The Thinking Man's Idiot

The unruly brain and bad habits of a writer, artist, and grilled cheese sandwich-enthusiast.

Tag Archives: Jake Rodriguez

Doin’ it for Themselves: ‘Top Girls’ at ACT

Caryl Churchill’s incendiary piece gets a gripping new production from the ACT.

Monday, 30 September, 2019 · 1 Comment

Off the Rim: ‘The Great Leap’ at the ACT

ACT’s latest is a so-so tale of American crass, Chinese refinement, and the universal language of competition.

Tuesday, 26 March, 2019 · Leave a comment

Belated Black History Month Double-Feature: ‘The Last Sermon of Sister Imani’ by TheatreF1rst and ‘Her Portmanteau’ at ACT

In which I catch up with two brand new Bay Area shows based exclusively around Black women.

Monday, 11 March, 2019 · 3 Comments

Sound and Fury Signifying Nothing: ‘Women Laughing Alone with Salad’ at Shotgun

Shotgun’s latest falls flat with a deafening roar of self-important, casually racist “satire”.

Saturday, 20 October, 2018 · 3 Comments

A Less-Perfect Union: ‘Sweat’ at the ACT

Awkward tonal shifts and a jagged narrative sink this winner of the 2015 Pulitzer.

Thursday, 4 October, 2018 · Leave a comment

The End can’t come Quick Enough: ‘Everybody’ West Coast Premiere at Cal Shakes

Not even an excellent cast and strong direction can breath life into the DOA script by Branden Jacobs-Jenkins.

Friday, 27 July, 2018 · 3 Comments

From ‘Nam to Rom-Com: ‘Vietgone’ at the ACT

You wouldn’t think “rom-com” and “Vietnam War drama” would go together, but the ACT pulls it off well.

Friday, 9 March, 2018 · 1 Comment

Stuff so Flat and Dull: ‘Hamlet’ at ACT

Bad decisions at every turn torpedo ACT’s production of Shakespeare’s most famous text.

Thursday, 28 September, 2017 · 2 Comments

Only a Fraction of an Idea: ‘An Octoroon’ at Berkeley Rep

Fine acting and great Berkeley Rep production values can’t save Branden Jabobs-Jenkins’ God-awful script.

Sunday, 2 July, 2017 · 3 Comments

No Satisfying Answers: ‘The Events’ at Shotgun

Racist direction combines with a confused (and hypocritical) script in pretty-looking production by Shotgun.

Saturday, 13 May, 2017 · 4 Comments