All stories by Lily Janiak on BroadwayStars

Friday, June 21, 2024

Review: Berkeley Rep’s ‘Mother Road’ loses its way by Lily Janiak

Octavio Solis’ reverse-migration sequel to John Steinbeck’s “Grapes of Wrath” feels as overladen as the Joad family jalopy.

SOURCE: San Francisco Chronicle at 02:55PM
Thursday, June 13, 2024

Brava Theater needs to raise $50,000 to meet basic expenses by Lily Janiak

The Mission District theater is facing a perfect storm of increased costs from insurance, utilities, payroll and more.

SOURCE: San Francisco Chronicle at 08:34PM
Tuesday, June 11, 2024

East Bay theater loses 40 years of props, costumes and sets in fire by Lily Janiak

The destruction of Pittsburg Theatre Company’s warehouse hasn’t stopped the company from opening “The Sunshine Boys” on Friday, June 14.

SOURCE: San Francisco Chronicle at 08:25PM

At Berkeley Rep, playwright Octavio Solis finds fertile ground in California’s soil by Lily Janiak

‘Mother Road,’ a sequel of sorts to John Steinbeck’s ‘The Grapes of Wrath,’ imagines a latter-day reverse migration for Joad family descendants.

SOURCE: San Francisco Chronicle at 07:00AM
Sunday, June 9, 2024

Review: Magic Theatre’s ‘Garuda’s Wing’ is a master class in dramatic revelation by Lily Janiak

Playwright Naomi Iizuka constructs exquisite clockworks over and over again in her Magic Theatre and Campo Santo world premiere set on the island of Borneo.

SOURCE: San Francisco Chronicle at 02:12PM
Friday, June 7, 2024

Review: Gender-swapped ‘Company’ makes fertile ground of museum piece by Lily Janiak

At BroadwaySF, Marianne Elliott’s take on George Furth and Stephen Sondheim’s 1970 musical about singledom versus marriage bursts with ripe, juicy fruits.

SOURCE: San Francisco Chronicle at 03:42PM
Thursday, May 30, 2024

Review: ‘The Lehman Trilogy’ at ACT is epic for every minute of its 3 ½ hours by Lily Janiak

For all its heft, Stefano Massini’s play about the rise and fall of Lehman Brothers is a marvel of poetic restraint.

SOURCE: San Francisco Chronicle at 05:17PM
Wednesday, May 29, 2024

Review: Center Rep’s ‘Cabaret,” written in 1966, implicates you in 2024 by Lily Janiak

Joe Masteroff, John Kander and Fred Ebb’s musical is relevant whenever nationalism, groupthink and racial othering are on the rise, which seems to be always. 

SOURCE: San Francisco Chronicle at 03:03PM
Friday, May 24, 2024

Review: Shotgun Players say aloud what most theaters are afraid to whisper by Lily Janiak

“Best Available” centers on a fictional theater’s behind-the-scenes hiring process, and the script might make audiences wonder if they’re complicit.

SOURCE: San Francisco Chronicle at 02:52PM

Bay Area summer 2024 theater: Get outdoors — or seal yourself in a glass box by Lily Janiak

Mountain Play, Santa Cruz Shakespeare and Circus Bella invite audiences to enjoy a live performance and eat a picnic, too.

SOURCE: San Francisco Chronicle at 07:00AM
Monday, May 20, 2024

Another Berkeley Rep world premiere is heading to Broadway by Lily Janiak

“Swept Away,” featuring music by folk rock band the Avett Brothers, was among the first big theatrical projects to premiere in the Bay Area after the pandemic’s worst days.

SOURCE: San Francisco Chronicle at 02:14PM
Saturday, May 18, 2024

Review: At the Imaginists, pick a cubicle and see corporate culture get skewered by Lily Janiak

The high concept of “A Kind of Knowing” is the modus operandi of the 22-year-old Santa Rosa troupe.

SOURCE: San Francisco Chronicle at 02:27PM
Thursday, May 16, 2024

Review: Berkeley Rep’s ‘Galileo’ has problems with its art, not its science by Lily Janiak

Performances, including by four-time Tony Award nominee Raúl Esparza in the title role, only partially redeem the world-premiere musical.

SOURCE: San Francisco Chronicle at 04:42PM
Thursday, May 9, 2024

Review: S.F. Playhouse cracks ‘The Glass Menagerie’ open by Lily Janiak

Director Jeffrey Lo reveals Tennessee Williams’ 1944 masterpiece as a wide, ripe canvas.

SOURCE: San Francisco Chronicle at 03:43PM
Thursday, May 2, 2024

Review: Danish theater at S.F. International Arts Festival probes the narcissism at abuse’s heart by Lily Janiak

Kassandra Production’s “The Soul Catcher” might make you start to rethink the relationships in your own life.

SOURCE: San Francisco Chronicle at 05:02PM
Tuesday, April 30, 2024

This Berkeley native just got nominated for a Tony Award by Lily Janiak

Shana Carroll, of the 7 Fingers and “Dear San Francisco” at Club Fugazi, spoke to the Chronicle about her Tony nod for choreographing “Water for Elephants” on Broadway.

SOURCE: San Francisco Chronicle at 07:32PM
Monday, April 29, 2024

Review: Oakland Theater Project’s ‘Red Red Red’ writes new myth of queer love by Lily Janiak

In Amelio Garcia’s play, inspired by Anne Carson’s verse novel, actor Romeo Chandler is a live wire who might spark trifles and slights or wisdom and poetry.

SOURCE: San Francisco Chronicle at 02:37PM
Saturday, April 27, 2024

Review: Immersive show about Fillmore’s redevelopment scheme asks which side you’re on by Lily Janiak

Walking Cinema’s “The Fillmore Eclipse” is set in a 1950s jazz joint the night before its bulldozing.

SOURCE: San Francisco Chronicle at 02:09PM
Thursday, April 25, 2024

Review: ACT’s ‘A Strange Loop’ is a musical whirligig of invention by Lily Janiak

Michael R. Jackson’s West Coast premiere at the Toni Rembe Theater in San Francisco summons the gods of lighting, music, set design and costume.

SOURCE: San Francisco Chronicle at 02:42PM
Tuesday, April 16, 2024

Review: Golden Thread’s ‘Returning to Haifa’ is theater helping you understand the war in Gaza by Lily Janiak

Witnessing Ghassan Kanafani’s 1969 barn burner onstage is like discovering a midcentury classic.

SOURCE: San Francisco Chronicle at 04:32PM
Sunday, April 14, 2024

Review: NCTC’s ‘The Tutor’ makes Slip ‘N Slide of love triangle by Lily Janiak

In Torange Yeghizaran’s world premiere, three characters fill the playing space to bursting.

SOURCE: San Francisco Chronicle at 02:52PM
Wednesday, April 10, 2024

Got overbearing Asian American parents? Confront them vicariously with ‘Tiger Style!’ by Lily Janiak

Mike Lew’s comedy at TheatreWorks Silicon Valley is balm for any thwarted adult who’s ever fantasized, “I’m gonna yell at my mom like a white girl.” 

SOURCE: San Francisco Chronicle at 03:11PM
Tuesday, April 9, 2024

In the AI age, how have artists envisioned robots in theater, film and ballet? by Lily Janiak

Pieces such as S.F. Ballet’s ‘Mere Mortals’ help us understand our place in the ChatGPT era.

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

In ‘Hangmen,’ Martin McDonagh is the maestro of macabre, the bard of bloviation by Lily Janiak

San Jose Stage Company’s West Coast premiere about an English hangman forced into early retirement trades moralizing for high style.

SOURCE: San Francisco Chronicle at 07:00AM
Friday, April 5, 2024

Review: ‘Kristina Wong, Sweatshop Overlord’ validates everything you’ve gone through since 2020 by Lily Janiak

The S.F. native’s solo show at American Conservatory Theater tells the true story of how a strawberry red Hello Kitty sewing machine started a mutual aid society.

SOURCE: San Francisco Chronicle at 03:01PM
Friday, March 22, 2024

American Conservatory Theater’s 2024-25 season invites S.F. to ‘see anew’ by Lily Janiak

Two world premieres and the return of rotating rep are among the goodies in the 59-year-old San Francisco company’s lineup. 

SOURCE: San Francisco Chronicle at 02:00PM
Saturday, March 16, 2024

Review: In Oakland Theater Project’s breathtaking ‘Cost of Living,’ caregiving is a lens for vulnerability by Lily Janiak

Martyna Majok’s Pulitzer Prize-winning play writes characters with disabilities who aren’t defined by their physical limitations.

SOURCE: San Francisco Chronicle at 02:26PM
Friday, March 15, 2024

Review: ‘The 39 Steps’ demonstrates the peril of conservative programming by Lily Janiak

Though some moments shine, San Francisco Playhouse’s production is mostly a joyless sprawl of unmade choices.

SOURCE: San Francisco Chronicle at 02:53PM
Thursday, March 14, 2024

Review: Berkeley Rep’s ‘The Far Country,’ set on Angel Island, probes the promise and lie of immigration by Lily Janiak

Lloyd Suh’s Pulitzer Prize finalist insists on the dignity of those who came to San Francisco during the Chinese Exclusion Act.

SOURCE: San Francisco Chronicle at 03:28PM
Wednesday, March 6, 2024

Bay Area theater: Spring brings shattering dramas, queer romps, immersive experiences by Lily Janiak

This season’s highlights include Klanghaus, African-American Shakespeare Company and Killing My Lobster, among many others. 

SOURCE: San Francisco Chronicle at 07:00AM
Sunday, March 3, 2024

Review: In ‘Dirty White Teslas Make Me Sad,’ an S.F. native tries to take her city back by Lily Janiak

Ashley Smiley’s Magic Theatre world premiere is SOS alert and valentine, high-tech heist and keenly observed family portrait.

SOURCE: San Francisco Chronicle at 02:14PM

All that Chat