The Aliens: Annie Baker's Obie-Winning Play at SF Playhouse
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The last date listed for The Aliens was Saturday May 5, 2012 / 3:00pm.
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San Francisco Playhouse presents the world premiere of award-winning playwright Lauren Gunderson's (Exit, Pursued by a Bear) intriguing new production: Bauer. Rudolf Bauer -- a German artist celebrated for his avant-garde, nonobjective work -- was a genius so driven to create that he continued to sketch his drawings on scavenged scraps of paper even while jailed by the Gestapo for his "degenerate" art. And his passionate affair with Hilla Rebay (director and curator of the Guggenheim Museum) was the stuff of legend. So why did he stop creating? This provocative production delves into the life of this brilliant artist, exploring the power struggle and intrigue that ultimately led to Bauer's disappearance from the art world. Learn More
Reviews & Ratings
Featured review from Sue T.
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“The Aliens” isn’t as effortlessly crowd-pleasing and funny as Annie Baker's “Body Awareness,” which was recently produced at the Aurora in Berkeley; in fact, at times, Baker seems to be testing the audience’s limits in this tale of two aimless and troubled 30-something men who hang out behind a small-town Vermont coffee shop, and the naive teenage employee of the shop who befriends them. There are lengthy periods of silence, when nothing much seems to happen, and then there’s the scene in which one of the characters says the word “ladder” approximately eleventy billion times in a row. It makes sense in context, but I haven’t felt such a palpable sense of audience discomfort since Will Eno’s “Thom Pain,” which also uses silence to provoke a reaction in its viewers.
I will admit that for the first 15 minutes or so, “The Aliens” annoyed me. But then I found myself drawn into the characters’ world, and Baker’s essential humanity and affection for this trio had me hooked. By the end, I felt profoundly moved, and eager to see more of her work (her third major play, “Circle Mirror Transformation,” will reportedly be getting a Bay Area run this fall). However, “The Aliens” is not for everyone. The couple sitting to my right had a long debate at intermission about whether or not to stay for the second act, and while they wound up sticking around (after some ostentatious sighing on the part of the male half), they both took out their smartphones and checked them during the play. Boo!
About the Ticket Supplier: San Francisco Playhouse
The aim of the SF Playhouse is to provide a creative home and inspiring environment where actors, directors, writers, designers and theater lovers converge to create works that celebrate the human spirit. Founded by Bill English and Susi Damilano in 2003, SF Playhouse is Union Square’s intimate, professional theatre. Using professional actors and world-class design, the SF Playhouse — which won the Bay Guardian‘s 2006 Best Off Broadway Theatre Award and about which the San Francisco Chronicle raved "San Francisco’s newest theatre isn’t just another tiny stage carved out of a storefront…it’s an enticing introduction to a new company" — has become an intimate theatre alternative to the traditional Union Square theatre fare, garnering 20 Bay Area Theatre Critic nominations in its first year.