Arts & Events

AROUND AND ABOUT THEATER: Iranian Playwright & Director Bahram Bazai, St. Marks Playreading, A Folkie Bard On Disk ...

By Ken Bullock
Friday June 22, 2012 - 01:16:00 PM

Bahram Beyzaie, celebrated Iranian playwright, film and theater director (his play 'The Death of Yazgird,' performed at Ashby Stage eight years ago by Darvag Theatre in collaboration with Shotgun is the best play by a living playwright I've reviewed in the past dozen years), has been in residence at Stanford. Next week, he'll be staging a shadowplay, from his new play 'Jana & Baladoor,' a story of music, myth and the elements, which the brilliant Larry Reed of Shadowlight Productions consulted on, at Cubberley Auditorium on the Stanford campus. Noted Iranian actres Modeh Shamsaie and famous musician Mohsen Namjoo will participate. With the exception by shows at Cal Performances, Stanford and the annual San Francisco International Arts Festival, we seldom have the opportunity to see the work of major artists and companies from elsewhere in the world. Beyzaie is the genuine article; I urge you to make the trek to Palo Alto to see what he has to show us. With Iran being heaped with opprobrium in the news, it's refreshing to have one of its most eminent artists staging a production here. 

June 27-30, 8 p. m. at the Cubberley Community Center, Stanford campus. $30-$60. 650-725-2787; events.stanford. edu/events/324/32457 

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St. Marks Episcopal Church Spoken Word Committee will present a staged reading of acclaimed British playwright Howard Brenton's short play 'Paul,' about the life of the Apostle, a secular piece exploring the phenomenon of faith, June 24 at 2:30, 2300 Bancroft way at Ellsworth, across from UC Berkeley campus (parking garage accessible from Durant Avenue). Free. * 

Those Rude Mechanicals are at it again! The long (five year) hiatus after Subterranean Shakespeare's previous foray into vocalizing The Bard on 'Shakespeare's Greatest Hits' has been broken. June Levine, who began writing folk songs based on The Bard's plays in 1962, beginning with 'Julius Caesar'--and who founded Rossmoor Shakespeare Appreciation Society with her husband, Gene Gordon, in 2001, became such a fan of Subshakes' maiden album that she commissioned its founder, (ex-punk producer0 Geoffrey Pond, to spin the dials on another with 22 of her songs, some co-authored by Peter J. Crabtree, a few set to traditional tunes. The result, 'Folkspeare,' is now available, numbers covering various Tragedies, Comedies & Histories from the Canon ... with an original version of "Mac the Knife" and a provocatively titled "O Henry!" thrown in for good measure ("Measure For Measure" unfortunately not set to song). $15 at: or on or by calling Geoff Pond at: 276-3871. 

The Rude Mechanicals are: Laurie Amat, Stuart Hall, Lori Higa, Tamara Miller, Kevin Moore, Michael Peppe, the aforementioned Geoff Pond and Cindy Weyuker.