Hey Bay Area, looking to go on a date and act all cultured at the same time? Here are my picks of the week.
When audiences leap to give a long standing ovation at the end of a show, you know word-of-mouth is going to spread fast.
As this was the case for both of these hot nights, buy your tickets now. You can thank me later.
Pick #1: Hundred Days, Z Space, Mission District, SF
Non-Cali folks, even if you can’t go see ’em live, you can check out the NYC-based-Bengsons here (and the embedded video below — a mere, weak shadow compared to the awesomeness of the show).
Normally, I dislike rock music. But Abigail Bengson is a sick singer who will blow your mind, and the Bengsons are a power artistic couple, and it is saying a lot that I thought this was an incredible show that made me forget my general, un-American dislike of rock music.
The narrative of a young, just-married couple trying to live out a full marriage in the last 100 days of the husband’s life runs its clear arc. Sure, you might get confused because you can’t parse all the fast-paced lyrics. Or you may be unsure which actor is playing which character (the main couple is played by 4 people). Mostly, it doesn’t matter because the storyline is simple and poignant, the music is rich, and the singers are emotive and powerful.
I don’t care how tough you are. You’re gonna cry when you watch this show.
By the way, have you BEEN to Z-Space? It’s a huge brick warehouse with great lighting and fancy schmancy bleachers, like your high school gym on Cosmopolitans and Moscow Mules.
Location: Z-Space, 450 Florida St. SF, 94110. Buy tickets here. Runs through April 9th.
Pick #2: The House that Will Not Stand, Berkeley Rep, Berkeley, CA
First, let’s overlook the fact that Marcus Gardley is a freaking genius brilliant writer who makes me feel I will never amount to anything in life. He is in his 30’s, like me. He is also from Oakland, which is near where I live (San Francisco).
This means that Marcus Gardley and I are basically the same person. Except I’m just a jackass, and he’s Marcus Gardley, the protege playwright.
On the surface, HTWNS is a simple tale of a woman trying to take care of her 3 daughters in the only way she knows how. Underneath, it raises questions of power and love like, “Can love exist when two people have different levels of power in a relationship?” and “How do you love yourself if nobody values you?”
Set in the antebellum south in a time where light-skinned black women could be sold as mistresses of white men, you get 2-for-1: a phenomenal character study + a history lesson.
Moreover, the play is fronted by two powerful actresses who will blow your mind.
Location: Berkeley Rep, 2025 Addison St. Berkeley, CA. Buy tickets here. Runs through March 23rd, so catch it fast![Photo credit from SF Gate.]
Finally, here’s a video of the Bengsons, for those who won’t make it to SF anytime soon.[vimeo http://vimeo.com/72435407]