San Francisco Ballet Program 2

At intermission after Alexei Ratmansky’s “Seven Sonatas,” I overheard a sleekly coiffed and outfitted Gen-Xer turn to her companion and say, “That reminded me of when I was a little girl and had a jewelry box with a ballerina on  ...

The Comedian (2016)

“I always thought of the joke as a superior way of telling the truth.”—Emily Nussbaum, “New Yorker,” January 23, 2017 Robert DeNiro plays Jackie Burke, the title role comedian who is the embodiment of all frustrations associated with his  ...

San Francisco Ballet Program 1

Jiri Bubencíek is one of those rare choreographers confident enough to set work on his dancers while in process. He draws inspiration from the particularity of each one’s body and how he or she moves. In making “Fragile Vessels,” he  ...

Fire at Sea (2016)

Lampedusa is a Mediterranean island midway between Sicily and the coast of Africa. Those who live there are fishermen of Italian extraction. Considering that their lives are only as secure as the next catch, life on Lampedusa is ordinary. The  ...

Elle (2016)

I once had a (Caucasian) roommate, who while offering up the details of her deflowering, reported that afterwards she dreamed that six Latino men dressed in sarapes and sombreros, ritualistically tethered her to a wooden cross to punish her for  ...

Luna Mexicana

It has been a good fifteen years since I’ve had the pleasure of seeing the inside of Oakland’s Paramount Theatre, a veritable monument to the Art Deco era. For me on this Day of the Dead evening, it rattles with  ...

Trump, Clinton and Sinclair Lewis

There’s something for everyone in this locally-sourced adaptation of Sinclair Lewis’s “It Can’t Happen Here,” and therein lies its fatal flaw. Berkeley Rep’s artistic director Tony Taccone’s enthusiasm for the Federal Theatre Project, an outgrowth of the Depression-era Works  ...

Q&A w Glynn Turman

The actor Glynn Turman, now appearing in “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom” at the Mark Taper Forum, began his acting career at 13, as a member of the original Broadway cast of “A Raisin in the Sun,” received an Emmy  ...

Master Harold and the Boys

In Apartheid-era South Africa, black lives are matter to be exploited for their usefulness. They keep a social system limping along that is congenitally hobbled by class and caste, defined vindictively by race, and subordinating its inhabitants accordingly. Three characters  ...

Interview with John Leguizamo

Toba Singer: What has been the evolution of your career? Did you welcome the chance to move out of the comedy club circuit to theater, film, and TV? John Leguizamo: I didn’t do much time in comedy clubs:  ...