Sept. 8–23: The San Francisco Fringe Festival, now in its 26th year, always offers a range of plays from from silly to serious. This year even the more ridiculous ones seem politically charged. Hitler in the Green Room, by local playwright K.S. Haddock, went after what looked like a soft target, with his story of a Jewish Drag queen taking the Fuehrer’s place when he falls ill. Then the terrible events of Charlottesville made Haddock nervous about the production. “But then we bolstered ourselves," Haddock said, "with the idea that satire is the best, strongest criticism in the face of awfulness of the alt-right. What it did is really change it to a more activist show, and to give a middle finger to the fascists who might shut us down.” Other highlights among the 30-plus shows include Reclaiming Vietnam, playwright Kim Chinh’s story of learning to take pride in her Vietnamese heritage, and $wampland, in which seven Bay Area playwrights write short one-acts about how to truly make America great again. Details here.
A Jewish Drag Queen as Hitler and Other Suspensions of Disbelief
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The cast of 'Hitler in the Green Room,' among the many plays at the San Francisco Fringe Festival (Sean O'Neill)