The Thinking Man's Idiot

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

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

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 Stupidity Principle: ‘Heisenberg’ at ACT

Science has nothing to do with this poorly-written May-December rom-com at the ACT.

Thursday, 22 March, 2018 · Leave a comment

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

Like ‘Watch’-ing Paint Dry: ‘Watch on the Rhine’ at Berkeley Rep

The abundant flaws of Hellman’s script are made all the more apparent in Berkeley Rep’s production.

Thursday, 21 December, 2017 · Leave a comment

Far ‘Too Proud’ of Itself: ‘Ain’t Too Proud’ world premiere at Berkeley Rep

The sets are amazing and the songs are classics, but Dominique Morisseau’s truncated script shortchanges its subjects in this Berkeley Rep world premiere musical.

Wednesday, 20 September, 2017 · 3 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

This is Just a Tribute: ‘A Night with Janis Joplin’ at The ACT

ACT’s show is many things – fun, invigorating, a celebration of a beloved artist – but “theatre” isn’t one of them. Not exactly.

Friday, 16 June, 2017 · 5 Comments

‘Like’-minded: ‘As You Like It’ at Cal Shakes

The sexual politics of The Bard’s gender-bending comedy receive an uneven interpretation from Cal Shakes.

Thursday, 1 June, 2017 · Leave a comment

An Almost-Perfect Storm: ‘Monsoon Wedding’ world premiere at Berkeley Rep

Some head-scratching directorial choices are the only thing keeping this world premiere musical from being perfect.

Tuesday, 23 May, 2017 · 3 Comments