Even though it closed on Sunday I wanted to do a quick blurb about Ubuntu's recent staging of A Streetcar Named Desire, both because it's one of the best things I've seen recently and because it made me very excited about the rest of their 2018 season. In a production that managed to be simultaneously stripped-down and rich with meaning, the performers embodied the lyricism of Tennessee Williams's language and delivered gripping performances across the board, though Lisa Ramirez deserves special mention for her mesmerizing turn as Blanche. I loved the poignancy and nuance in the scene between her and Sarita Ocón's Stella the morning after Stanley and Stella have their steamy reconciliation; as an aside, I played that very scene with my best friend in our high school drama class, and it is safe to say I had zero concept of what it was really about at that time. In Ubuntu's hands very little about the play seemed dated, as right now Americans grapple anew with the relationships between men and women and our socio-economic divides. Next up in the Ubuntu season: Dance of the Holy Ghosts by Marcus Gardley, staged at the Oakland Peace Center, followed by work by Maxim Gorky, Philip Kan Gotanda, and a certain William Shakespeare. Check their website at the link above for the full listing.