The Ghost of Gershwin, LA

As someone who loves George Gershwin’s music, could listen to it 24/7 and never tire of it, I’d looked forward to reviewing "The Ghost of Gershwin" at the Lonny Chapman Theatre in North Hollywood. But I quickly tired of  ...

A Delicate Balance, LA

It’s Saturday and you’ve just been given tickets to an Edward Albee play. What to wear, what to wear? You look through your closet for something appropriate: (a) Tux. Un-huh. (b) Business casual. Ahh, no. (c) Hazmat suit. Hmmm…. Answer  ...

The Suit, SF

“The Suit” doesn’t fit as well as expected. With the renowned director Peter Brook’s name attached, one goes in expecting something magical like that long-ago “Midsummer Night’s Dream” or the “Marat/Sade” that set a standard for much that followed  ...

All the Way, NYC

  In 1963, Lyndon Baines Johnson (Bryan Cranston) became the first Southern President of the “You-nited States of Am’rica” in one hundred fourteen years—that is, since Virginia’s Zachary Taylor, our twelfth commander-in-chief, who held that position for a total of  ...

The Lion in Winter, LA

It’s a story as old or older as any to be found in the Old Testament: a dysfunctional family; a husband and wife at each other’s throats; adult children twitching with ambition and sibling rivalry and, of course, a pearl  ...

Not a Genuine Black Man, Berkeley

Brian Copeland has a sad story to tell. But he tells it with such wit and self-deprecating humor that his audience has been laughing through its tears. For 10 years, in fact, making “Not a Genuine Black Man” allegedly the  ...

Water by the Spoonful, San Diego

There’s an old saying that you can’t choose your family. It’s true, to some extent, but the relationships in "Water by the Spoonful" show it can be a lot more complicated. Set in Philadelphia, and pretty much everywhere else,  ...

The Tallest Tree in the Forest, LA

Paul Robeson sang the soundtrack of my childhood. I wore out two copies of his 78-rpm album, "Ballad for Americans," yet continued to play it, scratches and all. When I was about 8 years old I met him after a  ...

Tribes, Berkeley

Lovers and losers; speaking and signing; silence and sound; but, above all, family. It’s all interwoven in the intricate pattern of Nina Raine's “Tribes,” one of the best shows to come down the pike in a long, long time. As  ...

Ruth Draper’s Monologues, LA

Ruth Draper is not a household word for you? Well, you are forgiven. She was born in 1884 and performed monologues through the early 1950s. The grayest of the gray-haired in the audience may recall a moment or two of  ...