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  ...

The Rose Tattoo

 The setting is an insular Italian-American community on the Gulf Coast in 1950. Tennessee Williams’ play, “The Rose Tattoo,” is a tragicomic tale of love lost and love gained. Its Sicilian characters are superstitious and passionate in their joy and in their grief. The play is an emotional roller-coaster and  ...

San Francisco Ballet, Program 1

      If you want every body part on a dancer to self-deploy and sizzle, hire Lorena Feijóo as that dancer, and commission Val Caniparoli to make a piece along the lines of “Lambarena,” which might well be rechristened “Lumbar-Lorena.” Feijóo is often cast as the  ...

California Wine Country in Winter

    Some of the best times to be had in Napa and Sonoma are during the winter months of “low season.” Wine country travel in Northern California can be wonderful in the winter for those coming from other states, and especially so for Bay Area locals and  ...

Mr. Burns: A Post-Electric Play

Four survivors sit huddled around a fire, which provides the only light on the scene. They're dressed in grungy grays and tans. Matt (Daniel Desmarais) is recreating a story from the past: an episode from “The Simpsons”. Jenny (Leah Urzendowski) occasionally interrupts or adds a line. It’s an eerie view  ...

San Francisco Ballet 2015 Gala

The 2015 San Francisco Ballet Gala marks the 30th anniversary of Helgi Tomasson’s tenure as Artistic Director. All three events of the evening, the pre-performance dinner, performance and after-party, were sold-out weeks in advance, and the event, which rallied members of San Francisco’s wealthiest social set, opened with Martin West,  ...

Rubens and His Legacy, London

The Flemish artist Peter Paul Rubens (1577-1640) used to be known as "the Prince of Painters and the Painter of Princes." In a century overloaded with artistic talent, Rubens reigned supreme. But whereas the reputations of his contemporaries, including Caravaggio, Rembrandt and Velasquez, have continued to the present day, Rubens'  ...