About Ana Pines

Founder/Writer/Photographer/Entrepreneur. Often the only queer person of color at media events. You can't miss me! Want a different perspective, feel free to reach out and I'll be there.

Men on Boats at A.C.T.’s Strand Theater

MOB_058“Men on Boats” tells the story of the 1869 expedition by one-armed ex-soldier John Wesley Powell. The playwright, Jaclyn Backhaus, was inspired by Powell’s published journals. The historic expedition to explore the lower reaches of the Colorado River, via the gorges of the Grand Canyon was the first sanctioned by the U.S. government, one of many tongue in cheek facts pointed out throughout the play. These aren’t unexplored waters, but those previous expeditions, weren’t government sanctioned ones! 

MOB_093_ePowell, a Civil War veteran, assembles ten men for the journey with varying skills and temperament. Represented by a cast of ten local racially diverse female identifying, trans-identifying, gender-fluid and/or non-gender conforming actors. Some may ponder on why a play called, “Men On Boat’s” included no male identifying actors while others, are laughing at the ridiculousness of the hyper masculinity of it all and thinking, that could only have been portrayed this way. There is chest bumping, exaggerated cheers over found whiskey, and a blind following of their leader.

There are also moments of bluntness about the countries past in which Native Americans and their knowledge of their land is dismissed unless the “brave” explorers needed help and/or food. One of the quirkier moments brought to stage involves the men naming areas after themselves. How about we name that after you moments followed by writing it down to make it official.

In the end, Powell and his crew of 5, 4 drop out early on, find the camp they were directed to. They are welcomed by one of the dwellers with a hysterical speech about MOB_020_ePowell’s future place in history. As for the other crew members, they went down in history nameless, and probably died in undesirable circumstances. We’ll never know what happened to them but, who cared, not the historians. Regardless, they stuck it out and helped their one armed leader survive and have his place in history, because that’s what men do, tough it out. Ahhh,, bromance. 

All the actors brought their A game in roles that required a macho bravado they would almost never get to play in other shows. They had good comedic timing, movements and great chemistry with one another. That and the minimalist set makes for an enjoyable theater experience full of laughs. 


WHERE:

A.C.T.’s Strand Theater (1127 Market St., San Francisco)

WHEN:

October 17–December 16, 2018

PERFORMANCE SCHEDULE:

Tuesdays–Saturdays at 7:30 p.m.

Wednesdays and Saturdays at 2 p.m.

Sundays at 2 p.m.

TICKETS:

$15–$110

INFO:

415-749-2228 | act-sf.org/boats

‘Head Over Heels’ Has Got the Beat!

Taylor Iman Jones and company (Joan Marcus)Bay Area the Go-Go’s fans won’t want to miss the new musical ‘Head Over Heels’ playing until May 6 at San Francisco’s Curran Theatre. The show comes to the Bay stage with an impressive team including Tony Award winner Michael Mayer (Hedwig and the Angry InchSpring Awakening) as director. After its short run in San Francisco it will head to New York for its Broadway debut at the Hudson Theatre.

The musical is based on a long-form poem/play by Sir Philip Sidney called ‘The Arcadia’. The story revolves around a royal family in which an oracle has predicted a prophecy of doom. The patriarch of the family tries to prevent these by re-locating the family. The audience is then taken on a campy journey full of sexual innuendos and gender non-conformity. The drama unfolds with mistaken identities, jealous lovers, sexual awakenings, scandal and self-discovery. Interwoven throughout are the iconic hit songs “We Got the Beat,” “Get Up and Go,” “Cool Jerk,” “Vacation,” “Our Lips Are Sealed,” “Lust to Love,” “Head Over Heels” and Belinda Carlisle’s solo hits “Mad About You” and “Heaven is a Place on Earth.”

Peppermint as Pythio - (Joan Marcus)Not only does the musical feature tunes from one of the most successful all-female rock bands but it also includes the debut of Peppermint (“RuPaul’s Drag Race”), set to become the first transgender woman to perform in a principle role on Broadway. Peppermint plays the character of Pythio who’s preferred pronoun is “they”. It was great to see a non-binary role played by someone from the LGBT community.

There are plenty of toe tapping moments as well as those that lead to mini-burst of laughter. It’s a great show for a light –hearted night out on the town but can’t promise that it will be everyone’s cup of tea. The references to pop-culture and the innuendos are what make the show enjoyable and may go over the heads of some.

headoverheelsWhen: Catch Head Over Heels until May 6.
Where: Curran Theater, 445 Geary St., San Francisco
Running time: 2 hours 40 minutes, one intermission
Tickets: $29–$175

Season subscriptions are also available. Packages range from $116–$744, SFCURRAN.com or calling 415-358-1220.
headoverheelsthemusical.com  


 

Cirque Du Soleil Brings Its First Ice Show, CRYSTAL, to San Jose’s SAP Center

CRYSTAL—Cirque du Soleil’s 42nd production and first-ever experience on ice—has arrived in San Jose’s SAP Center until April 1, 2018.

COURTSHIPIn typical Cirque fashion, the show is innovative, visually stunning, funny, and full of imaginative scenarios that only a Cirque show can take you through. Artists and skaters perform acrobatics on the ice and in the air, seamlessly combining multiple disciplines to take the audience into the dream world conjured up by the show’s main character, Crystal (Nobahar Dadui).

Crystal finds herself feeling the weight of the mundane life and dreaming of breaking away, “I don’t belong here, I want to live in a book…”. She tells herself, “skate away from them all, find the one inside”, and then begins a magical world of synchronized skating, freestyle, figure, and extreme skating combined with swinging trapeze, aerial straps and hand to hand acts. She goes through a self-reflection that leads her to a feeling of freedom and empowerment. The acrobats push their limits and fly through the air demonstrating a weightlessness one can only feel when open to taking risks.

01_TEMPETE-0265The show has something for everyone. There are little amusements like fake falls to make people laugh, incredible stunts for the thrill seekers, and the colorful and musical representations for the artists and dreamers. In the end Crystal breaks through the ice and resurfaces, “everythng feels real until you realize you’re dreaming.”

Another key feature of Cirque shows is their dedication to warming up the audience. Prior to show time they take a more creative approach to getting your attention than just blinking the house lights on and off. For Crystal, this warm up included snow ball fights on stage and within the audience. This is what makes Cirque enjoyable by many. Their creative approach caters to their specific audience, in this production it’s inclusive to all ages and tastes.

13_BALLROOM-3587Want to get your first choice at seats at future shows? Sign Up for a complimentary membership. Cirque Club members receive advance access to the best seats, deals and discounts for tickets, promotions with their partners and a chance to experience never before seen exclusive Cirque du Soleil content.

For more information, visit: www.cirquedusoleil.com/crystal
 

Update: Cirque has done it again, all shows at the San Jose location are sold out. 

 

CRYSTAL – A Breakthrough Ice Experience | Cirque du Soleil


 

Vietgone at A.C.T.’s Strand Theater – A Story of Love and Loss

The American Conservatory Theater is presenting Qui Nguyen’s “Vietgone,” at the Strand Theater until April 22. The story revolves around how two Vietnamese refugees fall in love, one is a fighter pilot, Quang (James Seol) and the other a U.S. Embassy worker, Tong (Jenelle Chu). In the beginning, Nguyen slyly alludes to the characters being based on his parents, “Any resemblance to real persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental. That especially goes for any person or persons who could be related to the playwright. Specifically, his parents. Who this play is absolutely not about”.

VTG_215Tong is given the opportunity to escape the violence and politics caused by the Vietnam War via her job at the embassy, she’s allowed to take one other person with her. She chooses her mother (Cindy Im), forcing her to leave her brother behind. Quang has two children and a wife he’s barely seen as his pilot duty calls, but he intends to be with them as soon as he can. Unfortunately, his plane is discarded and they force him to stay in the U.S. Tong and him both end up at the same refugee camp and that’s where the emotional rollercoaster begins.

The story is told through a mix of humor, intermittent musical set changes, and rap numbers. The dialogue is also sprinkled with a little bit of “shade” towards racist tropes and the fake “woke”. No matter what one believes about a situation or history, there’s nothing more important than having the perspective of a person who’s directly affected by it.  Our parents, and how they tell their story becomes our history.

VTG_171Quang first meets Tongs mother who relentlessly flirts with him and lies about her age, one of the more comedic parts of the show. They establish a friendly relationship and while looking for her, Quang meets Tong. Tong likes to pretend she’s unaffected by emotions and lives as detached as possible, and immediately has a fling with Quang. Her mother walks in conveniently after they’re done and Quang is gone in a flash. And that’s how their love story begins.

VTG_014However, Quang is on a mission to go back to his family in Vietnam and exposes this truth right when Tong is starting to have feelings for him. The story then takes us to the motorcycle adventures of Quang and his friend Nhan (Stephen Hu) on their way to California to catch a flight back “home”. Nhan questions that belief, is it still home after all it’s been through, all that’s been lost? After all they’ve been through, and all they’ve lost?

Although, the story centers around commonalties that we share as humans like love and friendship, the main crux of the story is to not assume that you know what someone feels about their history and experience. This is pointed out when Quang and Nhan meet a couple of hippies on the road and when Quang is being questioned by his son.  

VTG_047People don’t choose to be in a country torn by war. It happens to them not because of them. This harsh reality is one people don’t seem to quite understand. Two people fall in love in this story but two people also have great losses in this story. They were torn apart from their families, their home, everything they’ve ever known.

In situations like this, people are left behind and the only way one can move forward is by accepting the choices that one was able to make regardless of how hard they were, and the ones forced upon you. Through humor, Nguyen explores romance, family, tragedy, regret, abandonment, guilt, and pain. Vietnam was not a “mistake,” Quang tells his son, it is a country. Catch it while you can as this is not a perspective you’ll read in your history books.  

Tickets and Info: 

A.C.T.’s Strand Theater (1127 Market St., San Francisco)
$25–$90

415.749.2228 | act-sf.org
Tuesdays–Saturdays at 7:30 p.m. Wednesdays and Saturdays at 2 p.m.

Sundays at 2 p.m.
*Ticket prices are subject to change without notice


 

 

 

 

 

Bamboozled – Kicks off Central Works 2018 Season

Central Works opening production of its 2018 season, Bamboozled by award-winning playwright Patricia Milton, has been extended through March 25th (originally scheduled to close March 18). Milton is a Resident Playwright for Central Works and a long-term member of the Central Works Writers Workshop. Bamboozled is Central Works 58th world premiere.

Jeunée Simon as Abby

Jeunée Simon as Abby

Bamboozled tells the story of Abby (Jeunée Simon), a black appraiser from Los Angeles who’s touring with the show “Antiques Roadtrip.” While traveling in the south – Shelby County, Tennessee, she becomes involved with a man who’s Aunt, Opal Anne (Susan Jackson), accuses her of defrauding the family by appraising her family heirlooms (Confederate artifacts) at 60,000 and then selling them for a million to a museum.

Opal Anne, manages Civil War reenactments and sees the Confederacy and her family’s involvement as a positive legacy. She justifies her family history of slave ownership by claiming they were treated nicely and were simply “field hands” who were provided with food and clothing. In her mind, they were the ones that suffered during the war and are being attacked in current times.

Abby is looking to trace her roots and ends up meeting Savannah (Chelsea Bearce) at an archive library. When Savannah is made aware of Abby’s lawsuit she refers her to her place of work where she ends up with Rochelle (Stacy Ross) as her lawyer. Savannah does minimal tasks for Rochelle due to her being barred after being a target of racism at a nightclub that Rochelle represented her and her partner in.

Stacy Ross as Rochelle & Chelsea Bearce as Savannah

Stacy Ross as Rochelle &
Chelsea Bearce as Savannah

Rochelle is interested in gaining a public personae a la Gloria Allred and makes excuses for the negative results of her approach to Savannah’s case. Rochelle faces prejudices of her own as a lesbian but it was nice to see the fact pointed out that white gay women may face prejudice but it’s not the same prejudice that a person of color faces, even worse for gay women of color, you can’t take off or cover up your skin. For instance, there’s a protest outside by white supremacists and it would be a risk for Abby to get to her car however, Rochelle can get it for her without incident.

Another topic not often touched upon is how black women from different regions deal with racism. The two black characters in the play have different views of what is and isn’t important. Abby believes historical items should be preserved and Savannah thinks they should be taken to the trash and forgotten. Savannah has less expectations of white people than Abby seems to. There’s several microaggressions realistically infused into the show and Abby’s reaction is one of shock but Savannah’s reaction is one of no surprise at all. 

Susan Jackson as Opal Anne

Susan Jackson as Opal Anne

There are many things touched upon on this show in addition to racial bigotry in the United States, the legacy of slavery, and prejudice against gay women. There’s a moral component that touches upon self-interest and how each person rights a wrong. “Most of my plays deal with what we value, and what it costs us,” says playwright Milton. “The premise of Bamboozled is simple: we live in a country haunted by slavery and the Civil War. The nation emerged from conflict burdened with trauma and resentments. We have, in the generations since, continued to sustain unjust systems directly traceable to the institution of slavery. I wanted to write a play that challenged stereotypes we hold of the South, North, and West. I wanted to write a play about Southern women that didn’t erase women of color. I wanted to write a play that might start a conversation about our nation’s systemic economic injustice, stemming from our cotton slavery past.”

The cast was great but Chelsea Bearce and Stacy Ross really made the show. Their characters were also fleshed out more than the others as we learned about their past, their struggles, their various viewpoints and their sense of humor. The play is a perfect conversation piece about where we are today. It’s funny without devaluing the countries current truth, racism is alive and kicking, not in the past. Don’t miss it!

 

BAMBOOZLED

A new comedy about family valuables

written by Patricia Milton and directed by Gary Graves

Feb 17 – Mar 25  EXTENDED Central Works opening production of its 2018 season

(originally scheduled to close March 18).

At: The Berkeley City Club, 2315 Durant Avenue, Berkeley.

Performances: Thurs, Fri & Sat at 8 pm, Sun at 5 pm

Ticket prices: $30-$35 online at centralworks.org, $35–$15 sliding scale at the door.

Previews and Thursdays: available seats are pay-what-you-can at the door.

Tickets & info:  510.558.1381 or centralworks.org


 

Ragtime – The Berkeley Playhouse

The Berkeley Playhouse has brought one of the most acclaimed American musicals of the last twenty years to their stage, Ragtime, based on the celebrated novel by E. L. Doctorow. The story includes a multitude of perspectives all looking for the same thing, the American dream. America is changing at the turn of the 20th century and many are fearful of their privilege being diminished. Unwelcoming to Immigrants and/or trying to take advantage of them and continued racism and violence towards African-Americans. You’d think the story was based on today.

BP's_Ragtime_2We’re presented with three evolving stories on the East Coast that interconnect in time, although it ends in song and dance one story still ends somberly.  We meet an affluent white family led by “Mother” (Mindy Lym)  from suburban New Rochelle, New York; an African American musician, Coalhouse Walker Jr. (Dave J. Abrams) part of the Renaissance in Harlem; and Jewish immigrants, Tateh (Mischa Stephens) and his daughter (Molly Graham) who initially start out in the tenements of Manhattan’s Lower East Side.

BP's_Ragtime_3Mother (her character has no name) in New Rochelle begins to understand a little bit of her privilege after finding an abandoned baby. She finds the mom, Sarah (Marissa Rudd), who’s about to be imprisoned and promises to take responsibility for her and her child. Sarah ends up being the love of Coalhouse Walker Jr. and he desperately tries to convince her to come back to him each week. We never find out what happened between them prior. Tateh finds a new way to tell stories and ends up becoming successful. He eventually ends up meeting Mother after her family ends up in Atlantic City, New Jersey due to racist tensions at her New Rochelle home. They end up being the only two who move towards the American dream of infinite possibilities. 

BP's_Ragtime_4Interwoven into the story is the innocence of the children. We see the young boy (Elijah Cooper) observing the adults but not understanding their issues, he’s still open and honest with his observations. It’s interesting to think about where adults lose that innocence. Adults often admire it in young people as if they had not been that young once. When and where is that acceptance lost?

The Berkeley Playhouse does a great job bringing this to the small stage. We continue to be impressed by their casting, lighting, sound and show choices. They are inclusive, timely, and well executed. 

Ragtime boasts Tony Award-winning music and lyrics by the Broadway powerhouse duo, Stephen Flaherty and Lynn Ahrens(Once on This Island, Anastasia, Seussical), book by four-time Tony Award-winner Terrence McNally (The Full Monty, Love! Valour! Compassion!, Master Class).

Details: 

February 16 – March 18
Book by Terrence McNally
Music by Stephen Flaherty
Lyrics by Lynn Ahrens
Based on the novel Ragtime by E.L. Doctorow
Director William Hodgson
Music Director Daniel Feyer
Choreographer Alex Rodriguez

Get Tickets


 

Just Between Us – Book Review

Just Between Us by Rebecca Drake tells the story of four friends, Alison Riordan, Julie Phelps, Sarah Walker, and Heather Lysenko. They live in the town of Sewickley in Pittsburg, Pa. and seem to have stable lives where their basic needs are more than just met. They have nice houses, cars, good schools, and friendship.

During school days they get together at a small cafe called Crazy Mocha to catch up with each other after dropping their kids off. Their lives change from simple conversations to a whirlwind of terrible choices after Alison spots a bruise on Heather’s wrist while handing her a cup of coffee. TFinal Cover. Just Between Ushis one incident unravels a mountain of uncomfortable truths testing their friendship and confronting their own troubled pasts. It also leads to a deadly night that all enabled in small ways.

Sarah is a former lawyer who is now a stay at home mom. She struggles with this choice from time to time, one of what could’ve been. Julie is a top realtor and often the decisive one. Heather is married to a top plastic surgeon and as the others like to point out often, is beautiful especially in comparison to themselves. She comes from humble beginnings, doesn’t have any viable skills but is continuously envied because of her looks. She also had a stint as a model during her younger years that’s often referenced. Alison is the last mom to join the group and can’t believe she has them as friends once accepted. She goes through a bunch of “what if I hadn’t” scenarios in her head as if she can’t believe her life is hers.

The story is told from each characters perspective which at times is a bit confusing as the voices were often undistinguishable. Luckily, the chapters are named after the characters. Their distinct personalities only show when they interact with each other but when talking about their everyday lives they sometimes dwell on things that don’t necessarily move the plot forward or affects them personally. It does display how concern over another person can creep up into your daily routine, it just gets to the point of fanatical in certain parts. Sadly, the concern for Heather is greater than the concern the others have for each other. For instance, Heather is treated as fragile which gets the friends to a “we must help her, even if she rejects us” motto. Yet, Sarah’s character has a drinking problem that seems to be met with anger more than compassion. Some of their “secrets” seem like open secrets that others just didn’t notice.     

The book is a good read but not consistent in its intensity. There are parts that are page turners and parts that you might want to fast forward through. However, the intense parts are enough to make you want to finish the book. If you take a break or two you will inevitably want to go back to close the loopholes thrown in here and there especially the one at the end. Skipping to the last chapter won’t suffice.   

It may get you thinking about your own life and personal relationships. How far would you go to help a friend? How often do you believe the gaps you fill in other people’s stories without knowing the whole truth? How does this change your everyday decisions and judgments? How blindly do you trust your friends and how much of yourself do you reveal? As each friend gets to know another’s secret it’s met with “why didn’t I know that” shock, even though they themselves have a secret too. People often expect those around them to be what they think they are. It’s a good casual read and would be an interesting book club choice among friends who believe they’re as close as the characters believe themselves to be.  

About the Author

Photo: Joseph Mertz

Photo: Joseph Mertz

 

Rebecca Drake is the author of the novels Don’t Be Afraid, The Next Killing, The Dead Place, which was an IMBA bestseller, and Only Ever You, as well as the short story “Loaded,” which was featured in Pittsburgh Noir. A graduate of Penn State University and former journalist, she is currently an instructor in Seton Hill University’s Writing Popular Fiction M.F.A. program. Rebecca lives in Pittsburgh, PA, with her husband and two children.

 

 


 

A Wrinkle in Time – Behind the Scenes

One of this year’s most anticipated movies opens nationwide on March 9, “A Wrinkle in Time”. Disney debuted this behind-the-scenes look during TV One’s broadcast of the 49th Annual NAACP Image Awards. 

This epic adventure directed by Ava DuVernay, is based on Madeleine L’Engle’s classic book of the same name, “A Wrinkle in Time”, which takes audiences across dimensions of time and space, examining the nature of darkness versus light and, ultimately, the triumph of love. Through one girl’s transformative journey led by three celestial guides, we discover that strength comes from embracing one’s individuality and that the best way to triumph over fear is to travel by one’s own light.

Directed by Ava DuVernay from a screenplay by Jennifer Lee based upon the beloved novel by Madeleine L’Engle, “A Wrinkle in Time” stars: Oprah Winfrey, Reese Witherspoon, Mindy Kaling, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Michael Peňa, Storm Reid, Levi Miller and Deric McCabe with Zach Galifianakis and Chris Pine.

Wrinkle in Time

 

The 59TH ANNUAL WHITE ELEPHANT SALE IS HERE!

White Elephant SaleIt’s that time of year again! The 59th annual White Elephant Sale in Northern California returns to Oakland March 3 and 4, 2018. It will feature 19 departments in a 96,000 Square Foot Warehouse. Items include, furniture, artwork, household goods and china, sporting gear, fine jewelry, collectibles, tools, music, books, vintage and contemporary clothing.

A preview sale will take place on Sunday, January 28 from 10 am to 4 pm. The event is organized and presented by the Oakland Museum Women’s Board and benefits the Oakland Museum of California. For the past three years, the Sale has raised over $2 Million. The event is made possible by donations from the public and is run by more than 1,000 volunteers.

Antiquers and bargain hunters often look forward to this event all year. It’s not uncommon to see rented trucks outside the door. You’ll want to wear comfortable shoes and arrive early. You can easily spend all day there looking for treasures for your home.

There will be a complimentary shuttle service from the Fruitvale BART to the WES warehouse provided for the January 28 Preview Sale and on the March 3 and 4 White Elephant Sale days.

Preview Sale tickets are $15 in advance at the OMCA Store, $16 online through the WES website, and $20 at the door. Tickets can be purchased in advance starting December 13. More information on how to purchase tickets can be found at WhiteElephantSale.org. Children under 12 are admitted free to the Preview Sale but must be accompanied by an adult at all times.

Admission is free for the main event on March 3 and 4.

DONATION INFORMATION

Donations of gently used good quality items are accepted year-round. For free van pickup call 510-839-5919. Visit WhiteElephantSale.org for donation information, including on which days drop-off donations are accepted at the warehouse at 333 Lancaster Street in Oakland, and a list of items that cannot be accepted.

ABOUT THE OAKLAND MUSEUM WOMEN’S BOARD

The sole purpose of the Oakland Museum Women’s Board (OMWB), a dedicated group with 114 year-round members, has been to raise money to support the Oakland Museum of California acquisitions, exhibitions, educational programs, capital improvements, and more. Since 1959, the OMWB has contributed over $22 million to the Museum. With the help of a thousand dedicated volunteers, they work year-round to organize and present the White Elephant Sale held annually during the first weekend in March which attracts shoppers from the Bay Area and beyond.

ABOUT THE OAKLAND MUSEUM OF CALIFORNIA

The Oakland Museum of California (OMCA) brings together collections of art, history and natural science under one roof to tell the extraordinary stories of California and its people. OMCA’s groundbreaking exhibits tell the many stories that comprise California with many voices, often drawing on first-person accounts by people who have shaped California’s cultural heritage. Visitors are invited to actively participate in the Museum as they learn about the natural, artistic and social forces that affect the state and investigate their own role in both its history and its future. With more than 1.9 million objects, OMCA is a leading cultural institution of the Bay Area and a resource for the research and understanding of California’s dynamic cultural and environmental heritage. 

Strange Ladies

Group-ReneeR-e1508179473659Strange Ladies written by Susan Sobeloff and Directed by Jan Zvaifler couldn’t be more timely. As old issues are being brought to the forefront by the current administration, the play is a good reminder of how we’ve (women) have always been fighting for basic rights as human beings. Even though we’re half the world’s population!

The play takes us back to a group of Suffragists fighting for the right to vote in 1917. They are the third generation of women working to get the vote. Each group of women was quieted. However, this group changed all that when they started picketing the White House after President Wilson dismissed them, an action that had never been attempted before. Most of the women are arrested and sent to Occoquan Workhouse Prison. They are forced to choose between their families and freedom. 2017 marks the 100th anniversary of their imprisonment.

The goal of each woman is the same, get the vote, but what inspires them varies. Rose (Gwen Loeb) wants to fight for labor unions. Vida’s (Radhika Rao) sister passed away while involved in the movement and is convinced to continue in honor of her by the other ladies. Lucy (Regina Morones) is looking towards the future and what kind of world she wants for her children. Harriet (Millissa Carey) bows out of the movement after War World I starts. She claims that they are adding stress to the President’s plate and loyalty to him is more important than loyalty to themselves and their rights. One character points out the hypocrisy of her point; supporting something they had no say in voting for.

Temptation-e1508180415532A story often not told is that of Mary (Nicol Foster), she knows the power of the vote and wants to end segregation in all States. As a woman of color there’s a distrust that’s expressed since their voices are often left out or used for the end goal that so often ends up only including white women. There is also Vida and Rose, who have an intimate relationship that the other ladies may or may not know about. The identity of lesbians is also often missing in history because of stigma. 

Alice (Renee Rogoff) is one of the leaders of the movement and the only one to not get arrested. She keeps up the momentum as best as she can and also spreads the word of what the women are going through while in prison. Their limits were tested in an attempt to quiet them, but the prison failed at their goal. We see them grow physically weak during a hunger strike but their spirits only get stronger. They were given the nickname “Strange Ladies” after enduring the harsh conditions the prison was known for.

Rose-Vida-e1508179712500The actresses were stellar and had great chemistry with each other. You could see and hear the emotion that they felt for their characters.  The play also features period music with musical direction by Milissa Carey who also plays Harriet. In hindsight, it’s been less than 100 years since women have had the right to vote. Even longer, for women of color who faced additional obstacles that kept them from voting. It’s an essential story in our history and seeing it come to life is a great way to keep the memory of the women before us alive. Sobeloff did a great job in representing as many voices as she could in such a short time frame. You’ll leave the theatre inspired.

 


Performing at the Berkeley City Club 2315 Durant Avenue, Berkeley
Tickets: $30 online at centralworks.org or $30 – $15 sliding scale at the door.

Previews and Thursdays are pay-what-you-can at the door.
For more information call 510.558.1381 or visit http://centralworks.org