January 3rd, 2012 — 6:21pm
Amid the hurry and flurry of the holiday season just past, Bay Area media outlets were busy crowning the year’s best creative achievements. We’re proud to say that our productions made most critics’ top-ten lists for 2011.
In the San Francisco Chronicle, critic Robert Hurwitt named Jonathan Moscone‘s production of Candida, by George Bernard Shaw, among the year’s ten best, calling it “buoyantly nuanced, exquisitely designed, and unexpectedly suspenseful.” Hurwitt also gave this year’s Bay Area acting MVP nod to Rod Gnapp, who played Baptista in our The Taming of the Shrew this season. On his theater blog The Idiolect, independent critic Sam Hurwitt, a.k.a. Hurwitt the Younger, included Amanda Dehnert‘s brand-new play, The Verona Project, as one of his favorite 2011 productions, “entirely new and electric, with a touch of magical realism, witty dialogue, fiendishly clever storytelling devices, and some awfully catchy pop-rock songs”; one of his two MVPs was Verona‘s Julia, actress Arwen Anderson. Critic Chad Jones gave Shana Cooper‘s production of The Taming of the Shrew a prominent place on his Theater Dogs top ten, admitting that it was a tough call between that and our Candida but ultimately falling for how “leads Erica Sullivan and Slate Holmgren brought not only humor to this thorny comedy but also a depth of emotion I hadn’t ever experienced with this play.” And Cooper’s Shrew “packed a punch” according to KCBS‘ list of the Bay Area’s best arts and culture in 2011.
Accolades must also be given to Cal Shakes Artistic Director Moscone, whose production of Clybourne Park at A.C.T. made it onto every single list mentioned above!
Read the Chronicle‘s Top Ten list here.
Read The Idiolect‘s Top Ten list here.
Read the Theater Dogs Top Ten here.
Read KCBS’ Best Ofs here.
Comment » | 2011 Season, Candida, The Taming of the Shrew, The Verona Project, Weekly News
September 26th, 2011 — 12:25pm
The enthusiastic reviews have begun to roll in for The Taming of the Shrew, the final production of our 2011 season.
“Without hesitation,” writes Lauren Gunderson in the Huffington Post, ”I can say that Cal Shakes’ production of Shrew (running now through Oct 16) is a lovely, funny, smartly directed production performed with muscle and wit.” In the San Francisco Chronicle, Robert Hurwitt calls Shana Cooper’s production “a richly inventive, funny and at times provocative Shrew.” On his Theater Dogs blog, Chad Jones asserts that leads Erica Sullivan (Kate) and Slate Holmgren (Petruchio) “have red-hot chemistry from the very first, and they’re so good together you really do want them together.” And Cindy Warner writes on Examiner.com that “Shana Cooper’s shrewd direction of Taming of the Shrew at Cal Shakes brings inspiration, enlightenment, over-the-top joy and abandon… you want to see the show again before you even leave the theater.”
“[The] marriage of witty and warm shines throughout this production,” writes Karen D’Souza in the San Jose Mercury-News, who calls it ”a flashy season closer.” On CultureVulture.net, Suzanne Weiss wrote that “Shana Cooper’s exuberant production of the classic comedy… is as funny as they come; fast moving; a thoroughly enjoyable night of theater.” SFist.com raves that “Cooper’s direction shines through for its cleverness, comic timing, and a desire to make of this play an edgy romantic comedy.” And in the Contra Costa Times, Sally Hogarty declares that ““Cal Shakes’ Shrew no tame adaptation.”
More reviews to come, so watch this space! The Taming of the Shrew runs through Sunday, October 16 at the Bruns Amphitheater. Get your tickets now, before it sells out!
Comment » | 2011 Season, The Taming of the Shrew, Weekly News