Scenes From My Radio Play

Laurie Anderson--composer, musician, multimedia artist, filmmaker, poster child for hipster Baby Boomers--just presented five one-of-a-kind performances, four at Miner Auditorium and one at Grace Cathedral in San Francisco. Included in this series were “Listening Party,” “Songs for Women with Tammy Hall,” “Lou Reed Drones: Viola Duets with Steward Hurwood” and  ...

The Routes of Slavery

Politics is everywhere these days. Make one "false" step and you're tarred and feathered without getting even a nanosecond to defend yourself. Jordi Savall and company stepped into this corrosive environment like a breath of fresh air with their The Routes of Slavery : Memories of Slavery 1444 --  ...

Daniel Barenboim’s West-Eastern Divan Orchestra

What do we expect when we go to hear two repertory pieces played live, and is that expectation heightened when the musicians in Daniel Barenboim's West-Eastern Divan Orchestra are Israeli and Arab? Do their complex histories and conflicting narratives affect how we hear them? Is politics inextricably linked to their  ...

Come From Away (National Tour)

‘Tis the season to fill theaters with feel good productions, or so the masters of theater scheduling reason. We curmudgeons may grumble and skip our 47th Nutcracker. Or we may suck it up and take a youngster or a visiting fireman to one of the better ones. Such is  ...

My Year of Rest and Relaxation

Craving alternative literature, an unconventional heroine and a downright weird premise? “My Year of Rest and Relaxation” by award winning writer Ottessa Moshfegh is just what the literary doctor prescribes ... And when you read this bodacious new novel, you’ll appreciate the aforementioned cliche. This weird and trippy novel, set  ...

My Sister, the Serial Killer

If the title of this gem of a book doesn’t draw you in, the first chapter made up of two sentences will. “My Sister the Serial Killer” by Nigerian author Oyinkan Braithwaite is a delicious and disturbing novel that takes place in Nigeria and is comprised of what will become  ...

Taylor Mac’s Holiday Sauce

“Holiday Sauce” is an amazing musical show by the super-talented Taylor Mac, who dazzles the audience with Mac’s unique personality, wit and stage presence, songs and terrific band (Matt Ray, music direction and arrangements), over-the-top drag-queen-like costumes, and ultra-glitzy sets (sets and costumes by Machine Dazzle). “Holiday Sauce” is a  ...

Everything is Illuminated

Often novels don’t translate well to the stage or screen, but Jonathan Safran Foer’s acclaimed 2002 debut novel “Everything is Illuminated” is a notable exception. It first became a well-reviewed, small-scale movie by Liev Schreiber starring Elijah Wood in 2005, and now the Aurora Theatre Company is presenting a simply  ...

Hansel and Gretel

No, Hansel and Gretel is not a children’s opera per se, but it is an opera, and a production, you can take children to. This hypothesis was well tested opening night when the audience was full of members of the under ten set. A very young child sitting near me  ...

Gauguin: A Spiritual Journey

The significant new show at the de Young Museum (one of the San Francisco Fine Arts Museums, “FAMSF”) explores the personal relationships and spirituality of famed artist Paul Gauguin (1848 –1903). Most of the sixty-plus Gauguin oil paintings, unusual ceramics, and rare, lesser-known wooden carvings are on loan from  ...