Lucia di Lammermoor, LA Opera

For a fully satisfying combination of classical music and contemporary theater, the current LA Opera production of "Lucia di Lammermoor" is not to be missed. I shamelessly like my opera grand with voices to die for, singers who can act, and productions that dazzle. That pretty much sums up this  ...

Afternoon of a Faun: Tanaquil Le Clerq” (2013)

  According to legend, George Balanchine first met his future wife Tanaquil Le Clercq  when she was a teenager, standing in the hallway outside a classroom at the School of American Ballet with her arms crossed. “Why aren’t you in class,” he asked. “Kicked out,” she replied. “What’s your  ...

Stephen Petronio Dance, SF

“Should I look among the living, Should I look among the dead, If I am searching for you, like Lazarus did?” The West coast premiere of, “Like Lazarus Did” included a live performance by the San Francisco Girls Chorus (34 singers under the direction of Valerie Sainte-Agathe,)  ...

Arab Film Festival, San Francisco

You'd think you were living on another planet, or in at the very least an alternate reality when you leave your house after watching the news. Is everyone out to get you, and is the world really falling apart at the seams? These thoughts came to mind when my friends  ...

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  ...