A warm and colorful “Midsummer Night’s Dream”

Marin Shakespeare Company performed Shakespeare’s delightful comedy Midsummer Night’s Dream this past Sunday. The show is the third and last of their summer festival in what is now their 30th year of producing and performing plays, the majority of which were written by Will Shakespeare. The company is at a turning point made possible by an anonymous donor who offered $2,000,000 as the lead gift in a capital campaign in 2015. Since then the company, under the continuing...

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Laugh-a-lot at “Spamalot” in Marin

“Bring out your dead! Bring out your dead!” cries the grimy man in tatters. He and his mates are dragging a cart full of bodies through plague-ridden England. Moments before, a line of monks passed by, each hitting himself in the forehead with a huge book. A burly man dumps a body in front of the cart. “But I’m not dead!” protests the heap of thin body parts. “You will be soon enough!” is the reply. And in protest, the thin body parts reassemble themself, leap up and begin to...

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Measuring the mettle of men in Marin

It’s rare to see Shakespeare’s Measure for Measure presented as a laugh-out-loud comedy. But Director Robert Currier of Marin Shakespeare Company has done just that, turning this dark and complex drama into a commentary on today’s charged issues of sexual misbehavior and the inequities of the prison system. Currier and his cast deftly handled the darkness with a light and comic touch. The result was a delight. The play spends equal time on both mores and injustice. Originally...

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Rampaging rhinos at A.C.T.

It’s not necessary to decode Ionesco’s 1959 play, Rhinoceros, the playwright himself thoroughly explained its meaning. Hearkening back to his youth in Romania, he informed the public via interview of his university life, when one by one his colleagues abandoned their opposition to fascism and became part of the Iron Guard, the ultra nationalist, anti-Semitic paramilitary group founded in 1927 that rose to power in Romania at the beginning of World War II. Ionesco’s meaning is...

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Victorian Ladies detected at Central Works

With a painting of Diana the huntress over the mantel that houses their two separate collections of books and a porcelain statue of a long-haired hound, the sisters Loveday and Valeria live a genteel and irritable life together as Victorian ladies. Both have wandered slightly (and not so slightly) off the path of respectability, and they are about turn that wandering into a gallop. When the bodies of young actresses begin to turn up in the streets surrounding their lodging house for young...

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A deft and charming “Vanity Fair”

As the top-hatted Manager assures us from the stage setting of Vanity Fair: there are no morals here. But that’s a good thing, for as most of us have discovered, morals are not a lot of fun. And if there is one thing the A.C.T. production of Thackeray’s classic satire is, it’s fun. Delightfully, wackily, preposterously fun. Much more so than the darker, more biting original. The humor starts with the playwright’s witty handling of the book. The original was set in...

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