Alex Katz

We think we know what things are about when we see them. Sure, they are what they are, but how could they not be, and if things were only that we wouldn't need art, and our latest phony "deep" buzz word " it is what it is " can't come  ...

One Man, Two Guvnors, Berkeley CA

In a world where we entertain ourselves by tuning in, nightly, to news reports of the most unpredictable and unimaginable horrors, it is comforting that when we absent ourselves from the tube to take in a show, the evening’s fare reveals that our sense of humor is perhaps the one  ...

Carmen

Georges Bizet received hostile reviews of "Carmen" in 1875. Critics saw it as a radical opera that opposed the traditions of Paris and Opéra-Comique, where it was first performed, whilst the general public grew to love Carmen for its evocative melodies and unforgettable arias. Admirers of the opera included Tchaikovsky,  ...

The Project(s)

American Theater Company’s brave new world premiere, “The Project(s),” is a lesson in Chicago history and an explanation of some of its present troubles. Writer/director P.J. Paparelli conceived the play to dramatize the experiences of residents of Chicago’s public housing projects, past and present. His docudrama isn’t a dreary  ...

Arms and the Man, San Diego

Love and war have so much in common: passion, struggle, the subtle distinctions between victor and vanquished, even how seriously we take both subjects. In the classic comedy “Arms and the Man,” George Bernard Shaw skewers it all and even throws in a little class struggle for giggles. The  ...

The Little Foxes

Most people look at Lillian Hellman’s 1939 play, “The Little Foxes,” as a play about a dysfunctional family battling over sex, money and property. You know, the kind that made Steppenwolf Theatre famous. But this one is being staged at Goodman Theatre and it’s a sumptuous setting in every way,  ...

The Pirates of Penzance

  Admittedly, Gilbert and Sullivan’s "The Pirates of Penzance" isn’t one of my favourite G & S operas, yet Mike Leigh’s new production manages to sustain the audience’s attention through brightly crisp staging, dynamic acting, dazzling singing and adaptive usage of Sullivan’s hilarious libretto. Leigh, the mastermind film  ...

Cinderella

    By appealing directly to Bay Area ballet-goers, Ballet San Jose Silicon Valley Artistic Director José Manuel Carreño, with help from Chief Executive Officer, Alan Hineline, and Interim Director of Development Millicent Powers, dodged the depredations of creditors intent on calling in the company’s staggering debt. BSJSV  ...

Bessie

      Finally, a film about the life of iconic blues singer, Bessie Smith (1894 – 1937) will air on television. And it stars multi-talented Academy Award nominee Dana Owens, better known as Queen Latifah (“Chicago”), who shines in the challenging role of Bessie Smith. With  ...

Three Sisters

Anton Chekhov’s 1900 play “Three Sisters” is considered one of his masterpieces and The Hypocrites do it justice in their fine new production. The play is heartbreakingly sad and yet occasionally funny, with intimations of changes to come in Russia. One character says, “Violent change is at the door, the  ...