Readers’ Choice 2021: Local Theater

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SAN FRANCISCO

American Conservatory Theater (A.C.T.)

(415) 749-2228 • act-sf.org

Theater-goers are jubilant over the return of live theater! And what a return the A.C.T. has planned — “Freestyle Love Supreme,” a show that predates “Hamilton” in Lin-Manuel Miranda’s creative history, with 15,000 tickets at $5 each! Future offerings include “Fefu and her Friends,” a very unconventional tale and unique staging in different rooms at the Strand Theater. Since 1965, the American Conservatory Theater has had a spotlight in the San Francisco theater scene. And it has once again achieved J. Readers’ Choice status.

 

EAST BAY

Berkeley Repertory Theatre

BERKELEY
(510) 647-2900 • berkeleyrep.org

Theater-goers in Berkeley have been welcomed back with “Wintertime,” a wacky comedy just perfect for the giddiness we are all feeling with the return of live theater in Berkeley after a 20-month hiatus, the first since its 1968 inception. Berkeley Rep has a full season planned this year, including comedian/storyteller Mike Birbiglia with “The Old Man and the Pool.” Berkeley Rep has a rich tradition of launching new works, many of which have gone on to Broadway, and often puts its own spin on classic dramas and musicals. It is a Tony Award winner for outstanding regional theater.

 

SOUTH BAY/PENINSULA

TheatreWorks Silicon Valley

PALO ALTO
(650) 463-1960  •  theatreworks.org

Once again, TheatreWorks graces the stage in the hearts and minds of J. readers as a returning Readers’ Choice winner. Their 51st season includes eight plays and kicks off with a new piece, “Lizard Boy, “ a musical offered both virtually and in person. Other shows include all-time favorites “It’s a Wonderful Life Radio Show,” Hershey Felder playing Chopin with audience participation, and “Sense and Sensibility.” Tim Bond, the still-new artistic director, didn’t have the normal first season a director usually has, with the challenges of Covid. He’ll have a chance to relax into the more traditional types of leadership with this live season.

 

NORTH BAY

Marin Theatre Company

MILL VALLEY
(415) 388-5200  •  marintheatre.org

Once again, Marin Theatre Company keeps up its popularity with J. readers. Opening the season with four great plays: “Georgiana and Kitty: Christmas at Pemerley,” “Pass Over,” “Hotter Than Egypt” and “The Sound Inside.” The Mill Valley-based Marin Theatre Company is now offering a flexible membership plan as a way to save regular theater-goers money and get more of the advantages of regular membership without the commitment.The theater has traditionally produced seasons of provocative new plays by American playwrights, including at least one world premiere annually. This year “Hotter Than Egypt” will receive its world premiere in a co-production with A.C.T. in Seattle. New rules, same great theater we love in Marin. The entire theater staff is vaccinated and requires all in-person attendees to be as well.

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