Review: “The War of the Roses” (from Shakespeare’s “Henry VI” trilogy + “Richard III) at California Shakespeare Theater (****)

by Charles Kruger Richard The Third is one of Shakespeare’s most popular characters for good reason. As purely evil as Iago, Richard’s charming personality and delight in villainy make him fascinate audiences. Few actors could resist the chance to embody him. Certainly not Danny Scheie, a Bay area Shakespearean stalwart. The beloved UC Santa Cruz […]

Review: ‘You Never Can Tell’ at California Shakespeare Theater (**1/2)

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 […]

Review: ‘The Mystery of Irma Vep’ at California Shakespeare Theater (***1/2)

by Charles Kruger Rating: ***1/2 (For an explanation of TheatreStorm’s rating scale, click here.) For his final directing project at California Shakespeare Festival (before he begins his new position at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts), Jonathan Moscone has chosen to dive into the Theatre of the Ridiculous. Ronald Tavel, an early practioner and founder […]

Review: ‘Twelfth Night’ at Cal Shakes (****)

by Charles Kruger Rating: **** (For an explanation of TheatreStorm’s rating scale, click here.) In the Elizabethan theatre, women were not allowed on stage. All of the characters were played by men and boys. In recent years, some directors have turned the tables on this tradition, offering all women productions of Shakespeare’s plays. In Cal […]

Review: “Pygmalion” at California Shakespeare Theater (****)

(Charles Kruger) (Rating: ****) (“Pygmalion” plays at Bruns Amphitheatre in Orinda from July 30 through August 24, 2014). From the opening moments, it is clear that Jonathan Moscone’s staging of Shaw’s masterpiece is extraordinary. The play famously begins in London’s Covent Garden outside the opera house, after a performance. Moscone has made a minor but […]