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Arts

Ruth Wilson of ‘The Affair’ moves on to postwar England in ‘Little Stranger’

Now we know the fate of Ruth Wilson’s revered character Alison on the Showtime melodrama “The Affair.” On an episode earlier this month, she’s beaten up by a duplicitous lover, fatally hitting her head on a statue during a fall. Her attacker scoops her body into his arms and unceremoniously dumps her into the Atlantic Ocean like so much debris. While Alison hangs out with the fishes, Wilson will soon be back on the screen in “The Little Stranger.” She plays Caroline, a fading local aristocrat in postwar England. Bright and ambitious, she’s been summoned back to their decaying family mansion after her brother is seriously wounded in the war.

‘Supergirl’ and ‘Alias’ star Carl Lumbly takes on James Baldwin at Theatrefirst in Berkeley

Carl Lumbly first came across James Baldwin’s writing in the 1970s, when the future actor was in college. He began with Baldwin’s first semiautobiographical novel, “Go Tell It on the Mountain,” and has now plowed through almost all of his fiction, nonfiction and essays. “I heard he had written 6,895 pages. I have to assume I missed some of it. I have read probably I would say 6,000 pages,” said Lumbly, a veteran of TV series including “Cagney & Lacey,” “Alias” and his current show, “Supergirl,” in which he plays a Martian. But his passion for years has been writing the one-man show “Jimmy: According to Me ...

Kelly Macdonald puzzles out her character in ‘Puzzle’

Growing up in Glasgow, Kelly Macdonald discovered a knack for putting together jigsaw puzzles. With no instruction, she figured out to begin working at the edges and keep filling in. Her favorite puzzle depicted a Paddington Bear relaxing by the river. She would fit the pieces together then bust the cuddly creature into smithereens and repeat the procedure. The 42-year-old actress hadn’t thought of her childhood hobby until offered the lead character, Agnes, in the movie “Puzzle.” She is a traditional wife and mother around Macdonald’s age whose nascent talent for constructing puzzles frees her from her confined life. To Macdonald, Agnes herself is a puzzle.

Remembering ‘SNL’ star Gilda Radner at opening night of SF Jewish Film Festival

The Castro’s majestic screen flickered Thursday night with passing images of rock star Candy Slice, variety show host — in her own bedroom — Judy Miller, cockeyed advice specialist Roseanne Roseannadanna, professional nerd Lisa Loopner, Howdy Doody’s widow (complete with strings) and newscaster Baba Wawa — all indelible characters created by Gilda Radner on “Saturday Night Live.” The comedian with many faces was the subject of the San Francisco Jewish Film Festival’s opening night film “Love, Gilda.

‘Fun Home’ Tony Award-winner Lisa Kron talks about the Five Lesbian Brothers

After a quarter-century working as an actress and writer for small cutting-edge theater companies, Lisa Kron hardly considered herself part of the commercial theatrical world. But a funny thing happened on her way to developing the musical “Fun Home” for New York’s nonprofit Public Theater. The show was discovered by critics and audiences alike and, on an accelerated trajectory, wound up a huge hit on Broadway. In 2015, Kron, who had never before written a musical, won Tony Awards for best book and best original score (the latter shared with Jeanine Tesori). “I wasn’t looking for a commercial breakthrough. I wasn’t looking to be on Broadway.

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