Author: Donna Herman

Weightless

Written and performed by The Kilbanes, a self-styled “theatrical rock group” out of San Francisco, “Weightless” is part theater, part concert and completely electrifying.

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Evolution of a Sonero

Like salsa music, Flaco Navaja was born and raised in New York City, his roots in Puerto Rico, salsa’s too, with an added heavy dose of genetics from Cuba, other Latin American countries and Africa.  In Navaja’s autobiographical, one man with a band show, “Evolution of a Sonero,” we discover that they were destined for each other. Salsa, Navaja, The Bronx, Hip Hop, Janis Joplin, Charlie Chaplin, poetry slams and Viet Nam.  “Evolution of a Sonero” is a boiling, bubbling stew that puts out a tantalizing aroma that will have you dancing in your seat, laughing, groaning, humming, and clapping.

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Hear Word! Naija Women Talk True

“Hear Word! Naija Women Talk True” is a brutally honest look at the issues affecting Nigerian women across all levels of society that spares no punches. But it manages to be both incendiary and inspirational, joyous and heartbreaking yet in the end, triumphant. It is infused with the indomitable life force that gave rise to mankind – for good or ill. And while there’s no mistaking that Fafunwa is specifically writing about women in Nigeria, it is impossible for it not to reverberate with women all over the globe.

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Clueless

Amy Heckerling has wised up in revisiting “Clueless” for the stage in the 21st Century.  She’s pitched it for the audience that came of age when the original movie was released in 1995 – Gen X.  Well, it would be hard not to.  The movie is so entrenched in 1990’s teenage culture that to try and tear it away from it’s roots would be folly.  Besides, its original fans are all grown up and should have the bucks to spring for a theater ticket.  And the “Clueless” update includes a nod to today’s activist sentiments, without political overtones.  So that it ends on an upbeat, rousing moment that places it squarely in this day and age.  Smart.

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Fabulation, or the Re-education of Undine

When, and how, do the stories we tell about ourselves turn from fables to lies?  And can we find ourselves again amidst the constructs we’ve built up?  These are the questions Lynn Nottage asks in “Fabulation, or the Re-education of Undine,” currently being revived by Signature Theatre.  It’s no coincidence that the word “fabulation” is a term of art not only in psychology, but in literary criticism too. In medical or psychological usage, it describes the act of telling untruthful stories by a person who believes they are real or who cannot deal with real events.  In literary criticism, it denotes a style that is similar to or combines magical realism and post modernism.  It therefore combines realistic and unrealistic or fantasy elements in one work.  “Fabulation, or the Re-education of Undine” operates on both levels.

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