Culture

SF Bay Area theater picks: ‘In the Heights,’ a lesbian ‘Oedipus’


Here are three new stage shows in the S.F. Bay Area you should know about, from an early Lin-Manuel Miranda hit to an offering from a just-formed East Bay theater company to a lesbian-themed Greek tragedy. Here’s a look:

Miranda’s ‘In the Heights’ comes to San Jose

Before he set the theater world on fire with his Pulitzer Prize-winning Broadway smash “Hamilton,” Lin-Manuel Miranda made a name for himself with the Tony Award-winning 2005 musical “In the Heights.” So it seems only natural that a lot of local theater companies have been producing Miranda’s earlier hit to capitalize on the runaway popularity of his current one.

San Jose’s City Lights Theater Company is performing it now, followed by Oakland’s Woodminster Summer Musicals at the end of August and San Francisco’s Custom Made Theatre Company in November.

It’s a nice thing for local audiences, too, because “In the Heights” really is a lot of fun. A love letter to the Dominican American neighborhood of Washington Heights in upper Manhattan with a touching libretto by Quiara Alegria Hudes (a Pulitzer winner for “Water by the Spoonful”), the musical is packed with delightful hip-hop and salsa numbers and an inspiring sense of close-knit community.

At City Lights, Jeffrey Bracco directs an energetic cast of 22 in the intimate space, with musical direction by Samuel Cisneros and choreography by Frankie Mendoza.

Details: July 12-Aug. 19; City Lights Theater Company, San Jose; $21-$43; 408-295-4200, cltc.org.

A new theater emerges in Martinez

There’s a new theater company in Martinez, aptly named the Other Other Theatre Company. Founded by Joel Roster, a longtime Contra Costa County actor and former artistic director of Lafayette’s Town Hall Theatre, this new outfit intends to perform strictly on nights when most other theaters are dark: Sunday and Monday. Roster is also starting a theater education program called the Other Other Theatre Academy.

The Other Other Theatre Company’s inaugural production is a two-night East Bay premiere of “Almost an Evening,” a 70-minute 2008 series of three comedic one-act plays by Ethan Coen, of the filmmaking Coen Brothers, at the Campbell Theatre. The rest of the season, two more plays and a musical, will be announced on opening night.

Details: 8 p.m. July 15-16; Campbell Theatre, Martinez; $10-$15; www.otherothertheatre.com.

A lesbian ‘Oedipus’ plays in San Francisco

The world’s longest-running queer theater company, San Francisco’s own Theatre Rhinoceros, closes its 40th season with the regional premiere of “Oedipus at Palm Springs,” a comedy by the Five Lesbian Brothers with a horrific twist. This comedic New York lesbian theater troupe has itself been around for almost 30 years and includes among its number (five would be that number) Lisa Kron, acclaimed playwright of “Well,” “In the Wake” and the musical “Fun Home.”

Written and originally performed by the quintet, “Oedipus at Palm Springs” is a soap operatic sex comedy about two lesbian couples vacationing at a resort in the titular California town. That it soon takes a disturbing turn shouldn’t be too much of a surprise if you have even a passing …read more

Source:: The Mercury News – Entertainment

      

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