Pocket full of ticket stubs

Ed and Eddie's list of 81 plays, musicals and operas seen in 2006 organized by month. Spent a week in NYC.

Ratings Legend:
5* - Loved It – A classic, would see it a second time.
4* - Really Liked It – Excellent, strong production.
3* - Liked It – Good production but something is lacking or not clicking.
2* - Just OK – Below average but had at least one interesting component.
1* - Did Not Like It – Waste of time.
No rating – A work in progress (reading or workshop), or children’s production.

Rating*, Show Title - Author, Presenting Theatre (comments)
[Synopsis or review]

4*, An Evening with Bea Arthur - Bea Arthur, Billy Goldenbeurg, Herbst Theatre
[60's Broadway star of Mame and Fiddler on the Roof, 70's & 80's TV star of Maude and The Golden Girls]
2*, Sexual Perversity in Chicago - David Mamet, ACT
[Dated and pointless play of 4 people in their 20's looking for love and sex. Movie About Last Night was better.]
2*, Lestat - Elton John, Bernie Taupin, Linda Woolverton, Anne Rice, Best of Broadway
[Pre-Broadway run. Production needs help. Songs suck. Deadly boring 1st act. Nice sets.]
3*, Burn This - Lanford Wilson, New Conservatory Theatre Center
[Story of a dancer and the 3 men in her life: a gay roomate; nice, sucessful writer who loves her; and the wild brother of her dead friend.]

4*, The Clean House - Sarah Ruhl, TheatreWorks
[Wacky & inventive comedy of a maid that doesn't like to clean house and her search for the perfect joke.]
4*, In On It - Daniel Maclvor, Encore Theatre Company
[A one-act passed off as a full play. Excellent 2 man cast. A play within a play that intersects two failing relationships with an accident.]
4*, The Immigrant - Mark Harelik, San Jose Repertory Theatre
[A family story of Jewish assimilation in a Texas town in the early 1900s.]

4*, Theatre District - Richard Kramer, New Conservatory Theatre Center
[Writer of thirtysomething, My So-Called Life explores what happens when 16 year-old moves in with his aloof father and his boyfriend and deals with the growing distance between his parents.]
5*, The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee - William Finn, Rachel Sheinkin, Post Street Theatre
[A musical about a spelling bee with idiosyncratic word-nerd kids and hilariously comedy with surprisingly meaningful and touching highlights.]
5*, Gem of the Ocean - August Wilson, ACT
[Set in 1904 Pittsburgh, Citizen Barlow arrives on the eve of Aunt Ester's 287th birthday, looking for guidance. He starts off on a journey to find the mythic City of Bones, leading him to startling discoveries and setting him on a course of duty and redemption.]
3*, Anna in the Tropics - Nilo Cruz, TheatreWorks
[Good acting but choppy direction compared to Arena Stage version 2 years ago.]
4*, Our Lady of 121st Street - Stephen Adly Guirgis, San Francisco Playhouse
[Ensemble character study of a group of former schoolmates that gather 15 years later to attend thefuneral of Sister Rose.]
3*, The Golden Apple - Jerome Moross, John Latouche, 42nd Street Moon
[Forgotten musical opera of Homer's The Iliad and The Odyssey set in turn-of-the-century Washington state.]


5*, Swan Lake - Peter Ilich Tchaikovsky, Matthew Bourne, Best of Broadway
[A Brokeback ballet. Beautiful, strong and masculine. An emotional and tragic story of suppressed love and transformation.]
4*, The Rivals - Richard Brinsley Sheridan, ACT
[A well serviced 1775 comedy of love and deception starring Mrs. Malaprop.]
2*, Intelligent Design of Jenny Chow - Rolin Jones, San Jose Repertory Theatre
[An irrelevant “techno-comedy” of a young woman’s quest to determine her heritage and her deal with her agoraphobia.]
4*, Franc D'Ambrosio's Broadway - Franc D'Ambrosio, New Conservatory Theatre Center
[Broadway revue by the actor who holds the record for playing the Phantom of the Opera.]
5*, Hijra - Ash Kotah, New Conservatory Theatre Center
[Boy meets boy in Bombay. They want a gay life in NYC. Family obligation, immigration and marriage collide.]
5*, Mack & Mabel - Jerry Herman, Michael Stewart, 42nd Street Moon
[Musical romance about Mack Sennett and Mabel Normand who dazzled in the early silent movie era.]
5*, The Sisters Rosensweig - Wendy Wasserstein, TheatreWorks
[Three sisters meet in London with their men in tow.]
1*, Slava's Snowshow - Slava Polunin, Best of Broadway
[Stupid waste of time. Clowns surround several low tech snow effects.]

TheatreWorks New Works Initiative (staged workshop productions or readings, no rankings):
Emma - Paul Gordon [Chamber musical based on the novel by Jane Austen.The town's young and beautiful matchmaker is meddlesome in other's affairs and clueless about her own feelings.]
Big Red Sun - John Jiler, Georgia Stitt [A play with music. A well intentioned but flawed story of a man searching for his father and learning about anti-semitism.]
Muzzulah, 1946 - Michele Lowe [A soaring drama of the last woman working in a Boeing plant after the men come home from WWII.]
Asphalt Beach - T.C. Smith, Peter Spears, Andrew Lippa [Wacky musical of female teen rivals at Our Lady of Suppressed Desire Academy for Rambunctious Girls.]
Something's Wrong with Amandine - Lance Horne, Winter Miller [Challenging musical play of an intersex person living in an isolated convent in 19th century France.]

5*, Martin Short: Fame Becomes Me - Martin Short, Daniel Goldfarb, Scott Wittman, Marc Shaiman, Best of Broadway
[A sketch and revue comedy in the Carol Burnett Show style. Lampoons "one man shows" on Broadway.]
3*, Iphigenia at Aulis - Euripides, translation Don Taylor, San Jose Repertory Theatre
[Strong acting cast but weak chorus (SF Dance Brigade). The fleet is in the port, armed for war against Troy. But still winds force Agamemnon to sacrifice his daughter to ensure victory.]
4*, Valhalla - Paul Rudnick, New Conservatory Theatre Center
[A comedy of two overlapping and intertwining stories. One of the mad 19th Century King Ludwig of Bavaria, the other of two buddies coming of age in rural Texas in the late ‘30s.]
2*, A Number - Caryl Churchill, ACT
[50 minute play that barely explores cloning and individual identity. Dad's relationship to son/clone(s).]

3*, Roulette - Paul Weitz, San Francisco Playhouse
[Dysfunctional family comedy: Dad plays Russian roulette, mom has affair with neighbor, lost kids]
4*, The Maid of Orleans (Joan of Arc) - Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, San Francisco Opera
[The matronly mezzo-soprano Dolora Zajick performs the part of the 17 year old Joan]
4*, john & jen - Andrew Lippa, Tom Greenwald, Bus Barn Stage Company
[A song cycle that looks at the complexities of relationships between brother and sister and sister/mother and son.]
5*, The Marriage of Figaro - Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, San Francisco Opera
[Servants are preparing to wed, but the Count wants the woman for himself. Meanwhile, the pageboy Cherubino is panting after the Count’s wife while the governess is chasing Figaro. In the end, Figaro gets his bride, and the estranged Count and Countess reunite.]
5*, Madama Butterfly - Giacomo Puccini, San Francisco Opera
[American naval officer acquires a bride known as Butterfly. She rejects her religion, family and culture for her new husband. He soon abandons her and leaves the country. She waits faithfully for 3 years. He returns only to claim the son she bore him, setting Butterfly on a tragic course.]
4*, Happy End - Bertolt Brecht, Kurt Weill, ACT
[Gangsters collide with Salvation Army workers while love and betrayal lurk in the shadows of 1920's Chicago.]

Week in New York City, 8 days-11 shows
4*, Pig Farm - Greg Kotis, Roundabout Theatre Company
[Farcical look at a non-sustainable pig farm. Tom, Tina and hired hand Tim fight to hold farm together despite the inspections from Teddy of the EPA. From the team of Urinetown.]
5*, Sweeney Todd - Stephen Sondheim, Hugh Wheeler - Eugene O'Neill Theatre (Patti LuPone, Michael Cerveris)
[An all time best reinterpretation. The cast of ten play their own instruments in lieu of an orchestra.]
3*, Jacques Brel is Alive and Well and Living in Paris - Jacques Brel, Eric Blau, Mort Shuman, Zipper Theatre
[Revue of singer/composer Jacques Brel (1929-78). Songs range from profound bittersweet ballads to satire to bawdy burlesque. Instead of 4 stools this production tried staged scenes for little effect.]
4*, Monty Python's Spamalot - Eric Idle, John DuPrez, Sam S Shubert Theatre
["The musical lovingly ripped off from the musical picture Monty Python and the Holy Grail"]
4*, The History Boys - Alan Bennett, Broadhurst Theatre (Richard Griffiths)
[The play blends comedy and tragedy, with multiple layers and themes, including growing up, the wider purpose of education in adult life, pederasty, teaching methods, homosexuality, and the English education system.]
5*, The Lieutenant of Inishmore - Martin McDonagh, Lyceum Theatre
[A wicked black comedy about Irish paramilitaries, extreme violence, guns and cats, is shocking and farcical.]
2*, Faith Healer - Brian Friel, Booth Theatre (Cherry Jones, Ralph Fiennes)
[Three actors, four monologues about a stillborn child, the death of a parent, and a triumphant night of healing. A testament to the idea that suffering may be a constant in life and on stage.]
5*, The Color Purple - Alice Walker, Marsha Normaan, Brenda Russell, Allee Willis, Stephen Bray, Broadway Theatre (LaChanze)
[Family saga about an abused and uneducated black woman's struggle for empowerment. Based on novel and film.]
4*, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels - David Yazbek, Jeffrey Lane, Imperial Theatre (Jonathan Pryce, Norbert Leo Butz, Lucie Arnaz)
[Who will be the first to swindle a young woman out of $50,000? Rival con men compete for rights to a particularly lucrative territory on the French Riviera. Musical based on 1988 comic film.]
5*, Spring Awakening - Steven Slater, Duncan Sheik, Frank Wedekind, Atlantic Theater Company
[Based on Wedekind’s controversial play, which was banned for 71 years. This rock musical boldly depicts how young people navigate the thrilling, confusing and mysterious time of their sexual awakening.]
5*, Drowsy Chaperone - Lisa Lambert, Greg Morrison, Bob Martin, Don McKellar, Marquis Theatre
[A die-hard musical-theatre fan plays his favorite cast album on his turntable, and the musical literally bursts to life in his living room, telling the tale of a Broadway starlet trying to find and keep her true love.]

3*, Vanities, a new musical - Jack Heifner, David Kirshenbaum, TheatreWorks
[Based on Heifner's play. The comic journey of three vivacious Texas teens from cheerleaders to sorority sisters to housewives, liberated women and beyond, during the '60s and '70s.]
5*, A Chorus Line - James Kirkwood, Nicholas Dante, Marvin Hamlisch, Edward Kleban, Best of Broadway
[Pre-Broadway revival. Strong cast with good singing and dancing.]
4*, Brooklyn Boy - Donald Margulies, TheatreWorks
[A successful novelist finds his personal life unraveling on a visit to his old neighborhood: dying father, ex-wife and an old school friend.]
3*, Li'l Abner- Norman Panama, Melvin Frank, Johnny Mercer, Gene De Paul, Al Capp, 42nd Street Moon
[Musical based on Al Capp's cartoon strip. Full of funny 1950's political & social commentary: A-bombs, corrupt government, merging of science and big business.]
3*, Insignificant Others - Jay Kuo, New Conservatory Theatre Center
[A musical about a group of five friends who move from Ohio to San Francisco and are quickly dazzled by all of its well-known quirks and eccentricities.]

Kiss of the Spider Woman
- Manuel Puig, New Conservatory Theatre Center
[Unlikeley friendship between two men in a Latin American jail. Didn't see full production because we were sick.]
4*, The Light in the Piazza - Craig Lucas, Adam Guettel, Elizabeth Spencer, Best of Broadway
[Florentine holiday romance between an American girl with limited mental capacities and the ardent young man she meets.Her mother puts her trust in the miracle of young love even as she faces the truth about her own marriage.]


5*, M. Butterfly - David Henry Hwang, TheatreWorks (saw twice, with Francis Jue and Mark Capri )
[A brilliant exploration of love and politics. Story of a French diplomat’s relationship with a glamorous Chinese opera star, an elusive “butterfly” eventually revealed to be a spy—and a man.]
5*, Grand Hotel, The Musical- Luther Davis, Robert Wright, George Forrest, Maury Yeston, Hillbarn Theatre
[Berlin 1928,a cast of characters intertwine in a series of fateful encounters: the fading ballerina on her last tour, the charming but cash desperate Baron, the dying bookkeeper looking for life, the typist that longs to be a star, and the failing businessman who foreshadows the coming Depression.]
5*, Die Fledermaus - Johann Strauss, Jr., San Francisco Opera
[An operetta about the mildly salacious infidelities of the Viennese upper crust.]
3*, A Masked Ball - Giuseppe Verdi, San Francisco Opera
[The Swedish king, Gustav III, loves his trusted friend's wife. The friend, Anckarström, becomes the King’s bitter enemy and the ringleader of the conspiracy. Consumed by jealousy, Anckarström stalks his prey during the opera’s climactic scene at the King's masked ball.]
2*, Travesties - Tom Stoppard, ACT
[Plodding production of when James Joyce, Valadimir Lenin and Tristan Tzara meet in Zürich between the wars and a production of Oscar Wilde's "Importance of Being Earnest" is produced.]

4*, Tristan and Isolde - Richard Wagner, San Francisco Opera
["Act One is two women walking around the deck of a boat. Act Two, two people seated on a bench near the woods. The Third Act, a man who is dying keeps getting up and lying down again." 4 hours, 45 minutes]
4*, Dessa Rose - Lynn Ahrens, Stephen Flaherty, Sherley Anne Williams, TheatreWorks
[Unlikely friendship between an abandoned southern belle and a rebellious slave girl escaping the antebellum South.]
5*, Teatro ZinZanni - One Reel (Thelma Houston)
[Evening of European cabaret, cirque, divas and madmen with live music and a gourmet five-course dinner.]
4*, Pardon My English - George Gershwin, Ira Gershwin, Herbert Fields, 42nd Street Moon
[A musical farce of a double identity in a 1933 German nightclub. Creepy in no mention of war .]
4*, Rigoletto - Giuseppe Verdi, San Francisco Opera
[ The hunch-backed court jester Rigoletto finally goes too far, he provokes a curse and loses the only source of joy in his life, his daughter.]
2*, The God of Hell - Sam Shepard, Magic Theatre
[A 80 minute skit about Republican facisism and Abu Ghraib torture set in the Shepard heartland kitchen.]
4*, The Ride Down Mount Morgan - Arthur Miller, San Francisco Playhouse
[A businessman tries to have it all at the expense of honesty in relationships. The American Dream crashes in an accident and two wives and family meet for the first time.
5*, Broadway With A Twist --A Musical Celebration of Love and Lust - various musical composers, Exit Theatre
[Excellent revue performed by six men in a gay piano bar setting.]
5*, Moonlight and Magnolias - Ron Hutchinson, San Jose Repertory Theatre
[Hilarious inside look at the making of Gone With The Wind with film mogul, David O. Selznick, screenwriter, Ben Hecht, and director, Victor Fleming.]

5*, The Barber of Seville - Gicachino Rossini, Pierre Beaumorchais, San Francisco Opera (Nathan Gunn)
[Count Almaviva loves the beautiful Rosina, who is kept a virtual prisoner in the house of her lecherous guardian Dr. Bartolo. Almaviva hires jack-of-all-trades Figaro to liberate her. Modern rotating set and Vespa riding.]
5*, I Could Have Sung All Night, an evening of story and song - Marni Nixon, Stephen Cole, 42nd Street Moon
[“Ghostess with the Mostest,” that sang the songs for Deborah Kerr in The King & I, Natalie Wood in West Side Story, and Audrey Hepburn in My Fair Lady.]
5*, The King and I - Richard Rodgers, Oscar Hammerstein II, American Musical Theatre of San Jose (Francis Jue and Debbie Boone)
[Based on the real life adventures of the English widow Anna Leonowens, set in 1860’s exotic Bangkok]
4*, Convenience - Gregg Coffin, New Conservatory Theatre Center
[New musical of a son coming out and a mother moving on and remarrying.]
5*, Doubt - John Patrick Shanley, Best of Broadway (Cherry Jones)
[A look at Catholic Church politics and the ramifications of a possible child molestation in a mid-1960s Bronx parochial school.]
4*, Peer Pressure - Gerald Hiken, Henrik Ibsen, Mr. Hiken's living room
[A retelling of Peer Gynt, an epic play of an Norwegian anti-hero that focuses on the problems of choice and identity.]
3*, Edward Scissorhands - Matthew Bourne, Tim Burton, Danny Elfman, Best of Broadway
[Story ballet based on Tim Burton's 1990 movie.]
5*, Carmen - Georges Bizet, San Francisco Opera
[Corporal Don José deserts his fiancée and his regiment to run off with the bewitching Gypsy, Carmen. But when she shifts her affections to the dashing toreador Escamillo, Carmen meets her fate in the form of Don José’s knife blade.]
5*, Flora the Red Menace - John Kander, Fred Ebb, David Thompson, 42nd Street Moon
[First Broadway musical from the team of Kander and Ebb! Set against the Bohemian world of artists and activists in Depression-era New York.]

3*, The Learned Ladies of Park Avenue - David Grimm, TheatreWorks
[Freely adapted from Molière's Les Femmes Savantes. Satire of upper-crust extravagance amidst the art deco splendor of Cole Porter's New York.]
4*, Manon Lescaut - Giacomo Puccini, San Francisco Opera
[Girl can't decide to marry for love or money. Tries both but ends up dying in the deserts of Louisiana.]
5*, Jersey Boys - Bob Gaudio, Bob Crew, Marshall Brickman, Rick Elice, Best of Broadway
[Musical biography of the doo-wop group The Four Seasons.]
1*, The MeshugaNutcracker - Eric A. Kimmel, Peninnah Schram, Steven M. Rosman, National Jewish Theatre Festival
[Amateur embarrassment. Eight Chanukah stories set to Peter Tchaikovsky's The Nutcracker]

Other cultural events and activities:
JAN: San Francisco Legion of Honor: After the Ruins, 1906 and 2006: Rephotographing the San Francisco Earthquake and Fire
JAN: San Francisco de Young Museum: Hatshepsut: From Queen to Pharaoh
Facing History & Ourselves Community Conversations: Justice Albie Sachs & Vannesa September "Transformation in a Time of Democratic Fever"
JAN: Mission San Juan Bautista
FEB: Kronick Chamber Music: Beethoven's Piano Trio Op. 97  "Archduke"
FEB: TravelPride Costa Rica + Panama Sailing Cruise
MAR: San Jose Gay Pride Oscar Night Fundraiser
MAR: Jewish Family and Children's Services Spring Gala Dinner
MAR: Cantor Arts Center: American ABC Childhood in 19th-Century America
MAR: Musicale in support of Tom's LifeCycle AIDS Ride: Beethoven, Rachmaninoff, Bartok & Scriabin
MAR: Horizons Foundation and the Interfaith Alliance Philanthropic Event: How to Move the Religious Middle on Marriage Equality
APR: Opening day Giants baseball season
APR: Gay Passover Seder
APR: Outlet "Out to Eat" fundraising dinner
APR: Facing History and Ourselves Benefit Dinner
MAY: Palo Alto Art Walk with BayLands FrontRunners, cocktail party and dinner
MAY: 42nd Street Moon fundraising gala A Little Brains|A Little Talent, Celebrating the musicals of the Fabulous Fifties!
MAY: Progressive Jewish Alliance: Smashing the Glass: Jewish Perspectives on Marriage Equality
MAY: Facing History & Ourselves Community Conversations: Francis Bok, human rights activist and former slave from Sudan
MAY: San Francisco Museum of Modern Art: The Surreal Calder; Matisse and Beyond; Surrealist Photography; 1906 Earthquake: A Disaster in Pictures.
MAY: Short hikes at Elkhorn Slough National Estuarine Research Reserve and Point Lobos State Reserve.
MAY: Madonna's "Confessions Tour" concert at HP Pavilion
JUNE: San Diego Zoo, Rock-n-Roll Marathon San Diego
JUNE: Palo Alto High School baccalaureate and graduation
JUNE: San Francisco Zoo's Binnowee Landing
JUNE: SF Pride weekend in city w/kids: Giants game, Pier 39, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art: Matthew Barney: DRAWING RESTRAINT, march in Gay Pride Parade.
JULY: Week in NYC: Museum of Modern Art: Dada; Big Onion Walking Tour of Brooklyn Bridge and Brooklyn Heights; behind the scenes tour of Leslie/Lohman Gay Art Foundation and Gallery
JULY: Horizons Foundation event: LGBT Estate Planning for the Charitably Inclined
JULY: BayLands FrontRunners Wine/Appetizer party at Vino Locale
JULY: Hike on Mount Tamalpais
JULY: Mountain Travel Sobek: Inca Trail and Beyond trip to Machu Picchu and Manu Wildlife Center, Peru
AUG: Legion of Honor: Monet in Normandy
AUG: Palo Alto Festival of the Arts
SEP: San Francisco Zoo - members night tour
SEP: To Life! A Jewish Cultural Street Festival, Palo Alto
SEP: Horizon Foundation Annual Gala, music by Paula West Quintet and Spencer Day
OCT: Family weekend at University of Colorado at Boulder, Colorado Buffs vs Texas Tech football
Shabbat Service with speaker Assemblyman Mark Leno on "Why Marriage Equality is Inevitable." 
OCT: BayLands FrontRunners 15th anniversary party
NOV: Outlet meeting with Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence
NOV: Trip to Tennessee: out in Nashville, mother in Paris, Land between the Lakes; Museum of the American Quilter's Sociey, Paducah KY

NOV: Facing History & Ourselves Community Conversations: author Azar Nafisi
NOV: New Conservatory Theatre Center 25th Gala Celebration
DEC: San Francisco de Young Museum: The Sculpture of Ruth Asawa: Contours on the Air; The Quilts of Gee’s Bend

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