All stories by Lily Janiak on BroadwayStars

Wednesday, December 7, 2022

Holiday pantos are distinctly British. This S.F. theater is trying to translate for U.S. audiences by Lily Janiak

Presidio Theatre's "Sleeping Beauty" looks to make participatory theater fun for an American audience.

SOURCE: San Francisco Chronicle at 07:00AM

You won’t get shushed by ushers at two popular holiday shows in S.F. — here’s why by Lily Janiak

At "A Christmas Carol" and "Nutcracker," neurodiverse audience members can make whatever noises they want or need to.

SOURCE: San Francisco Chronicle at 07:00AM
Tuesday, December 6, 2022

‘The Book of Mormon,’ ‘Pretty Woman,’ ‘Les Misérables,’ and ‘Into the Woods’ among shows coming to S.F. in 2023 by Lily Janiak

"Into the Woods" is the first major show in the Curran since "Harry Potter and the Cursed Child" departed in September.

SOURCE: San Francisco Chronicle at 05:45PM
Sunday, December 4, 2022

TheatreWorks’ ‘Little Shop,’ set in S.F.’s Chinatown, reveals exciting possibilities for musical theater by Lily Janiak

TheatreWorks Silicon Valley suggests just how many more shadings, facets and worlds the musical theater canon still has to show us.

SOURCE: San Francisco Chronicle at 01:59PM
Friday, December 2, 2022

Review: ‘Shoshana in December’ is a breathtaking S.F. holiday show without the cliches by Lily Janiak

Custom Made and FaultLine Theater's co-production is perfect for fans of homegrown theater who tire of the same old holiday fare.

SOURCE: San Francisco Chronicle at 02:16PM
Wednesday, November 30, 2022

Review: ‘Two Trains Running’ is for fans of meaty, chewy American drama by Lily Janiak

In August Wilson's play, it makes sense to put all your faith in the lotto, even when you know the game is rigged.

SOURCE: San Francisco Chronicle at 01:42PM
Friday, November 25, 2022

Technology in S.F.’s ‘Frozen’ reduces musicians in live performances, but at what cost to audiences? by Lily Janiak and Joshua Kosman

KeyComp could make it possible for a single synthesizer player to replicate the sound of a large orchestra with unprecedented flexibility.

SOURCE: San Francisco Chronicle at 07:00AM
Wednesday, November 23, 2022

It’s finally Oakland director Dawn Monique Williams’ moment, and it’s about time by Lily Janiak

At a recent "Two Trains Running" rehearsal at Marin Theatre Company, director Dawn Monique Williams led with conspiratorial joy.

SOURCE: San Francisco Chronicle at 07:00AM
Tuesday, November 22, 2022

Another Bay Area theater artistic director is exiting after 17 years at the helm. Here’s why by Lily Janiak

Marin Theatre Company's artistic director departs at a time when many are questioning whether the demands of theater leadership are worth the rewards.

SOURCE: San Francisco Chronicle at 03:30PM
Monday, November 21, 2022

Review: ‘Frozen’ at BroadwaySF shows how Disney magic thrives with kids and adults by Lily Janiak

If you grew up on Disney princesses whose narrative arcs drove unswervingly toward heterosexual marriage, "Frozen" opens refreshing possibilities.

SOURCE: San Francisco Chronicle at 02:45PM

Oakland Theater Project’s been doing dramas for 10 years. In 2023, it will finally try comedy by Lily Janiak

The small theater led by Michael Socrates Moran and William Hodgson is consistently one of the most vital and exciting in the Bay Area.

SOURCE: San Francisco Chronicle at 07:00AM
Sunday, November 20, 2022

In City Lights’ ‘Thanksgiving Play,’ our national origin story is on the chopping block by Lily Janiak

Next spring, Larissa FastHorse's script will be the first play by a Native American woman on Broadway.

SOURCE: San Francisco Chronicle at 02:09PM
Wednesday, November 16, 2022

Bay Area 2022 holiday theater accentuates what’s local by Lily Janiak

Custom Made Theatre Company, FaultLine Theater and African-American Shakespeare Company are among 2022's seasonal standouts.

SOURCE: San Francisco Chronicle at 07:00AM

How Nathan Marken learned a holiday lesson from performing a cappella in drag by Lily Janiak

Performing at NCTC is especially meaningful for Marken, since Artistic Director Ed Decker first recommended him for an audition.

SOURCE: San Francisco Chronicle at 07:00AM
Sunday, November 13, 2022

Review: Shotgun’s ‘Great Comet’ is an astronomical phenomenon. While it’s here, you must see by Lily Janiak

Shotgun Players' "Natasha, Pierre & the Great Comet of 1812" isn't just another transitory set on the same-old stage.

SOURCE: San Francisco Chronicle at 01:35PM
Saturday, November 12, 2022

New play puts phở center-stage in a centuries-long cultural appropriation debate by Soleil Ho and Lily Janiak

On one downtown Berkeley block, phở is both dinner and theater for two Chronicle critics.

SOURCE: San Francisco Chronicle at 02:07PM
Friday, November 11, 2022

Get ready: The Temptations musical has come home to the Bay Area by Lily Janiak

"Ain't Too Proud — The Life and Times of the Temptations" epitomizes one essential function of the jukebox musical.

SOURCE: San Francisco Chronicle at 01:58PM
Tuesday, November 8, 2022

‘Wuthering Heights’ got me through the pandemic. Now it’s onstage at Berkeley Rep by Lily Janiak

"Everybody always thinks 'Wuthering Heights' is romantic, and it so isn't," director Emma Rice told The Chronicle.

SOURCE: San Francisco Chronicle at 07:00AM
Saturday, November 5, 2022

Shotgun Players’ 2023 season is the product of distributed power by Lily Janiak

The Berkeley theater company's season selection committee operates by consensus; each member has veto power.

SOURCE: San Francisco Chronicle at 12:00PM
Thursday, October 27, 2022

‘A vindictive, passive-aggressive move’: Bay Area community theater faces allegations of racism, workplace misconduct by Lily Janiak

Accusations include bullying, micromanagement, gaslighting and unsafe working conditions, including inadequate COVID policies.

SOURCE: San Francisco Chronicle at 07:00AM
Sunday, October 23, 2022

Review: In Z Space’s ‘The Red Shades,’ being trans is a superpower by Lily Janiak

Adrienne Price's world-premiere musical writes an origin story for queer and trans San Francisco audiences.

SOURCE: San Francisco Chronicle at 01:58PM
Friday, October 21, 2022

Latest organic product at Straus Family Creamery: a solo show about its matriarch by Lily Janiak

The one-woman show in a dairy barn is grounded in Vivien Straus' self-awareness that both she and all the cows in her life are a bit ridiculous.

SOURCE: San Francisco Chronicle at 07:00AM
Wednesday, October 19, 2022

Review: Unsteady ‘Pony’ nonetheless shows that theatrical vanguard makes strides in S.F. by Lily Janiak

"Pony" is part of an exciting new wave of trans theater that's no longer limited to narratives of transitions and reveals.

SOURCE: San Francisco Chronicle at 02:06PM
Tuesday, October 18, 2022

Review: Golden Thread’s ‘Wild Berries’ might make your stale marriage feel fresh again by Lily Janiak

Naghmeh Samini's U.S. premiere is partly about how we can be sick to death of someone yet feast hungrily on them.

SOURCE: San Francisco Chronicle at 03:14PM
Saturday, October 15, 2022
Friday, October 14, 2022

Review: BroadwaySF’s ‘Jagged Little Pill’ is tough to swallow by Lily Janiak

The musical flattens Alanis Morissette's songs into ambient lobby music, distends them into dirges or simply blasts through.

SOURCE: San Francisco Chronicle at 02:12PM
Thursday, October 13, 2022

She was held captive and changed her name. Now she gets to be a performer again by Lily Janiak

"The Hummingbird" is "about two people who fell through the cracks, and one made it out alive, and one didn't," Kathryn Keats said.

SOURCE: San Francisco Chronicle at 07:00AM
Wednesday, October 12, 2022

No ‘season,’ no ‘subscription’ in Magic Theatre’s 2023 lineup by Lily Janiak

"If we can name it better, then we can try and do it better," said Lead Director Sean San José.

SOURCE: San Francisco Chronicle at 05:19PM
Tuesday, October 11, 2022

We all remember orange sky day. Now it’s a theatrical concept album by Lily Janiak

SFBATCO's "The Day the Sky Turned Orange" in the New Roots Theatre Festival invites us to process unresolved collective trauma.

SOURCE: San Francisco Chronicle at 07:00AM
Sunday, October 9, 2022

Review: Brian Copeland solo show makes single parenting look pretty tidy by Lily Janiak

Sentiment works because it's predictable, because it reassures rather than probes or challenges, which can make it at odds with art.

SOURCE: San Francisco Chronicle at 07:00AM
Tuesday, October 4, 2022

How a new law could remake California’s small theater landscape in the wake of AB5 by Lily Janiak

SB1116, which Gov. Gavin Newsom signed Sept. 29, could mean more of your favorite artists are able to stay in the Bay Area.

SOURCE: San Francisco Chronicle at 03:00PM

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