Don Giovanni, Philadelphia

Opera Philadelphia director Nicholas Muni took a gamble last year at the Academy of Vocal Arts, setting Mozart’s "Cosi fan tutte" in the 1960s with soldiers deploying to Vietnam and interpreting the already couple-swapping libretto to the "make love, not war" era. It worked. In Opera Philadelphia’s new production  ...

A Delicate Balance, LA

It’s Saturday and you’ve just been given tickets to an Edward Albee play. What to wear, what to wear? You look through your closet for something appropriate: (a) Tux. Un-huh. (b) Business casual. Ahh, no. (c) Hazmat suit. Hmmm…. Answer (c) suggests you’re familiar with Albee’s fascination with toxic characters.  ...

The Double (2013)

“The Double,” an ambitious, artistic, and psychologically unsettling film based on a novel by Fyodor Dostoevsky, explores the life of a timid introverted government clerk, Simon James (excellent Jesse Eisenberg, “The Social Network”), whose lonely existence renders voyeurism his only refuge. He observes his co-worker and love object, Hannah (fetching  ...

Building the Picture, London

"Building the Picture" is about the bit of an Italian Renaissance painting that often seems to be jostling with the figures for pictorial space: the architectural background. In fact, as curators Amanda Lillie and Caroline Campbell convincingly demonstrate, buildings played a far more important role in 14th- to 16th-century art  ...

The Suit, SF

“The Suit” doesn’t fit as well as expected. With the renowned director Peter Brook’s name attached, one goes in expecting something magical like that long-ago “Midsummer Night’s Dream” or the “Marat/Sade” that set a standard for much that followed in the theater. An hour and ten minutes after going  ...

The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (2014)

  In an evil Green Goblin Broadway voice, sing with me, Spider-Man, Spider-Man, radioactive Spider-Man. After receiving lukewarm reviews from most and a downright hateful one from yours truly, The Amazing Spider-Man didn’t exactly set the world on fire. They have a lot to live up to in the bigger  ...

All the Way, NYC

  In 1963, Lyndon Baines Johnson (Bryan Cranston) became the first Southern President of the “You-nited States of Am’rica” in one hundred fourteen years—that is, since Virginia’s Zachary Taylor, our twelfth commander-in-chief, who held that position for a total of sixteen months before succumbing to a stomach illness.  As written  ...

Philadanco

Philadanco played to sold-out houses in the Perelman Theater in Philly for their spring concert series in the Easter weekend. Danco is coming off a high profile year with the premiere at the Apollo Theater of Get on the Good Foot, dancing to music by the Godfather of Soul, James  ...

The Lion in Winter, LA

It’s a story as old or older as any to be found in the Old Testament: a dysfunctional family; a husband and wife at each other’s throats; adult children twitching with ambition and sibling rivalry and, of course, a pearl of inestimable price: • The family is the Plantagenets,  ...

Acis and Galatea, Berkeley

In her time, Isadora Duncan choreographed opera, among them Gluck’s “Orpheus and Eurydice.” There is lovely pastoral dance in that work; Mark Morris has evoked her spirit and style in Handel’s “Acis and Galatea.” Noted as a "world premiere," this performance of the 1718 opera featured the Mark Morris Dance  ...