Review: OSF’s ‘Mother Road’

‘MOTHER ROAD’ (March 3-October 26) Rating (out of 5): ★★★★½ The idea of writing a theatrical sequel to John Steinbeck’s “The Grapes of Wrath” would seem shocking were it not that the playwright is Octavio Solis, one of the country’s most-celebrated living writers of the Mexican-American experience. There is definitely something Steinbeckian about Solis’ award-winning work.…

Review: OSF’s ‘Hairspray’

‘HAIRSPRAY: THE BROADWAY MUSICAL’ Oregon Shakespeare Festival Rating (out of 5): ★★★★ It’s easy to roll one’s eyes when a Shakespeare-based theater festival programs a popular musical, dismissing the choice as no more than as a lazy, desperate cash-grab. And truth be told, some companies would be guilty as charged. But even the most cynical of…

Review: OSF’s ‘As You Like It’

‘AS YOU LIKE IT’ Oregon Shakespeare Festival Rating (out of 5): ★★★ One of the most interesting things about the plays of Shakespeare is how powerfully they work as showcases of a stage director’s view of the world, their relative aesthetic values, and the ingenuity they bring to their interpretation of a particular play. Case in…

Review: OSF’s ‘Cambodian Rock Band’

‘CAMBODIAN ROCK BAND’ Oregon Shakespeare Festival Rating (out of 5): ★★★★★ “Nothing in Cambodia stays buried for long.” That line is delivered as a bit of an inside joke, but it comes with a sting, one that resonates throughout playwright Lauren Yee’s sensational new play, “Cambodian Rock Band.” The play premiered last year at South Coast…

Review: “The Who & The What” in Mill Valley

Playwright Ayad Akhtar burst on the theatrical scene in 2013 with Disgraced, a searing drama about identity politics and Islamophobia which earned him the Pulitzer Prize for Drama. In 2016, Marin Theatre Company presented Akhtar’s The Invisible Hand, a play that took on capitalism and Islamic fanaticism. Gender issues in the Islamic community are the…

Review: “The Nether” in Santa Rosa

In a recent Letter to the Editor of the Bohemian, a theatre patron decried one North Bay company for its tendency to program shows with dark themes that portray men and women at their worst.  The patron then went on to suggest attending a then-running show at Santa Rosa’s Left Edge Theatre. That patron may…