Oakland Ballet – Nutcracker

On a scale of one to ten, let’s give the Oakland Ballet Nutcracker eight sugarplums. One for being different enough to keep even the most jaded balletomane from nodding off and sticking close to the E.T.A. Hoffman tale from  ...

The Car Man – Matthew Bourne

Fasten your seat belts! The Car Man just drove into town and it’s going to be a bumpy ride. Matthew Bourne, the British choreographer/director who set the dance world on its ear with his gender-bending Swan Lake a  ...

Cesaria Evora

Sooner or later it had to happen. Cesaria Evora put on shoes. Granted they were old-man slip-on bedroom slippers but shoes all the same. The grandmotherly diva of world music, famed for shuffling onstage in her bare  ...

Ballet Nacional de Cuba – Coppelia

For a long time the embargo on Cuban goods deprived people on this side of the water of more than cigars. From 1979 to 1998, some of the finest dancers in the world were not allowed to perform in  ...

Platee – Mark Morris Dance Group

It’s not easy being green, as Kermit the Frog will tell you and Platee, the protagonist of Jean-Philippe Rameau’s 18th Century comic opera learns it the hard way. An unattractive nymph, who resembles something you might have dissected in  ...

American Ballet Theatre – Jabula, Gong, Black Tuesday

Artistic director Kevin McKenzie has wrought a renaissance in the 60-plus year old American Ballet Theatre which had lost some of its former luster following the Baryshnikov regime in the 80s. Exciting, good-looking young dancers and new works from  ...

36 Views – Naomi Iizuka

Playwright Naomi Iizuka has fulfilled a prime dictum of true art in her 36 Views, now having its world premiere at Berkeley Rep. According to philosopher/critic George Santayana, a work of art is most successful when the feeling and  ...

Fool Moon

Two guys, a band and an audience – that’s all there is to it. But, don’t let the simplicity fool you; it would be extremely foolish to pass up Fool Moon. The 1993 Tony-Award-winning hit, currently enjoying an encore  ...