All stories by Lily Janiak on BroadwayStars

Friday, July 1, 2022

Review: Bay Area production of ‘Wives’ both soars and drowns in first draft energy by Lily Janiak

Jaclyn Backhaus' play, now in a West Coast premiere at Berkeley's Aurora Theatre Company, can be overly didactic at times, but a passionate yearning drives it.

SOURCE: San Francisco Chronicle at 01:22PM
Thursday, June 23, 2022

Review: BroadwaySF’s ‘The Prom’ succeeds most when it aims deliciously low by Lily Janiak

The show about Broadway stars and a small-town lesbian serves as a fun kick-off to San Francisco's Pride Weekend.

SOURCE: San Francisco Chronicle at 01:39PM
Tuesday, June 21, 2022

Being a mom and a theater artist was always hard. In the late pandemic, it’s only worse by Lily Janiak

As Ariel Craft departs Cutting Ball, Bay Area theater professionals who recently gave birth reflect on family-work balance.

SOURCE: San Francisco Chronicle at 07:00AM
Saturday, June 18, 2022

Sean Fenton brings an actor’s empathy to new role as Theatre Bay Area leader by Lily Janiak

"It is a bit of trip going from community college student to executive," union actor Sean Fenton joked.

SOURCE: San Francisco Chronicle at 07:00AM
Wednesday, June 15, 2022

Bay Area summer theater in 2022 shows an industry at a COVID turning point by Lily Janiak

Berkeley Rep, Teatro Visión, TheatreWorks and Cutting Ball Theater all have auspicious summer offerings.

SOURCE: San Francisco Chronicle at 07:00AM
Saturday, June 11, 2022

Review: ‘Stranger Things: The Experience’ at S.F. Armory suggests Netflix should stick to TV by Lily Janiak

Immersive theater is an art. Dear Netflix, please let local theater artists help you make this better.

SOURCE: San Francisco Chronicle at 01:33PM
Friday, June 10, 2022

Review: ‘Dana H.’ brings gut-twisting real-life hostage drama to Berkeley Rep by Lily Janiak

Lucas Hnath's play about his mother's real-life kidnapping haunts as only nonfiction can.

SOURCE: San Francisco Chronicle at 02:16PM
Thursday, June 9, 2022

Review: ‘Hadestown’ will make you fall in love with musical theater again by Lily Janiak

Anaïs Mitchell's score can chug like a freight train or clang and gasp like the pistons and gaskets of Hades' foundry in this production at the Orpheum Theatre.

SOURCE: San Francisco Chronicle at 02:45PM
Monday, June 6, 2022

Review: At Oakland Theater Project, a play written in 1987 has a new way to say Black Lives Matter by Lily Janiak

"The Mojo and the Sayso" is sharp about the ways that family can live right on top of each other without ever intersecting.

SOURCE: San Francisco Chronicle at 02:31PM

Anaïs Mitchell encounters compulsive industrialism, finds treasure in underworld with ‘Hadestown’ by Lily Janiak

Orpheus "almost can't live in the reality of the world around him, and for that reason he lets down Eurydice," Anaïs Mitchell said.

SOURCE: San Francisco Chronicle at 07:00AM
Sunday, June 5, 2022

Review: Cal Shakes’ bilingual ‘Romeo y Juliet’ reveals new discoveries in Shakespeare by Lily Janiak

Karen Zacarías' bilingual adaptation invites non-Spanish-speaking audiences to whet our powers of comprehension.

SOURCE: San Francisco Chronicle at 01:28PM
Friday, June 3, 2022

Review: The sparks and danger are real in outdoor Oakland variety show Ruckus and Rumpus Revival by Lily Janiak

Sexy clowns, staple guns, beds of nails and comet tails of sparks are some of the acts in the Ruckus and Rumpus Revival, formerly Tourettes Without Regrets.

SOURCE: San Francisco Chronicle at 02:19PM
Wednesday, June 1, 2022

Review: A writer’s hidden life and pain enchant in ‘Sound Inside’ by Lily Janiak

In Marin Theatre Company's new production, a mutual appreciation for the author's inner life makes possible an unlikely friendship, and an intriguing mystery.

SOURCE: San Francisco Chronicle at 02:44PM

Anna Deavere Smith, Annette Bening, other ACT alums reflect on their time in its MFA program by Lily Janiak

"For a long time, acting had always been a way for me to be something other than myself," said alum Liz Sklar.

SOURCE: San Francisco Chronicle at 07:00AM

ACT graduates its last class of MFA students, and Bay Area theater won’t be the same by Lily Janiak

The acting program that trained Denzel Washington, Annette Bening and Elizabeth Banks is closing because of financial difficulties.

SOURCE: San Francisco Chronicle at 07:00AM
Tuesday, May 31, 2022

Learning to grieve the last two years with Sarah Ruhl’s and Theatre Lunatico’s help by Lily Janiak

Sarah Ruhl's "Smile" and "Melancholy Play" offer gems of lyricism and spiritual solace in a grief-riven era.

SOURCE: San Francisco Chronicle at 07:00AM
Monday, May 23, 2022

San Jose native Jeffey Lo, with 3 plays running simultaneously, radiates purpose and compassion by Lily Janiak

"Your job as a director is to know the play well enough to identify when someone else has a better idea," he says.

SOURCE: San Francisco Chronicle at 07:00AM

The White House press secretary is a theatrical job, all the more so with Karine Jean-Pierre by Lily Janiak

The press secretary is representing someone else, playing a part, telling a story, and the media isn't just an audience, but representatives, too.

SOURCE: San Francisco Chronicle at 07:00AM
Sunday, May 22, 2022

Review: Shotgun’s ‘A Small Fire’ burns with what it is to be human by Lily Janiak

Adam Bock's play anatomizes our tethers to the world around us and exposes their fragility.

SOURCE: San Francisco Chronicle at 12:35PM
Saturday, May 21, 2022

Review: Bold choices both illuminate and obscure in Imaginists’ ‘Someone Dies Again’ by Lily Janiak

Árpád Schilling's play seeks to delineate how just a couple small disturbances can fester, eating away our social fabric.

SOURCE: San Francisco Chronicle at 01:27PM
Thursday, May 19, 2022

Lauren Yee, Emma Rice and Lynn Nottage among highlights of Berkeley Rep’s 2022-23 season by Lily Janiak

It's a refreshing return to pre-pandemic numbers when many others' output remains reduced.

SOURCE: San Francisco Chronicle at 03:30PM
Monday, May 16, 2022

This dissident artist had to leave Hungary. Now he’s making theater about U.S. gun culture by Lily Janiak

Árpád Schilling doesn't think of himself as Hungarian. "I'm European, or I'm a human," he says.

SOURCE: San Francisco Chronicle at 07:00AM
Sunday, May 15, 2022

Review: Magic Theatre’s ‘Monument’ crumbles, a jumble of bits that never coheres by Lily Janiak

Sam Chanse's world premiere collects a bunch of finely etched fragments but lets each crumble just as it begins to glimmer.

SOURCE: San Francisco Chronicle at 01:42PM
Friday, May 13, 2022

Oakland ‘Black dandy’ Michael Wayne Turner III wears his solo show costumes every day by Lily Janiak

Yes, the Oakland theater artist, poet and stylist, 30, really dresses this way all the time, seven days a week.

SOURCE: San Francisco Chronicle at 07:00AM
Thursday, May 12, 2022

Review: In S.F. Playhouse’s ‘Harry Chin,’ a ‘paper son’ from China reckons with a life built on lies by Lily Janiak

Jessica Huang's play painstakingly diagrams the human-sized ripple effects of racist U.S. immigration policy.

SOURCE: San Francisco Chronicle at 03:40PM
Monday, May 9, 2022

The little known Bay Area roots behind one of the 2022 Tony Awards nominations’ biggest surprises by Lily Janiak

Berkeley Rep has a long, proud history of developing and launching musicals that go on to have great success on larger stages.

SOURCE: San Francisco Chronicle at 01:03PM
Tuesday, May 3, 2022

Leaked Supreme Court opinion on Roe v. Wade shows we still live in John Proctor’s America by Lily Janiak

The Texas law deputizing ordinary citizens as bounty hunters of those who aid and abet abortions recalls the witch hunt in "The Crucible."

SOURCE: San Francisco Chronicle at 04:50PM
Friday, April 29, 2022

Review: ‘AirOtic Soirée’ showcases Chinatown’s Great Star Theater in renovated glory by Lily Janiak

With under $200,000 of investment, the nearly 100-year-old venue is up and running after years of disrepair.

SOURCE: San Francisco Chronicle at 02:06PM
Thursday, April 28, 2022

Review: Berkeley Rep’s ‘Octet’ makes you feel just how bad the internet is by Lily Janiak

Composer Dave Malloy makes the internet take musical form in this Berkeley production, which runs through May 29.

SOURCE: San Francisco Chronicle at 12:59PM

These Bay Area domestic workers are making theater about labor and immigrant rights by Lily Janiak

"We have dreams coming to this country, but we start realizing we don't know when we'll be able to hug our parents again."

SOURCE: San Francisco Chronicle at 07:00AM
Wednesday, April 27, 2022

Mills College theater students say goodbye to single-sex school with play about 1990 strike by Lily Janiak

Students created "Womyn" from interviews they conducted with participants in the successful protest against the administration's decision to go coed.

SOURCE: San Francisco Chronicle at 07:00AM