Partenope, SF Opera

Near the end of Act I of this decidedly comic British production of “Partenope,” in its company premiere at San Francisco Opera, a breeze wafts through an open window, billowing the diaphanous curtain in seductive swirls. That undulating fabric is a metaphor for how director Christopher Alden has reimagined Handel’s  ...

William Morris and His Legacy, London

The wide-ranging influence of Victorian designer, artist, furniture-maker, poet and social reformer William Morris is explored in a new exhibition at London’s National Portrait Gallery. Far more than a straightforward display of portraits, the exhibition includes drawings, paintings, objects, textiles and writings by Morris and his contemporaries, and later artists  ...

Forever, LA

In lean times theater directors turn more frequently to one person performances and very small casts. For material, the "written-and-performed-bys" mine the depths of memory. It is so much the easier if the remembered are dead and will never see the end product. That said, Dael Orlandersmith's exhumation of her  ...

The Trouble with Antibiotics, PBS Frontline

While America frets over a potential Ebola outbreak in Texas, another crisis already plagues the country's health-care system: bacteria that have become resistant to antibiotics are cropping up in hospitals nationwide. These superbugs infect more than 2 million patients annually, of whom at least 23,000 die. In "The Trouble with  ...

Un Ballo in Maschera, SF Opera

What better way to celebrate the birthday of Giuseppe Verdi than with his famous costume party? And so it was that I found myself on October 10 at the San Francisco War Memorial Opera House raising a metaphorical glass to the great composer’s 201st. “Un Ballo in Maschera” (A Masked  ...

Joe Goode Performance Group

“He’s a good boy…Heeee zzza Goode boooboi…He’s a…” chants and slurs Melecio Estrella at the start of “29 Effeminate Gestures.” Estrella hits this angry mantra over and over as if it were a punching bag, until the sentence turns into a beat and the beat into rhythm, and the rhythm  ...