All stories by Lily Janiak on BroadwayStars

Sunday, December 3, 2023

Review: Mélia Mills at the Marsh Berkeley says the upper-middle-class can rap, too by Lily Janiak

“The Allure of Thug Life” shows great promise in its kaleidoscopic vision of both Blackness and rap.

SOURCE: San Francisco Chronicle at 03:09PM
Friday, December 1, 2023

Review: Celebrate a very S.F. Christmas by seeing drag queens spoof ‘The Golden Girls’ by Lily Janiak

The biggest change in this year’s incarnation, at the Victoria Theatre, is that Coco Peru is playing the role originated by spoof co-creator Heklina, who died in April.

SOURCE: San Francisco Chronicle at 02:21PM
Thursday, November 30, 2023

Review: With Audra McDonald, S.F. Symphony loosens up for a playful jaunt of showtunes by Lily Janiak

The Broadway star proved the best place to hear musical theater numbers might be the San Francisco Symphony.

SOURCE: San Francisco Chronicle at 03:19PM
Wednesday, November 29, 2023

Review: Sara Porkalob’s ‘Dragon Lady’ roars with fire and tightens like a coil by Lily Janiak

The solo cabaret musical at Marin Theatre Company makes a family’s origin story in a Manila nightclub feel as mighty as myth.

SOURCE: San Francisco Chronicle at 02:42PM
Tuesday, November 21, 2023

Review: Billy Crudup at Berkeley Rep unlocks the deviance in all of us by Lily Janiak

“Harry Clarke,” David Cale’s one-man play, is about the intoxicating fantasy of becoming someone else. 

SOURCE: San Francisco Chronicle at 02:21PM
Monday, November 20, 2023

One theater’s solution to pandemic doldrums: Go smaller by Lily Janiak

Theatre Rhinoceros is producing gay theater in the Castro for the first time in its 46-year history.

SOURCE: San Francisco Chronicle at 12:50PM
Friday, November 17, 2023

Review: This theatrical adaptation of ‘1984’ actually adds to the book by Lily Janiak

At Aurora Theatre, Michael Gene Sullivan’s harrowing stage adaption of George Orwell’s novel prickles the skin, pinches nerves and lodges in the viscera.

SOURCE: San Francisco Chronicle at 02:23PM
Wednesday, November 15, 2023

In 2023 Bay Area holiday theater, buy local by Lily Janiak

Indie offerings from Bow & Arrow Circus Theatre Collective, Misfit Cabaret, the Imaginists and more sparkle and chime this holiday season.

SOURCE: San Francisco Chronicle at 07:00AM
Monday, November 13, 2023

‘You can be big!’: Oakland Theater Project’s 2024 season helps us meet our moment by Lily Janiak

Plays by Tony Kushner, Martyna Majok and Michael Wayne Turner III continue the 12-year-old company’s proud tradition of staggering ambition.

SOURCE: San Francisco Chronicle at 03:18PM
Thursday, November 2, 2023

Review: Berkeley Rep’s ‘Bulrusher’ glitters like Boonville’s Navarro River by Lily Janiak

Playwright and Berkeley native Eisa Davis devises an idiom so resplendent, so discerning, it induces chills and shudders.

SOURCE: San Francisco Chronicle at 02:53PM
Friday, October 27, 2023

Review: A Jew walks into a white nationalist meeting and comes out with a winning show by Lily Janiak

Alex Edelman’s “Just for Us” at the Curran is a triumph of contemporary Jewish humor.

SOURCE: San Francisco Chronicle at 02:34PM

There’s a new venue in S.F., and it’s dedicated to clowning by Lily Janiak

Church of Clown in Visitacion Valley crowns a local clowning scene that has long rendered the profession’s stereotypes irrelevant.

SOURCE: San Francisco Chronicle at 07:00AM
Tuesday, October 24, 2023

Sudden, unexplained changes at California Arts Council sow distrust and waste hours of work by Lily Janiak

An abrupt change in the council’s funding process and its non-communication to applicants led to confusion and dismay.

SOURCE: San Francisco Chronicle at 07:00AM
Sunday, October 22, 2023

Word for Word’s ‘Citizen’ is as lush and penetrating as a Sonoma County grapevine by Lily Janiak

Greg Sarris’ story, set among Santa Rosa day laborers and staged at Z Below, testifies to the power of keen observation.

SOURCE: San Francisco Chronicle at 02:33PM
Saturday, October 21, 2023

Review: This play anticipates our ChatGPT fears, and it was written in 1920 by Lily Janiak

Cutting Ball Theater’s remarkable production of “Rossum’s Universal Robots” reads as a cri de coeur in the age of Alexa, Siri and Waymo.

SOURCE: San Francisco Chronicle at 02:41PM
Friday, October 20, 2023

This small S.F. theater company isn’t closing but ‘hibernating’ by Lily Janiak

“Tiny Fires,” a world premiere by Aimee Suzara, will be Custom Made Theatre Company’s last show for the foreseeable future.

SOURCE: San Francisco Chronicle at 01:50PM
Wednesday, October 11, 2023

This outspoken Bay Area actor just got hired to lead Marin Theatre Company by Lily Janiak

“Our audience is not going to be a monolith,” Lance Gardner told the Chronicle of his plans for the Mill Valley company.

SOURCE: San Francisco Chronicle at 02:00PM
Tuesday, October 10, 2023

Review: If you follow any account too closely on social media, ‘Edit Annie’ is the play for you by Lily Janiak

Crowded Fire Theater’s revealing West Coast premiere about the complexities of a parasocial relationship delivers Bay Area theater’s biggest surprise of the fall.

SOURCE: San Francisco Chronicle at 03:05PM
Monday, October 9, 2023

Review: Marga Gomez’s ‘Swimming With Lesbians’ is still finding its sea legs by Lily Janiak

The San Francisco comedian’s 14th solo show is inspired by her time as a cruise ship entertainer.

SOURCE: San Francisco Chronicle at 02:51PM
Sunday, October 8, 2023

Review: ‘Mrs. Christie’ is for budding detectives and soul searchers alike by Lily Janiak

Heidi Armbruster’s champagne flute of a play, now in a TheatreWorks Silicon Valley West Coast premiere, is about Agatha Christie’s 1926 disappearance.

SOURCE: San Francisco Chronicle at 02:11PM
Saturday, October 7, 2023

‘The Hands That Feed You’ is S.F’s most brilliant performance art in recent memory by Lily Janiak

In Annie Danger’s piece at CounterPulse, part of the Tenderloin company’s namesake festival, audience members compete for real cash prizes.

SOURCE: San Francisco Chronicle at 02:18PM
Friday, October 6, 2023

What responsibility do critics bear when a theater company closes? by Lily Janiak

I know my writing — or choice not to write — about a company can affect its bottom line.

SOURCE: San Francisco Chronicle at 07:00AM
Thursday, October 5, 2023

Review: Your fairy tale ending awaits at S.F. Playhouse’s backstage drama ‘Nollywood Dreams’ by Lily Janiak

Jocelyn Bioh’s West Coast premiere following Nigerian film in the 1990s is about romantic melodrama — both onscreen and off the set.

SOURCE: San Francisco Chronicle at 02:30PM
Wednesday, October 4, 2023

Play’s sleuth probes Agatha Christie’s own unsolved mystery by Lily Janiak

The West Coast premiere of Heidi Armbruster’s play digs into the mystery author’s real-life 11-day disappearance that was never explained.

SOURCE: San Francisco Chronicle at 07:00AM
Monday, October 2, 2023

Bucking regional trends, S.F.’s Magic Theatre in 2024 goes all-in on world premieres by Lily Janiak

All four slots in the San Francisco theater’s 2024 lineup are world premieres. “It’s the only way to do it,” lead director Sean San José told the Chronicle.

SOURCE: San Francisco Chronicle at 01:58PM
Saturday, September 30, 2023

Review: Terror Vault’s ‘The Initiation’ at the S.F. Mint is the perfect way to start Halloween season by Lily Janiak

The sixth haunted attraction by Into the Dark, which comprises Peaches Christ, David Flower Productions and Non Plus Ultra, has just the gory frights and cultish imagery to make your stomach…

SOURCE: San Francisco Chronicle at 01:56PM
Friday, September 22, 2023

Cal Shakes plans to finally produce its own Shakespeare again, in summer 2024 by Lily Janiak

New Executive Director Clive Worsley said he’s faced strong opposition to his vision, but assures audiences, “We’re not taking the Shakespeare away.”

SOURCE: San Francisco Chronicle at 03:01AM
Thursday, September 21, 2023

Review: LMAO-inducing ‘POTUS’ rips America a new one and roots around inside by Lily Janiak

Berkeley Rep’s production of Selina Fillinger’s play slyly posits farce as the path toward feminist revolution.

SOURCE: San Francisco Chronicle at 05:07PM
Wednesday, September 20, 2023

Uber escaped AB5. Theaters didn’t. Now the state is finally helping — a little by Lily Janiak

Gov. Gavin Newsom reallocated $11.5 million to the Equitable Payroll Fund to help small arts nonprofits recover from the pandemic and comply with AB5.

SOURCE: San Francisco Chronicle at 07:04PM

This Mission District venue has a new tenant, and now it’s staying a theater by Lily Janiak

Dreams on the Rocks Productions’ Eclectic Box is slated to be a home for companies affected by PianoFight’s closure.

SOURCE: San Francisco Chronicle at 01:00PM
Friday, September 15, 2023

In Oakland Theater Project’s “Gary,” the fool is king, and comedy is the way out of tragedy by Lily Janiak

Taylor Mac’s sequel to Shakespeare’s “Titus Andronicus” creates a canvas for artists to lead our revolts.

SOURCE: San Francisco Chronicle at 02:54PM

All that Chat

May 30, 2023: Grey House - Lyceum Theatre
Jun 26, 2023: Just For Us - Hudson Theatre
Jul 24, 2023: The Cottage - Hayes Theater
Nov 16, 2023: Spamalot - St. James Theatre
Dec 18, 2023: Appropriate - Hayes Theater
Apr 14, 2024: Lempicka - Longacre Theatre
Apr 17, 2024: The Wiz - Marquis Theatre
Apr 18, 2024: Suffs - Music Box Theatre
Apr 25, 2024: Mother Play - Hayes Theater