A Sneak Peek at the Fringe at Exit Theatre
Talk about advanced publicity. The SF Fringe doesn't open until September 6, but on August 9 the Exit throws its doors open to theatre insiders (aka the press) and "aficionados of the unexpected" (aka ya'll) for a sneak peek featuring companies who have snagged SF Fringe awards in years past. Solo performer Jack Halton gets things rolling at Market and Powell, where at 7 p.m. he'll push a huge boulder a few blocks to the Exit's door. It's not exactly uphill--in fact, we'd say the Tenderloin is all downhill from Powell Street. Halton's Fringe offering, features him pushing his boulder up Powell Street on September 9 and 10. The Fringe would call this a "bring-your-own-venue" show, but Halton calls it "drive-by theater." Other sneak peek folks include Boxcar Theatre, Dr. Emile's Theatre Tremendo, Mia Paschal, Ripe Theatre, Shtickle Productions and excerpts from Crooked Family's Thanatics, a Rock Opera, among others. The Sneak Peek beverage of choice in the Exit Café? Rolling Rock, of course.
Playing August 9
Release the Kraken at New Langton Arts
Continuing the Greek theme, Thunderbird Theatre Company's latest offering mashes mythology with Dogma overtones (even the postcard reminds us of the Clerks logo). The same company that brought us Lusty Booty sets the Perseus myth in a strip mall, where the half-mortal must prove himself middle-management material by outwitting the likes of the three witches of the DMV and the two-headed Scientologist until he reaches the capitalist titan himself, Mr. Kraken. It just sells itself, really.
Playing August 10 through 26
The Censor at Last Planet Theatre
If Greek mythology just doesn't do it for you, how about some pornography? Just kidding: there isn't any real pornography on stage in The Censor. However, the video projections may be another story. Premiering in the late 1990s, Anthony Neilson's play is just the sort of intellectual yet paradoxically gut-punching stuff we expect from Last Planet. The plot essentially follows a director who's trying to get her film past a censor. She'd call it an art-house film, someone else may call it a porno flick. Then the two start to engage in some heavy action of their own. Really, the plot isn't as thin as your standard Debbie Does Dallas. By the Chron's accounts, this isn't to be missed. Even if you regularly disagree with the Chron, we say see it anyway.
Playing through August 12
Light in the Piazza at Orpheum Theatre
Taking home six Tony Awards, Light in the Piazza has been quite a hot, considering that its plot is pretty schmaltzy. Based on Elizabeth Spencer's novella, it's the story of an autistic young woman who falls in love with an Italian guy while vacationing in Tuscany with her mother. Apparently, language barriers mask Clara's "challenge." After seeing a touring production of the 1990s-era Rent and a revival of A Chorus Line, we're looking forward to a new musical at Best of Broadway. Speaking of new, the company finally caught up with the podcast craze.
Playing August 1 through 27
Remote at CounterPulse
Most theatre companies have been slow to embrace technology, whether it be podcasts or even just the idea that technology be an intrinsic part of the plot and production. But Kraft + Purver haven't limited their idea of what a play can be. Using live actors and interactive media, Remote examines the paradoxical concept of using technology to become more connected with people and the rather bizarre concept of the military training psychic spies. This is exactly the sort of show we'd recommend to techies with an artistic side.
Playing August 3 through 12
Photo: Do you know the way to the Exit Theatre? Just follow Jack Halton and his pet rock.