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August 25, 2011

STUFFED AND UNSTRUNG PUPPETS GO WILD IN SAN FRANCISCO








Stuffed and Unstrung" Brian Henson and Puppets.
Photo: Carol Rosegg
 STUFFED AND UNSTRUNG

JUST LIKE A RAIDERS GAME – TOILET HUMOR RUNS WITH THE BALL OR IS BALLS?

On the stage sits over 50 puppets or so waiting for the actors on the stage to put their fists up their rear to manipulate the adorable puppets (that’s why the show is called “Stuffed’.” You’ll get used to the double entendre comments. All adult stuff! 

This show may look like it’s geared towards toddlers – but you would be wrong. “Stuffed and Unstrung” is definitely for Adults. The show began in New York off-Broadway, under the name of “Up!-Uncensored.” But, now they production has taken their hands on tour.

There are lots of funny moments in the show – and then there are some moments that you wish they would leave out. I didn’t really care much for the audience participation part. It may or may not have been pre-arranged – but it sure felt that way to me.

Technically, this puppet show is a miracle. There is so much going, on that it creates a dizzy atmosphere. There are cameras, the puppets, a band and the real actors. The actors the stars, but the puppets get all the credit. Without them – the puppets would be just limp stuffing.

The puppets are small. Luckily we get to see them in HD on huge screens on each side of the Theater – and they are cute. Not cute enough to sleep with, but could be cuddly. 

The show will pick up their stuffing’s on August 27th and go on to other cities. Created by Brian Henson and Patrick Bristow

AT THE CURRAN THEATRE

RATING: THREE GLASSES OF CHAMPAGNE!!! 
–trademarked- 

(((Lee Hartgrave has contributed many articles to the San Francisco Chronicle Sunday Datebook and he produced a long-running Arts Segment on PBS KQED))) 

Courtesy: beyondchron.org.

August 23, 2011

REDUCTION IN FORCE - SLICK AND SUREFIRE THRILLER



REDUCTION IN FORCE

Kendra Lee Oberhauser 
Only thing missing is a Broom. Photo: Jay Yamada


Ripped right off the Headlines is the new play “Reduction in Force” – written by Ace Playwright Patricia Milton. Milton’s words fantastically drip with Tension and suspense. This play is all about corporate structure and how they scheme to get rid of the “Little People”.  WARNING: BIG BUSINESS MAY BE HAZARDOUS TO YOUR HEALTH.

Gabby (Kendra Lee Oberhauser) is a scheming, obnoxious High up manager in the company. Anything she doesn’t like gets shredded – even if it clearly says on the document “Do not shred.” Let’s just say – “Gabby” is not very generous.  But it is delicious to watch her squirm and manipulate to keep her throne.

Gabby has a new “hire” in mind  - a sexy, good-looking man (John Patrick Moore) who also knows how to manipulate. Gabby wants to get rid of her longtime Executive secretary (Jan Zvaifler). Sparks fly across the room. Gabby pretends that she is having a hard time about which one should be fired. She can’t keep them all. So, is it Sex or the best “Executive?”

I’ve never been so engrossed in a play.  It definitely is an Edge of the Seat evening. This is acting heaven. Not only is the sly humor sensational – this is a riveting and mesmerizing play that is everything that companies have become. “Trample the older employees – and pay new hires, less.” All the banks and Computer makers do it -  (send everything to China) and fire more USA workers.

This is satire of the highest level. Believe me – Gary Graves has directed with great flair, as he takes this Cat and Mouse satire to new heights. It’s diabolical and fun. The ending will throw you for a loop.

By the way – the Berkeley City Club at 2315 Durant is Gorgeous.

Through August 28 at Central Works – Berkeley City Club.  Info: http://www.centralworks.org/

RATING: FOUR GLASSES OF CHAMPAGNE!!!! (highest rating) –trademarked- 

(((Lee Hartgrave has contributed many articles to the San Francisco Chronicle Sunday Datebook and produced a long-running Arts Segment on PBS KQED)))
   
Courtesy advance - www.beyondchron.org. 

August 16, 2011

PEACHES EN REGALIA. SOON TO BE A GLOBAL HIT







IT’S JUST PEACHY!

A NEW PLAY IS AT STAGEWERX CALLED “PEACHES en REGALIA”

It starts out in a charming diner. Then, all of a sudden someone eats a treat called “Peaches en Regalia.” Then, it accelerates from there.

We first meet Peaches (Sarah Moser) who works at Dougs Diner. She is one of those ditzy blondes that solidify everything that can go wrong in a diner.

And the patrons of the diner? Well, they are very interesting.  There is Norman (Philip Coleman). He is nerdy, and seems to be afraid of everything. Later however, he falls for “Peaches” special dish – “Peaches en Regalia."Actually, everyone falls for that “Dish” – it must have Viagra in it.

And then comes along Syd (Cooper Carlson). He’s slick as oil and handsome too boot. Carlson has that charming smarmy, seductive smile. He’s the kind of guy that is able to keep everything in proper order. Joanne (Nicole Hammersia) completes this madcap evening of mishaps. Like the rest of the players – she is a comic masterpiece.

The whole play in two acts is very clever and vibrant with infectious spunky charm. You know what – it’s a warm and fuzzy refreshing adventure. For me - it’s the funniest play this season!  Must see acting!

Now Playing at StageWerx – 533 Sutter St., San Francisco. 8Pm Thursdays – Saturdays thru Aug. 27.   Info: 415-302-0182.   http://www.slims-sf.com/

RATING: FOUR GLASSES OF CHAMPAGNE!!!! –(highest rating) – trademarked-

(((Lee Hartgrave has contributed many articles to the San Francisco Sunday Datebook and produced a long running Arts Segment on PBS KQED)))