UPDATE: West Coast Note: Los Angeles has its own column. NORTHERN CALIFORNIA
EINSTEIN ON THE SQUARE: The award-winning New York production of Steve Martin's Picasso at the Lapin Agile will arrive at Theatre on the Square in San Francisco, on June 19 for a six week run.
The show portrays a headstrong meeting between two 20th century geniuses, painter Pablo Picasso and scientist Albert Einstein, as they are in their early 20s convening at a bohemian Paris Cafe called Lapin Agile, (which loosely translates as "nimble rabbit").
The New York cast will remain intact, including Mark Nelson, who recently won an Obie and an Outer Critic's Circle Award for his performance as Albert Einstein, and Paul Provenza as Picasso.
The New York production of Picasso received the 1996 Outer Critics Circle Awards for Best Play, and the play has been successfully traveling the US since its premiere at Chicago's Steppenwolf in in 1993. It was produced in Cambridge and also in Los Angeles, where a six week run was extended nine months. Low-priced previews of Picasso start June 14, $25; and tickets range $25-38. For tickets and more information, call (415) 433-9500 or (510) 762-BASS.
AURORA EXCHANGE: The Aurora Theatre Company, Berkeley's chamber Equity Company, is producing the seventh of eight plays in Alan Ayckbourn's collection, Intimate Exchanges, called A One Man Protest, May 30 thru June 23.
Like all the plays in the collection, A One Man Protest consists of six characters played by two actors. The main characters are Celia, a woman battling with quitting smoking, and her headmaster husband Toby. The two actors are a real-life husband and wife team, Kimberly King, and Aurora founding member Ken Grantham.
Intimate Exchanges is directed by Aurora artistic director, Barbara Oliver, and plays Wed-Sat 8pm; Sun 2pm. Tickets are $18-20, and can be reserved by calling (510) 843-4822.
BERKELEY BY STORM: Anne Galjour, who received the 1994 American Theatre Critics Association's Osborn Award for Best Emerging Playwright for her solo show Hurricane, will conclude the season at Berkeley Repertory Theatre with the show, along with the world premiere of its sequel, Mauvais Temps. Artistic Director Sharon Ott will direct the playwright/performer in a double bill, June 5-30.
Hurricane takes place in the Cajun town of Grand Isle, Louisiana (near where the playwright grew up), and is the first installment of a long story that begins on the eve of Hurricane Wanda. Galjour portrays a series of characters, distinguishing them mainly by vocal inflections.
Mauvais Temps continues the saga by picking up the story six years after the hurricane, revisiting the storms legacy.
Berkeley Rep will close for the summer, and re-open with the 1996-97 season opening production, Heartbreak House by George Bernard Shaw (Sept. 11-Oct. 25). The rest of the season includes: Love! Valor! Compassion! by Terrence McNally (November -December); Journey to the West by Mary Zimmerman (December -January); Cloud Tectonics by Jose Rivera (January-February); Stella (under consideration), a world premiere adapted from Goethe's play by Tony Kushner (February-April); An Almost Holy Picture by Heather McDonald (April-May); and Having Our Say: The Delany Sisters' First 100 Years by Emily Mann, adapted from the book by Sarah L. and A. Elizabeth Delany (May-July).
Hurricane and Mauvais Temps runs Tue-Sat 8pm; Sun 7pm; and Sat & Sun 2pm. Tickets are $25-34, and can be purchased by calling (510) 845-4700. 1997 Season tickets are now available for subscription, single tickets go on sale August 19.
MAGIC THEATRE WEST COAST PREMIERE: The Magic Theatre presents the West Coast Premiere of Waiting at the Water's Edge by British playwright Lucinda Coxon, running June 4-30.
Waiting at the Water's Edge begins in Wales in 1923, and follows Vi Evans, a coal miners daughter seeking something meaningful in life, who takes a job as a parlour maid. When she accidentally kills the son of her employer, she takes on his identity and moves away, living the adventurous life she always desired. Back at the estate, her best friend and employer eagerly await her return. Through the play's plot, issues of class, power, gender, identity and faith are carefully woven.
Waiting at the Water's Edge runs Wed-Sat 8:30pm; and 2pm or 7:30pm on Sundays. Tickets range from $18-34 and can be purchased by calling (415) 441-8822.
SHORT N' SEXY: The New Conservatory Theatre Center will conclude it's first "Pride Season" with two separate programs of short plays, Sexy Shorts: 10 minute-or-less pieces by lesbian and gay authors, June 5 28.
The Women's Program consists of seven shorts all with lesbian themes, including titles such as Salt Lake Pretty by Charles E. Polly, Cat Nip by Margery Kreitman, and Allen Ginsburg Always Wears a Tie by Maria Breaux.
The Men's Program consists of nine gay-themed one-acts, including Behind the Lavender Door by Phillip Real; The Virgin Tango by Tom W. Kelly and Body & Soul by Daniel Curzon.
The Women's Program opens on June 5, and runs Wed 8pm and Fri at 8 & 10pm. The Men's Program opens June 8 and runs Thu 8pm; Sat 8 & 10pm. Tickets are $12 & $16 and are available by calling (415) 861-8972.
NORTH COAST REPERTORY: The North Coast Repertory Theatre has announced its 15th anniversary season, opening with its 100th production, the San Diego premiere of Tom Stoppard's Rough Crossing, running June 13 through July 21.
Rough Crossing, based on a play by Ferenc Molnar, depicts the British cast and creators of a Broadway -bound musical as they cross the Atlantic on an ocean liner.
Following Rough Crossing is a crossing of a different kind, where two middle-aged women journey to India in Terrence McNally's A Perfect Ganesh (Aug. 3 thru Sept. 8). The Boys Next Door depicts four mentally challenged men as they try to live on their own (Sept. 21 thru Oct. 27), whereas the San Diego premiere of Neil Simon's Laughter on the 23rd Floor features four men who write television comedy upstairs (Nov. 9 thru Dec. 29). Michael Frayn's translation of Chekhov's classic The Seagull is the fifth production of the season (Jan. 11 thru Feb. 16), and the sixth is Anthony Shaffer's farcical mystery, Sleuth (Mar.1 thru Apr. 6). The season closes with 1992 Best Play Tony Award-winner Dancing at Lughnasa, by Brian Friel, a memory play about five unmarried sisters in a small village in Ireland (Apr. 1 thru May 25).
For ticket and schedule information call (619) 481-1055.
JUNE AT SOUTH COAST REP (SCR): The season closer at Costa Mesa is a classic; Arms and the Man by George Bernard Shaw, running on the Mainstage through June 30.
The sardonic comedy, starring Harry Groener, is about men, women, war, love, and heroes who stick religiously to their lofty ideals, sometimes revealing the foolishness of their hypocrisy.
For two weekends in June, Mother Goose will waddle on to the Second Stage, in the annual children's show by SCR's Young Conservatory Players. The play revolves around a young girl who doubts the existence of Mother Goose and her rhymes, and puts them on trial in her dreams. (June 8-9, 14 16).
The Second Stage will also feast on Club O'Noodles, a ten member troupe of Vietnamese-American performers, who mix song, dance and theatre in their show Laughter From the Children of War , playing June 21-23. All Club members were born in Vietnam during the war, and their show reflects the stories and experience of immigration.
Tickets for Arms run $17-38; For Goose $7-10; and for Laughter $10-15. For tickets and more information call (714) 957 4033.
THE GROUP THEATRE: Seattle's Multicultural Theatre closes it's season with the Tony award-winning Sizwe Banzi is Dead by South Africans Athol Fugard, John Kani and Winston Ntshona, running May 31 through June 30.
The comedic drama portrays the predicament of Sizwe Banzi, who finds himself in a no-win South African situation, unable to provide for himself or his family. He may not stay or work in the town to which he journeyed to find work without violating strict laws; unless he gets his passbook in order. A clever new friend helps him to stumble upon an ingenuous and risky solution.
Sizwe marks the final production that Tim Bond will direct before leaving his post as artistic director on June 30.
He said, "I am so pleased to complete my work as artistic director with this play...It strikes me that Sizwe Banzi is perhaps especially relevant at a time when post-apartheid South Africa is looking to American Affirmative Action programs as a model, while growing numbers of American citizens and politicians are attempting to dismantle those very same programs."
Performances are Wed & Thu, 7:30pm; Fri & Sat 8pm; & Sun 7:30pm. Tickets are $14-19 and are available by calling (206) 441-1299.
ANGRIER HOUSEWIVES: Last chance to catch the twice extended Angry Housewives at Tacoma Actors Guild (TAG), which must close June 9.
The original three week run of the Northwest rock musical, about housewives who decide enter a rock contest as a punk band, was sold out two weeks before it opened, and the run has broken all box office records in TAG's 17 years of operation.
For tickets or more information, call (206) 272-2145.
VILLAGE OF MUSICALS: The Village Theatre in Issaquah, WA is closing its season with two musicals: Cole Porter's Kiss Me Kate on the Francis J. Gaudette stage through June 30, and the Northwest Premiere of Ruthless by Joel Paley and Marvin Laird, on the First Stage through June 16.
In Kiss Me, Kate the backstage bickering of a divorced (but still in love) acting couple is mirrored in the characters they play, in a musical adaptation of Shakespeare's The Taming of the Shrew. The more famous tunes of Cole Porter's score includes Another Op'nin', Another Show, So in Love, and Tom, Dick or Harry.
Ruthless, which was recently produced as a benefit concert in Los Angeles with Bernadette Peters, now graces the Village Theatre stage. Tina Denmark will do anything to get the lead role in her school play, and she does. Her mother helps her until she discovers the cruel nature behind her daughters ambition, and her own desire to perform.
Kiss Me runs Wed-Sat 8pm; Sat & Sun 2pm and Sun 7pm; tickets are $12-24. Ruthless runs Wed-Sat 8pm; Sat & Sun 2pm; tickets are $10-16. All tickets are available by calling (206) 392-2202.
In addition, the Village Theatre will host a very special benefit evening in Seattle's Pilgrim Center for the Arts. An evening of interactive entertainment awaits friends of the Village, at Tony and Tina's Wedding, where audience members are guests at a real live Italian wedding. The evening includes a champagne toast, dinner and dancing. Tickets are $65 & $85 and are available by calling Keri Healy at 392, ext. 112.
The Village Theatre re-opens in September with the world premiere of the contemporary musical City Kid, composed by a team of contemporary music artists; lyricist Adrienne Anderson and composer/producers Rick Chudacoff and Peter Bunetta.