Thursday, February 16, 2012

Green Whales : Renegade Theatre Experiment : Capsule Review

Two very different sisters, mourning the recent death of their mother, are forced to take stock of themselves and attempt to find meaning through their relationships with the less-than-perfect men in their lives.

Despite the provocative themes explored — pedophilia among them — ultimately this is an insightful (or inciting) and darkly humorous examination of the how the human heart’s need to find a human connection can manifest itself in ways that are not always the most edifying.
And yet, despite the foolhardy behavior on display, one can’t help coming away with the impression that the playwright believes that the willingness to risk it all for love has its own rewards – making it all worthwhile.

Gloria McDonald and Sara Luna lead a superb cast of four that capture just the right tone of comic desperation without ever lapsing into annoying caricature. It’s another edgy, daring play from Renegade Theatre Experiment that’s not easily forgotten. Recommended.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Art : Northside Theatre Company : Capsule Review

This wonderful production of Yasmina Reza’s perceptive, Tony Award-winning post-modern comedy on the nature of friendship is beautifully realized by all concerned.

Director Angie Higgins’ smart, brisk staging is given full effect by the pitch-perfect timing of the estimable trio of talented actors who exemplify masculine heterogeneity and bonding among the bourgeoisie. (John Rutski, Tom Shamrell, and Christian Pizzirani)

The monochromatic, alabaster set design (Richard T. Orlando) provides a contrasting  (and very fitting) backdrop that successfully underscores the emotional, albeit often hilarious, pyrotechnics that ensue.

Northside’s production of Art is a sly, inspired piece of accessible entertainment that never succumbs to the weight of its own profundity. Highly recommended.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Higher : American Conservatory Theater : Review

Note to my dear readers: Due to my demanding schedule of late, I will be unable to write comprehensive reviews regarding the various productions I have the good fortune to attend throughout the bay area. I intend to publish short, capsule reviews for the time being. I'll return to full reviews if and when time permits. Thank you for your support and understanding. -Gregory M. Alonzo.

Some good acting to be seen, but for the most part this is something of a disappointment. 

An unsympathetic and unlikeable protagonist - Michael (Andrew Polk) does not help matters, but his relationship with his son was more compelling than the love "triangle" - largely due to the contributions of Ben Kahre (Isaac). 

Overall, one felt the actors were still grasping at credible characterizations and were not entirely in sync.  Worthwhile, but not something for the ages.