Yearning for peace and acceptance as time marches on

TheatreWorks_Velocity 5_Kevin BerneBy Ande Jacobson

There is one thing that we all have in common. As long as we live, we continue to change as we age. With age, comes experience, perhaps wisdom, and a measure of perspective, but what of our independence and abilities? After the summer of adulthood, does the velocity increase exponentially in the autumn of life? TheatreWorks is excited to present one answer to that question with the regional premiere of Eric Coble’s 2014 play, The Velocity of Autumn, which closes its 46th season in style with a delicious slice of life to which we can all relate. Continue reading

A pauper, a poet, a swordsman, a nose – it’s “Cyrano”!

Cyrano Production 3_Kevin Berne-cyrano-christian-roxaneBy Ande Jacobson

What do you think of when you hear the name Cyrano de Bergerac? Perhaps you might first think of a protuberance entering well before the man. That name should bring to mind the classic story of unrequited love, mixed with humor, hijinks, and verse written by Edmond Rostand and first performed in 1897. Since then, numerous adaptations have sprung to life on stage and on screen, some with casts of hundreds, and others with casts of dozens. TheatreWorks is honored to present the California premiere of a cozy new adaptation of Rostand’s play translated by Michael Hollinger and adapted by Hollinger and Aaron Posner. This new version keeps all of the poetic beauty of the original and adds even more swordplay. Continue reading

Hershey Felder brings “The American Mozart” to life at TheatreWorks

HersheyFelder as IrvingBerlin8_EightyEightEntertainmentBy Ande Jacobson

Israel Isidore Baline became an American legend though he was known worldwide by a different name – Irving Berlin. Hershey Felder brings Berlin to life on stage in Hershey Felder as Irving Berlin, a one-man show that he both wrote and performs in as it now enjoys its Northern California regional premiere at TheatreWorks. Continue reading

A house collided

Country House Production 12_Kevin BerneBy Ande Jacobson

Life is theatre, and theatre is life. TheatreWorks opens its 2015/2016 season with the Northern California premiere of Donald Margulies’ Broadway hit, The Country House. The play is an homage to Chekhov’s The Seagull and Uncle Vanya with many parallels in character, setting, and subtext, modernized to current time. Margulies’ writing is witty and relatable, and it keeps the audience engaged, at times laughing out loud at the absurdity of it all. Continue reading

All’s fair in families and politics

Other Desert Cities 1_MKitatokaBy Ande Jacobson

TheatreWorks opens the 2013/2014 season with another Regional Premiere – Jon Robin Baitz’ Other Desert Cities.  Baitz’ title was inspired by a California freeway sign and two cities in the Middle East. The freeway sign is an odd one along Interstate 10 near Palm Springs where most of the story takes place; the cities are Baghdad and Kabul in reference to a war that figures prominently in the plotline. Topical, volatile, and political only partially describe the tone of this production. Between the witty writing, dramatic theme, superb cast, and gorgeous set, this production is a find equal to a lush desert oasis. There’s no doubt that audiences are in for a gripping evening of theatre. Continue reading

Happiness is remembering a mother’s love

Wild with Happy 5_MKitaokaBy Ande Jacobson

Losing your mother is tough.  Things can sometimes be a bit surreal as you try to deal with that loss while fanciful memories flood your mind at the most inopportune times – like when you’re at the funeral home trying to make final arrangements.  Mix all that with a sideways Cinderella story, and you have actor and playwright Colman Domingo’s Wild With Happy which just opened at TheatreWorks in its West Coast Premiere. Continue reading

Without music, there is no life

By Ande Jacobson

Beethoven’s 33 Variations on a Waltz by Anton Diabelli, Op. 120 is thought by some scholars to be one of the composer’s crowning achievements.  It’s a work that takes a mediocre 32-bar waltz written by Anton Diabelli and expands it into a 55 minute work of 33 variations exploring every nuance of the theme, or at least as many as came to Beethoven’s mind.  There are several conflicting theories as to the genesis of Beethoven’s opus, and playwright Moisés Kaufman has drawn from many of them to weave an intricate and captivating tale in his play, 33 Variations, now enjoying its regional premiere at TheatreWorks. Continue reading

“Time Stands Still” comes to TheatreWorks in a gripping Regional Premiere

By Ande Jacobson

Imagine seeing life through the lens of a camera.  Now imagine spending your days capturing life in war torn regions of the third world, making time stand still in the photos you shoot, memorializing the events you witness, but not changing them no matter how disturbing they may be.

TheatreWorks’ production of Donald Margulies’ Time Stands Still starts there – when we meet freelance journalist James Dodd (Mark Anderson Phillips) bringing his longtime lover Sarah Goodwin (Rebecca Dines) home to their Williamsburg, Brooklyn loft. Continue reading

TheatreWorks’ 60th world premiere knocks the wheels off the house

By Ande Jacobson

Many a garage band musician dreams of making it big, and some even achieve a modicum of success getting as far as playing a number of local bookings.  Many of these musicians are typical rhythm section players – guitarists, bassists, keyboardists, as well as vocalists – but how many are virtuoso level, classically trained violinists?

TheatreWorks finishes its 42nd season with its 60th world premiere: GrooveLily’s Wheelhouse. Continue reading

A Look at the Sensible 19th Century

By Ande Jacobson

Picture a 19th century English country estate, complete with a residence surrounded by picturesque grounds extending as far as the eye can see in Sussex. Then picture a somewhat smaller country cottage amidst a modest estate in Devonshire. From there, envision lodgings near Portman Square in London, and finally a manor house in Somersetshire. Continue reading