Accidental Death of an Anarchist, Berkeley

Full disclosure: I don’t much like farce. Slapstick and pratfalls and opening and slamming doors somehow never manage to tickle my funny bone. That said, I am forced to tell you that I could not stop laughing during Berkeley Rep’s hilarious revival of Dario Fo’s “Accidental Death of an Anarchist.”  ...

Once on This Island, Palo Alto, Calif.

Be careful what you wish for. That’s the painful lesson learned by the Little Mermaid, who famously traded her fins for legs and a faithless boyfriend. It’s learned again by Ti Moune (Salisha Thomas), the plucky but doomed heroine of “Once on This Island,” a winning musical with a calypso  ...

Leah Crocetto and David Lomelí in concert, SF

Opera fans, fear not. The future is here. If the recent recital by Leah Crocetto and David Lomelí is any indication, there should be no shortage of Mimis or Rodolfos, Butterflies or Pinkertons, once Domingo and Netrebko, Fleming and Kaufmann have take their final bows. These two amazing  ...

Elaine Stritch: Shoot Me (2013)

      Like the Broadway doyen herself, the documentary, “Elaine Stritch: Shoot Me,” is brilliant, funny caustic, critical and tender. What might have been merely a sycophantic airbrushed view of Ms. Stritch and her marvelous talents, instead, is a fully candid, unrehearsed, intimate, three-dimensional portrait. We  ...

Non-Stop (2014)

Liam Neeson has taken some lessons from Miley Cyrus, apparently he can’t stop doing films that are derivatives of his popular Taken franchise. They should have just called this “Taken 3” and called it a day. At times it almost seemed like "Non-Stop" was going in that direction until the  ...

No Exit, NYC

“Why, [you’re] the torturer, of course,” Inez (Jolly Abraham) says to Cradeau (Bradford Cover) as she enters Jean-Paul Sartre’s "No Exit."  He says that this is “too comic for words,” but of course he is her torturer just as she is his.  Sartre’s underworld, after all, is not comprised of  ...

The French Connection (1971)

Director William Friedkin’s 1971 classic police thriller, The French Connection, which won the 1971 Academy Award for Best Picture (and four others) over A Clockwork Orange, Fiddler On The Roof, The Last Picture Show, and Nicholas And Alexandra, is not a great film, but it is a very good and  ...

Feast, SITE Santa Fe

Since the 1930's, many artists have used the simple act of sharing food and drink to advance aesthetic goals and to foster critical engagement with the culture of their moment. These artist-orchestrated meals can offer a radical form of hospitality that punctures everyday experience, using the meal as a means  ...

Black Choreographers Festival, SF

For its 10th anniversary season, the Black Choreographers Festival has extended into new and "other" dimensions. Under the leadership of Kendra Kimbrough Barnes and Laura Ellis, this performance included a dramatic work by Joanna Haigood, a ballet-jazz dance by Gregory Dawson, Barnes’ historical dance-drama, “Clearance: Linking our Passage,” and  ...