Monday, August 9, 2010

When art meets theatre

Yesterday was the 7th Annual San Francisco Theatre Festival. This is becoming one of my favorite local events. It can be a bit overwhelming with so many stages/venues and so many things to choose from. One has to do a bit of research beforehand and figure out what to see in order to have some focus. I arrived about an hour before the plays I wanted to see were scheduled. I knew if I wandered around I'd find a few more things.

For me the day's gem was from a work in progress called Paris Portraits performed by Laura Sheppard from the Mechanic's Institute. Currently it's a one woman show where the author Harriet L. Levy is recalling her experiences in Paris in 1907 with Alice B. Toklas. Levy and Toklas where right in the middle of the Paris art world, meeting Matisse, Picasso, etc. I immediately found myself pulled right into the story. And this was no easy task, it was a crowded space with a lot of background noise on the first floor of SPUR. The modern space also wasn't the best setting. But no matter. I sat their imaging this performance done for select audiences of about 20 in smart Victorian living rooms around San Francisco. I also wanted to be sitting on a divan in the Legion of Honor listening to this story. I think the next time I want to be wearing a period costume.

The festival ended for me catching the tail end of the Thrillpeddler's Pearls Over Shanghai. That was in the Forum space at Yerba Buena. I have seen the show twice and I must say it never sounded better. The acoustics in that space are perfect. I wish I could see the whole show there.

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