San Francisco Spotlight: June 2009
Canada's boundary-breaking theatrical genius Robert Lepage brings to Cal Performances the breathtaking production The Blue Dragon (UC Berkeley's Zellerbach Hall, June 9-13). Performed by Lepage, Marie Michaud, and dancer Tai Wei Foo, the story follows Pierre, an art dealer in China, who handles his artist lover and deals with his ex, who's come to China to adopt a baby. All the highly stylized hallmarks of Lepage carry throughout.
A lifelong Oakland police officer quits the force and strikes out on an entirely new journey in Jericho Road Improvement Association (June 4-27), taking him to the very neighborhood where he fought the Black Panthers 30 years prior. John Rosenberg's world premiere is produced by Hella Fresh Theatre at the Phoenix Theatre. Another world premiere, Megan O'Patry's The Land of Infants (El Teatro de la Esperanza, June 4-27) is the story of two gravediggers, Mike and Sam, working for Miss Cassie, an evil-headed mob boss running their small Irish town. When Miss Cassie drastically increases their workload, the guys aren't happy and it's time to make sweeping changes, but before they can, they must first address the secrets and challenges from their past and present.
Cutlery and comedy go head to head in Circus Finelli (June 5-21), an evening of slapstick Slavic cabaret and more at the Stage Werx theater. Two dozen international ensembles will perform between June 9 and 27 at Noh Space as part of FURY Factory, the biennial festival of cutting edge works by ensemble theater companies from across the nation. This year's festival is co-produced by foolsFURY and Theatre of Yugen, in partnership with Traveling Jewish Theater.
If you think your life as a teenager was hard, then pity poor Kenny Yun who had to endure his adolescence as the only gay and only Asian teenager living in Salinas, California in the 1980s. Yun's Lettucetown Lies is painfully sweet and plays at The Marsh, June 5-27. The always adventurous New Conservatory Theatre Center presents My Life on the Craigslist, Jeffery Self's tale about finding the "Men 4 Men" section of Craigslist (June 10-27).
Diablo Theatre Company presents one of the world's most cherished musicals, Hello, Dolly! at the Lesher Center for the Arts in Walnut Creek, June 5-28. Written by Michael Stewart and Jerry Herman, this delightful tuner is the story of Dolly Gallagher Levi, a musical matchmaker who can find a match for anyone but herself. Everyone's favorite small-town gal, ready to make it big in New York City comes to the Contra Costa Civic Theatre in Thoroughly Modern Millie (June 19-July 19), the Broadway sensation written by Jeanine Tesori, Dick Scanlan, and Richard Morris.
Murder at the Howard Johnson's (June 4-28) is about just that, or at least the prospect of it. Written by Ron Clark and Sam Bobrick and produced by the California Conservatory Theatre, after a couple and another man meet in a hotel room, the thought of murder is on everyone's mind. Over the course of three acts, each character decides they want to murder the other one, with humorous and surprising results. What the butler saw is anyone's guess, but all will be revealed (eventually) in Marin Theatre Company's hilarious and boundary-pushing production of What the Butler Saw (June 4-28). When a doctor tries to seduce his secretary, all hell breaks loose, and only the butler can tell you about it.