Ruin Lust, London

What is it that we so enjoy in the gloomy comfort of a good ruin? The number of picturesque follies scattered about the English landscape might make one think this is a peculiarly British taste, but according to the Tate’s new show, its origins lie in Germany, in the 18th  ...

Intimacy, NY

Thomas Bradshaw is a 33-year-old black American playwright who might as well have his middle name legally changed to Provocative, because no one seems to be able to talk or write about his work without conjuring that adjective. The most recent of his 11 plays, "Intimacy," has been playing Off  ...

Choreographers Smorgasbord, SF Ballet

Choreographers past and present were on display in two recent programs from San Francisco Ballet, and their defining styles (or lack thereof) gave audiences a broad canvas of talent and themes to contemplate. Program 2 (seen Feb. 27) opened with the premiere of "Tears" by Val Caniparoli, a longtime  ...

My Name is Ashher Lev

Asher Lev (Jason Karasev) is the son of an Hasidic couple, Rivheh (Anna Khaja) and Aryeh (Joel Polis). How you feel about "my Name is Asher Lev" may have as much to do with how you feel about proselytizing, ultra orthodox, fundamentalists as it has to do with your appreciation  ...

Billy Budd

Winding up a yearlong celebration of Benjamin Britten’s centennial, L.A. Opera presents the composer’s most ambitious opera, "Billy Budd," featuring definitive staging by Francesca Zambello from her 1995 Covent Garden production. It stars Liam Bonner in the lead role, and is conducted by the company’s own James Conlon, with performances Feb. 22 through March 16. "Budd" was Britten’s most daring work,  ...

Richard Hamilton

The artist Richard Hamilton, who died in 2011, is mostly remembered today for the collage that he made for the exhibition "This is Tomorrow" at the Whitechapel Gallery in 1956. "Just What is It That Makes Today's Homes So Different, So Appealing?" was a key manifesto for Pop Art. A  ...

Love and Information, NY

They Know You Exist Caryl Churchill’s "Love and Information" is a solid one-hour play that happens to run for a little under two hours. Its fifty-seven scenes are connected thematically and not narratively, featuring over one hundred characters who are all struggling with the same problem: deciding  ...

The Who and the What, San Diego

Family dramedies have a formula. The first half introduces the family and fellow travelers, their zany personality tics and the explosive revelations that could be their undoing. The second half exposes those revelations and sorts out the mess. The first section, introducing characters to the audience, is relatively  ...

Moby-Dick, Washington, DC

The Washington National Opera production of “Moby-Dick” is a crowd pleaser. Jake Heggie’s music is tonal, sometimes glancing off Puccini, but ventures out with touches of Philip Glass minimalism and other occasions of atonality that make it satisfyingly contemporary. Maestro Evan Rogister adeptly handles a large orchestra and cast that  ...