Arts & Events

Around and About in Theater

By Ken Bullock
Wednesday March 16, 2011 - 12:07:00 PM

A timeless no-man's land, somewhere in the Middle East ... The hero of the invading army shouts out that it's time to pull out, go back home—and the commander of the expeditionary corps sputters with rage: It's all under control! Giulio Perrone—whose Galileo's Daughters was one of the treats of last year's theater—is back with his Inferno Theatre Company at the Berkeley City Club, 2315 Durant, with The Iliad—a staging he wrote, designed and directed—the original military snafu in the Middle East, when it wasn't WMDs or oil but Helen of Troy the invaders sought ... Acrobatics and poetry, his company's trained in physical theater, an interesting array of backgrounds ... Music by Helga Rosenfeldt-Olsen (who also performs in the ensemble); lighting by Michael Palumbo. Opens this Friday. Thursday through Saturday at 8, Sunday at 2, March 18-April 3. Sliding scale, $12-$24. 698-4030; or email 

The Putnam County Spelling Bee, a Tony Award-winning musical, will play Fridays-Saturdays at 8, Sundays at 2 (no show March 20) at Altarena Playhouse, 1409 High Street, Alameda, directed by Stewart Lyle, musical direction by Armando Fox and choreography by Kim Saunders. $19-$22. 523-1553; 

Narnia, a family stage version of C. S. Lewis's The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, directed by Jon Tracy, is up and running, produced by Berkeley Playhouse at the Julia Morgan Performing Arts Center, 2640 College Avenue. Weekends(including Friday nights, Saturday and Sunday matinee and evening performances) and some Thursday evenings, through April 3. Tickets: $15-$33. 845-8542; 

Berkeley man of the stage Bob Ernst, co-founder of the Blake Street Hawkeyes, will perform his new autobiographical show, incorporating music and movement, The Changer, which will also incorporate script changes suggested by previous audiences, March 17-April 3—produced by Alter Theater (where Ernst is associate artist; Alter produced his showCatherine's Care) at 888 Fourth Street, San Rafael, former Marin County Republican Headquarters. Thursdays-Saturdays, 8 p. m.; Sundays at 4. $15-$35 (Friday, March 18 pay-what-you-can; other first weekend discounts online). (415) 454-2787; 

Oakland performance artist Catherine Debon will perform her solo show, Alma Colorado, the story of her Spanish communist grandfather resisting the Nazis—and how it got her into flamenco dancing—as directed by Berkeley performer and teacher Erica Blue, with assistance from Jennifer Gordon, March 18 & 19 at The Garage, 975 Howard, San Francisco, as part of the RAW (Residency Artist Workshop) series. Program starts at 8, Debon performs at 9:20. $10-$20.; further info at