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April 30, 2013

THE ANGELS SHARE - SLY SATIRE - QUIRKY FUNNY

ANGELS' SHARE - Courtesy photo
Cops made them show what is under
the Kilts






THE ANGELS' SHARE. FUNNY - ADDICTIVE THRILLER! 

Director Ken Loach has sent us on a very funny Road Trip. It's almost like "Pulp Fiction" -- but this is more humorous than that movie. Now, you may think that 'Angel' starts out with very little humor -- you are right for a few moments as young people fall into a path of drugs and crime.

This was a Thugs life -- but there are a couple of people who try to patch up the young guys broken life. He's destitute, and he lives in the worst parts of the city. But, what begins in this guys life -- is brought us to an addictive thriller. It keeps you on the edge of your seat. Hard to take your eyes off of this quirky story, as this young troubled boy finds a way out of his heartbreak and madness.

The young man and his friends find out about a barrel of whiskey that will be bought at Auction by an American. The American is duped into thinking that this is just the rarest whiskey in the world. Oh, OH, there is a trick along the way. You see, one of the Thugs has decided to steal some of the treasure and sell some of the rare stuff.

The Actors are terrific as they try to get out of the gutter. But here is some good luck. Their future turns into a "Gold Mine" so to speak. The movie is a little - like "Trainspotting" - but not as funny. Robbie (Paul Brannigan) is the main character in the movie - and he takes a lot of knocks (on his face) -- but Robby and his friends come out very well as the story wraps up. The entire cast is "A Hilarious Combination."  Oh, and there is this: There is a lot of salty language. Well Heck, these guys grew up on the other side of the tracks. What do you expect?

I loved the part when the gang of guys and one girl appear in Scottish Drag. Two Glasgow cops pull them over on the way to the Wine Palace. This is really funny: The Glasgow cops tell the three boys to "lift the front and lift the back of the colorful Kilts" Of course it was pure harassment by the Cops- but the audience was in stitches - including me.

"A MOVIE HIT THAT IS NOT TO BE MISSED!"

Rating: Four Glasses of Champagne!!!! (highest rating) -trademarked-

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





April 24, 2013

NEWS: MAGNETIC! SPELLBINDING NOIR - by Dan Harder


Madeline H.D. Brown/Ryan O'Donnell . Photo David Allen. 

CABARET, COCKTAILS, AND "A KILLER STORY" 





THIS IS WHAT HAPPENS IN THE DETECTIVE BUSINESS

DETECTIVES ARE EVERYWHERE. And it's all bad business. This Detective is not going to let you get away with anything - and he sniffs around like a Fox. Sam Spade is an early "Dick". Of course that was from a Movie. Bringing Noir to the Stage is a little more tricky - and that's where the great Noir cliches come into play. The flaws in the play are it's greatest moments. Everyone seems to head for an outcome that they can't escape.  

Film Noirs are all about femme fatale characters that lean over the desk to get the attention from the Detective. Yeh, the cleavage will do it every time. But hold on - this "Dick" is not going to fall for it. He's been around the block a few times and if there's one thing that he hates is a double-crossing dame. And this blonde bombshell knows how to sell herself. 

What we are looking at here at the Marsh Theater is great live talent. No, we are not looking at a Black and White Screen - we are looking at a real live exciting evening. The Characters in this stage are genuine noir that is full of tricks, just like a 1930's murder mystery. 

'A KILLER STORY' introduces us to Praveen Sengupta, a brilliant neuroscientist, who has made a fabulous scientific discovery. But then - he turns up missing. Gee Wiz... the clever hard as  nails private 'Dick" has plans on how to track down the Scientist. Then there is the sultry seductive wife Lara, who tries to wiggle her way out of everything. Sorry Lara - but were onto you. And we love you for it. Even though we know that you are out to trick us all. 

This Marsh Berkeley play is one of the most adroit, hilarious satires I've see in a long time.  Very fine acting from start to finish, and Astute Direction. 

There are some that would argue that film noir is the genre of obsession. So - "I'm obsessed!" How else can I say that this is a shining jewel in this genre's crown.  

NOW PLAYING AT MARSH BERKELEY (a few steps from Bart)

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

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



   

April 15, 2013

REEL TWO: SHORT TAKES - RENOIR DRAMA - BEING ERNEST - PLUS: TO THE WONDER

Jack Hayden Tee and Euan Morton. Photo: Mark Kitaoka








SHORT TAKES:  SOME LIKE IT HOT - SOME HATE IT! POSTED APRIL 15TH 2013

I LIKE: 'RENOIR FILM' AND STAGE PLAY 'BEING ERNEST" (At TheatreWorks)

HATED THE FILM: "To The Wonder" Now showing. I WONDER, if anyone is really interested?

RENOIR HAS A DESIRE FOR BEAUTY

In this Gorgeous telling of the Artist 'Renoir' we not only get to visit the Majestic Countryside, we also get to see some of the world's magical works of Art.  Men (talented or not) become smitten for young models that get paid very little. Their payment is that the models will let them paint them in the countryside completely nude. Renoir certainly perks up in their presence.

Renoir is getting more and more feeble, but he continues to make his Art for the World. Even though he can barely get out of bed. But his swollen hands still enable him to make lovely visions of women who pose around the lush trees on Renoir's Estate. As the older Renoir gets older, he hopefully hopes that his son will be able to keep his name and talent alive. He does exactly that. The younger talent was wounded in the Army. One of his fathers models is the gorgeous "Andree". The younger Renoir falls for her. He does not become a painter, but he does go on in later life as a famous film producer and director.

What happens to Andree? Her and young Renoir -- do get married. But, Andree does not stay married long. Young Renoir goes his way, and she tries to make films on her own with some success. However she never became as famous as the Renoir's. Their marriage fell apart.

This atmospheric Drama keeps us on the edge of the seat as the older Renoir captures the world.  The impressionist painter was celebrated by the world. His work passes on the torch, on the walls of famed museums everywhere. This fascinating movie about the Renoir family is irresistible and additive. A BRILLIANT FILM! Set in the French Riviera in 1915. Its a majestic rainbow. Riveting!

THE BRILLIANT ACTORS: Michael Bouquet, Vincent Rottiers and Christa Thieret
GREAT DIRECTION BY: Writer/Director Giles Bourdos.

NOW PLAYING AT THE CLAY THEATER

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

BEING EARNEST AT THEATREWORKS IN MOUNTAIN VIEW

I'm sure that Oscar Wilde is having a wonderful party watching over the Party on the Theatreworks stage. It's new and fresh - and the audience was bent over with laughter. Oscar may have been spinning around in the clouds complaining about the new version -- but I believe that he was sitting on my shoulder telling me "This is the best version of my play ever!"  Well, of course Oscar did not really say that -- but I'm sure that he would love to hear it.

Originally called "The Importance of Being Earnest has now been cut to just "Being Earnest" -- and I like that much better. It all brings us into the wonderful world of mod fashion. The clothing is just spectacular and the new music is sly, adroit and the most hilarious musical ever!

Yes, it's London and it's buzzing around with fancy new digs. And boy do the young guys have fun Jack Worthing and Algernon Moncrieff  is on a very complicated mission. Love is involved and things get even more involved as the two friends meet up with two women that they would love to hook up with. All of this is under the evil eye of Lady Brackwell. And she is also known as a sharp-tongued dowager. However, she sorts everything out in hilarious mistaken identities. 


The magnificent musical score by Paul Gordon and Jay Gruska give us a new sound. The lyrics are priceless as Euan Morton sings exhilarating ditties. Jack Haydon also amazes the audience, including me, with his amazing voice. And when the boys sing together, it is total heaven.  Lady Bracknell (Maureen McVerry) approves of the modern ideas from the World Premiere musical. She's in full throttle action. 

Hey, this is a spectacular, Thrilling Big fun and audacious. The climax is a bold new musical that is fast-paced and full of wonders.

THE TOUR DE-FORCE CAST IS FIRST RATE. THEY ARE: Euen Morton, Hayden Tee, Mindy Lynn, Riley Krull and Maureen McVerry. The outstanding music is by Paul Gordon and Jay Gruska. Book and Lyrics by PLaul Gordon. And of course, the play is by Oscar Wilde. 

Now playing at the Mountain View Center for the Performing  Arts.  

RATING: Four Glasses of Champagne!!!! (highest rating) - trademarked- 

TO THE WONDER (MOVIE) 

O.k -- Terrance Malick is a terrific Director. But, something went awry in this film. It starts out to be a beautiful thing -- but the film is badly directed. I hate to say it -- but it is too ethereal. His previous movies were fantastic. This one is a disappointment. It's disjointed. No one really knows what the hell is going on. The actors are like they were planted in weeds. They just sort of stand there and stare. 

It's all about love -- but weird. Half the time you can't see there whole face. The photography is like someone drank to much booze. This is all supposed to be about love. Really? You could have fooled me -- and they did.

Literally I didn't have any idea of what was going on. It is love and not love. Does walking around in the grass mean that you like each other? Forty minutes of walking around like zombies does not really grab from this film. Heck I'd rather watch reruns on TV. 

There are a few words here and there -- but mostly the actors just stare into the grass. There is one part where someone does talk to a priest -- I believe that the someone was a crackhead. "Distinctly Boring!" 

Ben Affleck is an disenchanted American visiting Paris. He should have stayed in America. He falls in Love with Olga Kuryenko. She made no sense whatsoever. Another good Actor is wasted: That would be Javier Bardem (The Priest). Now that I've wasted your time - try it out for yourselves. It will be a total waste - but try it! 

*RATING: One Box of Popcorn - trademarked- 

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










April 9, 2013

THE 39 STEPS - THE BUS - THE HAPPY ONES THE 39 STEPS This Expensive, handsome stage production is the best "39 Steps" that I've ever taken. Of course, It would be even more delicious if they would add just one more step. I'm just trying to squeeze in another joke -- I don't want to stop. How about forty one steps? I really, really enjoyed the show. The actors whiz by so fast in this pulsating chase thriller as they nail every nuance. There have been many versions of the play over the years. Personally -- this one at 'Center Rep' is certainly the best. This fast paced who dunnit, is the most clever show ever. 150 zany, screwball comics are on the stage. But you will finally realize that there are only Four positively thrilling Actors blast their way to Stardom. It's the savviest of comedy. They score a Knockout in the acting department. I'm gonna have a hard time getting this spoof out of my mind. I'm itching to see it again, and again. Heck, there is even an on-stage plane crash. I'm glad I wasn't in it. But to make up for the plane crash - I bought myself a cap with a propeller on it. It worked. Thanks Alfred Hitchcock, for all those steps. This '39 Steps' is enormously satisfying And Astonishingly Accomplished. It gets everything right. Get ready for a Vibrant and Delightful evening or matinee. "It's Perfect!" SUDDENLY I LOVE THIS CAST: HERE ARE THE SERIOUSLY AWESOME AND BRILLIANT STARS - Cassidy Brown* Mark Ferrell* Jennifer Erdmann* and Ben Johnson* Positively Thrilling Direction by Mark Anderson Phillips Adapted by Patrick Barlow. From the novel by John Buchan - From the movie of Alfred Hitchcock. MICHAEL BUTLER, ARTISTIC DIRECTOR SCOTT DENISON, MANAGING DIRECTOR NOW PLAYING AT THE CENTER REP THEATRE IN CONCORD THE BUS IT'S BI-POLAR TIME. This is about Jordan and Ian. They are sneaking around a parked Bus that is broken. They are young -- they have to be careful. The boys have secrets -- and they do involve Teen Sex. This play does address, religion, politics, and civil rights. Their parents are not aware of what is going on. But will their sneaking around a broken down Gas Station save them? One of the boys is very reticent. He is a nervous wreck - always afraid that they will get caught in the nude. The young men don't actually get caught, but the father of one of the boys (Ian) is very suspicious. A handshake gives a hint. At least that is what the Father of the boy is worried about. There is a Bus that just sits in Front of the Gas Station. Ian looks at the Bus -- it is sometimes a hiding place in the old Bus. Then there is an explosion. Sexual desire and ambition do not always mix. We can't have everything that we want. You will find that out in this play. The Bus tells us a story that is incisively detailed. The Actors are superb! They are: Giovanna Arieta, Harry Breaux, Bruce Alvin, DanTracer, Eric Esquivel and Eileen Fisher Playwright James Lantz tells a touching story Direction buy Sara Staley sure gives the play a passionate punch in this West Coast Premiere RATING: Four Glasses of Champagne!!!! (highest rating) -trademarked- Now playing at the New Conservatory Theatre THE HAPPY ONES HERE WE GO -- "I didn't come here for your riveting Sermon" - sez the Preacher Friend in Flared Trousers. Well, it is another era. This preacher is a little odd to say the least. In front of the Unitarian Universalist Church - you can't miss him- in his checkered suit and peach colored suit. A Friend has just lost his family. The time is 1975, 1976 - Orange County, CA. Here are the interesting Characters: Walter Wells, Bao Ngo, Minister Gary Stuart and Mary-Ellen Hughes. The living room is beautifully furnished for the 70's. As lovely as it is -- Walter has lost his family. A portrait hangs on the wall. It's a lovely picture of his family and children. But they have all disappeared in an accident. I don't want to tell you everything about the play, except that deep emotions will well up in your chest. Losing people that you love is not an easy thing to bear. This powerful story is about living again. People have to struggle to make a life again. And Walter does just that --in a very unusual way. His new friendship uplifts his life. Walter can again smile -- and take on a new life. This play is irresistible. It delivers a powerful and passionate punch. In lesser talents it might not work. But the outstanding Actors at the Magic Theater. They all Deliver the most unforgettable performances by these Actors: Gabriel Marin, Marcia Pizzo, Jomar Tagatac and Liam Craig. They all give Spellbinding performances. Director Jonathan Moscone has hit the target again. Well done. RATING: Four Glasses of Champagne!!!! (highest rating) -trademarked- Now Playing at the Magic Theater

Photos by Kevin Berne 



THE 39 STEPS

 This Expensive, handsome stage production is the best "39 Steps" that I've ever taken. Of course, It would be even more delicious if they would add just one more step. I'm just trying  to squeeze in another joke -- I don't want to stop. How about forty one steps? 

I really, really enjoyed the show. The actors whiz by so fast in this pulsating chase thriller as they nail every nuance. There have been many versions of the play over the years. Personally -- this one at 'Center Rep' is certainly the best. This fast paced who dunnit, is the most clever show ever. 150 zany, screwball comics are on the stage. But you will finally realize that there are only Four positively thrilling Actors blast their way to Stardom. It's the savviest of comedy. They score a Knockout in the acting department.  

I'm gonna have a hard time getting this spoof out of my mind. I'm itching to see it again, and again. Heck, there is even an on-stage plane crash. I'm glad I wasn't in it. But to make up for the plane crash - I bought myself a cap with a propeller on it. It worked. Thanks Alfred Hitchcock, for all those steps.  

This '39 Steps' is enormously satisfying And Astonishingly Accomplished. It gets everything right. Get ready for a Vibrant and Delightful evening or matinee. "It's Perfect!"



SUDDENLY I LOVE THIS CAST: HERE ARE THE SERIOUSLY AWESOME AND BRILLIANT STARS - Cassidy Brown* Mark Ferrell* Jennifer Erdmann* and Ben Johnson*

Positively Thrilling Direction by Mark Anderson Phillips

Adapted by Patrick Barlow. From the novel by John Buchan - From the movie of Alfred Hitchcock. 

MICHAEL BUTLER, ARTISTIC DIRECTOR 
SCOTT DENISON, MANAGING DIRECTOR

NOW PLAYING AT THE CENTER REP THEATRE IN CONCORD


THE BUS 

IT'S BI-POLAR TIME. This is about Jordan  and Ian. They are sneaking around a parked Bus that is broken. They are young -- they have to be careful. The boys have secrets -- and they do involve Teen Sex. 

This play does address, religion, politics, and civil  rights. Their parents  are not aware of what is going on. But will their sneaking around a broken down Gas Station save them? 

One of the boys is very reticent. He is a nervous wreck - always afraid that they will get caught in the nude. The young men don't actually get caught, but the father of one of the boys (Ian) is very suspicious. A handshake gives a hint. At least that is what the Father of the boy is worried about. 

There is a Bus that just sits in Front of the Gas Station. Ian looks at the Bus -- it is sometimes a hiding place in the old Bus. Then there is an explosion. Sexual desire and ambition do not always mix. We can't have everything that we want. You will find that out in this play. 

The Bus tells us a story that is incisively detailed. The Actors are superb! They are: Giovanna Arieta, Harry Breaux, Bruce Alvin, DanTracer, Eric Esquivel and Eileen Fisher 

Playwright James Lantz tells a touching story 

Direction buy Sara Staley sure gives the play a passionate punch in this West Coast Premiere

RATING: Four Glasses of Champagne!!!! (highest rating) -trademarked-
Now playing at the New Conservatory Theatre

THE HAPPY ONES  


HERE WE GO -- "I didn't come here for your riveting Sermon" - sez the Preacher Friend in Flared Trousers. Well, it is another era. This preacher is a little odd to say the least. In front of the Unitarian Universalist Church - you can't miss him- in his checkered suit and peach colored suit.

A Friend has just lost his family. The time is 1975, 1976 - Orange County, CA. Here are the interesting Characters: Walter Wells, Bao Ngo, Minister Gary Stuart and Mary-Ellen Hughes. 

The living room is beautifully furnished for the 70's. As lovely as it is -- Walter has lost his family. A portrait hangs on the wall. It's a lovely picture of his family and children. But they have all disappeared in an accident. 

I don't want to tell you everything about the play, except that deep emotions will well up in your chest. Losing people that you love is not an easy thing to bear. This powerful story is about living again. People have to struggle to make a life again. And Walter does just that --in a very unusual way. His new friendship uplifts his life. Walter can again smile -- and take on a new life. 

This play is irresistible. It delivers a powerful and passionate punch. In lesser talents it might not work. But the outstanding Actors at the Magic Theater. They all Deliver the most unforgettable performances by these Actors: Gabriel Marin, Marcia Pizzo, Jomar Tagatac and Liam Craig. They all give Spellbinding performances. 

Director Jonathan Moscone has hit the target again. Well done. 

RATING: Four Glasses of Champagne!!!! (highest rating) -trademarked-  

Now Playing at the Magic Theater 





  






April 8, 2013

SHORT TAKES - SEE THE WORLD...SOME LIKE IT HAUTE.


TINSEL TARTS. COURTESY PHOTO 




HERE'S THE TIDBITS:  "SHOW ME YOURS" - (songs of innocence and 
experience) at the Alcove Theater. 

TINSEL TARTS IN A HOT COMA. 

CARNIVAL IS  REVIVED AT 42nd STREET MOON. 

SHOW ME YOURS - AND I'LL SHOW YOU MINE - is a fun and strikingly original musical. Each song by the players is truly compelling. Here is a brief take: "Love can be a riddle. Please meet me in the middle. This moment so rare. I choose you to share. Though, in love I've been scarred. Should I, drop my guard? Just me and you. One made of two." - from Chorus one. Love this Lyric: "Maybe you're gay. Maybe just clueless. Baby, either, You're at the top of my to -do list! Knock! Knock" The door is open. Come on in!" 

These songs of innocence and experience by Pen and Piano - The Resident Writing Company of New Musical Theater of San Francisco really know how to put words together. There are many touching moments in this musical: For instance -- I loved this clip. "It's strange. it isn't a Ceiling or floor. It isn't a window or door. A Tunnel that someone plans to build. A segment of space unfilled." The lyrics alone are very intriguing -- but when  the lovers sing on the stage - well....it's like anything that has ever been done on this new venue. The excellent singing by the cast just takes your breath away!

HERE IS THE STUNNING, EXCELLENT CAST! CHLOE  CONDON - JACQUELINE DE MURO - TIM HOMSLEY - SHEELAGH MURPHY AND TOM REARDON. All in all, their renditions are dazzling and gripping! The enitre evening is inspiring and uplifting. You'll feel good. DON'T MISS!

THE WRITERS AND COMPOSERS: Paul James Frantz (Composer Lyricist). Jerome Gentes (Lyricist). Richard Hefner (Composer Lyricist). Richard Hefner (Composer, Lyricist) - Plus: Richard Isen - Richard Jennings, Sandy Kasten - Andrew Klein - Denise Wharmby's and Pamela Winfrey. They certainly made the evening marvelous and touching. Artistic Director Anne Nygren Doherty's group decided to write about sex and relationships in this full length plot driven musical. Hooray for "Pen and Piano".  

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

TINSEL TARTS IN A HOT COMA  - Mar. 28 - June 1, 2013 

Book by Scrumbly Koldwyn and Sweet Pam Tent
(It's a lot more fun than Cracked "NUTS" on the New Bay Bridge)

 TINSEL TARTS BELIEVING IN THE IMPOSSIBLE. They might even ask questions like: "Can I star in anything?" Yes, you can you amazing little Tinsel Tart. What would you like to play? - Wonder Woman? Well Tinsels I'll tell you this: You're show is better than anything on Broadway. Oh sure -- they kicked you out of N.Y. - but then, New Yorker's didn't expect Naked Cowboys. They told you what? That the release date of your show was postponed? Did Tom Orr make a wrong career move? But maybe you showed a little too much at the Church of Scientology. And when someone sez, you're Great -- Don't say "I know!" The other Tinsel Tits don't like that. You ARE the girl from Gossip Girl, right? 

O.K. it's all in fun. New York just doesn't know anything about fun. They give Tony Awards to the most dreary and boring shows that I have ever seen lately. But not "Tinsel Tarts" -- you will bend over with constant laughter. One even tried to spank me. 

The Three Original cockettes: Scrumbly Koldewyn, Sweet Pam" Tent, and Rumi Missabu in this re-imagined 1971 "movie musical" romp. Here are the stars: Abhimanyu Katyal, Annie Larson, Mister Wa Birdie-Bob Watt, Bonni Suval, Bruna Palmeiro, Carlos Barrera Dalton Goulette, Diego Gomez, Erick tyson Wertz, Gerri Lawlor, Jim Jeske, Jim Toczyl, Kady Monroe-Tracey, Leigh  Crow, Megan Putnam, Michael Soldier, Miss Sheldra, Nancy French, Noah Haydon, Paul Loper, Raya Light, Russell Blackwood, Steve Bollinger, Steven Satyricon, Ste Fishell, Ton Orr, Zelda Kiznofski and ZsaZsa Lufthansa (I think I was on that Boat). 

This show is Eye-Poppingly Scary? I guarantee a Screaming good time!" Sorry- but Hello Dolly couldn't make it. Or was it makeup? Oh Well - it's a gorgeous surprise! And it all takes place at San Francisco's hidden and fascinating Theatre underneath the Freeway. Oh, and the parking is free. The Hypnodrome Theatre -575 10th Street., S.F. between Bryant and Division. 
****

(((FOUR GLASSES OF CHAMPAGNE!!!! (highest rating) -
trademarked-)))

CARNIVAL HAS BEEN REVIVED AND RE-INVENTED AT 42ND STREET MOON

The premiere the Broadway premiere of Carnival was on April 12, 1961 at the Imperial Theatre. The original cast starred Anna Maria Alberghetti as Lili and James Mitchell as Marco. Carnival was noted at the time for it's innovative staging. There wasn't an overture, except for the playing of an Accordian. The music was enchanting. The staging then was simple as it is now. The sets are simple but easily moved about. 

Throughout the play actors enter the stage from various places. The marvelous singing in this production in San Francisco keeps this revival from falling off the stage. Why it has not appeared for such a long time is puzzling to me. Lucky for us - 42nd Street Moon has given us all the elements of a fairytale. Bob Merrill the first composer and lyricist of Carnival made the show a huge success. Now in SF Greg MacKellan has sprinkled magic dust on the show. 

It has always been acclaimed for its simplicity and compassion from Broadway and onward. It still brings smiles and love to worldwide audiences. 

Here are some of the characters: Lili becomes the pawn in a fierce rivalry for her affection between Marco the Magnificent, the troupe's magician and Paul Berthalet, is the puppeteer that has an injured leg. There is jealousy and a little bit of Bi Polar jealousy. Both of the men are trying to charm Lili away. 

The wonderful music (like 'Love Makes The World Go Round'). The pathos is perfectly blended with the comedy. It sure is "America's Magical appeal that will keep audiences coming back for more. 

HERE IS THE MARVELOUS AND TALENTED CAST: Ryan Drummond, Ashley Jarrett, Katherine Leyva, Michael Doppe, Rudy Guerrero, Adrienne Herro, Katherine Leyva BrieAnne Martin, Dyan McBride, Bill Olson, Jordan Plutzer, Nathaniel Rothrock, Kyle Stoner, Stephen Vaught. - A WONDERFULLY GREAT AND TALENTED TROUPE. 
****

Director GregMacKellan - made this a stylish fun evening. 

Dave Dobrusky (Musical Director) always gives us happy feet. 

And the tremendous Jayne Zaban gave the show the highest-octane show that I have seen in ages. 

Follow the show: www.42ndstmoon.org. 

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



























 

April 1, 2013

REASONS TO BE PRETTY - IS ACIDLY EXPLOSIVE

Lauren English, Craig Marker, Patrick Russell, Jennifer Stuckert
Courtesy photo 


THE SAN FRANCISCO PLAYHOUSE HAS BROUGHT TO US A HILARIOUS SHOW 

Hey - Neil LaBute's play "Reasons To Be Pretty" has many tracks to follow. There is arguments about body-image, secrets, romance and of course - sexual attitudes. 

Nothing could be more human in this four-character drama. There is the handsome Greg (Craig Marker), who reads books a lot during his break at the Warehouse where he works. He may get a lot from books -- but he sure doesn't know how to get along with his girlfriend Steph (Lauren English). Greg puts her down about her looks and the way she dresses. Steph is suffering in her mind. She believes that Greg is hitting on a girl that works in the factory. You can't help but feel sorry for Steph. Guys, hardly do tell you the real facts. I'm sure that Greg is eyeing everything that walks. That's not to say that he follows up on what he thinks -- but like most men -- their eyes never slow down. Trust them? I wouldn't! 

As the story goes on  -- Steph and Greg are fighting to put the pieces back together. And there is more to this drama. Greg's friend Kent (Patrick Russell) is a sexist piglet - who cheats on Carly (Jennifer Stuckert) his wife. He makes obscene remarks about her pregnancy (Kents fault). All in all - this clash between human beings, seems to go on forever. 

Take a good look at the Characters on the stage. You've seen and heard them all before. That's what life if all about. Nothing is ever perfect -- LaBute's play is right on target. His words bring out the most likable lovers some of the time - and on the other side, men are still out there looking for something different. And Greg and Kent? Well, it doesn't look like their friendship is going to work. 

LaBute's play is finely wrought. Watch those corners and passageways. You will be discussing it for days. 


**** YOU WON'T FIND STARS LIKE THIS VERY OFTEN. WOW! GREAT PERFORMERS: LAUREN ENGLISH, CRAIG MARKER, PATRICK RUSSELL AND JENNIFER STUCKERT

NOW PLAYING AT THE SAN FRANCISCO PLAYHOUSE THRU MAY 11 

TREMENDOUS DIRECTION BY: SUSI DAMILANO
Written by Neil LaBute

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

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

NOTE: "REASONS TO BE PRETTY" WILL SOON LAUNCH A BROADWAY 'REASONS' IN NEW YORK