No lions, no tigers, but bears, oh my!

cltc-exit-bear-2By Ande Jacobson

City Lights Theater Company is again hosting a South Bay premier. This time it is playwright Lauren Gunderson’s revenge comedy, Exit, Pursued by a Bear. Gunderson took her title from a famous stage direction in Shakespeare’s The Winter’s Tale, and it sets the tone for the sometimes frenetic tempo this gripping play keeps. The story presents a satirical look at domestic abuse. Continue reading

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“Dear Broadway…my play is named Spacebar”

cltc-spacebar_14c621fe12_cBy Ande Jacobson

Motivated by myriad reasons, many a playwright dreams of having his magnum opus performed on a Broadway stage, but how does he achieve that goal?  Enter Kyle Sugarman, a 16-year-old high school sophomore from Fort Collins, Colorado.  His manuscript looks more like a telephone book than a script for a play, but he writes letters to “Broadway” (as though it were a person) asking him to please produce his play entitled, Spacebar.  We soon find out that his title refers to a bar in outer space in the distant future, not part of a computer’s keyboard.  Such is the premise of Spacebar: A Broadway Play by Kyle Sugarman by Michael Mitnick. Continue reading

Following the American Dream by way of Asia

cltc-ching-chong-chinamanBy Ande Jacobson

Lauren Yee’s Ching Chong Chinaman may not be the most politically correct play in existence, but it certainly has found a home at City Lights Theater Company.  The play is surreal at times and unfolds in a satirical, sitcom fashion as Yee explores the American Dream through the completely assimilated Wong family. Continue reading

Switching perspectives – A Good Reed Review takes a summer hiatus playing instead of writing

By Ande Jacobson

While there’s no shortage of theatre to see in the SF Bay Area this summer, A Good Reed Review will be short on reviews until September as this writer is once again moving back into a musician’s role for a time playing a stretch of performances in Saratoga and San Jose. Continue reading

City Lights examines the “hysterical” 1880s

By Ande Jacobson

While often the focus of many comic routines, the modern vibrator has its origins in medical science dating back to the 1880s, the dawn of the electric age.  At that time, vibrators were employed as a treatment for “hysteria”, a problem thought to originate in the uterus that was treated by manipulation. Continue reading

Information Overload, What’s a Mother To Do?

DeHart & DeHart

By Ande Jacobson

Playwright Lisa Loomer’s Distracted at the City Lights Theater Company is many things: a commentary on the Attention Deficit Disorder epidemic pervading today’s society, a view into the social morays surrounding the malady, and an intelligent and whimsical play bringing into focus the myriad distractions of those dealing with a loved one so afflicted. Treating a serious subject with humor and artistic flair, this is a production worth seeing as it chronicles a mother’s quest to do right by her son. Be forewarned though, due to strong language and adult content, Distracted is not appropriate for young children. Continue reading