Review: ‘Free For All: A New ‘Miss Julie’ for a New World,’ a world premiere at Cutting Ball (*****)

by Charles Kruger Playwright Megan Cohen and co-developer/director Ariel Craft have reconsidered a naturalistic classic (Strindberg’s “Miss Julie”) with spectacular results. Strindberg’s “Miss Julie,” is recognized as a masterpiece, and often considered, along with Ibsen’s “Hedda Gabler,” to be one of the most important plays of the late 19th century, a time when writers were […]

Review: ‘Billy Budd’ presented by San Francisco Opera at War Memorial Opera House (*****)

by Charles Kruger In their publicity material promoting their wonderful and deeply moving production of the opera, “Billy Budd,” SF Opera provides this summary: “Meet Billy. He’s handsome, honest and good. He’s also doomed.” That is accurate and it brings to mind the obvious question: why should such a wonderful young man be doomed? What […]

Review: Bay Area Premiere of ‘Knives In Hens’ by David Harrower Presented by Anton’s Well (****)

by Charles Kruger Considering the emotional and intellectual impact of “Knives In Hens,” it is irresistible to remark that playwright David Harrower is very aptly named. “Harrow,” of course, means to cause distress, so a playwright named Harrower might indeed write distressing or disturbing plays. (I am not the first reviewer to make this observation.) […]