Going to the theater lets you take in dramatic scenes at a safe distance, much like listening to your neighbors argue about how to pronounce "gnocchi." Hide behind the fourth wall with this GrouponLive deal to see The Normal Heart, Elektra, A Streetcar Named Desire, and Dead Metaphor at the American Conservatory Theater downtown. For $40, you get one ticket for balcony seating to each show (up to an $80 value). Choose from 13 packages listed here. Customers may exchange tickets after purchase for another date if necessary, but Groupon customers cannot exchange a ticket from one play for a ticket to another. Plays, artists, and schedules are subject to change.
The Normal Heart (September 13–September 26)
Winner of the 2011 Tony for Best Revival of a Play, George C. Wolfe directs Larry Kramer's drama with some of the original Broadway cast. Set in 1985, the play delves into the crises of the early days of the AIDS epidemic, as a group of friends sets out to find the truth behind the obfuscation of doctors, politicians, and the media.
Elektra (October 25–November 7)
A mother murders a father, the daughter seeks revenge. Such is the plot of Sophocles's ancient Greek tragedy, which premiered in Los Angeles before this run at ACT. With music by Pulitzer winner David Lang, Olympia Dukakis delivers a gripping performance that highlights the grief and horror of revenge.
A Streetcar Named Desire (January 17–January 30)
Playwright Tennessee Williams collides cultures in the French Quarter when his fading, genteel Southern belle Blanche DuBois moves in with her sister and her brutish, passionate husband, Stanley Kowalski. ACT core company member René Augesen stars as Blanche. What follows is a mess of sensuality and savagery.
Dead Metaphor (February 28–March 13)
This world premiere from playwright George F. Walker weaves a darkly comedic tale about the hypocrisies and absurdities an Iraqi war veteran must face when he leaves the battlefield, moves in with his parents, and takes a job working for a politician on a crusade for "truth and justice."
American Conservatory Theater
Humor, song, and drama all unfold at the ACT's historic theater—originally opened in 1910—which blends austere neoclassicism with the occasional baroque flourish. The theater was built during the reconstruction after the 1906 earthquake, only to be struck by 1989's Loma Prieta earthquake, surviving significant damage and undergoing an extensive renovation and seismic stabilization that have enabled it to continue staging fine drama and overcome its reoccurring earthquake nightmares.