Recently Dave and I joined a throng of enthusiastic supporters to see Disclosure, written by my friend and fellow Playreader* Carol Lashof. Afterward a mutual friend of Carol’s asked my husband and me innocently, “Do you see much theater?” Dave sort of laughed and just looked at me. “Yes,” I answered without equivocation, “We see a lot of theater.”
Last year I saw an average of one play or staged reading per week. And if I really liked it, I probably wrote a review. (I’ve always figured there’s no reason to comment on either a bad or perfectly ordinary play.) But I’ve seen quite a bit of worthwhile theater recently and I just haven’t blogged about it. It’s gotten to the point where I see so many plays that by the time I get around to writing about one, I’ve seen two or three more.
It’s possible that I’m overdoing it.
Let’s see…the last theater post I penned was about CCCT’s rendition of The Sound of Music at the end of June. Since then, I’ve seen five professionally staged full-length plays; five staged readings at established Bay Area theaters; four different festivals, each consisting of several short works or excerpts of longer plays; and a couple of storytelling events. Mind you, this does not include literary readings or the comedy show I saw (W. Kamau Bell at the Berkeley Marsh). And I even squeezed in a few films during that period.
- I thoroughly enjoyed Don Reed’s one-man show currently at the Berkeley Marsh, Stereotypo, in which he inhabits several characters who are all waiting their turn at the DMV. He’s a great talent and never disappoints.
- The Revolutionists, Lauren Gunderson’s brilliant take on the French Revolution from a female perspective, is clever, funny, and insightful. I was lucky enough to see a staged reading at the Bay Area Playwright Festival. Watch for it when it gets a full production, which it must if there are theater gods.
- If you Google Pint-sized Plays, you’ll probably find the competition in Wales. But SF has its own Pint-sized Play Festival that is a great evening of short pieces, all set in a bar. Specifically the bar at Pianofight, which is the newest hip venue for a variety of theater forms. To be included in the festival, each piece must present at least one actor imbibing a full pint of beer before it ends. How could it not be lots of fun? It’s an annual event, so you probably won’t get a chance to see this again until 2016.
- Carol S. Lashof’s Disclosure is a smart, thought-provoking play that resists easy answers, delving into those frustratingly gray areas of love and parenting. It’s too late for you to catch this iteration by Those Women Productions, but I sense that this play has legs and might just pop up again. We can only hope.
*Playreaders is a marvelous free program at Berkeley’s central library downtown, at which a bunch of us sit around a table and read plays aloud at noon on Wednesdays. It is led by my favorite librarian, Debbie Carton.