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Cool Theatre Things On The Horizon

August 4, 2009

August usually presents a bit of a lull in the local performing arts scene as companies ramp up for their Fall seasons. But the ramp up this year is far from quiet. Here are a few upcoming theatre happenings that I'm excited about:

1. Samuel Beckett's Happy Days at California Shakespeare Theater (Aug 15-Sep 6). Marsha Mason was scheduled to play Winnie in Jonathan Moscone's production. She suddenly dropped out halfway through rehearsals a couple of weeks ago citing "personal reasons." No matter. Patty Gallagher will doubtless do the role proud, and so will Joan Mankin, who'll be stepping in at select performances.

2. San Francisco Fringe Festival (Sep 9 - 20). Always a treat. You never know what you're going to get.

3. Green Day's American Idiot at Berkeley Repertory Theater (Sep 4 - Oct 11). A highly anticipated rock musical based on the band's best-selling 2004 album. The box office over on Addison Street probably resembles a mosh pit at this point.

4. Noel Coward's Brief Encounter at the American Conservatory Theater (Sep 16 - Oct 4). The vivacious Kneehigh Theatre Company from England brings its unusual retelling of Coward's classic to San Francisco. Can't wait.

5. Peter Sinn Nachtrieb's Boom at Marin Theatre Company (Nov 17 - Dec 6). OK, so I'm cheating. This production of an apocalyptic play about human reproduction at the end of time by a brilliant local playwright isn't happening until just before Christmas. But it's worth sticking in the date book anyway.

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