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San Francisco Spotlight: April 2010

The Girlfriend Experience logo
Jason Hite and Ryder Bach in
a promo shot for Girlfriend
A month of romance unfolds in the world premiere of a new musical with a book by Todd Almond wound around the love songs of Matthew Sweet's 1991 album Girlfriend at Berkeley Repertory Theatre's Thrust Stage (April 9-May 9). Les Waters directs the production, which stars Ryder Bach and Jason Hite as two teenage boys who fall in love with each other.

A.C.T. presents Alan Ayckbourn's comedy Round and Round the Garden (April 29-May 23) under the direction of John Rando. Tony nominee Manoel Felciano plays misguided lothario Norman who attempts to seduce his two sisters-in-law as well as his estranged wife during a family weekend. Meanwhile, Irish playwright Ursula Rani Sarma's Riot (Zeum Theater, April 1-17) is the newest commission from A.C.T.'s international partnership with Britain's Theatre Royal Bath. The play is set in a residency clinic for emotionally disturbed teens, and features performances from A.C.T. students.

Lost boys have often found themselves in San Francisco, but rarely with such a techno-splash as the U.S. premiere of Tanya Ronder's adaptation of Peter Pan, based on J.M. Barrie's classic story. The multimedia event will be performed in the world's first 360-degree CGI theatre located on the City waterfront, April 27-July 4, and includes 22 actors, puppets, music, dance, and a wide array of effects including a CGI Neverland and a flight over 400 square miles of virtual London.

Singer-actress Klea Blackhurst channels a theater legend in Everything The Traffic Will Allow: The Songs And Sass Of Ethel Merman April 21-25 at the Eureka Theatre. Across town at The Rrazz Room, sisters and Tony nominees Liz and Ann Hampton Callaway make their sibling San Francisco debut April 27-May 2 in Here Come the Callaways!

Questions of love and identity challenge a Korean-American veteran returning from the Middle East, as his realization that he is sterile collides against his wife's announcement that she is pregnant. Asian American Theater Company presents Macho Bravado (April 1-24), a new play by Alex Park and directed by Alan S. Quismorio. Pop goes the icon, when the Jewish Theatre San Francisco asks Andy Warhol: Good For Jews? in the West Coast premiere of the expanded work, written and performed by KQED television personality Josh Kornbluth (April 8-May 16).

Under the banner of 2010 DIVAfest, dedicated to creating new work by women writers, the Exit Theatre delivers The Wind and Rain, a collaboration of women artists from various disciplines that tells the story of two sisters in a small mill town on the brink of extinction (April 8-May 1); and Lady of the 'Loin with Shannon Day, a musical tribute to one of San Francisco's dicier neighborhoods, playing four Saturdays beginning April 10.

A new version of Ibsen's John Gabriel Borkman by David Eldridge stakes root at the Aurora Theatre Company under the guidance of Barbara Oliver (April 2-May 9). Other East Bay offerings include onstage bacon frying courtesy of Actors Ensemble of Berkeley in Sam Shepard's Curse of the Starving Class at the Live Oak Theatre (April 23-May 22); the Victorian thriller Gaslight, as staged by Hapgood Theatre Company at El Campanil Theatre in Antioch (April 9-25); and Tri-Valley Repertory Theatre produces The Producers at Livermore Valley Performing Arts Center (April 23-May 9).

Broadway By The Bay kicks off April with duplicitous doings in Dirty Rotten Scoundrels at the San Mateo Performing Arts Center (April 1-18). Tom Reardon and Robert Brewer play Lawrence and Freddy, a mismatched pair of Riviera con men trying to one-up each other in the fleecing of rich, lonely ladies in the film-based musical by David Yazbek and Jeffrey Lane. Also down the peninsula are TheatreWorks' staging of Christopher Sergel's rendering of Harper Lee's To Kill A Mockingbird at the Mountain View Center for the Performing Arts (April 7- May 9); Palo Alto Players' production of Rent at the Lucie Stern Theatre (April 23-May 9); and the Northside Theatre Company's take on Paula Vogel's comedy And Baby Makes Seven at the Olinder Theatre (April 15-May 9).

Looking north, the 6th Street Playhouse in Santa Rosa plays host to mistaken identities in Moliere's 1664 French comedy Tartuffe (April 9-May 2); Benicia's Old Town Theatre Group considers adultery, strippers, Costco, and the Ice Capades in the campy The Great American Trailer Park Musical by David Nehls (April 16-May 15); and Carlene Coury directs I Am My Own Wife for the Mira Theatre Guild in Vallejo (April 16-25).

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