All stories by Lily Janiak on BroadwayStars

Saturday, February 24, 2024

Review: In ‘Bark of Millions’ Taylor Mac reveals theater as queer church by Lily Janiak

“Our goal this evening is to make you queer,” or queerer still, Taylor Mac said near the top of the sweeping, 55-song show at Cal Performances.

SOURCE: San Francisco Chronicle at 02:19PM
Thursday, February 22, 2024

Review: ‘Big Data’ shows S.F.’s theater can be just as revolutionary as its tech by Lily Janiak

Kate Attwell’s frame-splitting, acute yet expansive script is about how complicit we are in tech’s takeover of both our interactions and consciousnesses.

SOURCE: San Francisco Chronicle at 04:26PM
Wednesday, February 21, 2024

Review: ‘Bees & Honey’ might’ve worked better as TV by Lily Janiak

Marin Theatre Company’s actors have a muffled quality, as if they’re hoping to believe, rather than actually believing, what they’re saying.

SOURCE: San Francisco Chronicle at 01:57PM
Wednesday, February 14, 2024

If the social media algorithm were a play character, what would he be like? by Lily Janiak

ACT’s “Big Data” by Kate Attwell says that when we give up our digital privacy, our homes, family, love and sex lives feel the cost.

SOURCE: San Francisco Chronicle at 07:00AM
Tuesday, February 13, 2024

BroadwaySF’s 2024-25 season is full of fan favorites and new hits. Here are the titles by Lily Janiak

“Kimberly Akimbo” and “& Juliet” are among the highlights of next year’s offerings from the owner of the Orpheum, Golden Gate and Curran theaters.

SOURCE: San Francisco Chronicle at 02:30PM
Thursday, February 1, 2024

Review: Tasty phở, terrifying AI in SF Playhouse’s ‘My Home on the Moon’ by Lily Janiak

Minna Lee’s play asks: In a simulation where all your existential crises are gone and everything’s hunky-dory, why even bother doing anything?

SOURCE: San Francisco Chronicle at 03:29PM
Wednesday, January 24, 2024

Misbehaving audiences want to go viral. Here’s how theater could take the mic back by Lily Janiak

Any play or musical must compete with all the “para-theater” in rows of audience seats, or at least the possibility that some might happen.

SOURCE: San Francisco Chronicle at 07:00AM
Sunday, January 21, 2024

Review: At Shotgun’s ‘Babes in Ho-lland,’ the audience was a fourth character by Lily Janiak

At the opening night of Deneen Reynolds-Knott’s world premiere about Black college students, the crowd layered on their own soundtrack, to glorious effect.

SOURCE: San Francisco Chronicle at 02:16PM
Friday, January 12, 2024

Acting titan Steven Anthony Jones to give final Bay Area performance before leaving by Lily Janiak

The ACT regular stars in TheatreWorks’ “How I Learned What I Learned,” his fourth airing in August Wilson’s one-man show since 2019.

SOURCE: San Francisco Chronicle at 07:00AM
Tuesday, January 9, 2024

What should a Shakespeare company be in 2024? by Lily Janiak

“His visions often seem impossible to me,” said Michael Torres of new Marin Shakespeare Company Artistic Director Jon Tracy.

SOURCE: San Francisco Chronicle at 07:00AM
Monday, January 8, 2024

New Ruth Bader Ginsburg play ‘All Things Equal’ to make S.F. stop. Here’s when by Lily Janiak

The one-woman play by Tony Award winner Rupert Holmes delves into the justice’s brilliant legal strategy on sex discrimination.

SOURCE: San Francisco Chronicle at 03:54PM
Friday, December 29, 2023

Alexis Soloski’s ‘Here in the Dark’ comes at dark time for theater criticism by Lily Janiak

The novel, about an ambitious mid-30s theater critic, made me reflect on the joy, terror and harsh reality of writing about theater.

SOURCE: San Francisco Chronicle at 07:00AM
Wednesday, December 27, 2023

Bay Area theater is ready to experiment again in 2024 by Lily Janiak

Titles at Shotgun Players, San Francisco Bay Area Theatre Company and Cutting Ball Theater point to a new era in the new year.

SOURCE: San Francisco Chronicle at 07:00AM
Wednesday, December 20, 2023

Best of 2023: Despite financial panic, gorgeous theater abounds in the Bay by Lily Janiak

From cleverly reimagined classics to entirely original performance art, these companies produced some of the best theater in the Bay Area.

SOURCE: San Francisco Chronicle at 07:00AM
Monday, December 18, 2023

As ACT bids adieu to ‘A Christmas Carol,’ costumes, sets and props get a last hurrah by Lily Janiak

One Christmas ghost will haunt the rafters of American Conservatory Theater’s Toni Rembe Theater no more.

SOURCE: San Francisco Chronicle at 11:04AM
Saturday, December 16, 2023

Review: ‘Kaleidoscope’ is an analog circus feast amid digital HQ of SoMa by Lily Janiak

Circus Bella’s show at the Crossing at East Cut might make you wonder why S.F. doesn’t use more performing arts to enliven neighborhoods.

SOURCE: San Francisco Chronicle at 01:43PM
Saturday, December 9, 2023

This Santa Rosa show is only 25 minutes, but it’s a winter solstice wonderland by Lily Janiak

With “Nightlight,” about light pollution, the plucky and whimsical Imaginists dance on theater’s boundaries.

SOURCE: San Francisco Chronicle at 01:33PM
Thursday, December 7, 2023

Why critics should still review low-budget, not-great works of art by Lily Janiak

Though not without its hiccups, indie show “A Nightmare on Elm St Holiday Special” is sure to titillate horror fans and indie theater aficionados.

SOURCE: San Francisco Chronicle at 02:40PM
Wednesday, December 6, 2023

Another celebrity is coming to Berkeley Rep this season, for a world premiere by Lily Janiak

In “Galileo,” Tony Award nominee Raúl Esparza is set to play the astronomer who argued for heliocentrism, even if it meant giving up his freedom.

SOURCE: San Francisco Chronicle at 07:04PM
Sunday, December 3, 2023

Review: Mélia Mills at the Marsh Berkeley says the upper-middle-class can rap, too by Lily Janiak

“The Allure of Thug Life” shows great promise in its kaleidoscopic vision of both Blackness and rap.

SOURCE: San Francisco Chronicle at 03:09PM
Friday, December 1, 2023

Review: Celebrate a very S.F. Christmas by seeing drag queens spoof ‘The Golden Girls’ by Lily Janiak

The biggest change in this year’s incarnation, at the Victoria Theatre, is that Coco Peru is playing the role originated by spoof co-creator Heklina, who died in April.

SOURCE: San Francisco Chronicle at 02:21PM
Thursday, November 30, 2023

Review: With Audra McDonald, S.F. Symphony loosens up for a playful jaunt of showtunes by Lily Janiak

The Broadway star proved the best place to hear musical theater numbers might be the San Francisco Symphony.

SOURCE: San Francisco Chronicle at 03:19PM
Wednesday, November 29, 2023

Review: Sara Porkalob’s ‘Dragon Lady’ roars with fire and tightens like a coil by Lily Janiak

The solo cabaret musical at Marin Theatre Company makes a family’s origin story in a Manila nightclub feel as mighty as myth.

SOURCE: San Francisco Chronicle at 02:42PM
Tuesday, November 21, 2023

Review: Billy Crudup at Berkeley Rep unlocks the deviance in all of us by Lily Janiak

“Harry Clarke,” David Cale’s one-man play, is about the intoxicating fantasy of becoming someone else. 

SOURCE: San Francisco Chronicle at 02:21PM
Monday, November 20, 2023

One theater’s solution to pandemic doldrums: Go smaller by Lily Janiak

Theatre Rhinoceros is producing gay theater in the Castro for the first time in its 46-year history.

SOURCE: San Francisco Chronicle at 12:50PM
Friday, November 17, 2023

Review: This theatrical adaptation of ‘1984’ actually adds to the book by Lily Janiak

At Aurora Theatre, Michael Gene Sullivan’s harrowing stage adaption of George Orwell’s novel prickles the skin, pinches nerves and lodges in the viscera.

SOURCE: San Francisco Chronicle at 02:23PM
Wednesday, November 15, 2023

In 2023 Bay Area holiday theater, buy local by Lily Janiak

Indie offerings from Bow & Arrow Circus Theatre Collective, Misfit Cabaret, the Imaginists and more sparkle and chime this holiday season.

SOURCE: San Francisco Chronicle at 07:00AM
Monday, November 13, 2023

‘You can be big!’: Oakland Theater Project’s 2024 season helps us meet our moment by Lily Janiak

Plays by Tony Kushner, Martyna Majok and Michael Wayne Turner III continue the 12-year-old company’s proud tradition of staggering ambition.

SOURCE: San Francisco Chronicle at 03:18PM
Thursday, November 2, 2023

Review: Berkeley Rep’s ‘Bulrusher’ glitters like Boonville’s Navarro River by Lily Janiak

Playwright and Berkeley native Eisa Davis devises an idiom so resplendent, so discerning, it induces chills and shudders.

SOURCE: San Francisco Chronicle at 02:53PM
Friday, October 27, 2023

Review: A Jew walks into a white nationalist meeting and comes out with a winning show by Lily Janiak

Alex Edelman’s “Just for Us” at the Curran is a triumph of contemporary Jewish humor.

SOURCE: San Francisco Chronicle at 02:34PM

There’s a new venue in S.F., and it’s dedicated to clowning by Lily Janiak

Church of Clown in Visitacion Valley crowns a local clowning scene that has long rendered the profession’s stereotypes irrelevant.

SOURCE: San Francisco Chronicle at 07:00AM

All that Chat

May 30, 2023: Grey House - Lyceum Theatre
Jun 26, 2023: Just For Us - Hudson Theatre
Jul 24, 2023: The Cottage - Hayes Theater
Nov 16, 2023: Spamalot - St. James Theatre
Dec 18, 2023: Appropriate - Hayes Theater
Mar 07, 2024: Doubt - Todd Haimes Theatre
Apr 14, 2024: Lempicka - Longacre Theatre
Apr 17, 2024: The Wiz - Marquis Theatre
Apr 18, 2024: Suffs - Music Box Theatre
Apr 25, 2024: Mother Play - Hayes Theater
Jun 10, 2024: The Drama Desk Awards