Thursday, February 11, 2010

"The Safe House": UNRATED with BANG

"The Sandbox Series" has gotten the official go-ahead for three years of productions, according to Jon Tracy, Director of Artistic Development at San Francisco Playhouse, and that's good news for up-and-coming local playwrights. The idea is to use the playhouse's second stage to promote new works while the playwrights get to employ top drawer actors and directors. Geetha Reddy's "The Safe House" opens on Saturday, Feb. 13 and stars the amazing Amy Resnick, who knocked everybody's socks off in December's "She Stoops to Comedy," plus Brian Herndon, Marissa Keltie and Cole Alexander Smith. Nancy Carlin directs.

Judging from an earlier Preview, "The Safe House" is both weird and mesmerizing. Few design elements are included in Sandbox productions but you can see how a little more staging would ramp up the emotional impact of this survivalist farce. It's a hard show to categorize, and perhaps not one for everyone. But we found it fascinating and well written.

Crossbows, guns, knives, 9-11, Oklahoma City, the Unabomber and a family trying to hack out a haven within a world filled with real and imagined terrors -- "The Safe House" is already very good and will get better.


The San Francisco Theater Blog hopes to see every last Sandbox production, but due to viewing this show in an early Preview, SFTB will abstain from rating "The Safe House" at this time. Unofficially, however, we can say this much: even brand new and unadorned it's already intriguing. Staging will go a long way -- and maybe they'll look twice at the smug survivalist ranger -- we're still not sure what he's doing there, except to give Cole Alexander Smith a cool shot at a double role.

Even though the show is Unrated, we're handing out a BANGLE of EXCELLENCE because of the way the playwright handles time. You're backwards, you're forwards, you work your brain to keep up -- and then, at the end it all makes sense. We always like that.


"The Safe House"
San Francisco Playhouse
533 Sutter Street, San Francisco
Through March 6

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