Pocket full of ticket stubs

Ed and Eddie's list of plays, musicals and operas seen in 2016 organized by month. Besides the San Francisco Bay Area, we saw shows in Philadelphia, PA and Edinburgh, Scotland.

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]

January:
3*, Dangerous Corner - J. B. Priestley, SF City Theatre Company
[Partners at a publishing firm meet at a country retreat. A chance remark ignites a series of devastating revelations, revealing a tangle of clandestine relationships and dark secrets of the death of a former partner. The play ends with time slipping back to the beginning and the chance remark not being made, the secrets remaining hidden and the "dangerous corner" avoided.]
3*, Of Serpents and Sea Spray - Rachel Bublitz, Custom Made Theatre Company
[A tragedy witnessed by a young girl sets her off on a fantastical adventure. Iro, orphan girl and lover of adventures, discovers a mission: find the ancient winged horse, Pegasus. On her quest, taking with her only books and her imaginary friend Annika, she begins a mythical journey that will reunite her with her uncle and find the truth about the death of her parents.]
5*, The Mountaintop - Katori Hall, Pear Avenue Theatre
[A Memphis motel, 1968. First night for a sassy maid and the last for an icon of our time, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. fresh from the speech of a lifetime. Show re-imagines the night before the tragedy.]
5*, Hershey Felder as Irving Berlin - Irving Berlin, Hershey Felder, TheatreWorks
[Inspiring one-man show of “America’s Composer” Irving Berlin. Pianist Hershey Felder brings to life Berlin's story from the depths of anti-Semitism in Czarist Russia to New York's Lower East Side and ultimately all of America. Features the compose' s most popular and enduring songs as well as little known gems.]
2*, Death of A Salesman - Arthur Miller, Palo Alto Players
[A quintessential American tragedy and a scathing critique of capitalism and the failure of the American Dream to bring true happiness. The play follows aging salesman Willy Loman as he and his wife and two sons confront their dreams and failures, hopes and fears. Featured Gunn HS teachers, staff and alumni.]
1*, Swift Justice - Tom McEnery, Harry Farrell, Tabard Theatre
[Based on the historical, true-crime book by Farrell, 1992. The story focuses on the 1933 kidnap and murder of San Jose native Brooke Hart, heir to the Hart family fortune, and the subsequent mob rule hanging of suspected murderers in St. James' Park. Unevenly written, directed and acted.]
5*, Jersey Boys - Bob Gaudio, Bob Crew, Marshall Brickman, Rick Elice, SHN
[Musical biography of the doo-wop group Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons.]
5*, The Nether - Jennifer Haley, San Francisco Playhouse
[A young detective uncovers a disturbing brand of entertainment, a virtual wonderland with total sensory immersion which triggers a dark battle over technology and human desire. It is both serpentine crime drama and haunting sci-fi thriller.]
3*, The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee - William Finn, Rachel Sheinkin, Hillbarn 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, Marin Theatre Company
[Set in 1904 Pittsburgh. Aunt Esther, a fiery 285-year-old matriarch, welcomes into her Hill District home Solly Two Kings, who was born into slavery and scouted for the Union Army, and Citizen Barlow, a young man from Alabama searching for a new life. Citizen starts off on a journey to find the mythic City of Bones, leading him to a course of duty and redemption. Directed in a theatrical jazz aesthetic.]
5*, Satchmo at the Waldorf - Terry Teachout, A.C.T.
[
A biographical one-man show features a collision between two jazz titans, Louis Armstrong and Miles Davis as well as manger Mr. Glaser and various mobsters.]
4*, Tigers Be Still - Kim Rosenstock, City Lights Theater Company
[The spectacular misadventures of Sherry, an art teacher who, in the midst of mentoring a troubled teen and dealing with a tiger on the loose, faces her biggest challenges at home … getting her sister to sober up and her mother to come out of the bedroom. ]
3*, Middletown - Will Eno, Los Altos Stage Company
[Inspired by Thornton Wilder’s Our Town, it is a powerful and poignant meditation on birth, death and points between.]
2*, Sagittarius Ponderosa - MJ Kaufman, New Conservatory Theatre Center
[Archer (FtM, still Angela to his family) doesn’t want to move back home in eastern Oregon when his father falls ill. But at night under the oldest Ponderosa Pine, he meets a stranger who knows the history of the forests and the sadness of losing endangered things.]

February:
3*, U.S. Drag - Gina Gionfriddo, Dragon Productions Theatre Company
[Two young women in NYC are trying to figure out life after college, but they'll settle for making rent. They join a community advocacy group called SAFE ("Stay Away From Ed") named for an serial attacker terrorizing the city, when they learn there’s a reward for his capture. Their SAFE "friends" include their ruthless, socially stunted roommate; the celebrated author of a fictional memoir; a lonely man who feels a kinship with crime victims; and an "Ed survivor," reveling in her fifteen minutes of dubious fame. ]
4*, Forever Plaid - Stuart Ross, South Bay Musical Theatre
[A revue of the close-harmony "guy groups" (e.g. The Four Aces, The Four Freshmen) that were popular during the '50s. This quartet dreams of recording an album ended in death in a collision with a bus filled with Catholic schoolgirls on their way to see the Beatles' debut on The Ed Sullivan Show. The play begins with the Plaids returning from the afterlife for one final chance at musical glory.]
4*, Little Erik - Mark Jackson, Aurora Theatre Company
[A family searches for meaning and connection after the tragic death of their young, crippled child. Freely adapted from Ibsen’s Little Eyolf, this new play is a dramatically charged, volatile exploration of personal responsibility, grief, guilt, and the nature of desire.]
4*, Tinderella: The Modern Musical - Rose Oser, Christian B. Schmidt, Weston Scott, Faultline Theater at PianoFight
[Meg is just another young woman looking for #love. With a little help from her fairy god-roommate, Meg builds up the courage to download Tinder and swipes right on her ultimate prince charming, and it's a match! But will Meg's fairy-tale dream pan out? Will she be able to leave the party by midnight to catch BART?]
3*, I Do! I Do! - Harvey Schmidt, Tom Jones, Tabard Theatre
[Musical based on the play The Fourposter by Jan de Hartog. A dated, two-character musical that is a nostalgic look at the ups and downs of marriage and the making of a home.]
5*, Valley of the Heart - Luis Valdez, San Jose Stage in association with El Theatro Campesino
[Epic story of the Yamaguchis and the Montanos, two immigrant families, struggling to provide a future for their American-born children. The families’ oldest children, Ben and Teruko, fall in love and the emotional stakes are further heightened when Japan attacks Pearl Harbor, throwing both families into uncertainty. Issues of loyalty and patriotism provoke both rebellion and heroism among young, imprisoned Japanese Americans while both Thelma and Benjamin fight to maintain their dignity, identity, family, and love in the face of war, fear, and separation.]
5*, Aubergine - Julia Cho, Berkeley Repertory Theatre
[An estranged son that is a chef, a father who's terminally ill, a visiting Korean uncle, a girlfriend without an appetite, and a hospice nurse that is a refugee from a forgotten country - they all prove potent ingredients in this bittersweet and moving meditation on family, forgiveness, death, and the things that nourish us.]
3*, The Illusionists – Live from Broadway - Simon Painter, SHN
[Over-the-top Vegas garishness of flashing lights and lasers, a harshly mod set design, goth-dressed dancers looking angry as they stomp and flip wildly about, and blaring pumped-up music could not cover up how under whelming collection of magic acts. One act missing.]
4*, Dogeaters - Jessica Hagedorn, Magic Theatre
[An epic drama adapted from Hagedorn's book. It explores the inner workings of power, culture clash, sex and celebrity as the Philippines unravels at the end of the Marcos regime in 1982.]
5*, Sam and Dede (Or My Dinner with Andre the Giant) - Gino Dilorio, Custom Made Theatre Company
[A true story: 12-year old Andre the Giant, already over 6 feet tall and 240 pounds, didn’t fit on the school bus. Andre’s neighbor, Samuel Beckett, as repayment of a favor, offered to drive Andre to school in his truck. The play imagines a series of scenes between a giant – a man who cannot hide, and a writer obsessed with silence. Ed did not see.]
4*, She Loves Me - Sheldon Harnick, Jerry Bock, Joe Masteroff, Foothill Music Theatre
[Musical based on a play by Miklos Laszlo that also became the basis of the classic film Shop Around the Corner and more recently You've Got Mail. The story follows Amalia and Georg, two feuding clerks in a European parfumerie during the 1930s who secretly find solace in their anonymous romantic pen pals, little knowing their respective correspondents are actually each other.]
5*, Champion: An Opera in Jazz - Terence Blanchard, Michael Cristofer, SFJAZZ with Opera Parallèle
[Tells the real-life story of world champion boxer Emile Griffith, a man haunted by memories of his past who struggled to reconcile his sexuality in a hyper-macho world. Tormented by the death of opponent Benny Paret following their 1962 bout for the welterweight title, Griffith spent his life questioning himself and a society that would accept his accidental killing of a fellow athlete, but not his bisexuality.]
4*, Bridges: A New Musical - Cheryl L. Davis, Douglas J. Cohen, Elizabeth McKoy, Berkeley Playhouse
[In 1965, a young woman boldly joins a march to fight for her civil rights by marching across the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, AL and faces heartache with an interracial romance. Decades later, a granddaughter faces her own battle for equality in California Prop 8 battle. As their stories collide across time and distance, each must come to terms with who she is in the context of a changing and complicated world.]
3*, Ondine - Katharine Sherman, Cutting Ball Theater
[Ondine, a water sprite, finds love on land but when she fears that her knight has abandoned her, in a lonely fit of thoughtless and regrettable passion, she issues a curse: sleep will bring him death. When the lovers are reunited, Ondine is forced to face her grave mistake.]
4*, Dirty Dancing - The Classic Story on Stage - Eleanor Bergstein, SHN
[A play with dance based on 1987 movie. On vacation in NY’s Catskill Mountains, 1963, with her older sister and parents, 17 year-old Frances ‘Baby’ Houseman shows little interest in the resort activities, and instead discovers her own entertainment when she stumbles upon the staff quarters when an all-night dance party is in full swing. Mesmerized by the raunchy dance moves and the pounding rhythms, Baby can’t wait to be part of the scene, especially when she catches sight of Johnny Castle the resort dance instructor.]
3*, The Call - Tanya Barfield, Theatre Rhinoceros
[Annie and Peter decide to adopt, setting their sights on a child from Africa. But, when they receive surprising news from the adoption agency, their marriage is put to the test, secrets of the past are exposed, and this couple approaching midlife is left with an unexpected choice. Ed didn't see.]
4*, Macbeth - William Shakespeare, Berkeley Repertory Theatre
[Fairly bloodless production with great video and sound. Featuring Frances McDormand as Lady Macbeth/witch and Conleth Hill as Macbeth.]

March:
5*, Stories by Emma Donoghue and Colm Tóibín, Word for Word at Z Space
Night Vision - Emma Donoghue and Silence - Colm Tóibín
[2 short stories. Night Vision from The Woman Who Gave Birth To Rabbits, tells of young, blind Frances Browne who thrived on education when it was allowed her, and whose determination made her one of Ireland’s most renowned poets. Silence from The Empty Family, recreates the story of the love-affair between Lady Gregory and the young poet Wilfrid Scawen Blunt. Their affair was secret, but partially revealed in the love-poems she gave him to publish as his own work.]
5*, Uncle Vanya - Anton Chekhov, Dave Sikula, Pear Theatre
[A modern, natural translation. The visit of an elderly professor and his younger second wife, Yeléna, to the rural estate that supports their urban lifestyle. Vanya, brother of the Professor's late first wife, who has long managed the estate, and Astrov, the local Doctor, both fall under Yelena's spell, while bemoaning the ennui of their provincial existence. Sonya, the Professor's daughter by his first wife, who has worked with Vanya to keep the estate going, meanwhile suffers from the awareness of her own lack of beauty and from her unrequited feelings for Dr. Astrov. Matters are brought to a crisis when the Professor announces his intention to sell the estate.]
4*, Three’s Company LIVE! - Adapted by D’Arcy Drollinger, Oasis
[Drag parody of Three's Company, a 70’s sitcom that stared John Ritter, Suzanne Somers and Joyce DeWitt. Full of racy subject matter, sexual innuendos and over-the-top physical comedy.]
4*, Coppélia - Léo Delibes, Alexandra Danilova, George Balanchine, San Francisco Ballet
[Ballet story of a mysterious inventor, his life-sized doll, and the havoc they wreak on a young couple. Ed didn't see.]
5*, The Unfortunates - Jon Beavers, Kristoffer Diaz, Casey Lee Hurt, Ian Merrigan & Ramiz Monsef, American Conservatory Theater
[The darkly comic musical is based on an old blues song, St. James Infirmary. Explores a world of memory and myth making in which courage is tested in magical ways. Big Joe, a stalwart, tough-talking soldier with oversized hands, journeys through a murky dream world in which he confronts a series of enemies and risks everything to save his armless love Rae from a plague that has decimated all but a handful of survivors.]
4*, Swimmers - Rachel Bonds, Marin Theatre Company
[When apocalyptic billboards interrupt the mundanity of the morning commute and the inbox opens to emails warning of coyotes loose in the parking lot, there’s no escaping that it’s going to be a strange day at the office. Office drama explores the relationships often take most for granted – our coworkers.]
4*, tokyo fish story - Kimber Lee, TheatreWorks Silicon Valley
[Generations, gender, and tradition collide as a revered Sushi Master struggles to preserve ancient artistry in a society obsessed with change. In pursuit of perfection, Koji inspires his brilliant protégé of a son, intimidates a parade of young apprentices, and discovers that in today’s world, even a three-star chef has much to learn.]
4*, Mothers and Sons - Terrence McNally, New Conservatory Theatre Center
[A woman pays a surprise visit to the New York apartment of her late son's partner, who is now married to another man and has a young son. Generations collide as she revisits the past and begins to see the life her son might have led.]
5*, Miss Saigon - Claude-Michel Schonberg, Richard Maltby, Jr., Alain Boubill, Broadway by the Bay
[Based on Giacomo Puccini's opera Madame Butterfly, and similarly tells the tragic tale of a doomed romance involving an Asian woman abandoned by her American lover. The setting is the 1970s Saigon during the Vietnam War.]
5*, Colossal - Andrew Hinderaker, San Francisco Playhouse
[A theatrical event featuring a dance company, a drum line, and a fully-padded football team. Plot centers on a gay University of Texas football player, struggling to move forward in the wake of a catastrophic spinal injury.]
3*, Second Time Around: A Duet for Cello and Storyteller - Charlie Varon, Joan Jeanrenaud, The Marsh
[Ben is being videotaped for a high school history project. What to tell the kid? Some old war stories about flying missions against the Nazis? Offer advice about what it is to be a man? The Greatest Generation meets the iPhone generation.]
4*, Talking Heads - Alan Bennett, Spare Stage
[Three women solo pieces, a stage adaptation of the BBC series: The Hand of God, Miss Fozzard Finds Her Feet, Bed Among the Lentils.]
4*, The Realistic Joneses - Will Eno, American Conservatory Theatre
[In a small American town, two couples share a last name and a big problem with small talk in this existential comedy. Soon after the Joneses meet, they discover that both the husbands are suffering from a similar malady, which leads to a surreal deterioration of loneliness and relationship, fear and courage, death and dreams.]
4*, The Elephant Man - Bernard Pomerance, City Lights Theater Company
[Based on the true story of John Merrick, a young man in Victorian England afflicted with a disfiguring neurological disease. Merrick is taken in by celebrated young physician Frederick Treves, who gives him medical care and introduces him to the pleasures of London society. As he becomes a favorite of the intelligentsia and aristocracy, Merrick’s triumphant redemption teaches that beauty lies within.]
4*, The How and the Why - Sarah Treem, Aurora Theatre Company
[More than science is at stake when two women of different generations clash over what it means to be female. On the eve of a prestigious conference, an up-and-coming evolutionary biologist wrestles for the truth with an established leader in the field. As the women thrash out their views, they struggle to find the middle ground between their research and their surprising relationships.]
5*, The Boys from Syracuse - Richard Rodgers, Lorenz Hart, George Abbott, 42nd Street Moon
[Musical based on Shakespeare’s A Comedy of Errors. Two sets of twins create havoc in Ancient Ephesus. Mistaken identities, chases, magic spells, courtesans, and a mysterious seeress add to the general insanity. Falling in Love With Love, This Can’t Be Love, Sing for Your Supper.]
4*, Too Much, Too Much, Too Many - Meghan Kennedy, Dragon Productions Theatre Company
[Following the death of her husband, Rose locks herself in her bedroom for the better part of a year, leaving her daughter Emma to care for her through the closed door. When the church sends a new pastor to help coax Rose out of her room, he soon finds that Rose is not the only one using barriers to hide her true feelings.]
5*, Buyer and Cellar - Jonathan Tolins, New Conservatory Theatre Center
[An underemployed Los Angeles actor goes to work in Barbra Streisand’s Malibu basement.]
4*, An Act of God - David Javerbaum SHN (Sean Hayes)
[An adapted from Javerbaum's The Last Testament: A Memoir By God. A conversation in which God reveals the mysteries of the Bible and answers some of the greatest existential questions that plague mankind.]

April:
4*, Disney’s Beauty and the Beast - Alan Menken, Howard Ashman, Tim Rice, Linda Woolverton, Broadway San Jose
[Based on the 1991 film. A prince is transformed into a hideous beast as punishment for his cruel and selfish ways. An adventurous young woman named Belle becomes imprisoned in his castle. In order to become human again, the Beast must earn Belle's love before it's too late.]
3*, On Clover Road - Steven Dietz, San Francisco Playhouse
[A noir thriller: An abandoned motel. A distraught mother. A cruel private investigator/deprogrammer. A runaway daughter and a cult leader. Will mother and daughter be reunited? How far can you push the bonds of family?]

Six days in Philadelphia, PA for ATCA conference
5*, Two Trains Running - August Wilson, Arden Theatre Company
[The civil rights movement is sweeping across Pittsburgh’s Hill District in 1969 and Memphis Lee’s diner is scheduled to be torn down, a casualty of the city’s renovation project. Struggling to cope with a rapidly changing world, Memphis and the diner regulars fight to hang on to their solidarity and sense of community.]
4*, Peter and the Starcatcher - Rick Elice, Walnut Street Theatre
[This prequel to "Peter Pan" is based on the 2006 young-adult novel by Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson.]
4*, He Who Gets Slapped - Leonid Andreyev, Walter Wykes, The Philadelphia Artists’ Collective, with the Philadelphia School of Circus Arts
[A famous writer takes a job as a circus clown in order to escape his past. In this carnival of human outcasts, this smiling clown fashions a portrait of an intellectual's struggle to exist in a world ruled by Fate, Chance, and the almighty dollar.]
3*, An Octoroon - Brandon Jacobs-Jenkins, Dion Boucicault, Wilma Theatre
[Based on Boucicault's 1859 antebellum melodrama. A modern mashup of a pre-Civil War tale set in the Deep South that tells of a slave owner’s affections for a woman whose blood is one-eighth black.]
4*, Sex with Strangers - Laura Eason, Philadelphia Theatre Company
[When 20-something star sex blogger and memoirist Ethan tracks down his idol, the gifted but obscure 40ish novelist Olivia, he finds they each crave what the other possesses. As attraction turns to sex, and they inch closer to getting what they want, both must confront the dark side of ambition and the near impossibility of reinventing oneself.]
5*, The Rape of Lucrece - William Shakespeare, Philadelphia Artists’ Collective
[Solo piece of Shakespeare’s 1594 narrative poem. The story of Tarquin’s rape of Lucrece is an ancient Roman legend that lead to the banishment of the royal family, and the founding of the Roman republic.]

4*, Cyrano - Edmund Rostand, Michael Hollinger, Aaron Posner, TheatreWorks Silicon Valley
[New adaptation of literature’s greatest love triangle: the enchanting heiress Roxanne, handsome cadet Christian, and nose-challenged swordsman Cyrano in the love affair of a lifetime.]
5*, Colette Uncensored - Zack Rogow, Lorri Holt, The Marsh
[A one-woman show based on Colette’s life and work. She was a writer, a pioneer for social change, and a lover. Colette wrote the books that the movies Gigi and Cheri were based on, as well as fifty other works. In addition, Colette blazed trails in many areas, from women’s empowerment, to respect for nature, to sexual liberation.]
5*, Dominion - Alan Olejniczak, At Last Theatre
[When young Esther arrives to be the third wife of the prophet Hammon, she must find her place among his other wives - the adversarial Mara and the well-meaning Rachel. On a nearby farm, the widow Ella fears that her son Jubal will be taken away, leaving her alone to stop the advances of community's powerful elder. Defying tradition, Jubal and Esther set in motion a series of events that corrupt the foundation of the entire village.]
2*, Catch-22, Joseph Heller, Los Altos Stage Company
[Based on Heller's 1961 novel adapted by him in 1971. The story follows Captain John Yossarian, a U.S. Army Air Forces B-25 bombardier, and a number of other characters. It is frenetic and its humor largely absurd, though interspersed with moments of grisly realism.]
5*, Hamlet - William Shakespeare, Shotgun Players
[Seven actors learn all parts. Five minutes before show, they draw lots from Yorick's skull to see which part they will perform that night.]
3*, The Untamed Stage - Scrumbly Koldewyn, Terance Bennan, Damien Chacona, Cab Covay, Andy Wegner, Martin Worman, Alex Kinney Thrillpeddlers
[Musical inspired by the innovations and excesses of 1920s Weimar Berlin. First half a cabaret review. The second half a kabarett fantasy of how a cow udderly changes history.]
3*, Enchanted April - Charles Leipart, Richard Evans, Pacific Coast Theatre Company
[Musical based on the 1922 novel by Elizabeth von Arnim , which has also been a Tony Award nominee for Best Play. The story is a lively romp about four English women who vacation in Italy.]
5*, Anne Boleyn - Howard Brenton, Marin Theatre Company
[Henry wants a son, Anne, and a divorce—in that order. Not content to be just another one of Henry’s mistresses, the Anne seizes an opportunity for a legitimate marriage—and some sneaky Protestant reformations while she’s at it.]
4*, Sojourners - Mfoniso Udofia, Magic Theatre
[Abasiama came to America with high hopes - for her arranged marriage and her future - intent on earning a degree and returning to Nigeria. But when her husband is seduced by America, she must choose between the Nigerian or American Dream.]
5*, Boeing Boeing - Mark Camoletti, San Jose Stage
[Bernard, an American architect in Paris, attempts to juggle three relationships with flight attendants, but it isn't long before his cunning deception is hurtled toward disaster as schedules change, flights are delayed, and chaos ensues.]
5*, Above and Beyond the Valley of the Ultra Showgirls - D’Arcy Drollinger, Enrique, Steve Bolingerr, Oasis
[Inspired and shamelessly plagiarized from "Beyond the Valley of the Dolls" and "Showgirls", this over-the-top dark musical comedy has enough poor taste references to keep any B-movie junky erect.]
4*, Into the Woods - Stephen Sondheim, James Lapine, Palo Alto Players
[The musical intertwines the plots of several Brothers Grimm fairy tales and follows them to explore the consequences of the characters' wishes and quests. The musical is tied together by an original story involving a childless baker and his wife and their quest to begin a family, their interaction with a Witch who has placed a curse on them.]
5*, The Most Happy Fella - Frank Loesser, 42nd Street Moon
[Based on Sidney Howard’s play They Knew What They Wanted. A romantic musical tells of unlikely love that blossoms between an older Napa Valley Italian winery owner and a down-on-her-luck waitress from San Francisco.]

May:
5*, Treasure Island - Mary Zimmerman, Robert Louis Stevenson, Berkeley Repertory Theatre and Lookingglass Theatre Company
[Cabin boy Jim Hawkins is on a heart-pounding voyage filled with tales of swashbuckling gentlemen o’ fortune, a malicious mutiny led by infamous Long John Silver, and a deadly quest for fabled buried booty.]
3*, The Heir Apparent - David Ives, Jean-François Regnard, Aurora Theatre Company
[1708 French farce. Eraste desperately wants to marry Isabelle, but first he needs to secure an inheritance from his decrepit old uncle, Geronte – who refuses to die and schemes to marry Isabelle himself. Can Eraste’s resourceful servant save the day with his quick wit and powers of disguise?]
5*, Onegin - John Cranko, Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky, San Francisco Ballet
[Based on Alexander Pushkin’s novel Eugene Onegin, as is the 1879 Tchaikovsky opera that preceded it. The score is comprised of various piano and orchestral pieces by Tchaikovsky. Plot: She loves; he rebuffs. Years later he yearns; she is married. Who's crying now?]
5*, Cinderella - Richard Rodgers, Oscar Hammerstein II, Douglas Carter Beane, SHN
[Orginally written for TV, Cinderella opens Prince Topher's eyes to the injustice in the kingdom. The prince's parents have died, leaving the kingdom in the hands of a villainous prime minister, who has been the prince's mentor and has duped his young charge into approving oppressive legislation. The rebel Jean-Michel, a new character, and stepsister Gabrielle are in love and seeking to overthrow the government.]
4*, When the Rain Stops Falling - Andrew Bovell, Dragon Productions Theatre Company
[A family saga travels in time from one generation to another, from 1959 to 2039, and from London to Australia. With four generations of absent fathers and lost sons, and their mothers, lovers and wives, the play is a drama of the sins of the fathers and its effects.]
4*, Sweet Charity - Neil Simon , Cy Coleman, Dorothy Fields, Hillbarn Theatre
[Charity works at a dance club where she has seen only the dark side of life through bad relationships. One day she meets Oscar and believes her luck has changed. When things turn sour, Charity stays sweet and hopeful that someday her ideals will materialize. A Bob Fosse dance musical based on Federico Fellini's screenplay for Nights of Cabiria.]
5*, Disney’s Newsies - Alan Menken, Jack Feldman, Harvey Fierstein, Broadway San Jose
[A dance musical based on the 1992 musical film, which in turn was inspired by the real-life Newsboys Strike of 1899 in New York City.]
4*, Kinky Boots - Harvey Fierstein, Cindi Lauper, SHN
[Based on the 2005 British film about a struggling, family-owned English shoe factory that avoids bankruptcy when its young boss, Charlie, develops a plan to produce custom fetish-type footwear for drag artists rather than the men's dress shoes. In order to save his workers from losing their source of income, Charlie partners with Lola, a drag queen, to save the business he inherited.]
3*, The Empty Nesters - Garret Jon Groenveld, Flown the Coop Productions
[Hard working parents Greg and Frances stop for a visit to the Grand Canyon’s breathtaking Skywalk after delivering their final child to college in Phoenix. But instead of seeing a limitless horizon full of fresh possibilities, one half of the couple faces an empty chasm, while the other begins to wonder if freedom is only a loss of solid footing. Ed didn't see.]
5*, Red Velvet - Lolita Chakrabarti, San Francisco Playhouse
[London, 1833. No black man has ever starred on a British stage—not even as Othello—until tonight. Ira Aldridge, a young black American, breaks more than the color barrier as he battles the entrenched social and theatrical norms of his day, going on to become a living legend.]
5*, The Last Five Years- Jason Robert Brown, A.C.T.
[
Two person musical of a 5-year romance told from her point starting at the end and ending at the beginning. His story is interspersed in a beginning-to-end time line.]
4*, Grey Matter - Julie Katz, The Marsh
[One woman comic look at life in a large tech firm. She embodies a host of male and female characters as she portrays your social committee president, your IT team member, your legal counsel, the new guy, that woman from marketing, and all your other core-value-living co-workers.]
5*, The Wild Party - Andrew Lippa, Ray of Light Theatre
[A seductive musical that follows a pair of jealous lovers throwing the party to end all parties. Based on Joseph Moncure March’s 1928 narrative poem.]
4*, I and You - Lauren Gunderson, City Lights Theater Company
[On the night before a class assignment is due, Caroline and Anthony plumb the mysteries of a Whitman poem…unaware that a deeper mystery of Caroline's illness has brought them together.]
4*, Gypsy - Jule Styne, Stephen Sondheim, Arthur Laurents, South Bay Musical Theatre
[Musical loosely based on the 1957 memoirs of Gypsy Rose Lee, the famous striptease artist, and focuses on her mother, Rose, whose name has become synonymous with "the ultimate show business mother." It follows the dreams and efforts of Rose to raise two daughters to perform onstage and casts an affectionate eye on the hardships of show business life.]
3*, Elect to Laugh - Will Durst, The Marsh
[A blend of scripted theater and ad-lib stand-up comedy. The show is well-timed and well-named for this year’s increasingly bizarre presidential election.]
5*, Out of Darkness - Jake Heggie, Gene Scheer, Music of Remembrance at San Francisco Conservatory of Music
[Based in part on the true stories of two Holocaust survivors: the Polish dissident Krystyna Zywulska (1914-1993) and the gay German Jew, Gad Beck (1923-2012).]
3*, On a Clear Day You Can See Forever - Burton Lane, Alan Jay Lerner, Peter Parnell, New Conservatory Theatre Center
[New book with a gay angle. A gay florist David who was a female jazz singer Melinda in a former life, and who falls in love with his psychiatrist, widower Dr. Mark Bruckner.]
4*, Robert Louis Stevenson: Jekyll and Hyde - Gary Graves, Central Works
[Louis wakes from a terrifying fever dream. The author of Treasure Island has an idea for a new novel. The story has come to him from the deep unconscious recesses of his mind, fully formed. He reveals the story in intimate detail to Fanny, his beloved, volatile, and very eccentric wife. But Fanny is horrified by the monstrous tale. She pleads with her husband to abandon the fiendish allegory that threatens to unhinge him utterly.]
2*, For Peter Pan on her 70th birthday - Sarah Ruhl, Berkeley Repertory Theatre
[A look at growing up versus growing old within a family. In the wake of their father’s death, five siblings are driven to reconnect with childhood dreams and confront the inevitability of the passage of time. ]
4*, Maggie's Riff - Jon Lipsky, FaultLine Theater at PianoFight
[Through a shifting jazz score that combines the heartfelt 30s with the frenetic 60s, Maggie's Riff is a time-bending examination into Jack Kerouac's memories. Provoked by nostalgia for his boyhood in small town Lowell and taunted by his first love, Maggie Cassidy, Jack tears though his past to separate the facts of his life from the fantasies of his novels.]

June:
5*, Chester Bailey - Joseph Dougherty, American Conservatory Theater
[Long Island, 1945. A young man in a military hospital has no memory of being involved in a tragic accident that caused the loss of his eyes and hands. A psychiatrist is assigned the case, and in turn is faced with his own demons in this world premiere psychological drama.]
5*, Jenufa - Leoš Janácek, San Francisco Opera
[A righteous stepmother attempts to shield her daughter from scandal and village gossip through an unspeakable act of infanticide and redemption.]
3*, Lightning in the Brain - Corey Fischer, The Marsh
[One man show of song and story from the founder of Traveling Jewish Theater about forgetting and remembering, about young and old love, about losing and finding yourself.]
5*, Oklahoma! - Richard Rogers, Oscar Hammerstein IIl, Broadway by the Bay
[Set in a Western Indian territory just after the turn of the century, the high-spirited rivalry between the local farmers and cowboys provides the background against which Curly, a handsome cowboy, and Laurey, a winsome farm girl, play out their love story.]
5*, The Velocity of Autumn - Eric Coble, TheatreWorks Silicon Valley
[An octogenarian artist and mother has barricaded herself in her Brooklyn brownstone, booby-trapped with enough homemade bombs to take out the neighborhood. In a wry, spirited quest to “not go gentle” into a retirement home, Alexandra battles both the fears of her family and the ravages of time, negotiating the terms of her future with a long-estranged son with battles of his own.]
4*, The Village Bike - Penelope Skinner, Shotgun Players
[Becky, a newly-pregnant school teacher, is friskier than ever. But she can’t seem to get the attention of her husband, who is preoccupied with preparing for the baby’s months-away arrival. So Becky takes matters into her own hands and sets out on an adventure that starts with the purchase of a used bike from a man in town and embarks on a secret affair with him but is determined not to become attached.]
5*, Beach Blanket Babylon - Club Fugazi, Beach Blanket Babylon
[Snow White travels the world in search of her true love.]
5*, Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike- Christopher Durang, Palo Alto Players
[Chekhov is turned on his head in this farce. In bucolic Bucks County, PA, Vanya and Sonia have frittered their lives away in their family’s farmhouse full of regret, angst and the alarmingly ambiguous prophecies of their addled housecleaner Cassandra. Enter their sister, self-absorbed movie star Masha, with her prized 20-something boy toy Spike. She wants to sell the family home and attend a party.]
5*, The Invisible Hand - Ayad Akhtar, Marin Theatre Company
[American banker Nick Bright finds himself in the wrong place when he is kidnaped by a Pakistan Islamist militant group. When the United States won’t negotiate for his release, Nick offers to raise the $10 million ransom on his own by teaching his quick-tempered captor Bashir how to play the stock market.]
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 from a jealous Don José’s knife blade. Updated to the last days of General Franco's dictatorship in Calixto Bieito's acclaimed production.]
5*, Cabaret -Joe Masteroff, Fred Ebb, John Kander, SHN (Randy Harrison)
[Seedy nightlife at the Kit Kat Klub and doomed romances set in 1929/30 Berlin on the eve of the Nazis' rise to power.]
4*, August: Osage County - Tracy Letts, Pear Theatre
[Riveting family drama of drug abuse, alcoholism, suicide, death, family dysfunction, sexual harassment, aging, generational change, racism, incest, infidelity, and ultimately love.]
4*, Present Laughter - Noël Coward, Theatre Rhinoceros
[A few days in the life of the successful and self-obsessed light comedy actor Garry Essendine as he prepares to travel for a touring commitment in Africa. Amid a series of farcical events, Garry has to deal with women who want to seduce him, placate both his long-suffering secretary and his estranged wife, cope with a crazed young playwright, and overcome his impending mid-life crisis.]

July:
4*, John Leguizamo: Latin History for Morons - John Leguizamo, Berkeley Repertory Theatre
[One man show. John attempts to teach his son about the marginalization of Latinos in U.S. history and the vital roles they played in building this country. He covers a satirical recap of Aztec and Incan history to stories of Latin patriots in the Revolutionary and Civil War and beyond.]
5*, East 14th - Don Reed, The Marsh
[One man show. A coming of age story of Don growing up on East 14th in Oakland in the 70s. At one end of 14th lived his strick mother and step-father (Jehovah's Witnesses) and at the other end lived his father, a loveing, accepting pimp.]
5*, City of Angels - Cy Coleman, David Zippel, Larry Gelbart, San Francisco Playhouse
[This jazz musical weaves together two plots, the "real" world of a writer trying to turn his book into a screenplay, and the "reel" world of the fictional 1940's Hollywood alter-ego detective who sidles through a netherworld of vicious thugs and femmes fatales.]
3*, The Rules - Dipika Guha San Francisco Playhouse
[When three women all fall in love with the same mysterious man, these old friends must reexamine the rules of their friendship in a technologically-saturated world. Inspired by its namesake the seminal antifeminist dating guide “The Rules: The Time-tested Secrets for Capturing the Heart of Mr. Right,” Ed did not see.]
5*, The Real Americans - Dan Hoyle, The Marsh
[Fleeing the liberal bubble of SF and hipster friends, Hoyle spent 100 days traveling through small-town America in search of some tough country wisdom and ways to bridge America’s urban/rural divide.]
5*, Confederates - Suzanne Bradbeer, TheatreWorks Silicon Valley
[Father’s running for President. Daughter’s running wild. And the press is running out of time. With the campaign in full swing, a photo of the daughter posing nude with a confederate flag appears and the scandal hits the fan.]
3*, Schooled - Michael Gene Sullivan, Eugenie Chan, Ira Marlowe, Daniel Savio, San Francisco Mime Troupe
[A political musical parody about the current presidential election within a high school setting. Ed did not see.]
4*, American Idiot - Green Day, Billie Joe Armstrong, Michael Mayer, City Lights Theater Company
[A bombardment on the alienation of modern youth and society seen through a theatrical punk lens of Brecht and Weill. Three lifelong friends, forced to choose between their unbridled dreams and the safety of suburbia, are on a quest for true meaning in a post-9/11 world.]
3*, Stale Magnolias - Sean Owens, Don Seaver, Oasis
[Musical Drag parody of Steel Magnolias. Rectal, Texas - home of the Last Chance Salon. Six women in a small town, circa 1985, prove they have the big hair and padded shoulders to overcome any adversity- but when they're trapped together at the local hairdressser's, their barbed tongues fly, and no-one's dignity is left unshredded.]
3*, The Gathering - Arje Shaw, Live Oak Theatre
[Drama is set against Reagan's controversial visit to a Bitburg, German, a military cemetery in 1985. It centers on a Jewish family -- the father a Holocaust survivor, his son a speech writer for President Ronald Reagan (his immediate boss, Pat Buchanan), a grandson about to celebrate his bar mitzvah.]
4*, Grand Concourse - Heidi Schreck, Shotgun Players
[Having dedicated her life to religious service, Shelley runs a Bronx soup kitchen with unsentimental efficiency, but lately her heart’s not quite in it. When Emma — an idealistic but confused college dropout — arrives to volunteer, her reckless mix of generosity and self-involvement pushes Shelley to the breaking point.]
2*, Slaughter City - Naomi Wallace, Stanford Repertory Theater
[Mixing reality and dream, the radical and the mystic, the play is a time-shifting drama about life in the meat-packing industry.]
5*, Wild Boy - Oliver Goldstick, Dragon Productions Theatre Company
[Based on the memoir Not Even Wrong, the play tells two stories - that of Paul and Jennifer Collins, who learn that their toddler may be autistic, and that of Peter “the Wild Boy,” an 18th century boy found mute and feral in the woods by King George I.]
3*, Hearts of Palm - Patricia Milton, Central Works
[A small Southeast Asian island is visited by a team of corporate negotiators intent on expanding a palm oil plantation. When a company rep goes rogue and joins the local rebel resistance, Viola Wells takes charge as Lead Negotiator. While fending off the unwanted advances of a corporate teammate, “Vi” must come to terms with the true nature of her employer: multi-national conglomerate, Empire Holdings, Ltd.]

August:
5*, The Awakening - Oren Stevens, The Breadbox Theatre
[Adpated from 1899 novel by Kate Chopin. Set in the late nineteenth century on Grand Isle, off the coast of Louisiana and in New Orleans. A married woman seeks greater personal freedom and a more fulfilling life while trapped in a stifling marriage, She seeks and finds passionate physical love outside the straitened confines of her domestic situation.]
3*, The Ice Cream Sandwich Incident - Barry Eitel, Faultline Theatre
[A space age comedy aboard a mock station where an ice cream related catastrophe strikes, and their world is thrown into turmoil as they seek answers from reality tv, sex ed, and the unknown outside overseers interested in their experiment.] {121}

Week at Edinburgh Fringe Festival, 8 days - performances (32 theatre, 3 other performances)
5*, The Glass Menagerie - Tennessee Williams, American Repertory Theater at Edinburgh International Festival (Cherry Jones)
[Aspiring poet Tom reluctantly works in a warehouse to support his overbearing mother and debilitatingly shy sister, Laura. Pushed by his mother, he finds Laura a gentleman caller to try to coax her from her fragile private world.]
5*, Hamlet in Bed - Michael Laurence, Richard Jordan Productions & Brian Long Productions at The Pleasance
[Michael’s passion for playing Hamlet is only out-matched by his drive to find out who the mother is that abandoned him at birth. A riveting play about a man who will use whatever deception necessary to get the woman he perceives to be his mother onto a rehearsal stage with him – she as Gertrude, Hamlet’s mother, and he of course as the famed son.]
5*, Please Excuse My Dear Aunt Sally -Kevin Armento, One Year Lease Theatre Company at The Pleasance
[From the unique advantage of a cell phone, a riveting, screen-by-screen, word-for-word accounting is laid bare of an initially innocent-enough, later totally illicit relationship between a high school math teacher and a fifteen-year-old student.]
5*, Verge of Strife - Nick Baldock, Arsalan Sattari Productions at Assembly
[A beautifully moving, naughtily funny, and totally engaging glimpse of the too-short life of the English Edwardian poet, Rupert Brooke. Often employing the sonnets and letters of the man himself, the script and the direction positions the young poet as an Apollo -- the sun god and keeper of poetry, music, and truth (his of course).]
5*, 5 Guys Chillin' - Peter Darney, King’s Head Theatre at venue C
[Graphic, gripping, and frank verbatim drama exposing the gay chemsex chill-out scene. From surgeons to students, guys that love it and lost guys longing to be loved. Made from interviews with guys found on Grindr.]
5*, F*cking Men - Joe DiPietro, King’s Head Theatre at Assembly
[Ten interlocking scenes are each announced by a lone man in some state of undress standing at audience’s edge as he delivers one line that will play an important part in the subsequent scene. Each paired love scene retains a character from the past and introduces yet another as the play’s men continually search for their next trick, one-time relief, or love of their lives.]
5*, Adam and Eve and Steve - Chandler Warren, Wayne Moore, Max Emerson Productions and Elva Corrie at venue C
[Musical farce based on the story of Adam and Eve, which is interrupted when the Devil adds Steve to the mix to create fun, mischief and mayhem.]
5*, Glasgow Girls - David Greig, Kielty Brothers, Cora Bissett, Patricia Panther & MC Soom T, Pachamama Productions at Assembly
[Musical based on the true story of seven feisty teenagers whose lives change forever when their school friend and her asylum-seeking family are forcibly taken from their home to be deported. They are galvanised to fight for her life, taking on the government and succeeding where others failed, capturing the imagination of the media and inspiring a whole community.]
5*, The Red Shed - Mark Thomas, Lakin McCarthy in association with West Yorkshire Playhouse at Traverse Theatre
[50th anniversary of The Red Shed of Wakefield, Yorkshire approaches. The small pub, residing in the shadows of the conservative Tory Club, has a history as a meeting and organization venue for unionists, socialists, communists, feminists, gays, and other leftist leaning groups. British TV comedian, and actor, Mark Thomas, relates in his 30 year association with this institution.]
5*, Callisto: a queer epic - Howard Coase, Forward Arena at The Pleasance
[Four stories of the recent and far past and the much farther future intertwine to explore same-sex relationships: 1675 London with the trial of Restoration opera star, Arabella Hunt), and her wife, Amy Poulter; Nebraska housewife comes to California to star of the sex film for Callisto Studios where she eventually meets the new love of her life, Daisy Lew; WWII Nazi-code-busting hero, Alan Turing),finds escape and solace in his mathematical explorations while mourning the love of his life, Christopher Morcom; on the moon of Callisto, a Maker of artificial worlds, keeps recreating an beautiful, A.I. man, Cal and discovering his love is more than just a virtual dream.]
5*, Letters to Windsor House - Louise Mothersole, Rebecca Biscuit, Sh!t Theatre and Camden People’s Theatre at Summerhall
[In a transitioning neighborhood where homeless camps are next to million-pound condos, the roomies live in one of the remaining, run-down council houses (public housing) built almost fifty years prior. Their abode is crammed packed with boxes of mail they receive daily from former residents long gone – mail they have felt obligated to keep in case the rightful owners some day show up looking for it.]
5*, Lost in Blue - Debs Newbold, Nimble Fish at Summerhall
[A one person's tale of a family still dealing fifteen years later with the aftermath of a father’s car accident. Her story bounces us between deep inside the dreaming mind of the father’s otherwise non-responding body and on the still body’s outside where his eighteen-year-old daughter has taken on the impossible mission to use her own artistry to bring her artist dad back to life.]
5*, Giant - The Human Zoo, at The Pleasance
[There’s a boy in an attic in a home in a town in a world in a universe. And there are a lot of boxes everywhere, boxes full of Tommy’s past all the way back to the beginning of time. Six clowns create in panoramic, fast-mode fashion three generations of Tommy’s family.]
5*, Stop the Train - Rick Guard, Phil Rice, More to Life Productions Ltd at Paradise Green at Augustines
[Can a musical about a bomb-vested terrorist threatening to end it all for hostages on a commuter train actually be funny, uplifting, and in the end, a totally feel-good experience?]
4*, The Vaudevillains - Oliver Lansley, Tomas Gisby, Les Enfants Terribles Company at Assembly
[You are invited to The Empire music hall for a night you'll never forget, but tonight's show will be different. The club's owner, Charlie, has fallen victim to a murder most foul... but whodunnit? Could it be nervy knife thrower Ray the Blade, sexy Siamese Striplets, the Cerberus Sisters, deranged ventriloquist Albert Frog, macabre mime Gaston Gasteau or perhaps the mystifying magician, The Great Mephisto?]
4*, Milk - Ross Dunsmore, Traverse Theatre
[Three couples who are at very different stages in their lives and their relationships all come to realize that while food for varying reasons is a key concern and focus for them, the real milk for life’s sustenance is love.]
4*, Ushers: The Front House Musical - Yiannis Koufsakos, James Oban, James Rottger, Kouban Productions at C
[The West End musical of Britney Spears' Oops! Did It Again is about to begin another matinee performance; and ushers are poised in the aisles read to sell, sell, sell.]
4*, How to Win Against History - Seiriol Davies, Developed in Association with Ovalhouse and Arts Council of England at Assembly
[The 5th Marquis of Anglesey, born 1875, one of the richest men on earth, was poised to inherit a virtual empire from his wealthy, powerful family. However, in his twenties he chose to spend money as if there were no tomorrows, which for a man who died at 29, there were few. In his brief life, this flamboyant transvestite turned a family chapel into a theatre and starred himself in extravagant productions to which no one came.]
4*, Great Expectations -Peter Fanning, John Moore, Shrewsbury School at C
[Musical version of the 1861Charles Dickens novel. A coming of age story of an orphan nicknamed Pip.]
4*, No Horizon - Andy Platt, Penistone Community Arts of Penistone South Yorkshire at Underbelly
[Musical inspired by the true story of Nicholas Saunderson, who was blinded by smallpox in infancy but went on to become a major player in the scientific and mathematical community of the age.]
4*, Deal with the Dragon - Kevin Rolston, First Sprout Theatre at venue C
[What if you never had to deal with anything in your life you didn’t want to? But instead had a suave and sassy gay German dragon to deal with it for you?]
4*, My Eyes Went Dark - Matthew Wilkinson, 107 Group in association with Cusack Projects LTD at Traverse Theatre
[What does losing one’s wife and two young children as two planes collide over a snowy Swiss forest do to a man? And what if that same man is the one who finds his daughter’s body after she has fallen 30,000 feet, sustaining only a scratch but not her life?]
4*, House - Somalia Seaton, Clean Break Theatre Company at Assembly (1 or 2 1-acts)
[Two sisters and a mother reunite in the family home after one sister has been away for five years, having been incarcerated and dealing with drug-induced issues.]
4*, Bubble Shmeisis - Nick Cassenbaum, at Summerhall
[This one person show recounts Nick going with his grandfather to the last, remaining schvitz haus (“sweat house” or bath house) in East London. Once there, in a sea of wrinkled, Nick tells us how he totally unrobed and got schmeised (washed with a large, horse-haired brush and soap) by one of them. He also reminisces about his upbringing, Jewish and otherwise – summer camp, barbershops, a trip to soccer game with his dad.]
4*, Not the Horse - Mike Dickinson, Naughty Corner Productions at Paradise Green at Augustines
[An over-the-top, crime-gone-amuk comedy. Horse semen becomes the key to resolving the many life crises that the crazy shenanigans of these small-time, wanna-be gangsters and goof balls crate.]
3*, Daffodils (A Play with Songs) - Rochelle Bright, Bullet Heart Club, New Zealand at Traverse Theatre
[Two generations, a father and a son, fall in love with their to-be wives by the same lake, lying on a field of daffodils. Idyllic beginnings have rocky journeys to unhappy endings for both.]
3*, Crazed - Catherine Cranfield, Ecce Theatre at venue C
[It’s moving in day at the uni, and five friends are returning to their familiar rented abode, ready to greet the new guy, Milo, best friend of Liv. Liv grabs Milo aside as he arrives warning him, “These are my best friends and I want them to be your best friends and not sleep with any of them.”]
3*, The Emerald Diaries - John Murray, Tony Delicata, Willie Logan, Kingdom Theatre Company, Greenside Emerald Theatre
[A sailor has a night’s leave in Leith to find his online love whom he has been faithfully messaging and falling into cyberspace love, Andrew sets out to the Irish dancers audition night where his skeptical date, Mary, is waiting to lay eyes on who her fellow dancers have already nicknamed, “Andy Pandy, the Seafaring Dandy.”]
2*, Poena 5X1, or How I Came to Agree with Right-Wing Thinking - Abbie Spallen, Inside Intelligence at Underbelly
[One person play. Bryony Adams is an idealistic government scientist working to create a new and human form of punishment, within a justice system crippled by prison overcrowding. But when a cabinet minister with a reputation tries to exploit her idealism for profit, she feels betrayed. Her response is extreme and unexpected and has devastating consequences.]
2*, Amongst the Reeds - Chino Odimba, Clean Break Theatre Company at Assembly (2 or 2 1-acts)
[Intense but unsatisfying piece about two immigrant teenagers living on the streets without proper papers. Rebecca Omogbehin is a Somalian girl who meets in a soup kitchen a dirty, disheveled, and very pregnant Vietnamese girl, Gillian). The story jumps about in time and place with moments of the extreme realism of birth pains.]
1*, In Fidelity - Rob Drummond, High Tide Theatre at Traverse Theatre
[A lame reality/audience participation dating show.]
no *, The Freckles Effect - Mel Lawman, Matt Finch, Owain Coleman, Tom Cory, Triple Dare Musical Theatre Productions, Greenside Emerald Theatre
[Student production. Part Matilda, part Annie, and largely a feel-good musical about an abandoned, past-around foster girl named Anne Drew, set in the 1930s coastal town of Bibury-by-the-Sea in South Devon, England.] {153}

Other type of performances
5*, Puddles Pity Party - Puddles, Assembly; a sad face singing clown with a voice of gold.
4*, Naked Magicians - Lunchbox Theatrical Productions, The Pleasance; Magic with some nudity.
3*, Starman - Sven Ratzke, Assembly; David Bowie tribute concert.
5*, Miss Conception - Kevin Levesque, Brand g Cruise on the Danube; Drag revue

September:
4*, Legally Blonde, The Musical - Laurence O'Keefe, Nell Benjamin, Heather Hach, Hillbarn Theatre
[PBased on 2001 movie. California girl goes to Harvard Law School]
5*, Life of the Party - Andrew Lippa, David Babani, TheatreWorks Silicon Valley
[Four person musical revue of Lippa's works.]
4*, Champagne White Is Disastrous! - D’Arcy Drollinger, Oasis
[Drag parody of disastrous movies from killer bees to a giant gator, crashing meteor to rumbling earthquake, all leading up to a ‘towering inferno.’.]
3*, The Guys - Anne Nelson, Pear Theatre
[A 9/11 play in which Joan (a journalist) meets Nick (a fire chief who has just lost eight firefighters) and leads him gently through remembering things that will “give their friends and family something they recognize.”]
4*, Veils -Tom Coash, Pear Theatre
[Set in the midst of 2011 “Arab Spring” upheavals that spread revolutionary fever and rioting into Cairo itself, the play is about two young women who have counter ideas of what is and is not appropriate for Islamic women to wear. Ed didn't see.]
4*, Assassins - Stephen Sondheim , John Weidman, Los Altos Stage Company
[Musical that explores the history of presidential assassination in America, from John Wilkes Booth to John Hinckley, Jr.]
4*, all of what you love and none of what you hate -Philip Howze, San Francisco Playhouse
[Abstract play of a young teenage girl in her bedroom trying to make connection with her best friend, her mom, and her boyfriend. Ed didn't see.]
4*, André Chénier - Umberto Giordano, Luigi Illica, San Francisco Opera
[Under the shadow of the French Revolution and its Reign of Terror, a poet and a servant-turned-revolutionary compete for the affections of a young aristocrat.]
3*, Caught - Christopher Chen, Shotgun Players
[Inspired by legendary dissident artist Lin Bo, the play is a labyrinthine exploration of truth, art, social justice, and cultural appropriation, where nothing is as it first appears.Ed didn't see.]
4*, A Little Shop of Horrors - Howard Ashman, Alan Menken, Ray of Light Theatre
[A musical version of Roger Corman's 1960 film of a man eating plant.]
5*, Disney’s The Little Mermaid - Alan Menken, Howard Ashman, Glenn Slater, Doug Wright, Palo Alto Players
[In a magical kingdom beneath the sea, the beautiful young mermaid, Ariel, longs to leave her ocean home to live in the world above. Based on 1989 animated film.]
5*, Chess - Benny Andersson, Björn Ulvaeus, Tim Rice, Custom Made Theatre Company
[Cold War-era chess tournament between two men—an American grandmaster and a Soviet grandmaster—and their fight over a woman who manages one and falls in love with the other.]
4*, August: Osage County -Tracy Letts, Marin Theatre Company
[Riveting family drama of drug abuse, alcoholism, suicide, death, family dysfunction, sexual harassment, aging, generational change, racism, incest, infidelity, and ultimately love. Overwhelming set.]
5*, King Charles III - Mike Bartlett, American Conservatory Theatre
[Speculative history that blurs the boundaries of truth and tragedy. Queen Elizabeth II is dead. Prince Charles ascends to the throne. There is near-scandal and open rebellion; inside scoop from within the thick walls of Buckingham Palace and raucous debates of shouting ministers inside Parliament; and a bad boy prince, an adored angel’s ghost, and two royal wives full of ambition for their would-be-king husbands.]
3*, Waiting for Godot - Samuel Beckett, Dragon Productions Theatre Company
[Vladimir and Estragon wait for someone named Godot.]
5*, Other Desert Cities -Jon Robin Baitz, City Lights Theater Company
[A Hollywood star’s desert estate glows with Christmas cheer. But home for the holidays is daughter Brooke, a novelist whose tell-all memoir is sure to rip the politically-divided clan apart.]
4*, Dream of the Red Chamber - Bright Sheng, David Henry Hwang, San Francisco Opera
[Based on the epic novel by Cao Xueqin. Despite his love for Dai Yu, Bao Yu is destined to marry another cousin, an attractive heiress, who might reverse the family’s declining fortunes.]
3*, The Brothers Size - Tarell Alvin McCraney, Theatre Rhinoceros
[The muscular bodies of the actors do more than reflect the sinewy force of the playwright's words: They're handsome prisons for the spirits of three strong, troubled men (2 of them brothers) desperately trying to understand, weigh and express the feelings they have for each other.]

October:
5*, Seared - Theresa Rebeck, San Francisco Playhouse
[Chef Harry has poured his heart into his intimate Brooklyn restaurant, and it is finally paying off. A rave review has New Yorkers flocking through his doors and selling out every table. But is this the success he has been dreaming of?]
4*, It Can’t Happen Here - Tony Taccone, Bennett S. Cohen, Sinclair Lewis, Berkeley Repertory Theatre
[It is 1936 in the U.S, race riots in cities across the land, the gap bigger than ever between rich and poor, worst droughts ever, foreign wars creating local concern, and a right-wing fanatic running for president.]
5*, Don Pasquale - Gaetano Donizetti, Giovanni Ruffini, San Francisco Opera
[True love wins when the penny-pinching Pasquale tries to force his nephew to marry for money—and gets a lesson he’ll never forget. Hie is fooled into getting married and tries to father an heir, thereby cutting off his nephew without a penny. The new wife has other plans and loves the nephew.]
5*, Hedwig and the Angry Inch John Cameron Mitchell, Stephen Trask, SHN (Darren Criss, Lena Hall)
[A rock musical about a genderqueer East German singer named Hedwig. Formerly Hansel, he assumes a female persona after a botched sex change operation which was performed to allow her to marry an American man and escape East Germany.]
5*, Outside Mullingar - John Patrick Shanley, TheatreWorks Silicon Valley
[Set in the Midlands of Ireland, and involves two farmers, Anthony and Rosemary, who live next to each other. Rosemary has been romantically interested in Anthony for all of her life. Anthony, however, is shy, and is unaware of Rosemary's feelings. Anthony does not like farming and his father plans to leave the farm to a nephew.] {176}
4*, Casa Valentina - Harvey Fierstein, New Conservatory Theatre Center
[Based on real events, the plays tells a story of Casa Valentina, an inconspicuous bungalow colony catering to a very special clientele: heterosexual men who would discreetly escape their families to spend their weekends safely dressing and acting as women.]
4*, A Few Good Men - Aaron Sorkin, Hillbarn Theatre
[A trial of two Marines for complicity in the death of a fellow Marine at Guantanamo Bay.]
5*, The Makropulos Case - Leoš Janácek, San Francisco Opera
[The seductive diva Emilia Marty has broken hearts for over 300 years and yet she doesn’t look a day past 30. Now that the magical elixir granting her eternal youth is wearing off the jaded, 337-year-old opera singer finds her humanity in death.]
4*, Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf - Edward Albee, Shotgun Players
[An excruciating evening of games: Humiliate the Host, Get the Guests, Hump the Hostess and Bringing up Baby. Bare stage production.]{180}
5*, The Hard Problem - Tom Stoppard, American Conservatory Theatre
[Razor-sharp psychology grad Hilary wins a prestigious brain research position that forces her to confront her lover (and academic advisor) in a fight to defend the soul, altruism, and even God from modern science. But as she competes for funding against a rival project racing to unlock the mathematical secrets behind stock market risk, Hilary realizes that her biggest threat is closer to home—her own genetic secret.]
3*, Major Barbara - George Bernard Shaw, Pear Theatre
[An Officer of The Salvation Army, Major Barbara Undershaft, becomes disillusioned when her society accepts money from an armaments manufacturer (her father) and a whisky distiller. She eventually decides that bringing a message of salvation to people who have plenty will be more fulfilling and genuine than converting the starving in return for bread.]

November:
5*, The Lion King - Elton John, Tim Rice, Roger Allers, Irene Mecchi, Lebo M., Mark Mancina, Jay Rifkin, Julie Taymor, Hans Zimmer, SHN
[A musical based on the 1994 Disney animated film. Tells the story of Simba, a young lion who is to succeed his father, Mufasa, as King of the Pride Lands; however, after Simba's uncle Scar murders Mufasa, Simba is manipulated into thinking he was responsible, and flees into exile. Upon maturation living with two wastrels, Simba is given some valuable perspective from his childhood friend, Nala, and his shaman, Rafiki, before returning to challenge Scar to end his tyranny and take his place in the Circle of Life as the rightful King.]
5*, The Diary of Anne Frank - Frances Goodrich, Albert Hackett,y Wendy Kesselman, Palo Alto Players
[An impassioned drama about the lives of eight people hiding from the Nazis in a concealed storage attic, the play captures the claustrophobic realities of their daily existence - their fear, their hope, their laughter, their grief - artfully bringing Anne’s words to life for a new generation.]
3*, Baker Street - Marian Grudeff, Raymond Jessel, Jerome Coopersmith, 42nd Street Moon
[Loosely based on the Sherlock Holmes story A Scandal in Bohemia by Arthur Conan Doyle, it is set in London in 1897, the year of the Diamond Jubilee during the reign of Queen Victoria. The musical veers from Conan Doyle's work in that Irene Adler becomes an associate of Holmes rather than his opponent, thus allowing an element of romance between the two.]
4*, The Sound of Music - Richard Rodgers, Oscar Hammerstein II, Howard Lindsay, Russel Crouse, Broadway San Jose
[While taking a job as governess to a large family while she decides whether to become a nun, Maria falls in love with the children and their widowed father, Captain von Trapp. He is ordered to accept a commission in the German navy, but he opposes the Nazis. He and Maria decide on a plan to flee Austria with the children.]

December:

Other cultural events and activities:
JAN: Final several days vacation in Fort Lauderdale at Pineapple Point Guesthouse & Resort
JAN: SF Ballet Program 1: 7 for Eight - Helgi Tomasson/JS Bach; Magrittomania - Yuri Possokhov/Yuri Krasavin after Beethoven; Pas/Parts - William Forsythe/Thom Willems
FEB: SF Ballet Program 2: Rubies - George Balanchine/Igor Stravinsky; Drink to Me Only With Thine Eyes - Mark Morris/Virgil Thomson; Fearful Symmetries - Liam Scarlett/John Adams
FEB: friend and singer I.M.Q. (Nana-Perry Owusu) performs set at The Milk Bar nightclub, SF
MAR: Patti LuPone joins San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus for Spring fundraiser at home of Ann & Gordon Getty
APR: ATCA Conference in Philadelphia, National Museum of American Jewish History & Barnes Foundation museum and the Liberty Bell
APR: SF Ballet Program 7: Continuum© - Christopher Wheeldon/György Ligeti; In the Countenance of Kings - Justin Peck/Sufjan Stevens; Theme and Variations - George Balanchine/Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky (Ed w/Josh)
APR: San Francisco Gay Men's Chorus: Tales of Our City: Our Lives, Our Heroes with Armistead Maupin and the Bay Area Rainbow Symphony
APR: Hosted gay seder for 22
MAY: SFCASA’s 25th Anniversary Fostering Change Gala
JUN: week visit by Jay and Andy of Dallas; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art
JUN: Washington, DC wedding of Scott and Travis; Folger Shakespeare Library
JUN: San Francisco Gay Men's Chorus: Heartthrobs: Biggest Boy Band Ever
JULY: GALA Choruses Festival 2016 in Denver (attend ~23 performances); Denver Art Museum: Women of Abstract Expressionism; Clyfford Still Museum
JULY: Post-Fathers' Day BBQ hosted by Shannon, Eli and Josh in SF
AUG: Edinburgh Festival Fringe; Prague & Danube River Cruise (Passau, Melk, Vienna, Bratislava and Budapest)
SEPT: Ed starts home hospice. Friday night drip-in Sabbat diners. Visit from Carlo and JC.
OCT: Ed retirres from work on goes on disability. Visit from David and Shawn.

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