San Francisco Spotlight: August 2008
Meanwhile, Elizabeth Beenthere, who is of marrying age, is a fiercely independent, modern woman, who unfortunately happens to also be a vigilant vampire hunter. You can imagine the problem this poses for the charming, yet arrogant vampire Mr. Darcy. Written by Claire Rice and directed by Max Bernstein, Pride and Succubus (August 7-23), presented by the Thunderbird Theatre Company at New Langton Arts, barely strays from its Jane Austen trappings, except of course for the vampires.
Grey Gardens, Doug Wright's Off-Broadway musical that scored 10 Tony Award nominations, comes to TheatreWorks in Mountainview, August 20-September 14. Based on the film of the same name by David Maysles, Albert Maysles, Ellen Hovde, Muffie Meyer, and Susan Froemke, this hilarious but heartbreaking production chronicles the fall of American royalty: Jacqueline Kennedy's notorious relatives, Edith and Edie Bouvier Beale. Theatre Q presents the venerable Susan Werner's world premiere musical revue My Strange Nation (Dragon Theatre, August 14-September 7). Conceived and directed by Dale Albright, musical numbers run the gamut from folk to jazz, from rock to gospel, and tackle issues of materialism, religious zealotry, hypocrisy, and relationship troubles.
In the future, the rules are the rules. Everyone has been assigned a title and rank, and if you even try to buck the system, you might as well just administer your own death sentence. This is the world of The Listener, a world premiere production written by Liz Duffy Adams, directed by Kent Nicholson, and staged by Crowded Fire at Traveling Jewish Theatre through August 3, and at the Ashby Stage, August 15-31. Randy Warren directs Terrence McNally's comedy Bad Habits (August 6-30) over at the Theatre Rhinoceros, about two competing medical facilities. The treatment procedure in one involves suppressing every possible pleasure, while the other encourages patients to take on all the bad habits they can imagine.
New Conservatory Theatre Center presents the world premiere of Tom W. Kelly's Friends Are Forever (August 15-21), a sexy celebration of gay couples. Also at NCTC this month is 2boys.tv (August 6-31), an unpredictable romp into the queer politics of marriage, religion, displacement, and liberation.
Naatak Bay Area Indian Theater presents the world premiere of Mataji, touring Palo Alto's Cubberley Theatre, SF's Noh Space, and San Ramon's Front Row Theatre, through August 9. Directed by Sujit Saraf, the show looks at what happens when Mataji's loving hug fails to satisfy one of millions of devotees. Presidential politics is on the mind of the Aurora Theatre Company, which presents Gore Vidal's sharp-tongued satire The Best Man. Directed by Tom Ross, the play shows how dirty things can get when two front-runners vie for a political party nomination, the winning of which almost guarantees them the seat of President of the United States (August 22-September 28).
For the whole family, get the kids out to the Belasco Theatre Company's production of the toe-tapping musical The Wiz (August 7-22) by Charlie Smalls and William Brown. Directed by Edward Belasco, this is the famed version of The Wizard of Oz that got its launch with the film starring Michael Jackson and Diana Ross. Also family fare is the 6th Street Playhouse's production of the beloved The Music Man (August 15-September 15), Meredith Wilson's musical about the shenanigans that befall the folks of River City when the sneaky, but charming Professor Harry Hill comes to town.