Thursday, April 4, 2019

"Yoga Play" ☼ ☼ ☼ BANG

"Namaste. Now go away," says frustrated Susi Damilano, who plays Joan, the recently-hired financial wizard for Jojomon, manufacturer of incredibly expensive yoga wear for women. Jojomon, a billion-dollar company, has recently been outed in the press for using nine-year-old Bangladeshi women to create their products, so Joan has had to come up with a company-and-face-saving scheme. The company needs a guru.

At the end of Act One, we said, "We hope this gets crazy." Fear not, young rabbit. In Act Two a scene develops worthy of Luci and Ethel Mertz. Bobak Cyrus Bakhtiari's Raj, he of the bugged-out eyeballs, meets Guruji, the spiritual leader imported from the foothills of the Himalayas who turns out to actually be from Santa Monica. Throw in Ayelet Firstenberg as Romola, the bubbly yoga-teacher with a sharp tongue, and Ryan Morales as Fred, who is only trying to stay employed, and we have an ensemble that keeps us in stitches as well as wondering where they are going next.

Craig Marker's John Dale, the founder of the company, seen by video-conference from his mountain retreat, is hilarious. He may or may not have another part in the show, in which he may or may not manage to make us howl by only moving his eyes.

We thank everyone involved for the twist at the very end. We say no more.


The San Francisco Theater Blog Awards Division, currently practicing in Reviewer Pose, normally known as Downwardly Complaining Dog, grants "Yoga Play" Three Stars with a Bangle of Praise. The whole thing cracked us up, and that's worth at least Three stars, and the Bangle is for classic lines like, "Bring on the celebratory Kombucha" and "Namaste, you bitch!' Special congratulations to Ayelet Firstenberg for her L.A. yoga-ishness and also for her apology as the off-stage Jojomon worker in Bangladesh who didn't notice the age of the workers: "You know, they're all really small!"

"Yoga Play"
San Francisco Playhouse
Second floor of Kensington Park Hotel
450 Post Street, San Francisco
Through May 16

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