Center Rep continues its Off Center series with Yussef El Guindi's "Pilgrims Musa and Sheri in the New World," running April 25-May 12. Michael Butler directs this 2012 Steinberg Award winner for new plays.
With a topic many can relate to, the play poses an age-old question: Do you make a safe, sensible match?, or take a risk on an exciting someone who might -- just might -- be the one great romance of your life? Musa, an Egyptian immigrant and Sheri, a very quirky Caucasian waitress, must negotiate the twists and turns of not only love but also cultural expectations, as they become romantic pilgrims in this charming comedy with a delightful twist.
The cast features Carl Lumbly, Gabe Marin, Lena Hart, Dorian Lockett and Rebecca Schweitzer.
Spring must be in the air because love certainly is on the mind of local theater companies. Sam Shepard's gives his own take on the subject with "A Lie of the Mind," playing at Saint Mary's College April 24 — 27.
Winner of the New York Drama Critics Circle Award among others, the show follows two families who struggle to understand that mysterious, magical thing called love. Sad, funny and always very human, "A Lie of the Mind" shows Shepard's depth as a playwright. For further information and reservations, call 925-631-4670 or go to www.brownpapertickets.com.
Walnut Creek's Eric Inman, formerly the artistic director at the Willows Theatre, is directing 42nd Street Moon's production of "Little Me."
Neil Simon's outrageous musical highlights the rags-to-riches tale of belle Poitrine, who moves from the wrong side of the tracks to Hollywood fame and South Hampton luxury.
Broadway's Jason Graae stars as all seven men in Belle's life with Sharon Rietkerk as younger Belle and Teressa Byrne as the older-but-wiser Belle.
The show runs May 1 — 19 at the Eureka Theatre, 215 Jackson Street in San Francisco. Call 415-255-8207 or go to www.42ndstmoon.org
Masks, puppetry, outrageous costumes and a full-scale storm at sea await audiences at Berkeley Rep's production of Shakespeare's "Pericles, Prince of Tyre" playing through May 26.
But before you get to all the shock and awe, you have to sing for your supper, so to speak. The play begins with composer/music director Marc Gwinn leading the audience in a song -- partly made up based on the audience and partly including the usual plea to turn off your cell phones. This very clever bit ends with the audience singing in rounds, which puts everyone in just the right collaborative, silly spirit for this new adaptation of "Pericles."
Conceived by Mark Wing-Davey with Jim Calder and directed by Wing-Davey, this innovative version of Shakespeare's tale of assassination attempts and a family split asunder is a wild ride through a maze of technological wonders, extravagant costumes (even Batman and Robin make a brief appearance) and a host of unusual props (who knew that cabbages could be sculpted into heads, affixed to an actor's shoulders, and become additional party guests?)
While Peter Ksander and Douglas Stein's amazing set tends to overshadow the story at times, Wing-Davey has found a marvelous cast that can hold its own. David Barlow (Pericles), Anita Carey (narrator), Annapurna Sriram (Marina) James Carpenter, Jessica Kitchens, Rami Margron, James Patrick Nelson, and Evan Zes in multiple roles all bring such creativity to their many characters while also conveying the dramatic storyline.
Marc Gwinn and his musicians Jeff Holland and Jessica Ivry add another level to this exuberant production as they create myriad sound effects and original music.
If you are open to new interpretations of the Bard and enjoy a bit of sarcasm, call Berkeley Rep at 510-647-2949 or go online to www.berkeleyrep.org.
Contact Sally Hogarty at firstname.lastname@example.org.