Review: ‘The Effect’ at SF Playhouse (****1/2)

by Charles Kruger Connie (Aylet Firstenberg) and Tristan (Joe Estlack) meet cute. They are experimental subjects housed in a clinic for four weeks as test subjects for a new antidepressant.  As they are thrown together under these intimate circumstances (they cannot leave and everyone else is staff),  Tristan, not surprisingly, makes a romantic move. As is […]

Review: Sarah De Lappe’s ‘The Wolves,’ a West Coast Premiere at Marin Theatre Company (****1/2)

by Charles Kruger Any teenager will tell you their lives are richer emotionally, intellectually, creatively, and physically than many adults realize. Any honest adult will admit that, even with our best efforts, we sometimes unfairly treat teenagers as irritating, shallow, foolish and unworthy of our serious and respectful attention. If the teenagers in question are […]

Review: ‘Bright Star’ at The Curran (****)

by Charles Kruger Carmen Cusack was rightly nominated for a Tony award for her role as Alice Murphy in Steve Martin’s and Edie Brickell’s blue grass musical “Bright Star.” The show, which received otherwise lukewarm reviews and closed quickly, comes to the  Curran in San Francisco from Los Angeles, at the start of a national […]

Review: ‘Barbecue’ at SF Playhouse (****1/2)

by Charles Kruger The title of this play obviously refers to its feature event—a family barbecue held for the purpose if performing an intervention for an alcoholic/addict—but also the way in which it “barbecues” our prejudices and preconceptions regarding race, poverty, addicition, recovery, pop culture, and more. It is a conflagration. And it is very […]