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San Francisco Spotlight: August 2009

August: San Francisco County logo
Estelle Parsons in
August: Osage County
(© Joan Marcus)
The national tour of Tracy Letts' Pulitzer Prize-winning play, August: Osage County (Curran Theatre, August 11-September 6), arrives in San Francisco this month. In it, the Weston clan comes together at their rural Oklahoma homestead following the disappearance of the clan's alcoholic patriarch. Academy Award-winner Estelle Parsons stars in the role of the family matriarch, Violet.

Over at the New Conservatory Theatre Center is Jim David's comedy South Pathetic (August 5-23), the story of the author's hilarious misadventures of directing A Streetcar Named Desire at a community theater in his Southern hometown. Also at NCTC, is the West Coast premiere of Good Boys and True (August 14-September 20), written by Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa. It's the 1980s, where privilege and power floods the halls an all-boys prep school and a scandal forces a mother to confront the truth about her son and herself.

TheatreWorks presents David Henry Hwang's semi-autobiographical farce, Yellow Face (Mountain View Center for the Performing Arts, August 26-September 20), with Francis Jue reprising his Obie-winning role from the New York production. California Shakespeare Theater is presenting Samuel Beckett's Happy Days, (Bruns Amphitheater, August 12-September 6).

3 Blonde Moms, got its start in L.A., but is now touring the country, stopping in San Francisco, August 12-16, at Pier 39. This semi-scripted comedy about not just desperate housewives, but really desperate housewives stars Beaumont Bacon, from the movies Jerry McGuire and Raging Beau; Joanie Fagan, who played Faith on The Drew Carey Show; and the recently re-cast Helen Keaney. As if being a teen wasn't hard enough, try being a mutant teen living on the moon. A.C.T.'s Junior Young Company takes on Constance Congdon's wacky comedy, Moontel Six, Part I (August 22-28), the story of a group of genetically altered teenagers, forced to live as squatters in an abandoned hotel.

San Francisco's award-winning AfroSolo Theatre Company presents the 16th annual AfroSolo Arts Festival, August 1-October 15. The 11-week festival features live music, visual art, and new works for the stage. The Bay Area's beloved comedy troupe, Killing My Lobster, presents the world premiere of KML Patronizes the Arts, at the Traveling Jewish Theatre, August 27-September 13. This series of comedic vignettes looks at everything from the Mission's murals to Oakland's ballets, ceramics to singing lessons, poetry to pipe cleaners. In Awake and Sing! by Clifford Odets, an extended Jewish family struggles to survive life in the Bronx at the height of the Great Depression (Aurora Theatre, August 21-September 27).

Speaking of singing, there's a whole slew of musicals on the schedule. The Curtain Call Performing Arts presents Elton John and Tim Rice's contemporary musical take on Aida (Lisser Theatre, August 28-September 5), which sets the timeless tale to a pop-rock score. Woodminster Summer Musicals, in Oakland, presents Singin' in the Rain (Woodminster Amphitheater in Joaquin Miller Park, August 7-16), based on the beloved MGM film.

As part of its Classics in Concert series, the Diablo Theatre Company in Walnut Creek presents Funny Girl, August 27-29. This staged concert features a full orchestra and tells the semibiographical tale of vaudeville star and comedienne Fanny Brice. Or check out Hair, the unkempt musical about hippies and sexual revolution, presented by the Willows Theatre Company, August 24-September 27. And be sure not to miss Urinetown, at the Berkeley Playhouse, August 15-16. This smash-hit musical takes place at a time when the government has banned usage of all private toilets, and at its heart is the story of greed, corruption, love and revolution.

Bring the whole family to the Lamplighters Music Theatre's production of My Fair Lady at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, the winning story of a speech professor's attempts to transform a simple flower girl into a sophisticated woman. (August 14-23).

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