by Mark Johnson You’d be hard pressed to find a musical more aggressively political than Stephen Sondheim and John Weidman’s “Assassins.” With its razor-sharp and unflinching look at the corruption of American values, the show would be unbelievably obnoxious if it weren’t so dazzlingly brilliant in its execution. But dazzling and brilliant it is, and the show […]
by Mark Johnson Whenever one thinks of theatre in America, their immediate thoughts go to New York, and, more specifically, to Broadway. Chicago, too, has built a reputation as a city that produces high quality live theatre. But the San Francisco Bay Area might soon be included in that ever-so-small list of cultural meccas for […]
by Mark Johnson A large part of California Shakespeare Theater’s production of George Bernard Shaw’s rarely produced “You Never Can Tell” is boisterous and hugely entertaining, roaring to life with clownish ebullience that will undoubtably delight audiences. It’s a shame that these moments can’t comprise the entire production, as the more serious moments of the evening come […]
by Mark Johnson Oliver Goldstick’s “Wild Boy” cannot be faulted for lack of earnestness. Dealing with autism, and specifically how people around those living with the disorder can have their entire lives thrown out of balance, the play is constantly progressive and compassionate toward its characters. But, perhaps it is too sincere. By refusing to […]
Though a puppet Lear may sound like a gimmick, the puppets are not only utilized perfectly, but provide for a deeper insight into the play.
by Mark Johnson It’s a rip-roaring good time. “Chicago” is perhaps one of the best known musicals of all time. The current Broadway production has been playing continuously since 1996, the 2002 movie adaptation won the Academy Award for Best Picture, and the score contains such well-known hits as “All That Jazz” and “Razzle Dazzle.” Almost […]