Moliere's The Miser at Berkeley Rep
Do you want to see some truly astounding acting? As in it-takes-your-breath-away-and-makes-you-want-to-trip-the-light-fantastic-in-a-rainstorm-just-like-Gene-Kelly-did level acting? Well, then drive, BART, swim, walk or do whatever you can to get to Berkeley Rep's Roda Theatre and see The Miser. The story could be streamlined a bit, as some of the scenes are way too long. But this adaptation of the Moliere classic features incredibly clever dialogue (two regional references notwithstanding; I always find those to be hokey) and some just plain brilliant acting. Everyone in the ensemble is absolutely terrific, and if you're anything like me, you'll want to see it just to marvel at the talent onstage before you.
In other words, this show is pretty damn good. The photo is creepy, but honestly, the show is great.
And frankly, Berkeley Rep's whole season this year has been pretty damn good. I didn't love Finn In the Underworld, and Comedy on the Bridge/Brundibar and Zorro in Hell were not perfect while enjoyable. But their productions of Our Town, Nine Parts of Desire, The Glass Menagerie and The Miser have all been top notch. No wonder Berkeley Rep won the Tony for Outstanding Regional Theatre in 1997. Really, do yourself a favor and see this play.
After the show, I ended up spending more energy than I would have ever expected ducking that 70-year old man who hit on me the last time I went to Berkeley Rep. Terry chronicles that part of the evening on her blog, so you should read about it there.
In totally unrelated news, I have discovered a new favorite place in San Francisco. It's a new boutique in North Beach featuring a host of pretty things available for purchase, and the owner, Giulia, is super-duper nice. And the very best part is you can go there with a group of friends and drink champagne and get pedicures while you shop. Champagne, pedicures and shopping all in one location! All of you have to do is give Giulia about a week's notice and agree that you and your friends will actually buy stuff while you're sipping champagne and having your feet attended to. This is my idea of heaven, and I intend to indulge as often as humanly possible.