Lanford Wilson's Balm In Gilead doesn't get revived too often, mainly because you need 22 actors to do it. One company tackling the challenge is San Francisco's Encore Theatre Company, known for doing experimental plays and classics that have social awareness as a motif. Similar in scale to Wilson's own Hot L Baltimore, Gilead looks at characters on the fringe of society: junkies, hookers, thieves and drifters, all finding some sort of camaraderie in an all-night coffee shop.
Among the cast-members in Encore's Gilead are John Robb, Damon Seawell, Gabriel Carter, Lisa Steindler, Benton Greene, Alberto Rosas, Vidal Perez and Johanna Mattox. Opening June 19, the production runs through July 13.
Other works by Wilson include Lemon Sky, Burn This, Talley's Folly and his last Broadway work, Redwood Curtain.
For tickets ($12-$20) and information on Balm In Gilead, playing at the Northside Theatre on Marina Blvd., call (415) 441-3687.
-- By David Lefkowitz