The men: Sam and Jack - are hot and steamy "gay" lovers. Sam is very aggressive and Jack follows with abundance. This a a brief play (45 Min) and without an intermission. Rarely do I like plays without an intermission - but this brief intense drama brings out secrets of America, foreign intervention and a lover who becomes disillusioned near the end. It has been suggested that the Bush-Blair political relationship keeps giving us Love and hate moments. They come close to breaking up -- but they can't stay away from each other. Sex -- is very much a huge part of their lives.

On this bare stage there is a nice bed. Big enough for both of the men. And believe me - they are breathless as they bounce up and down on that magical bed. They may have their political differences - but when it comes to "touch" they are exhausted. Well, they aren't that exhausted - because after the next argument they rush to get into the bed.

One of the men is very aggressive. He makes sure that the other guy bows to his wishes. Yep, in bed they completely lose contact with the outside world. The bed is center stage. But anger and anxiety seems to be heading for a crash down.

The cozy Theater Stage (The Costume shop on Market St) is skillfully staged by John Fisher. The marvelous projections on the wall certainly do keep you engrossed throughout. I can't get it out of my mind. Stars are born here under Fisher's direction. Go see this masterpiece.

HIGHEST-OCTANE acting is a gorgeous surprise. It has everything you want in entertainment.
THEY ARE -- RUDY GUERRERO AND SAM COHEN. (On stage they are Sam and Jack)

ALSO - CARYL CHURCHHILL (Drunk Enough to Say I Love You?) the two Ten Minute plays that are also powerful and political. Fisher direction again is inspiring and uplifting. The two short plays following the above are "Seven Jewish Children" and "A Play for Gaza". Churchill's writing style is dazzling and gripping.

This magical evening is only 30 minutes long - and there is an intermission. Happy, Happy Days! A real intermission. No torture this time around. The entire stirring evening is nothing less than sublime. SUPERB!

RATING: FOUR GLASSES OF CHAMPAGNE!!!! (highest rating) -trademarked-

NOW PLAYING AT A.C.T'S COSTUME SHOP in SAN FRANCISCO (between 7th & 8th Streets on Market Street)

(Lee Hartgrave has contributed many articles to the San Francisco Chronicle Sunday Datebook and he also produced a long-running Arts Segment on PBS KQED)))

www.therhino.org. (Running thru June 23, 2013)



THIS INTO THE WOODS IS UNFAILINGLY ENTERTAINING

Sondheim and Lapine bring us in the Woods where we first hear the narrator. He also is 'The Mysterious Man' (Derek Travis Collard). The mysterious guy tells a Baker and his Wife to journey into the woods. It's in the vast woods that we get to meet 'Little Red Riding Hood (Allison Meneley, Cinderella (Courtney Merrell), Jack of the Beanstalk (Kyle Stoner, Rapunzel (Melissa Reinertson, plus two Princes (Ted Zoldon and David Naughton). They are a blast. Hey, that's only the beginning of the huge talented cast.

In this play you will also meet a Baker (Austin Ferris), and wife (Nikki Arias). They are having trouble having a child. A Witch (Michele Jasso) puts a curse on the Baker and his wife.

Of course there is the delightful 'Cinderella' - whose slipper as pure as gold - and Jacks cow is as white as milk. Red Riding Hood has a cape as red as blood - and Rapunzel has hair as yellow as corn. And Sondheim is running to the bank! ...Just kidding, he already has tons of money.

Love the music - especially the sad "No One is Alone." But lets skip along into the woods as The Widow of the "Jack the Giant' seeks revenge. Austin Ferris is a charming Baker. He's a happy surprise. And his wife Nikki Arias (wife) shows us what real singing and acting is. Take my word for it....ALL the wonderful Actors are poignant, searing and memorable.

MUSIC IS BY STEPHEN SONDHEIM AND BOOK BY JAMES LAPINE. The show premiered on Broadway in 1987. Bernadette Peters played the Witch.

'I Loved this Version of 'Into the Woods' - The show has a comedic touch and ironic edge that you won't forget. Also I can't forget the terrific band on the stage. "I have a sense of watching Genuine Magic!"

NOW PLAYING AT "RAY OF LIGHT" (at the Eureka Theater)

Director - Eliza Leoni (fabulous!!) Artistic Director - Jason Hoover (equally Fabulous!) www.rayoflightheatre.com.

RATING: FOUR GLASSES OF CHAMPAGNE!!!! -(highest rating) -trademarked-

(((Lee Hartgrave has contributed many articles to the San Francisco Chronicle Sunday Datebook and he produced a long-running Arts Segment on PBS-KQED)))


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