Introduction | Visual Art | Music | Stage | Literature | Classical | Film

TALK IT OUT: The Los Altos Stage Company presents 'Oslo,' about a husband-and-wife team of diplomatic negotiators. Richard Mayer

San Jose | thestage.org

Feb 5 - Mar 15
"Pop, six, squish, uh-uh, Cicero, Lipschitz.' Snap your fingers to the syncopated beat of "Cell Block Tango,' the opening number in Kander and Ebb's now-immortal musical. The choreography was Bob Fosse's. But after watching the FX TV series Fosse/Verdon last year, we've learned that the dancer Gwen Verdon was at his side developing the moves along with him. Monique Hafen Adams will step into the Roxie Hart role, the one that Renee Zellweger played in the movie from 2002. (JE)

San Jose | broadwaysanjose.com

The Bachelor Live on Stage
Feb 18, 7:30pm
Looking for love in all the wrong faces and places? When The Bachelor Live on Stage comes to town, you'll have the "opportunity to find love' locally. Rose ceremony included! Someone named Kendra Scott (I'm not going to Google her) is the national sponsor, which seems to mean she and the hosts will be deploying a hundred thousand or so marketing opportunities for themselves and the franchise. To confirm the performative aspect of this spectacle, my favorite line in the press release is, "all related characters and elements' are copyrighted by Warner Bros. Entertainment. (JE)

San Jose | cltc.org

Stage Kiss
Thru Feb 16
She and He are paramours. They're listed, neutrally, as such in the dramatis persona of Sarah Ruhl's play. After a long period of estrangement, they've both been cast in the same play: The Last Kiss, a costume melodrama that's deliberately overwritten. In the play within a play, She and He are also reunited lovers. And the mirroring of selves, past and present, fictional and real, multiplies. Ruhl, effortlessly holding all the strings, asks the question, What if you were required to kiss that lost love of yours, the one you fantasize about during a dull patch in your life and marriage? Would the spark be rekindled in the land of playacting and pretend? (JE)

Mar 12 - Apr 11
Kirsten Brandt directs the world premiere of her own play about a woman staking a claim in the video-gaming industry. Jerrie's adversaries are a collection of (male) trolls who threaten to derail her ambition. But she's hired her own team of professionals to help her fight back. (JE)

Los Altos | losaltosstage.org

Jan 23 - Feb 16
Remember the days when elected officials engaged in diplomacy to solve international crises between warring factions? J.T. Rogers' play takes us back to that age of innocence in 1993 when two diplomat(e)s, a husband and wife team, brokered a peace accord between Israel and the PLO. (JE)

Palo Alto | paplayers.org

A Doll's House, Part 2
Thru Feb 2
Lucas Hnath begins his play 15 years after Ibsen's ends (retrospectively Part 1). Nora returns to Torvald in this sequel. The playwright brings the unhappy wife—a revenant lost to her family—back to life, to show us what became of her. Money, status and reputation are all part of the plot. But the play's emotional life springs from a few broken hearts that never recovered from being abandoned. (JE)

Mountain View | thepear.org

Taking Steps
Thru Feb. 9
Alan Ayckbourn once declared that Taking Steps is the only true farce he's ever written. He also said that the production needs a traffic controller more than it needs a director. The action takes place in a Victorian house with three floors arranged to look like they're all on the same level. Prepare for real estate puns, doors slamming shut and a fast-paced parade of prancing legs punctuated by perilous pratfalls. (JE)

Saratoga | southbaymt.com

She Loves Me
Jan 25 - Feb 15
As one supporting character notes, Amalia and Georg are in love with each other: They just don't know it yet. The book, by Joe Masteroff, is a musical update of Pride and Prejudice. We watch Amalia mature, to have epiphanies through song. The audience believes her youth and inexperience when she sings, "Will He Like Me?' Later, we are also thrilled when she realizes that Georg is in love with her. What one quart of vanilla ice cream can do for a young woman's heart! (JE)

San Jose | tabardtheatre.org

A New Brain Thru
Jan 26
Next to Normal made a critically acclaimed musical out of one woman's bipolar disorder, so why not make one about a brain aneurysm? William Finn's musical is based on his own experience as a composer faced with a life-altering, or life-ending, medical condition. The character sings, with great optimism, "Hope and music keep us all alive.' (JE)

Mountain View | theatreworks.org

The Pianist of Willesden Lane
Thru Feb 16
Hershey Felder returns to TheatreWorks in 2020—but not as a performer. This time he's adapted Mona Golabek's book, The Children of Willesden Lane. In this biographical songspiel, with emphasis on the spiel, the Jewish pianist Golabek tells her mother's dramatic life story with the help of Beethoven and Bach. At the start of World War II, Golabek's mother fled Austria for England when she was a girl. (JE)

Redwood City | dragonproductions.net

The Nether
Thru Feb 9
Around the halfway point of Jennifer Haley's brisk 80-minute play, one of the characters recites a few lines from the Theodore Roethke poem "In a Dark Time': "Dark, dark my light, and darker my desire./ My soul, like some heat-maddened summer fly,/ Keeps buzzing at the sill. Which I is I?' The narrative hinges on the question "Which I is I?' and provides an unsettling answer to it. (JE)

San Jose | cmtsj.org/shrek

Shrek The Musical
Feb 28 - Mar 8
What began as an animated film starring Mike Meyers as the voice of a grumpy ogre with heart of gold has become a beloved musical familiar to audiences young and old. CMT's Mainstage troupe takes on this tale of prankster donkeys, swashbuckling cats and other fairy tale misfits. (MS)

San Jose | 3belowtheaters.com

The Fantasticks
Jan 30 - Feb 23
With music and lyrics by Tom Jones and a book by Harvey Schmidt, The Fantasticks holds the distinction of being the longest-running Broadway musical. Guggenheim Entertainment celebrates The Fantasticks' 60th anniversary with their upcoming production. (MS)

San Jose | sjmag.org

The Eve of Jackie
Feb 7, 8pm
The San Jose Multicultural Artists Guild/Tabia African-American Theatre Ensemble presents award-winning Broadway actor Chester Gregory as channels the iconic Jackie Wilson, a.k.a. Mr. Excitement, taking the audience back to Sep. 29, 1975. Featuring hits like "Lonely Teardrops,' "To Be Loved' and "Higher and Higher,' the show promises to be a page right out of rock & roll history. (MS)