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Lizard Boy @ TheatreWorks - Mantram - The Great Khan - SF International Arts Festival

(l to r) Kirsten "Kiki" deLohr Helland, William A. Williams, and Justin Huertas, star in “Lizard Boy,” the contemporary comic book-infused musical hit opening TheatreWorks Silicon Valley’s 51st season.
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This week on Open Air, KALW’s radio magazine for the Bay Area performing arts, guest host Angie Coiro talks with TheatreWorks’ artistic director Tim Bond and stage director Brandon Ivie about the new indie folk-rock musical Lizard Boy (see pic), opening this week at TheatreWorks Silicon Valley. Also, a conversation with Kathak artist/choreographer Charlotte Moraga and composer Alam Khan about Mantram, at ODC (Oct 15-17). Plus, we talk about The Great Khan at SF Playhouse (Oct 13-Nov 13); and the San Francisco International Arts Festival, outdoors at Fort Mason on October 23 and 24.

This week on Open Air, KALW’s radio magazine for the Bay Area performing arts, guest host Angie Coiro talks with TheatreWorks’ artistic director Tim Bond and stage director Brandon Ivie about the new indie folk-rock musical Lizard Boy (see pic), opening this week at TheatreWorks Silicon Valley. Also, a conversation with Kathak artist/choreographer Charlotte Moraga and composer Alam Khan about Mantram, at ODC (Oct 15-17). Plus, we talk about The Great Khan at SF Playhouse (Oct 13-Nov 13); and the San Francisco International Arts Festival, outdoors at Fort Mason on October 23 and 24.

TheatreWorks Silicon Valley launches its 51st season, and marks its return to in-person performances this week through October 31, with the new indie folk-rock musical Lizard Boy. This 95-minute musical, which originated at the Seattle Repertory Theatre in 2015, “blends comic books, Godzilla mythology, Spring Awakening, cello music, and a surprisingly sweet love story in an innovative, funny, and wildly entertaining way,” according to the San Diego Tribune.

For the show at TheatreWorks, the original cast members reprise their roles, with playwright/composer-lyricist Justin Huertas (starring as ‘Trevor’), Kirsten "Kiki" deLohr Helland, and William A. Williams; all three playing a myriad of instruments, from cello to guitar, piano, ukulele, and even kazoo.

From the Chitresh Das Institute, we talk with artistic director Charlotte Moraga, and with Sarode player and composer Alam Khan about their collaboration in Mantram, a new work in Kathak, October 15-17 at ODC Theater in San Francisco.

Mantram is a work that simultaneously celebrates the Kathak tradition and creative innovation, with music and choreography that are experimental but based in the Indian classical art vocabulary.

We talk about the world premiere of The Great Khan at SF Playhouse, October 13. Written by Michael Gene Sullivan, resident playwright of the SF Mime Troupe, this provocative and comedically brilliant new play shows two African American teenagers who are trying to figure out how to define themselves in a culture that insists on seeing them as forever dangerous. And then Genghis Khan shows up.

Plus, we talk with Andrew Wood, executive director of the San Francisco International Arts Festival, outdoors at Fort Mason on October 23- October 24, featuring live, in-person performances by 28 ensembles and companies in 24 separate concerts.

Joining the conversation is San Francisco-based jazz vocalist Sandy Cressman to talk about Homenagem Brasileira (Oct 24 at 2pm at Fort Mason), a concert featuring the diversity of Brazil’s musical traditions. From the Bossa Nova from Rio, to the Samba Jazz of São Paulo, to the Baião and Frevo from the Northeast, the show includes classics by the great composers and performers of Brazilian Jazz, as well as original music.

Open Air with guest host Angie Coiro, heard live on Thursday, October 7 at 1pm, to be archived at this very location until the Internet dies. Listen now or anytime…

Niels Swinkels is a freelance journalist, musicologist, sound engineer, and radio producer. Born and raised in the Netherlands, he studied English and Musicology at the University of Nijmegen. Before moving to San Francisco, he was the Arts Editor, and Senior Classical Music & Opera critic for Brabants Dagblad, a Dutch daily newspaper. In addition to producing KALW’s Open Air, a weekly radio magazine for the Bay Area Performing Arts, he is also a wine guy at Trader Joe’s Nob Hill in San Francisco...