Praise the simplicity of rural Russian life at The Pear

UV_5423By Ande Jacobson

Did Anton Chekhov write tragedies? Comedies? Dramas? Dave Sikula has taken a very deep dive into Chekhov’s legacy, writing translations of several of his major works, including The Pear’s current offering, Uncle Vanya. As Sikula noted in a 2013 San Francisco Theater Pub blog post while working on this translation, Chekhov thought his plays were comedies, and he tends to agree with that assessment. Stanislavski, from Chekhov’s time, disagreed and thought his plays were heavy dramas of the darkest order, which is reputed to have driven Chekhov to distraction. So what is Uncle Vanya? Continue reading

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The language of love vs. the love of language

cltc-tla-the-fightBy Ande Jacobson

Few would argue that the primary purpose of language is communication. Still, there is a vast difference between transmission and reception between two people even when they ostensibly speak the same language. City Lights Theater Company’s current production of Julia Cho’s play, The Language Archive, takes a compelling look at the language of love vs. the love of language. 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