Jenůfa, SF Opera

The last time I saw Karita Mattila in “Jenůfa” she played the title role, a young village girl madly in love with the town ne’er-do-well and secretly carrying his child to boot. Now, her gleaming voice burnished with maturity, the  ...

Don Carlo, SF Opera

The trouble with Verdi’s “Don Carlo” always has been — like much of Wagner — too much of a good thing. Requiring no fewer than six stellar singers in the leads, making it very costly to mount, it clocks in  ...

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  ...