Sights & Sounds is your weekly guide to the Bay Area arts scene. Playwright Kelli Kerslake Colaco told KALW’s Jen Chien about three fantastic arts events happening around the Bay this week.
- Angels In America — Berkeley Repertory thru 7/22
- Songs For No Reason — Russian Center of San Francisco on 4/20
- American Jornalero — 2000 Mandela Parkway, Oakland thru 5/6
Tony Kushner’s Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award-winning masterpiece arrives at Berkeley Rep in its entirety — directed by artistic director Tony Taccone in his 20th anniversary season. First staged 26 years ago, this fierce and astounding two-part drama is at once an epic exploration of American politics, gay identity, and mythology, and a personal story of love and loyalty. In today’s sociopolitical climate, Kushner’s universal message of compassion and inclusion makes Angels in America as timely as ever.
"For me, Tony Kushner's play, both of them, Perestroika and Millennium Approaches, are just outstanding in their journey of the identity of homosexuality and what it is in our culture - past, present, and future. I just think it's astounding we're approaching it again and it's still as valid as it ever was, if not more so."
San Francisco drag entertainer Donna Sachet started a yearly musical variety show in 1993 to call attention to the continued need for health resources for people with AIDS. This week she has a spring iteration of her holiday show called Songs For No Reason. The show will be a benefit for the Richmond/Ermet Aid Foundation, which raises funds for and awareness about AIDS service agencies, hunger programs and support services for homeless and underserved youth in the San Francisco Bay Area.
"There's nothing better than going out for a night of comedy. This is just drop-dead fun, in your face. In this day and age, it's nice. I like to go see a serious film but I also like to just go see something ... fun and flair and good times."
American Jornalero is in the middle of its West Cost premiere with Ubuntu Theater Project in Oakland. This vital new play follows six day laborers waiting for work on a street corner, and places the audience at the the center of contemporary dialogue on labor and immigration. American Jornalero is one of Ubuntu's site-specific shows — the play is performed in an empty lot on the corner of 20th Street and Mandela Parkway.
"I find what they work on very exciting. I love a fledgling indie theater company. Not only are they new, but they're really delivering on quality and exciting and innovative theater."
Kelli's new play You Are My Sunshine, based on Kelli’s own family's story of how her grandfather and great uncle were orphaned as children, is running at the Phoenix Theatre in San Francisco from 4/19-4/28.