Elaine Stritch: Shoot Me (2013)

      Like the Broadway doyen herself, the documentary, “Elaine Stritch: Shoot Me,” is brilliant, funny caustic, critical and tender. What might have been merely a sycophantic airbrushed view of Ms. Stritch and her marvelous talents,  ...

Napoli! San Francisco

      “Napoli!,” a robust entertaining World War II comedy/drama by the great Italian playwright Eduardo De Filippo (1900-1984), revolves around the boisterous, amusing Neapolitan Jovine family, who turns to selling black-market goods to friends and  ...

Gidion’s Knot, Berkeley

“Gidion’s Knot,” Johnna Adams’ astonishing two-character play, rivets the audience as it explores vital societal issues — children’s free expression and its limits, cyber-bullying and parental versus society’s rights. As you enter the theatre, you find yourself in a  ...

The Monuments Men

            I understand why George Clooney would have been intrigued with filming “The Monuments Men.” In a dramatic, yet true, World War II episode, eleven museum directors, art curators,  ...

Sherlock on PBS (Season 3)

In case you haven’t watched “Sherlock” Season 1 or 2, the protagonist of this exciting television crime drama, acted by Benedict Cumberbatch (“The Fifth Estate,” “Star Trek into Darkness”), is a young 21st century Sherlock Holmes who portrays all the  ...

The Invisible Woman

      A strong, carefully directed period film with an excellent cast, “The Invisible Woman,” lets us into Charles Dickens’s personal life. This is not a film about the good-hearted Christmas-loving Dickens. Rather, it concerns  ...

Downton Abbey, Season 4

With the new year comes “Downton Abbey, Season 4,” the continuation of the spellbinding costume drama created and written by Oscar-winning writer Julian Fellowes. It’s another season of fascinating “must see” television (usually an oxymoron). PBS, taking full advantage  ...

David Hockney

What distinguishes a fine contemporary artist from a master? One may find the answer at the extraordinary “David Hockney: A Bigger Exhibition.” Belying his age of 76, Hockney’s fabulous 398-piece show explores his brilliant talent, youthful enthusiasm, bountiful productivity  ...