Blithe Spirit, LA

Here is the perfect Christmas gift for the "Downton Abbey"/"Upstairs Downstairs"/antimacassar set. Anglophiles will probably thrill to the (sometimes hard to catch) British accents, Designer Simon Higlett's perfect English drawing room, and Noël Coward's ever-so-tasteful, black-tie double entendres. Angela Lansbury steals the show with her doughty antics as Madam Arcati,  ...

Florencia en el Amazonas, LA Opera

Reader beware. This is not a review for the opera cognoscenti whose weary ears may be seeking newer, less familiar fodder. You know who you are. This is a review for the reader who may be a touch tired of "Madame Butterfly" — allowing a few years between productions might  ...

“National Gallery” (2014)

How do we look when we’re looking at art? That’s one of the intriguing facets of this gorgeous art tour of London’s National Gallery. Frederick Wiseman’s documentary, "National Gallery", which opened in November, shows us many scenes of faces looking at faces. Human faces peering, pondering, smiling, puzzling at portraits  ...

Irish Theatre’s “Shining City”

The scene is a dingy therapist’s office in Dublin. Ian (Coburn Goss), a former priest, is preparing his new office for his first client. Over the course of the 100-minute, five-scene, production, the office is the scene of poignant therapy sessions with John (Brad Armacost) and Ian’s interactions with his  ...

Golden Girls: The Christmas Episodes, SF

San Francisco has its icons, from the Golden Gate Bridge to Chinatown, including the gay Castro district. And, as the world has recently been brought to its knees to remember, it has its share of dynasties too; from the San Francisco Giants to the city’s drag queens and Golden Girls…  ...

Into the Woods, LA

Trip thee lightly into the woods my darlings but beware the eternal dangers lurking there. Thus it is and thus it shall always be. The woods are full of wolves, giants, controlling mothers, faithless spouses, impossible dreams ... all manner of threats, real and imagined, variously penned by the Brothers  ...

Breakfast With Mugabe, Berkeley

An intimate power struggle between Robert Mugabe, the President of Zimbabwe, and Dr. Andrew Peric, a white Zimbabwean psychiatrist, is the compelling concept of this gripping, finely acted drama. British author Fraser Grace based his riveting play, first produced by the Royal Shakespeare Company in 2005 and then off-Broadway in  ...

What the Butler Saw, LA

What is naughty or nice is often a matter of when the question is asked. In 1967 when it debuted, "What the Butler Saw" was not only naughty, it was downright scandalous. In 2014? Not so much. Still witty, still fast-paced, Joe Orton's posthumously produced play has become a  ...