The crazed talent of Danny Scheie has found the perfect outlet in Cal Shakes' production of "The Comedy of Errors," running through July 20.
Shakespeare's popular comedy brings back "old Vaudeville days with its classic straight man/funny man style," says director Aaron Posner, who has added a rough and tumble physicality to the piece. "I'm delighted to be working with Danny Scheie again, and I know he and '500 Clowns'" Adrian Danzig are the perfect pair to take on this aggressively energetic piece."
For tickets, call 510-548-9666 or go to www.calshakes.org.
On a sad note, the Bay Area saw the closing of another theater company recently. San Jose Repertory Theatre announced June 11 that it would close its doors just one week before the opening of its "Landscape With Weapons."
In existence since 1980, the company was the first professional resident theater in the South Bay, This is a loss to all who treasure good theater, and eliminates a source of employment for the Bay Area's working actors and designers struggling to live in our beautiful but expensive area.
Meanwhile, San Jose Stage Company has agreed to honor San Jose Rep tickets for "Landscape With Weapons" to its current production of "Bonnie and Clyde." Go to www.thestage.org.
The theatrical slogan "the show must go on" is apt as one theater closes and another opens. Kenn Adams, former youth program director at the Willows Theater Company, brings his improve comedy group, Synergy Theater, to Lafayette, where they perform at Lamorinda Music's Big Room, 81 Lafayette Circle, at 8 p.m. Aug. 16.
"The audience creates the play," Adams explained. "Throughout the show, we get suggestions such as where the scene takes place, what characters enter, and what happens next.
The fun is watching the cast take all of those outrageous suggestions and wrap them up into a single, two-act play. It's really incredible to watch and it is always very funny."
Go to www.synergytheater.com.
You can help another theater's bottom line by eating at the Pavilion Bar and Grill, 1508 Kirker Pass Road, in Clayton. The restaurant will donate 20 percent of its receipts on June 30, to the Clayton Theatre Company. Just mention the theater company and enjoy a good meal.
Congratulations to Caroline Altman ... The local playwright and performer, whose "Whiskers" (a musical version of "The Velveteen Rabbit") has been a hit for years at the Lesher Center, just published the first in a series of children's books.
"Indy at the Opera" follows Altman's real-life "singing" cat on an adventure at the San Francisco Opera. Along the way, children learn about opera, theater and the difference between fantasy and reality.
I'm still trying to figure that last one out!
Other adventures that feature the arts are to follow, including "Dancing with the Jaguars of Tulum." Altman's father Joel Altman illustrates the books, which are available at local bookstores.
Can a chance meeting and a musical bond change two lives forever? Yes, according to the hauntingly beautiful musical "Once," playing through July 13, at the SHN Curran Theatre in San Francisco.
I fell in love with the 2007 movie of the same name, which featured the real life couple -- Glen Hansard, a struggling Dublin street musician, and Marketa Irglova, a young Czech mother who can't afford her own piano and plays at the local music store.
When she (referred to as "girl" in the play) hears "guy" play guitar, she falls in love with his songs and encourages him not to give up his music.
The two join their unique voices, borrow money for a CD and get the interest of a record producer. Palpable chemistry exists between the two but "girl" is married and obstacles abound.
For a special evening of theater, call 888-746-1799 or go to www.shsf.com.