“BAUER,” A Life Affirming Show at SF Playhouse

by Buzzin' Lee Hartgrave on March 28, 2014

Bauer emigrated to the United States in 1939. Then he became somewhat of the man who really wasn’t there. He became perplexed. His life is trying to do many things. Bauer is no longer in the mood, so to speak. His wife is trying to be kind to her husband — but he seems to not have the energy.

However, winning is not always necessary. Is there a chance that Bauer will go back to his irrational painting? His paintings are stunning — but Bauer is older now — and just doesn’t seem to have the sizzle. It’s not unusual for people to slide away from those that you once loved. And now he has two women in his life. Remember – a heart needs one thing.

But he has other things on his mind right now. This brilliant new play at the SF Playhouse has brought down the house. And why not – Bauer was a huge abstract artist. He was thrown into jail by the German Gestapo. The Guggenheim family bribed the officials to let Bauer go.

The play imagines a reunion for Bauer (Ronald Guttman) & Hilla Rebay (Stacy Ross). For quite a while, Bauer’s work was basically unseen for decades. It was shown finally at the Guggenheim.

Although Louise Bauer(Susi Damilano) and Stacy Ross (Hilla Rebay) got together, it was rough and tumble. Ross expected an unpleasant arrival at Bauer’s home. The Tension between both of the women was not exactly pleasant. And Courtney Walsh has returned to the SF Playhouse.

Bauer seems to know who he loves the best – but doesn’t seem to let it go. Of course, he is older now — and he refuses to ever paint again. Down deep he really would love to do that -but it’s now just a dream.

This true story is a work of substantial brilliance. Scores are forgotten, and at last his one work of Art suddenly appears again on the wall. Bauer leaves an air of nightmare on the world stage. It’s part thriller and part love story.

Strange things may happen and they lead to many surprises. Twisted?…yes! Rebellion is on the way in a new era — but new ways will twist the world – and it will untwist you.


RATING: Five Glasses of Champagne***** (highest rating)

(((Lee Hartgrave has contributed many articles to the San Francisco Chronicle Sunday Datebook and he also contributed many Entertainment segments on PBS KQED 7- years)))


The Photo of Lee Hartgrave Boy Reporter is by Jim Ferreira – Film Noir & Hollywood Glamour. www.lafterhall.com.

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Buzzin’ Lee Hartgrave

Buzzin’ Lee Hartgrave is a longtime theater critic in the San Francisco Bay Area. His reviews appear each Friday in Beyond Chron.

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