Bay Area Plays Notebook

James Dodd (Mark Anderson Phillips) and Sarah Goodwin (Rebecca Dines) fight to maintain their strained relationship in “Time Stands Still” at TheatreWorks in Mountain View. (Photo by Tracy Martin)

News and nuggets for the weekend of August 24th – 26th

OPENINGS – Two south bay openings that open within a week of each other are focusing on the effects of crippling current events, the war and 9/11. The Tony Award nominated “Time Stands Still,” written by Pulitzer Prize winner Donald Margulies, has its opening night on Saturday at TheatreWorks in Mountain View. The play follows the story of photo journalist Sarah (Rebecca Dines) and her reporter boyfriend James (Mark Anderson Phillips) as they try their best to adjust to a normal life in New York after returning from an emotionally harrowing stint covering the war in Iraq. Through Sept. 16th at the Mountain View Center for Performing Arts. For tickets, call (650) 463-1960.

Michelle Krusiec and Alex Moggridge star in the West Coast premiere of David Henry Hwang’s “Chinglish,” through Oct. 7th at Berkeley Repertory Theatre. (Photo by

San Jose Repertory Theatre opens “The Death of the Novel,” during the first week of September, which kicks off their 2012-2013 season, artistic director Rick Lombardo’s fourth with the company. Written by Jonathan Mark Feldman (Swing Kids) and directed by Lombardo, the show also has some star power, featuring Vincent Kartheiser, who plays the polarizing Pete Campbell on “Mad Men.” The story follows Sebastian as he navigates the murky waters of his mental state in a post 9/11 world. Now suffering from agoraphobia, he meets a young, beautiful Saudi Arabian woman which further throws his world in a tailspin. For tickets, call (408) 367-7255 or visit

Berkeley Rep opens “Chinglish,” written by David Henry Hwang, on Aug. 29th, and is currently in previews. The story of an American businessman who travels to China looking to start a new venture for his family’s sign-making business; However, he runs into a variety of challenges in dealing with the customs and language of China. The comedy received raves in both Chicago and on Broadway, winning two of Chicago’s Joseph Jefferson (Jeff) awards. For tickets, call (510) 647-2949 or visit

CLOSINGS – We have arrived at the final weekend for three popular Bay Area shows: “Chicago,” “Les Miserables,” “The Mikado” and “Cavalia.”

“Chicago” has been playing to large houses in the little theatre on South Second Street, is finally at the end of their run. The story all about the glitz and glory of the merry murderesses Roxie Hart and Velma Kelly, the show features an unforgettable score by John Kander and Fred Ebb. Songs such as “All That Jazz,” “Mr. Cellophane” and “Roxie,” are numbers that should definitely be experienced live. For tickets, contact the City Lights Box Office at (408) 295-4200.

The final weekend of the great “Les Miserables,” and the horse galloping extravaganza “Cavalia” has arrived, with both shows closing this Sunday, the 26th. For information on tickets and a review of “Les Miserables,” click here.  And ending their tour in Livermore is Lamplighters “The Mikado.”

ALVARADO UPDATE – There is good news to report on Elisa Marina Alvarado, the artistic director of San Jose’s Teatro Vision who suffered a stroke while vacationing in New Mexico. According to the Teatro’s board president Peter Allen in a statement, Alvarado has been removed from the intensive care unit in New Mexico and has been cleared to return to San Jose to continue her rehabilitation as of a week ago Thursday. Allen also stated that a bank account has been established to help with the costs of medical bills. For those wishing to donate, please make a donation to the following:

Santa Clara County Federal Credit Union
852 North 1st Street
San Jose, CA 95112
Attn: Donation for Elisa M. Alvarado

USHERS NEEDED – South Bay Musical Theatre’s newest production of Cole Porter’s “Anything Goes” is in need of ushers for the upcoming run. The show runs from Sept. 15th to Oct. 6th. Any usher who is available to commit to three performances will receive a complimentary ticket for any performance except opening night. Even if someone is available for only one night, potential ushers are still needed. If interested, please contact Lobby Staff Coordinator Christin Heintz at For information on the show and tickets,

FAREWELL TO A WONDERFUL CRITIC – Those of us who are members of the San Francisco Bay Area Theatre Critics Circle were saddened this past week to learn of the passing of our colleague Albert Goodwyn. I will not pretend to know Albert well, but my interactions were always cordial. And the day he passed, I spent some time looking at his work, and it was most certainly prolific. He has covered a ton of shows over the years on multiple websites, and his loss will surely be felt by the theatres where he dedicated much of his time. Rest-in-peace Mr. Goodwyn, my deepest condolences to his wife and family.

Got any items to be considered for the weekly notebook? Send an email to for review.

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