Theater & Performing Arts


When: June 15-16, 8 p.m., Sun., June 17, 2 p.m., Tue., June 19, 7 p.m., Wed., June 20, 8 p.m., Wednesdays-Saturdays, 8 p.m., Sundays, 2 & 7 p.m., Tuesdays, 7 p.m., July 26-28, 8 p.m. and Sun., July 29, 2 p.m. Continues through July 22 2012

Six years after his resurrection of the Oscar Wilde play Salomé, director Mark Jackson returns with an ambitious sequel. This time he focuses on the story of dancer Maud Allan, a San Francisco-raised artist who caused a stir with her own interpretation of Wilde's opus, which she premiered in Vienna in 1906. Allan's Vision of Salomé was taken as a provocation and derided in a right-wing tabloid, which ran a capsule review of the performance under the headline "The Cult of the Clitoris." Allan sued the paper's editor, Noel Pemberton-Billing, for libel, unaware that he would use the courtroom as a platform to expound on his own conspiracy theories about Germans and gays (he accused her of belonging to and/or sympathizing with both). Jackson dramatizes the whole trial with a script largely based on original court transcripts. Madeline H.D. Brown looks serene and regal as Allen; Mark Anderson Phillips plays the petulant Pemberton-Billing; Kevin Clarke, as the judge, milks all his lines for prurience and comic effect. Jackson juxtaposes the court story with an ancillary plot about World War I and the air of paranoia it generated in Western Europe. Nina Ball's set is deceptively simple and endlessly mutable. Through July 29 at Aurora Theatre (2081 Addison St., Berkeley). $30-$48. 510-843-4822 or

Rachel Swan

Price: $30-$55

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