King Lear, Cal Shakes

Someone with nothing better to do once counted how many times the word “nothing” appears in Shakespeare’s “King Lear.” Having better things to do I have forgotten the total but it was a lot. All stemming from the protagonist’s early  ...

Sweeney Todd, SF Opera

I must confess I have always preferred my horror on an intimate scale. That means a television set rather than a multiplex and, most particularly, Stephen Sondheim’s macabre masterwork, “Sweeney Todd,” as a chamber opera, rather than a Broadway musical.  ...

Amélie, Berkeley Rep

Once upon a time there was a little girl with a great big imagination. Her parents were unloving and aloof and her only friend, Fluffy the Goldfish, was dumped unceremoniously into the Seine. Very much alone, Amélie turned inward to  ...

The Lyons, Berkeley

The Lyons sure can roar! At each other, at perfect strangers and, after a couple of hours of Nicky Silver’s dark comedy, newly opened at Berkeley’s Aurora Theatre, it seems at the audience as well. The family Lyons  ...

The Old Woman, Berkeley

Don’t ask me what it means. The inspired nonsense that comes out of the fertile brain of Robert Wilson is meaningless, yet fraught with meaning — barely comprehensible but hugely entertaining — absurdism at its finest. There’s a story there  ...

La Bohème, SF Opera

Some things never go out of style: basic black, young love, “La Bohème.” Reputed to be the most often performed opera in the canon, Puccini’s tale of the consumptive seamstress, the impoverished poet and their high-spirited, if equally penniless, friends  ...

La Cenerentola, SF Opera

Instead of a fairy godmother, we have a wise old tutor and the glass slippers are now a pair of diamond bracelets. Aside from that, everything is as usual — only funnier — in Rossini’s operatic version of the timeless  ...