Review: “Bluff” in San Rafael

Writers have been dressing up the “boy meets girl, boy loses girl” trope for centuries now from Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet to every Hallmark Channel movie. Playwright Jeffrey Sweet took his shot at it twenty years ago with Bluff, running now at The Belrose in San Rafael through November 16. Sweet, long connected with Chicago…

Review: “The Laramie Project” in Healdsburg

It’s been more than two decades since 21-year-old college student Matthew Shephard was kidnapped, beaten, tortured, tied to a fence and left to die in a remote area near Laramie, Wyoming. The savageness and “How could it happen here?” nature of the crime grabbed the world’s attention and Shephard’s funeral and subsequent trials of the…

Fire/Poor Air Quality Leads to Performance Cancellation

Healdsburg’s Raven Players have announced the cancellation of the Thursday, October 24 evening performance of The Laramie Project. Artistic Director Steven David Martin released the following statement: “Due to the unpredictability of the Kincade fire, the poor air quality in Healdsburg, and with an abundance of caution, we are cancelling this evening’s performance of The…

Review: “Luna Gale” in Petaluma

The term “MacGuffin” was popularized by film director Alfred Hitchcock to describe objects or events that took place in his films that were necessary to begin the plot and motivate the characters but were essentially irrelevant. It may be harsh to refer to a baby as a MacGuffin, but the title character in Luna Gale,…

Review: “Sovereignty” in Mill Valley

There aren’t a lot of plays that explore Native American history or the modern-day social and political issues that continue to challenge that community. Mary Kathryn Nagle’s Sovereignty, running at the Marin Theatre Company through Oct. 20, attempts to do both in about two hours. Sarah Ridge Polson (Elizabeth Frances) returns to the Cherokee Nation…

Reviews: “The Haunting of Hill House” in Monte Rio & “Arsenic and Old Lace” in Healdsburg

Halloween comes early to North Bay stages with two productions more commonly seen around that particular holiday. Monte Rio’s Curtain Call Theatre recreates The Haunting of Hill House through Sep. 28 while Healdsburg’s Raven Players present the serial-killing comedy Arsenic and Old Lace through Sep. 29. Shirley Jackson’s 1958 novel The Haunting of Hill House…