To call seminal SF perfomer and alpha theater aficionado Arturo Galster merely a "drag queen" is to do his range -- from the legendary Vegas in Space movie and pitch-perfect live-sung Pasty Cline interpretations to his recent technicolor turns with the Thrillpeddlers -- a disservice. But his name will always call to mind that moment in the late '80s and early '90s when SF's drag scene unmoored itself from polite old school diva kabuki into a squall of gloriously punky, ironic camp.
THEATER A figure wanders into the void — a pristine wooden stage, that is, pinpointed by four delicate weights hovering pendulum-like at the corners, alive to the slightest ripple of air. In the back, behind a scrim and awash in crepuscular light, a large and blooming tree floats exquisitely in space. For the wanderer, the time (if such a thing can be said to exist here) is ripe. "This must be bardo, then," thinks the ghost. "I'm cool with that. I was beginning to think I'd live forever."Read more »
DANCE Alonzo King's The Steady Heart (which opened his spring season at YBCA May 21) is among his most dramatic and, thematically, most explicit works. It also just may be one of the finest he has yet created for his 11 Lines Ballet dancers, three of whom — David Harvey, Caroline Rocher, and Meredith Webster — will retire at the end of this season.Read more »
Good lord, this play is hot, hot, hot. Rave reviews of its run in New York last year -- mostly heralding the rise of Broadway newcomer Nina Arianda -- gave me pause. Could our own A.C.T. pull off this super-steamy, sometimes-harrowing, consistently enthralling sex comedy without Arianda's now-famous starpower?
No fear. Sensational actors Brenda Meaney and Henry Clarke stole the audience's breath away, when playwright David Ives' perverse 2010 take on novelist Leopold von Sacher-Masoch's perverse 1870 masterpiece opened at A.C.T. last night. Prepare to be intellectually and emotionally (and even a bit physically) whipped, beaten, and thrilled into submission.
GOLDIES After being informed that Bay Guardian editors and a theater critic vetted his Goldie nomination, Brontez Purnell reacts. "I think it's fuckin' rad. I'm pretty into it. A theater critic? Was I criticized?"Read more »
DANCE Conceptual French choreographer Jérôme Bel thrives on conversation. Sometimes, he participates directly, as he did in Pichet Klunchunand Myself, in which he and Thai dancer Klunchun talked on stage. Performed at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in 2009, the piece enchanted me with its daring theatricality and enraged me with its faux naïveté. Pichet was both sturdy like a rock and evanescent like a passing thought.Read more »