Union Square Spring Theatre Must See List
Whether you live in San Francisco or are planning a visit this spring, an evening at one of our excellent theatres to catch anything from a touring Broadway hit to a thoughtful and artistic new play is a must. Pair that with pre-theatre supper at one of our stellar restaurants, and post-play drinks and you’ve created a truly stimulating evening. This spring’s plays seem to explore the darker sides of humanity, but always with a sharp wit and round characters that will make for great conversational fodder.
Family Mystery and Nostalgic Overindulgence
American Conservatory Theater
Scorched (Feb. 16 – Mar. 1) – is a play about roots, specifically those of two siblings who receive mysterious letters after their mother’s death, leading them on a trip to the Middle East. Written by Lebanese-Canadian playwright Wajdi Mouawad the play weaves a tale of political activism and the impact of war and injustice on family ties. You’re sure to get wrapped up in the mystery of the siblings’ past, while discovering some truths about the human spirit and survival.
Maple and Vine (Mar. 29-April 22) – Ever wonder what it would be like to return to a simpler time, before computers, before smart phones and the infinite choices that bombard you in the modern world? Maple and Vine is about a couple who dive into a community of 1950’s re-enactors filled with red lipstick, cocktails and Tupperware parties. Of course, this comes with complications of its own and leads to the question of how much they’re willing to sacrifice for good old-fashioned happiness.
Back Alley Philosophy
The Aliens (Mar. 20 – May 5) - Shades of Beckett and Bukowski run through this comic, yet touching peek at teenage life in small town New England. The piece takes place in the alley behind a coffee shop, which doesn’t seem like an exciting location, but playwright Annie Baker’s wit and subtle development of character and plot create a thoughtful and poignant story.
Sex, Drugs & the Dark Side of Charity
SHN Curran Theatre
High – (March 21-2) - If you missed Kathleen Turner in Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf a couple years ago, now’s your chance to catch her live on stage, as she plays the very different role of a nun who attempts to help a 19 year old drug abuser fight addiction and start a new life. The struggle forces her to confront her faith and belief in miracles, while exploring the human condition and whether it’s possible to overcome a deeply troubled past.
The Caretaker - (Mar. 28-April 22)This revival of Harold Pinter’s first successful play begins as two brothers take in a homeless man and spirals into a disturbing and darkly comedic power struggle. Pinter’s fascination with the cruel side of human nature is skillfully portrayed by actor Jonathan Pryce in this chilling but comedic piece.
The Verge of Insanity
Lorraine Hansberry Theatre
Blue/Orange – (Feb. 8- Mar. 18) takes place in a psychiatric hospital in London where a borderline patient gets under the skin of a renowned psychiatrist and his protégé. The patient claims to be the son of an African dictator, an assertion that at first appears to be a delusion of grandeur and becomes more and more plausible as the play progresses. This provocative play by Joe Penhall will get you thinking about psychological ethics and the meaning of sanity.