UPDATE: WEST COAST -- 4/19
ONE-PERSON SHOWS: THE HEATHER WOODBURY REPORT: Heather has arrived in the West.
Her saga began in New York City with a dare from a friend to create and perform a new performance piece every week of the year. Heather modified the dare to nine months, and her 37-week project grew into an epic tale, with eight 70-minute episodes and 100 characters, playing for months to sold out audiences in underground clubs and performance spaces in New York City.
Heather currently is performing What Ever, or The Heather Woodbury Report on Wednesdays in Los Angeles and Fridays at Josie's Cabaret and Juice Joint, 3583 16th St. in San Francisco. Performances run through May 31, on Friday nights at 10pm. $10 tickets may be purchased by calling (415) 861 7933. Next stop is Austin, TX.
LISTEN TO EMMETT Actor/writer Larry Hankin will perform his one-man show, Emmett Sez, at The Marsh in San Francisco, April 30-June 30.
When Hankin isn't playing the downstairs neighbor Mr. Heckles on the TV show Friends, or the pool-hustling hologram on Star Trek: Voyager, he is Emmett, a character based on a real street character of his acquaintance. Emmett is a former bank loan officer forced into early retirement by downsizing, who loses his memory from a motorcycle accident. He ends up on the streets, reinventing himself as the tale telling biker rebel Sometimes Jones, "the missing link between Malcom Forbes and Sonny Barger.
Hankin received many accolades for his run of the show at The Met Theatre in Los Angeles last December, where the LA Weekly said,"The evening is a delight...like an amalgam of Lewis Carroll stories and Grimm Fairy Tales, all starring Buster Keaton."
Emmet Sez plays Thu-Sat 8:30pm; Sun 7:30pm. Tickets are $8-15, and can be purchased by calling (415) 826-5750.
MAGIC HOUSE: San Francisco's Magic Theatre, in association with AT&T Onstage, presents the world premiere of Nilo Cruz's A Park in Our House, directed by the author.
In the Chekhovian style of romantic comedy, a Cuban family is visited by a young Soviet botanist, and the newcomer creates change and affects the members and extended members of the family in a variety of ways.
A Park in Our House runs Wed-Sun 8:30pm, through May 5. For tickets and further information, call the Magic Theatre at (415) 441-8822. NOH-CULTURE CLASH: Inspired by Japan's first heart transplant surgery in 1968, Down the Dark Well, is a Noh drama by immunology specialist Dr. Tomio Tada, adapted by Erik Ehn currently presented by Theatre of Yugen.
Running at Noh Space in San Francisco thru May 19, Down the Dark Well tells the story of a young transplant recipient who is tormented by the ghost of the fisherman whose heart she has received, touching off a set of tragic events.
The Noh genre, a style of theatre that originated in 14th century Japan , draws on Japanese spirits and legends as characters. Because the form is highly ritualized and traditional, contemporary Noh plays are rarely done even in Japan anymore. This play uses the form to illustrate the spiritual ambiguity of Western medicine. In Japan, a person has not passed to the afterlife until both their heart and mind are dead. The play explores the moral consequences of how transplant surgery breaks this cultural belief.
Down the Dark Well begins previews April 16 and runs through May 19, Thu-Sun 8pm. Tickets are $10-20; phone (415) 621-7978.
CALIFORNIA SHAKESPEARE FESTIVAL: The Bruns Memorial Ampitheatre in Orinda, home of the California Shakespeare Festival, is the only theatre in Northern California specifically designed for Shakespeare productions.
This year, the outdoor theatre will stage The Merry Wives of Windsor (Jun 13-Jul 28); Henry V (Jul 4-Aug 3); Twelfth Night (Aug 8-Sept 7); and Measure for Measure (Sept 12-Oct 6).
Tickets range from $74-116 for all four shows, $10-32 for single ticket sales, and are available by phoning (510) 548-9666.
WRAPPING UP WITH A PICNIC: the Marin Theatre Company presents it's final show of the season, Picnic by William Inge.
It's a trip into the 1950s heartland of America, where one Labor Day weekend a handsome drifter comes to town and stirs things up.
Picnic runs from May 2-Jun 2, and plays Tues-Sat 8pm; Sun 2 & 7pm. Tickets are $20-28 and are available by calling (415) 388-5208.
CENTRAL AND SOUTHERN CA
PCPA: Pacific Conservatory of the Performing Arts (PCPA) Theatrefest is wrapping up it's Winter Spring Season, first with Noel Coward's Hay Fever, followed by Frank Galati's adaptation of Steinbeck's The Grapes of Wrath.
In Hay Fever the ultra-bohemian Bliss family manages to terrify and upset all their weekend guests by their outlandish behavior. The comedy is now running at the Severson Theatre through April 28.
The Tony Award-winning adaption of The Grapes of Wrath, running April 25 through May 12, depicts the heart-wrenching journey of the Joad family as they leave their dry, ravaged farm in search of a better life in California.
In order to enhance the production, PCPA's Marian Theatre will create a flowing Colorado river to mark the migrants arrival in California, as well as a torrential rainstorm that drives the Joads to their final refuge. These elaborate, hydrated set designs are a first for the PCPA Theatres.
Tickets to Hay Fever and The Grapes of Wrath are available by calling (805) 922-8313, or 1-800-PCPA-123.
BRAIN DEATH LIVES ON: The original 1987 San Diego Repertory production of Six Women With Brain Death or Expiring Minds Want to Know, the "wonderfully weird and wicked adult musical revue" ran for 22 months, making it the longest running show in the city's history.
The revival of the show has been extended as well, from April 7 to May 7. If sales warrant, further extensions may be announced on a week-by-week basis.
For tickets and more information,about Six Women With Brian Death, call the San Diego Rep at (619) 235-8025.
NEW ENGLAND AT COSTA MESA: Currently on the Mainstage at South Coast Repertory Theatre (SCR), is the West Coast Premiere of Richard Nelson's New England.
The drama takes place during an emotional weekend where an extended family of Britishers displaced in America, who swap crackling anecdotes about the natives and normally keep their cool, begin to fall apart.
Opening soon on the Second Stage is the World Premiere of a collection of Christopher Durang plays, A Mess of Plays By Chris Durang, put together by the playwright and SCR Associate Artists David Chambers.
A Mess of Plays by Chris Durang runs on the SCR Second Stage from April 26-May 26. New England currently plays on the Mainstage through May 12. For tickets or more information, phone (714) 957-4033.
ROUND-UP WITH THE BLUES: Seattle Repertory Theatre is closing its 1996 mainstage season with Sheldon Epps Blues in the Night, a musical revue running from April 13-May 19.
Four singers in 1930 Chicago come to rest in a "last chance" hotel. They tell their stories all through the night, or rather, sing them through the blues, in a celebration of blues from all over America.
Blues in the Night features songs by Bessie Smith, Duke Ellington, and Benny Goodman, including well-loved hits "Stomping at the Savoy," "Willow Weep for Me," "Take a Buggy Ride" and "Lover Man."
Blues in the Night runs Tues -Sun at Seattle Repertory Theatre. Tickets are $10-36. For information or reservations call (206) 443-2222.
ANOTHER ALICE: Lewis Carroll's ever-popular Alice in Wonderland has once again been adapted for the stage; this time in an all new production by Deborah Lynn Frockt for Seattle Children's Theatre.
This story begins as Alice is restlessly and stubbornly sitting to be painted for a portrait while the painter tries to do everything to get her to cooperate. She follows him into his painting as he chases after a white rabbit, and then the journey begins.
In this production of Alice she takes a potion to make her bigger (instead of smaller), and she grows to the top of the stage! In the end she compliantly agrees to be painted while she contemplates the world of wonder she just discovered.
Alice in Wonderland runs through June 9. Tickets are $11 for Children and $17 for adults, and are available by calling (206) 441-3322.
A CONTEMPORARY THEATRE (ACT) opened it's 31st Season with Tom Stoppard's Arcadia, playing in the Queen Anne Theatre, where the first half of the season will be staged.
The Award-winning intellectual romance tells two interlocking stories, one that takes place in the present and the other in the early 1800's, where two modern academics try to solve a mystery of the century before.
ACT will present Avenue X and Laughter on the 23rd Floor before moving to it's new home, the Eagles Auditorium in downtown Seattle. The first production there will be Cheap, a world premiere of a new adaptation of Moliere's The Miser (Sept 6-Oct 13)..
Arcadia runs through April 28 . For tickets and more information (206) 285-5110.