“Enticing Beauty” Diablo Ballet

How many boutique, suburban-based companies can celebrate a 22nd season with a smartly staged program featuring works by such choreographers as George Balanchine, Christopher Wheeldon, Sean Kelly, Sonya Delwaide, and Robert Dekkers? You can count them on the fingers of one hand. Diablo Ballet has weathered ups and downs that  ...

Reborning, LA

"Reborning." The meaning is as crazy as it sounds. Reborning is the act of creating an individual infant doll in the precise image of a child whom a parent has lost. People (mostly women) pay mucho dinero for these creepy idols, then often fawn over them as though they were  ...

Les 7 Doigts de la Main Circus

You know right away when a renowned circus troupe is in town, not because elephants have paraded down urban boulevards but because of the buzz it generates among all age groups. After all, a circus is for everyone, for “Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, children of all ages..." However,  ...

The Lyons, Berkeley

The Lyons sure can roar! At each other, at perfect strangers and, after a couple of hours of Nicky Silver’s dark comedy, newly opened at Berkeley’s Aurora Theatre, it seems at the audience as well. The family Lyons — dying father Ben (a wonderfully dyspeptic Will Marchetti); mama  ...

Chavez Ravine, an L.A. Revival

The question is "Can you tell the players without a scorecard?" No, I do not mean the one player on the field. Vin Scully, the voice of the Dodgers since long before they arrived in Los Angeles, cheerfully gives the lowdown on Fernando Valenzuela's triumphant pitching at the opening game  ...

Murder for Two, San Diego

“Murder for Two” is a freewheeling, raucous ride not unlike the thrill of a downhill soapbox derby tempered by the sudden realization that your race car really could use a good set of brakes. A two-person whodunit, there’s murder afoul when novelist Arthur Whitney, anticipating a birthday party in  ...

A Meditation on Giselle Casting

Without Hilarion there is no “Giselle.” He is the crude gamekeeper whose manners may be wanting, but who never confuses right with wrong. He is the conscience and compass of this story ballet. Without him, it is the banal tale of a peasant girl who falls in love with a  ...

Two Debuts in One ‘Giselle,’ SF Ballet

Like Odette/Odile in “Swan Lake,” the title role in “Giselle” requires not only technical mastery but also (and more crucially) the ability to create two distinct visions onstage. In “Giselle,” the duty is even more burdensome: unlike Odette/Odile in “Swan Lake," Giselle is one character. Her transformation from a lovestruck  ...