The Last Five Years, SF

At the moment Jamie meets Cathy, she already has lost him. That’s the time-bending conceit of Jason Robert Brown’s terrific little musical, “The Last Five Years,” newly opened at A.C.T. in San Francisco. Brown tells the tale, mostly in  ...

Treasure Island

Someone is singing a sea chantey as the deck slowly rocks beneath the sailors’ feet. A properly-brought-up young English lad lad gazes in wonderment at the strange sights — a parrot perched on a pirate’s shoulder, palm trees swaying  ...

The Lighthouse

Most operas begin with an overture. Peter Maxwell Davies’ “The Lighthouse” opens with an interrogation, a police investigation surrounding the mysterious disappearance of three lighthouse-keepers stuck for months on a lonely rock in the middle of a stormy  ...

Cyrano, Silicon Valley

When I was a young college student I dated a lot of guys. But only one had my heart of hearts. His name was Cyrano de Bergerac. Between reading Edmond Rostand’s beautiful play and the seeing the 1950 Jose Ferrer  ...

Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, Berkeley

The Alvin Ailey troupe is back at Berkeley’s Zellerbach Hall looking as good as ever — maybe even a little better. Under the artistic direction of Robert Battle, this large, well-disciplined group of dancers continues the tradition of its  ...

The Realistic Joneses, SF

There is a lot of depth to be found in banality. Especially if you dig under the dialogue of a Will Eno play. A master wordsmith, Eno keeps things simple, accessible and really funny, while hinting at the big questions  ...

Macbeth, Berkeley

“Bubble bubble, toil and trouble” and for what? An evening of “sound and fury,” signifying, if not nothing, precious little. Expectation ran high for Berkeley Rep’s visually stunning, starry production of Shakespeare’s Scottish play. Helmed by the great American  ...

Champion: An Opera in Jazz, SF

“Champion” packs a punch. If Grammy-winning jazz trumpeter Terence Blanchard’s opera is not a complete knockout, it may be due to a flabby libretto by Michael Cristofer with words that don’t live up to the power of the highly-listenable score.  ...

Aubergine, Berkeley

Can a bowl of soup really save a life? Probably not, but it makes for some interesting speculation in Julia Cho’s “Aubergine,” a play about love and death, estrangement and reconciliation, immigration and assimilation and, most of all, food, developed  ...