East Bay Express, April, 1996
Christopher Hawthorne

It's cramped and hectic as usual down in La Val's Subterranean Theatre, where Patrick Dooley and company are staging a series of first works by renowned playwrights. The opener is Bertolt Brecht's Baal, a lyrical fairy-tale of sorts about a poet - a cross between Don Juan and Pig Pen - who drinks wine, ruminates on the color of the sky, and drags a succession of half-willing women up to his garret apartment; the production is marked by a twisted, dank exuberance. Michael Storm, arrogantly dazed and confused in the hefty title role, leads a strong and versatile cast, but almost all of the most important speeches are delivered by supine actors whom three-fourths of the audience can't see. Make sure you sit in the first couple of rows - or bring the booster seat.