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Last Six Weeks of 2012 Promises to be Bay Area Theatre's Best Shows to Come

The Bay Area certainly has been a hotbed for original plays and musicals the past several years that eventually made its way to New York City's Broadway list of shows, including Green Day's American Idiot at Berkeley Rep and Memphis at Theatre Works. So as the last few weeks of the year close out 2012, it's time we take note of upcoming stage productions for some of the companies in the area. Here are a few of the recommendations of original productions and revivals with descriptions from the companies' own websites:

Shotgun Players:

WOYZECK from 11/29/2012-01/13/2013: A musical Shotgun can really sink its teeth into! Dark and demoralized, Woyzeck is a poor soldier suffering from the ravages of war. The hope of rekindled love with his sweetheart Marie, which sustained him in the trenches, begins to unravel as reality sets in upon his return. Profound and moving, the sweet tragedy of this piece makes for a cathartic and extraordinary night at the theater. Created by legends Robert Wilson and Tom Waits, Woyzeck is based on a true story that became a major event in the debate over capital punishment.

Aurora Theatre:

WILDER TIMES now playing through 12/09/2012: Aurora Theatre Company founding Artistic Director Barbara Oliver returns to the company for its 21st season to direct Wilder Times, a collection of one-act plays by Thornton Wilder. Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist and playwright, and former Berkeley resident, Thornton Wilder was an accomplished master of the short play form, specifically creating shorter works to be staged in spaces such as Aurora’s, with the audience seated on three sides of the action or in the round. Aurora has put together a program of four of Wilder’s greatest shorter works: Infancy, a comedy about fulfilling basic human needs in which babies act like grown-ups and grown-ups act like babies; Childhood, in which Wilder renders a child’s-eye view of the grown-up world; The Happy Journey to Trenton and Camden, which features the first appearance of Wilder’s narrating Stage Manager character; and The Long Christmas Dinner, perhaps Wilder’s most famous short work.

Berkeley Repertory Theatre:

THE WHITE SNAKE now playing through 12/23/2012:

Mary Zimmerman is mesmerizing. From Metamorphoses to The Arabian Nights, audiences have embraced her enchanting adaptations of epic tales. Now the Tony Award-winning director casts a spell with The White Snake, a classic romance from Chinese legend. As she falls for a charming young man, a snake spirit discovers what it means to be human. But a monk objects, and the bride must unveil her magical powers to save their love. With the alluring and hypnotic White Snake, Zimmerman unwraps another exquisite gift for the holidays.

Custom Made Theatre of San Francisco:

SUPERIOR DONUTS now playing through 12/08/2012: Tracy Letts, who won the 2008 Pulitzer Prize for his epic, family drama August: Osage County, and is the author of the hysterically brutal Killer Joe, has shifted gears with this entertaining comedy! In the Chicago neighborhood of Uptown, Arthur Przybyszewski runs the donut shop that has been in his family for sixty years. More content to spend the day smoking weed than running his business, Arthur hires a shop assistant, the young African-American Franco Wicks, who has both an unpublished novel and unpaid gambling debt. Their relationship is the crux of this heart-warming play, set in the heart of one of Chicago’s most diverse communities, which explores the challenges of embracing the past and the redemptive power of friendship. The world premiere of Superior Donuts was staged by the Steppenwolf Theatre Company in Chicago in 2008, and it premiered on Broadway in 2009.


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