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San Francisco Spotlight: June 2010

A New Project

Lorena Feijoo and Jack Willis
in The Tosca Project
(© Kevin Berne)
As summer commences and schools go on vacation, life tends to take a more leisurely pace. Many theater companies catch their breath from a season just ended and prepare for the one about to come. Nonetheless, there's still a lot to be seen in the lazy, hazy, and possibly crazy days of the month.

For hazy, a once smoke-filled bar frames an exploration of love, betrayal and hope where dance and drama blend in the world premiere of The Tosca Project (June 3-27) at A.C.T. Created and staged by artistic director Carey Perloff and acclaimed choreographer Val Caniparoli, the piece mixes repertory actors with dancers from the San Francisco Ballet and is inspired by the famous North Beach bar that is a favored haunt of fascinating locals and celebrity visitors.

Crazy is an apt descriptor for the antics on display when a Transylvanian castle rises on the stage of the Golden Gate Theatre in Mel Brooks' Young Frankenstein (June 30-July 25). Original Broadway stars Roger Bart and Schuler Hensley lead the national tour of the musical.

There's nothing lazy about 84-year-old Cloris Leachman, the original Frau -- cue the horses! -- Blücher, making her nightclub debut at The Rrazz Room, June 1-13. Stage and film stars continue to shine at The Rrazz this month with Oscar nominee Sally Kellerman singing the blues (June 4-5), Tony nominee Sam Harris (June 23-27), and Tony nominee Sharon McNight in her Hollywood diva tribute Betty, Betty Bette (June 20-21).

Tony Award winner Liliane Montevecchi and comedic actor Frank Ferrante celebrate Love, Chaos & Couture in the latest edition of Teatro ZinZanni's delightful long-running dinner theatre-cum-circus-cum cabaret entertainment through August 15.

June is, of course, also gay Pride month, with timely offerings including Forever Never Comes (June 5-28), sub-titled "A Psycho-Southern Queer Country Dance Tragedy" by author Enrique Urueta. This world premiere is directed by Mary Guzmán for Crowded Fire Theatre Company at Boxcar Theatre.

Actor and parodist extraordinaire Tom Orr will throw some Aging Bull (June 3-26) on the stage of the Eureka Theatre as part of the Something C.O.O.L. Summer Cabaret Festival that also features Carly Ozard, Maureen McVerry, Katya Smirnoff-Skyy, and other local performers. Far from the worlds of Madonna or Brangelina, Stagewerx explores one black girl's story of being adopted into a white family that aren't celebrities in Ungrateful Daughter (June 3-12), written and performed by Lisa Marie Rollins.

In the downtown Tenderloin area, Beards Beards Beards: A Theatre Company tackles some pressing matters (literally!) in Doug Brown and Anthony King's Gutenberg! The Musical! (June 10-26).

Some popular titles fill East Bay stages this month: Hapgood Theatre Company is looking for A Few Good Men (June 6-27), when Aaron Sorkin's drama, directed by Josy Miller, plays Antioch; Pear Theatre's production of The Glass Menagerie migrates to California Conservatory Theatre of San Leandro (June 4-27); Diablo Theare Company goes Into The Woods at the Lesher Center for the Arts in Walnut Creek (June 4-27); and Nunsense is still kicking the habit at Stage 1 Community Theatre in Newark (June 18-27).

Down the Peninsula, Palo Alto Players close their season with Jewtopia (June 11-27) at the Lucie Stern Theatre; San Jose Rep celebrates '60s girl power through Roger Bean's The Marvelous Wonderettes (June 15-27); and Michael Hollinger's Opus (June 2-27) is a play with strings attached at TheatreWorks in Mountain View as talent and personalities clash among the members of a classical music quartet.


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