2011 January Bay Area Theatre Guide

The new year has begun! Welcome to 2011!

With all of the craziness of the holidays, I wasn’t able to get my theatre picks up for January until now. Luckily, several shows are opening in late January which gives you (and me) plenty of time to organize our theatre wish-list for January.

I spent the beginning of December seeing the touring production of Shrek (which I thought was abysmal), the puppet masterpiece, The Composer is Dead at Berkeley Rep (which didn’t have much of a plot or presence) and the new musical, Backwards in High Heels at San Jose Rep (a fun delightful show with no heart). To be honest, I was a bit let down by all three productions and it drove me to a much needed theatrical break. After all, I did see over 60 productions last year alone!

While I spent my holiday in London, I had the chance to see the newly revamped Love Never Dies. Again, I was let down by the changes that Andrew Lloyd Webber had made and was quite disappointed.

I’m off to New York City for a quick weekend, where I’m seeing Spiderman and American Idiot (with Billy Joe Armstrong). I can’t wait to report!

So here’s to a new year and a new month with hopefully a better slew of shows than this past December.

Broadway Cast Poster 1. Next to Normal at Curran Theatre (SHNSF) in San Francisco – Out of all the shows that you should buy tickets to, this is the one. I know this touring cast will be good because it has the Tony Award winner Alice Ripley is in it. I’ve seen her perform several times and her performance is incredible and not to be missed.

Next to Normal has become one of my favorite musicals of all time. I’ve seen it five times on Broadway and I’m looking forward to seeing it again in San Francisco in a new theatre, with almost a new cast.

Out of all the shows that are coming to San Francisco, I can’t stress enough that this is the show that you should buy tickets to and see! It’s absolutely a beautiful show and worthy of the Pulitzer Prize that it won! I’ll be there opening night.

Website | Tickets

2. Clybourne Park at ACT (San Francisco) – Home is where the heart—and history—is in Clybourne Park, a “buzz-saw sharp new comedy” (The Washington Post) that cleverly spins the events of A Raisin in the Sun to tell an unforgettable new story about race and real estate in America. Act I opens in 1959, as a white couple sells their home to a black family, causing uproar in their middle-class Chicago neighborhood.

Act II transports us to the same house in 2009, when the stakes are different, but the debate is strikingly familiar. Adamant provocateur Bruce Norris launches his characters into lightning-quick repartee as they scramble for control of the situation, revealing how we can—and can’t—distance ourselves from the stories that linger in our houses.

A West Coast premiere.

January 20–February 13, 2011

Website | Get Tickets

3. Grease at Broadway San Jose – Unfortunately, I will be out of town for the full week of this run, so I will not be able to see it. I’ll be honest and say that Grease isn’t my favorite musical (by any means), but I’m hoping it will be a fun production filled with upcoming Broadway talent.

If you do have a chance to see this show, let us know what you think! I’m very curious to see how it all turns out.

Hopefully, you were the winner of our ticket giveaway!

Opens January 18th – 23rd, 2011.

Website | Tickets

4. Compleat Female Stage Beauty at City Lights Theatre Company – Embracing a period of British history that’s ripe with gender & social intrigue, Kynaston, the most famous portrayer of female roles in seventeenth century London, is brought to ruin when King Charles II changes the law to allow women to act. His journey embarks down a road of revenge and self-awareness as Kynaston strives to take his place on the stage once again.

City Lights is known for stretching boundaries and I’m sure that they are at it again. It also features several great Bay Area actors!

It opens January 2oth and runs till February 20th, 2011.

Website | Get Tickets

5. Sylvia at Bus Barn Stage Company – Empty nesters Greg and Kate have moved to Manhattan where Greg finds Sylvia, a golden lab/poodle mix, in the park and brings her home. Greg is smitten by Sylvia’s unconditional love and the romantic triangle that results begins to eat a serious (and riotous) hole in Greg and Kate’s 22 year marriage.

This endearing romantic comedy about a marriage and a winsome canine is a tasty (dog) treat not to be missed.

January 27th – February 19th, 2011.

Website | Get Tickets

6. Clue at Boxcar Theatre – A play based on a movie based on a board game. The 1985 cult classic is adapted for the stage with every side splitting joke intact and even a few new ones thrown in for good measure. Peering over a life-sized board game, the audience watches from six feet in the air as six guests and a bumbling butler navigate square by tiny square searching a mansion to find out who killed Mr. Boddy.

Was it Colonel Mustard in the billiard room with the wrench or Ms. Scarlet in the lounge with the candlestick? With secret passages running underneath the seats, and multiple different endings, this completely ripped off production is the most original yet.

January 7th – February 5th, 2011

Website | Get Tickets

On My Radar:

  • The Dresser at San Jose Rep – It’s 1942 in Britain and the smell of death is in the air. The sirens howl, signaling another air raid, but inside the crumbling walls of a regional theatre in the provinces the aging actor, Sir, prepares to give his 227th performance as King Lear. Runs January 27 – February 20, 2011. Website
  • Holes at Hillbarn Theatre Company – Holes is a modern grown-up fairy tale with a charming ending that comes full circle after a variety of perambulations. Opens January 27th – February 13th, 2011. Website
  • A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum at South Bay Musical Theatre – Great show directed by Walter Mayes. Opens January 29th – February 19th, 2011. Website
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3 thoughts on “2011 January Bay Area Theatre Guide

  1. I’m already seeing N2N and Forum (and will do my very best not to compare it with the production I did a few months ago). I really, really want to see Clybourne Park, so I need to find the time to make that happen. I’ll try to get out to City Lights as well. And I will avoid Grease at all costs.

  2. Seeing Clybourne Park for sure, also looking forward to A Man’s Home at Central Works (based on Kafka’s The Castle) and Theresa Rebeck’s latest at the Magic.

  3. I cannot agree more with your review on Next to Normal. I saw it in Sept 09 and hearted it. Alice Ripley is a godess. I planned a trip back to NYC (from Sydney, Australia) to see it again and it finished! I’m devestated. I was hoping it would be in an off-Braodway run when I return in April, but it’s not looking likely. I plan to see Spiderman and The Book of Mormons and at least 10 other productions in my 2 week stay in NYC. What would be your pick?

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