It builds!

www.siliconvalleydesigns.comBy Ande Jacobson

Build, by Michael Golamco, is enjoying its Northern California premiere at City Lights Theater Company. In his previous career, Golamco was a software developer, but now he’s a veteran writer for stage and screen. He is currently one of the staff writers for the television show Grimm, though unlike Grimm, there aren’t any monsters in Build. The play is rife with storytelling and technology, and the script presented City Lights with several significant challenges. Fortunately director Lisa Mallette and the rest of her creative staff were able to meet those challenges head-on. Continue reading

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The Pear is willing, wanting, and waiting for you to come see “Pygmalion”

pyg_pub1-4839By Ande Jacobson

The Pear’s audiences have been treated to a number of plays by George Bernard Shaw over the years, so it isn’t at all surprising that this season features Pygmalion coinciding with the 100th anniversary of the play. Many theatergoers are familiar with the popularized versions of the story from the stage and movie musicals entitled My Fair Lady. The musicals don’t quite capture the wit, bite, and unconventional nature of Shaw’s original play, as they are closer to classical romances with a love interest at the core. Pygmalion isn’t a love story. It’s a romance of provocative discovery, and The Pear’s production embraces the delicious display of Shaw’s views on the English class system. Continue reading

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

“Superior Donuts” serves up more than “dessert cakes”

By Ande Jacobson

Playwright and actor Tracy Letts describes Superior Donuts as involving a “clash of cultures”.  Letts intersperses some light moments and witty exchanges between several colorful and diverse characters with some darker, more serious situations.  Much of the story provides background on unseen family members and circumstances that encumber, or scar the visible characters.  The play is well written, and right from the start, the action turns the quaint little donut shop on its head.  In the first blackout at the top of the show, the shop is transformed from a neatly kept eatery into a disheveled establishment with chairs overturned, rubbish strewn everywhere, and graffiti on the wall. Continue reading

“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