller Fear back to the stage just in time for Halloween as part of its Sunday Revival series. There are few things scarier than the unknown, and the company takes the horrors of the unknown and runs with it, spinning audience suggestions into original tales of the uncanny and the macabre. You'll experience the raw excitement and terror of a horror story that only live, unscripted theater can create. Remember, if what you experience is too terrifying ... too hair-raising ... too bone-chilling to bear, you only have yourself to blame.
Morris Bobrow, the award-winning creator of Shopping! The Musical, the longest-running original show in San Francisco history, is serving up yet another tasty musical revue. This one's all about food, glorious food -- with a mix of songs and sketches about eating habits and hang-ups, trendy restaurants and food trucks, cooking quirks, menu mania and much, much more. Winner of multiple San Francisco Bay Area Theater Critics Circle Awards for outstanding music and lyrics, Bobrow also created the recent Party of 2 -- The Mating Musical.
The fine print of a Groupon, the threat of a negative Yelp review, the "resume" of a cage-free chicken -- there's a lot more to the food scene than just food. Now the gripes and glories of being a modern-day gourmand have been turned into a hilarious stage show, Foodies! The Musical. This feisty musical comedy revue takes a humorous look at restaurants, eating habits and (increasingly whimsical) culinary trends. One of the longest-running original shows in San Francisco, Foodies! now comes to Danville, having won multiple SF Bay Area Theater Critics Circle Awards for outstanding music and lyrics. See a fresh production of this "show for everyone who eats" from the very talented Morris Bobrow, composer of Shopping! The Musical and Party of 2: The New Mating Musical.
A modern madcap farce that tees off on golf fanatics, The Fox on the Fairway finds several country club characters getting caught up in foolish bets, saucy love triangles, mistaken identities, high stakes tournaments and other hilarious predicaments. Written by Tony Award-winning playwright Ken Ludwig (Lend Me a Tenor, Moon Over Buffalo, Crazy for You), this sexy and stylish comedy moves with the swiftness of a Marx Brothers classic, complete with rapid-fire dialogue, slamming doors and more. The play was touted as "Ludwig's tribute to the great English farces of the 1930s and 1940s" by The Washington Post.
San Francisco's annual Bay to Breakers footrace is as famed as its host city for its fun and flamboyant party atmosphere. But writer-performer Heather Marlowe instead endured a horrific experience, as she was drugged and raped at the event. This sharp-witted autobiographical play delves into the aftermath of the assault and the absurdity of the systems set up to deal with that specific crime, even in a supposedly enlightened city like Frisco. The show's director, Berkeley Rep regular Jean-Michele Gregory calls the story "daring and astonishing -- and frequently funny, because part of Marlowe's gift is her ability to find the absurd and the beautiful in the midst of the banal and the horrible."
Oscar Wilde was a writer with brilliance to burn, but even he never surpassed The Importance of Being Earnest, perhaps the wittiest, cleverest and looniest play to ever grace the stage. Called a "trivial comedy for serious people," Wilde's divine comedy finds two young bachelors, Jack Worthing and Algernon Moncrieff, taking on the same "Ernest" alias in hopes of wooing their ladies. The scheme, of course, goes comically awry and the formidable Lady Bracknell is then brought in to help sort things out. Revived numerous times on Broadway -- most recently in 2011 -- Earnest was also adapted into a 2002 film with Oscar winners Reese Witherspoon and Colin Firth. Now John Tranchitella directs a bright new stage production for the Pacifica Spindrift Players.
For 25 years, drag comedian Jackie Beat (aka Kent Fuher) has been dressing up to dress audiences down. In this one-woman show, the fierce performer will revisit her favorite gags and jabs. The self-proclaimed love-child of "Weird Al" Yankovic and Bette Midler will play video flashbacks, sing "sick 'n' twisted" song parodies and deliver mile-a-minute insults, all while wearing sky-high heels and hair. Beat's colorful career has included opening for Roseanne Barr, writing for the late, great Joan Rivers, starring in countless campy cabaret productions and making a prominent appearance in Wigstock: The Movie.
A shadowy tour of imagined tribes and their marital customs, Christopher Chen draws inspiration from fabulist writer Italo Calvino for his new work The Late Wedding. Calvino was known for his dream-like stories Invisible Cities and If on a Winter's Night a Traveler, which Chen uses as a launching pad into an exploration of dislocation and transience in internet-age relationships. Told by unreliable narrators, The Late Wedding chips away at the mystery of modern relationships and ultimately becomes an insightful journey inward. Chen's award-winning The Hundred Flowers Project was lauded by Bay Area critics.
Get ready for Shakespeare as you've never seen him performed. The Un-Scripted Theater Company is an improvisational theater troupe that combines Shakespearean-style dialogue with original music to create a new show every night. The Lost Folio: Shakespeare's Musicals features comedies, tragedies, wild adventures and epic romances turned into unscripted musicals before your eyes. A Bay Area favorite, the Un-Scripted Theater Company highlights the difference between "improv comedy" and "improv theater."
Come see where the theater pros go to play on their night off. PlayGround, the Bay Area's leading playwright incubator, identifies a select group of the Bay Area's best emerging professional playwrights and asks them to submit original ten-page plays -- all on a pre-determined single topic. From those submissions, six short works are chosen for staged readings to be performed by leading local directors and actors each month. Pre-show discussions provide further insight into the chosen topic, the writers' processes and more. Priority Genera Admission tickets allow you to enter first when the theater doors open.
Award-winning actor, pianist, playwright and composer Hershey Felder, whose series of one-man productions have played to great acclaim worldwide, brings Polish composer Frédéric Chopin to life in this acclaimed solo show. In his passionate portrayal of the famed "Poet of the Piano," Felder reveals Chopin's secrets about his creations -- and the secrets he carried to his grave -- against a gorgeous score of more than a dozen compositions. The Boston Globe gushed that Felder "carries a rapt audience along on a wave of true, powerful and wordless passion."
Make the 2014-2015 theater season full of discovery, danger and delight by seeing any three of New Conservatory Theatre Center's eight exciting upcoming shows. Selections include Cock, wunderkind playwright Mike Bartlett's elegant modern love triangle that looks at the aftermath when one half of a gay couple falls in love with a woman. Or you might try the over-the-top hybrid of Hollywood glamour and Greek tragedy in Die, Mommie, Die!, Charles Busch's hilarious mixture of whodunits, double-crossings and suspenseful twists. Dead Poets Society meets Romeo & Juliet in Shakespeare's R&J, a play-within-a-play written by Joe Calarco about what happens when four school boys secretly reenact the timeless story of forbidden love. The Tony-winning musical Avenue Q is back by popular demand to prove once again that puppets can have a very adult side, and in Harbor, all hell breaks loose when 15-year-old Lottie and her ne'er-do-well mother drop in unannounced at the beautiful Sag Harbor home of Kevin and his young husband, Ted. Other Desert Cities by Jon Robin Baitz brings dysfunctional family drama to new heights in a story that was a finalist for the 2012 Pulitzer. Timely, touching and empathetic, the 2013 GLAAD Media Award-winning From White Plains explores the far-reaching fallout of bullying and questions if forgiveness is possible. And wrapping up the season, Compleat Female Stage Beauty is a bawdy historical comedy-drama that brings the battle of the sexes to the stage. Hey, we didn't say choosing three from this lineup was going to be easy.
Noises Off, widely considered the funniest farce ever written, reveals the hilarious backstage happenings during rehearsals and performances of a play dubbed Nothing's On. Award-winning English novelist and playwright Michael Frayn's (Copenhagen, Democracy) comedy is a triumph of slamming doors, falling trousers and even flying sardines, and it remains crowd-pleasing more than 30 years after its 1982 debut. Watch a manic menagerie of itinerant actors as they try to stitch together a sex comedy that's a sure flop, as out-of-control egos, memory loss and passionate affairs turn every performance into a high-risk adventure.
Master clowns Bill Irwin (Scapin, Waiting for Godot), a two-time Tony winner, and David Shiner (Cirque du Soleil, Seussical) bring their stage hit Old Hats to A.C.T. Their hilarious new work features original music, imaginative movement and a captivating use of technology designed to bring a smile to your face. Shiner and Irwin also co-created the Broadway hit Fool Moon, which ran through most of the '90s and racked up two Tonys, a Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle awards. A continuation of Fool Moon, the joyful Old Hats won the 2013 Lucille Lortel Award for Outstanding Alternative Theatrical Experience and the 2013 Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Revue. Irwin took home his Tonys for his dramatic role in Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? along with Fool Moon, but he may be best known as Mr. Noodle from Elmo's World. Shiner not only originated the role of the Cat in the Hat from Broadway's Seussical, but he also wrote and directed Cirque du Soleil: KOOZA. This production features direction from Tina Landau, whose production of Saroyan's The Time of Your Life thrilled audiences in 2004.
Shiver and scream this Halloween season with New York's Radiotheatre, which pays homage to the golden years of radio with storytelling shows full of chilling sound effects and vibrant vocal performances. Traversing the terrifying terrain of asylums gone wrong, the company's show Madhouse draws inspiration from pulp fiction to tell tales of mad men locked away in the darkest of corners. Combining adventure, horror, science fiction, crime and plenty of black comedy, Madhouse uses the power of audio to let your imagination lead the way, descending into places it probably shouldn't take you but just can't resist.
Two men locked in a factory office battle for power in Ransom, Texas, a savage, emotionally compelling two-man tour-de-force from Virago Theatre Company. Set in a small West Texas town, this new play from Bay Area rising star William Bivins combines bourbon, betrayal and blood into one claustrophobic and highly charged drama. This electric production comes from the acclaimed local director/scenic designer team of Jon Tracy and Nina Ball.
Heated discussion and hearty laughter are sure to result from Rapture, Blister, Burn, the white-hot new play from Gina Gionfriddo. Twice Nominated for a Pulitzer Prize, Gionfriddo -- whose recent TV work includes writing for the Emmy-nominated Netflix series House of Cards -- has crafted a play that makes audiences howl and critics swoon. Rapture, Blister, Burn centers on Catherine, a rockstar feminist academic, who returns home to take care of her elderly mother. There, she encounters an old flame and an "ex" best friend who seem to be excelling at the kind of conventional life Catherine rejected. But first impressions can be very deceiving. Desdemona Chiang directs this exploration of how the lives of women have (and have not) changed for the Aurora Theatre Company.
A genius so assured he could write operas faster than secretaries could copy them, a genius so original even Bach cribbed his melodies, a genius so unconventional that his conflicting roles -- Catholic priest and creative renegade; cultural iconoclast and establishment favorite -- still shock people today, Antonio Vivaldi (1678 - 1741) remains an artist without equal. Now he comes to exuberant life in the new drama The Red Priest of Venice at the Shelton Theater. Today best known for The Four Seasons, Vivaldi was one of the most brilliant figures of the baroque period, a composer whose life was as passionate and stormy as his music. Compelling and humorous, this 90-minute show focuses on a critical period in his life when he began writing his most dazzling masterpiece ... and when he fell under the spell of two equally dazzling ladies.
Between the heights of global fame and the deep trenches of total obscurity, there is a land of half-familiar faces, authentic talents and outrageous stories. Now Don Reed, the celebrated actor, playwright and warm-up comic for The Tonight Show, reveals all about this mysterious country in his all-new solo show, Semi-Famous: Hollywood Hell Tales from the Middle. From having a panic attack auditioning for Spike Lee to almost being shot by the Secret Service, Reed's stories are as outrageous as they are true. Get a glimpse of Hollywood -- that heartless, heartbreaking and (very occasionally) heartwarming city -- during this tour de force from Reed, a two-time NAACP Theatre Award nominee (Best Actor and Best Playwright).
Kurt Vonnegut's book Slaughterhouse-Five approaches the story of one of the most horrific massacres of World War II with mock-serious humor and a severely disjointed timeline, making it one of the most poignant anti-war fiction books of our modern time. Based on Vonnegut's own experiences surviving the Bombing of Dresden, during which the historic city was decimated and tens of thousands of civilians were killed, the book was adapted for the stage in 1996 by Tony-nominated and Oscar-winning writer Eric Simonson. Watch as Custom Made Theatre Company presents this story anew with an all-star ensemble of 11 actors playing dozens of characters over the play's 50 scenes. The staging includes a dynamic video show, which will be projected into a geodesic dome, including animations from Vonnegut himself.
Too Much Light Makes the Baby Go Blind is one of Chicago's biggest theatrical success stories. Created by Greg Allen, and written and performed by the Neo-Futurists, the original production in Chicago has been continuously running since the Reagan administration, and now San Francisco has its own sibling company. This innovative show is an ever-changing attempt to perform 30 plays in one hour. The "menu" of plays is strung up on a clothesline and the audience determines the order by yelling out which piece they want to see next. Every performance is a unique experience, and the Neo-Futurists are masters of creating funny, personal, abstract, political and poignant plays.
Greenwich artist Susy finds herself harassed by a band of criminals who believe she has their drugs in this modern adaptation of Frederick Knott's '60s thriller. But although the young newlywed has recently lost her vision, she's no helpless victim. Utilizing her ingenuity and remaining senses, she's able to level the playing field, devising a pulse-pounding game of cat-and-mouse that unfolds in the dark of night. Originally produced on Broadway in 1966 and made into the classic Audrey Hepburn film a year later, Wait Until Dark is an electrifying story by the playwright behind Dial M for Murder.
Nothing could prepare Cass for the dirty little secret her husband's been keeping in his sweater drawer. Shocked by what she discovers, Cass abandons her husband and her run-of-the-mill life for a fresh start in the honeymoon capital of the world. Niagara Falls offers up a treasure trove of bizarre characters who accompany Cass on a journey of discovery that's utterly absurd and desperately funny. Written by Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright David Lindsay-Abaire (Rabbit Hole, Fuddy Meers), the play debuted in 2000 with Sarah Jessica Parker as Cass, and was hailed by The New York Times as "exceedingly whimsical and playfully wicked." Now director Dale Albright leads an ensemble of local talent in a fresh production at the Douglas Morrisson Theatre.