All stories by Lily Janiak on BroadwayStars

Wednesday, July 10, 2024

Ariana Debose and Broadway and Vine audience get surprise of a lifetime by Lily Janiak

The three-year-old Napa concert series inaugurated its summer season with not one, but two, “West Side Story” Anitas.

SOURCE: San Francisco Chronicle at 03:47PM
Monday, July 8, 2024

Review: S.F. Playhouse’s otherwise fleet ‘Evita’ is undermined by just one element by Lily Janiak

The title character of Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber’s 1978 musical might recognize much in 2024’s election runup.

SOURCE: San Francisco Chronicle at 02:18PM
Sunday, July 7, 2024

Review: Word for Word stakes out a refreshing middle ground between stage and page by Lily Janiak

“Who’s-Dead McCarthy: Stories by Kevin Barry” creeps into your mind, vine-like, and flowers.

SOURCE: San Francisco Chronicle at 02:01PM
Saturday, July 6, 2024

Review: Marin Shakes is officially the Bay’s best bet for imaginative Shakespeare by Lily Janiak

Domenique Lozano’s adaptation of “Much Ado About Nothing” reveals Shakespeare as not some holy writ etched in stone but a bubbling lab ripe for experimentation.

SOURCE: San Francisco Chronicle at 03:01PM
Friday, July 5, 2024

The show must go on, heat wave edition: How outdoor theater handles extreme weather by Lily Janiak

Venue changes, shaded seats and costume modifications are just some ways Bay Area theaters have learned to adapt amid a record-breaking heat wave.

SOURCE: San Francisco Chronicle at 08:28PM

Review: This ‘Mrs. Doubtfire’ seems to wish it could adapt a different film by Lily Janiak

John O’Farrell and Karey and Wayne Kirkpatrick’s musical shadowboxes its way through key plot points and memorable shots from the 1993 Robin Williams film set in San Francisco.

SOURCE: San Francisco Chronicle at 03:25PM
Thursday, June 27, 2024

Review: Aurora’s ‘The Lifespan of a Fact’ does a disservice to journalism by Lily Janiak

Jeremy Kareken and David Murrell’s adaptation of John D’Agata and Jim Fingal’s book fails as both a portrait of journalism and a work of theater.

SOURCE: San Francisco Chronicle at 09:19PM
Friday, June 21, 2024

Review: Berkeley Rep’s ‘Mother Road’ loses its way by Lily Janiak

Octavio Solis’ reverse-migration sequel to John Steinbeck’s “Grapes of Wrath” feels as overladen as the Joad family jalopy.

SOURCE: San Francisco Chronicle at 02:55PM
Thursday, June 13, 2024

Brava Theater needs to raise $50,000 to meet basic expenses by Lily Janiak

The Mission District theater is facing a perfect storm of increased costs from insurance, utilities, payroll and more.

SOURCE: San Francisco Chronicle at 08:34PM
Tuesday, June 11, 2024

East Bay theater loses 40 years of props, costumes and sets in fire by Lily Janiak

The destruction of Pittsburg Theatre Company’s warehouse hasn’t stopped the company from opening “The Sunshine Boys” on Friday, June 14.

SOURCE: San Francisco Chronicle at 08:25PM

At Berkeley Rep, playwright Octavio Solis finds fertile ground in California’s soil by Lily Janiak

‘Mother Road,’ a sequel of sorts to John Steinbeck’s ‘The Grapes of Wrath,’ imagines a latter-day reverse migration for Joad family descendants.

SOURCE: San Francisco Chronicle at 07:00AM
Sunday, June 9, 2024

Review: Magic Theatre’s ‘Garuda’s Wing’ is a master class in dramatic revelation by Lily Janiak

Playwright Naomi Iizuka constructs exquisite clockworks over and over again in her Magic Theatre and Campo Santo world premiere set on the island of Borneo.

SOURCE: San Francisco Chronicle at 02:12PM
Friday, June 7, 2024

Review: Gender-swapped ‘Company’ makes fertile ground of museum piece by Lily Janiak

At BroadwaySF, Marianne Elliott’s take on George Furth and Stephen Sondheim’s 1970 musical about singledom versus marriage bursts with ripe, juicy fruits.

SOURCE: San Francisco Chronicle at 03:42PM
Thursday, May 30, 2024

Review: ‘The Lehman Trilogy’ at ACT is epic for every minute of its 3 ½ hours by Lily Janiak

For all its heft, Stefano Massini’s play about the rise and fall of Lehman Brothers is a marvel of poetic restraint.

SOURCE: San Francisco Chronicle at 05:17PM
Wednesday, May 29, 2024

Review: Center Rep’s ‘Cabaret,” written in 1966, implicates you in 2024 by Lily Janiak

Joe Masteroff, John Kander and Fred Ebb’s musical is relevant whenever nationalism, groupthink and racial othering are on the rise, which seems to be always. 

SOURCE: San Francisco Chronicle at 03:03PM
Friday, May 24, 2024

Review: Shotgun Players say aloud what most theaters are afraid to whisper by Lily Janiak

“Best Available” centers on a fictional theater’s behind-the-scenes hiring process, and the script might make audiences wonder if they’re complicit.

SOURCE: San Francisco Chronicle at 02:52PM

Bay Area summer 2024 theater: Get outdoors — or seal yourself in a glass box by Lily Janiak

Mountain Play, Santa Cruz Shakespeare and Circus Bella invite audiences to enjoy a live performance and eat a picnic, too.

SOURCE: San Francisco Chronicle at 07:00AM
Monday, May 20, 2024

Another Berkeley Rep world premiere is heading to Broadway by Lily Janiak

“Swept Away,” featuring music by folk rock band the Avett Brothers, was among the first big theatrical projects to premiere in the Bay Area after the pandemic’s worst days.

SOURCE: San Francisco Chronicle at 02:14PM
Saturday, May 18, 2024

Review: At the Imaginists, pick a cubicle and see corporate culture get skewered by Lily Janiak

The high concept of “A Kind of Knowing” is the modus operandi of the 22-year-old Santa Rosa troupe.

SOURCE: San Francisco Chronicle at 02:27PM
Thursday, May 16, 2024

Review: Berkeley Rep’s ‘Galileo’ has problems with its art, not its science by Lily Janiak

Performances, including by four-time Tony Award nominee Raúl Esparza in the title role, only partially redeem the world-premiere musical.

SOURCE: San Francisco Chronicle at 04:42PM
Thursday, May 9, 2024

Review: S.F. Playhouse cracks ‘The Glass Menagerie’ open by Lily Janiak

Director Jeffrey Lo reveals Tennessee Williams’ 1944 masterpiece as a wide, ripe canvas.

SOURCE: San Francisco Chronicle at 03:43PM
Thursday, May 2, 2024

Review: Danish theater at S.F. International Arts Festival probes the narcissism at abuse’s heart by Lily Janiak

Kassandra Production’s “The Soul Catcher” might make you start to rethink the relationships in your own life.

SOURCE: San Francisco Chronicle at 05:02PM
Tuesday, April 30, 2024

This Berkeley native just got nominated for a Tony Award by Lily Janiak

Shana Carroll, of the 7 Fingers and “Dear San Francisco” at Club Fugazi, spoke to the Chronicle about her Tony nod for choreographing “Water for Elephants” on Broadway.

SOURCE: San Francisco Chronicle at 07:32PM
Monday, April 29, 2024

Review: Oakland Theater Project’s ‘Red Red Red’ writes new myth of queer love by Lily Janiak

In Amelio Garcia’s play, inspired by Anne Carson’s verse novel, actor Romeo Chandler is a live wire who might spark trifles and slights or wisdom and poetry.

SOURCE: San Francisco Chronicle at 02:37PM
Saturday, April 27, 2024

Review: Immersive show about Fillmore’s redevelopment scheme asks which side you’re on by Lily Janiak

Walking Cinema’s “The Fillmore Eclipse” is set in a 1950s jazz joint the night before its bulldozing.

SOURCE: San Francisco Chronicle at 02:09PM
Thursday, April 25, 2024

Review: ACT’s ‘A Strange Loop’ is a musical whirligig of invention by Lily Janiak

Michael R. Jackson’s West Coast premiere at the Toni Rembe Theater in San Francisco summons the gods of lighting, music, set design and costume.

SOURCE: San Francisco Chronicle at 02:42PM
Tuesday, April 16, 2024

Review: Golden Thread’s ‘Returning to Haifa’ is theater helping you understand the war in Gaza by Lily Janiak

Witnessing Ghassan Kanafani’s 1969 barn burner onstage is like discovering a midcentury classic.

SOURCE: San Francisco Chronicle at 04:32PM
Sunday, April 14, 2024

Review: NCTC’s ‘The Tutor’ makes Slip ‘N Slide of love triangle by Lily Janiak

In Torange Yeghizaran’s world premiere, three characters fill the playing space to bursting.

SOURCE: San Francisco Chronicle at 02:52PM
Wednesday, April 10, 2024

Got overbearing Asian American parents? Confront them vicariously with ‘Tiger Style!’ by Lily Janiak

Mike Lew’s comedy at TheatreWorks Silicon Valley is balm for any thwarted adult who’s ever fantasized, “I’m gonna yell at my mom like a white girl.” 

SOURCE: San Francisco Chronicle at 03:11PM
Tuesday, April 9, 2024

In the AI age, how have artists envisioned robots in theater, film and ballet? by Lily Janiak

Pieces such as S.F. Ballet’s ‘Mere Mortals’ help us understand our place in the ChatGPT era.

SOURCE: San Francisco Chronicle at 07:00AM
Monday, April 8, 2024

In ‘Hangmen,’ Martin McDonagh is the maestro of macabre, the bard of bloviation by Lily Janiak

San Jose Stage Company’s West Coast premiere about an English hangman forced into early retirement trades moralizing for high style.

SOURCE: San Francisco Chronicle at 07:00AM

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