Full Gallop

    There’s an amazing scene in the movie “The Devil Wear’s Prada” where Miranda Priestly (Meryl Streep) dresses down Andy Sachs (Anne Hathaway) for belittling fashion. “You’re wearing a sweater that was selected for you by the people in this room from a pile of stuff,” she  ...

Lucia di Lammermoor, SF Opera

Sometimes you gotta take the good with the bad, and San Francisco Opera’s new production of Donizetti’s “Lucia di Lammermoor” has plenty of both. First the good news: the singing is pretty terrific and that’s what opera is all about. Especially the men: Polish tenor Piotr Beczala as  ...

Sankai Juku

    “Golden in time, cities under the sand. Power, ideas, and beauty fading in everyone’s hand…” Joni Mitchell   A stream of sand falls from heaven like smoke descending to earth. It continuously cascades in a steady stream for the next eighty minutes, and through  ...

In Your Arms (World Premiere)

  I submit that the two most powerful words in the English language are: what if.   Eight years ago, Tony award-winning director-choreographer Christopher Gattelli (“Newsies”) had a “what if” moment that he shared with producer Jennifer Manocherian. Next, they enticed a who’s who of playwrights (collectively  ...

Appropriate

    Families, families, families, love them or hate them, where would we be without them? Add death of a patriarch to the mix and you have a volatile substance, fodder for many a playwright and still the stories have the power to transfix.   Papa  ...

Barber of Seville

  The second production of the ENO’s new season, shown on the same week as "Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk," is Jonathan Miller's twelve revival of "The Barber of Seville." It is Rossini’s most celebrated comic opera based on the play written by French playwright Beaumarchais; its sequel "The Marriage of  ...

Home Fires

    Stories of English heroism during World War II never fail to inspire me. They also make me wonder how I would have managed had I lived in a rural English village, like the Cheshire village of Great Paxford, during that long and brutal war. In  ...

Cinderella, Mariinsky Ballet, Berkeley

You know the drill. Boy meets girl, boy loses girl, girl loses slipper, boy finds girl and she gets, not only a husband, but a complete pair of shoes. Everybody’s favorite fairy tale came to graceful and exuberant life this week on the Zellerbach stage, courtesy of Cal Performances,  ...

Disgraced

Photo caption: L to R, White, Sturgis, Young, Crane. Photo by Liz Lauren. “Disgraced” won a 2013 Pulitzer Prize for playwright Ayad Akhtar. But that doesn’t mean you won’t be squirming in your seat in mental discomfort as the 85-minute play progresses. The play tackles questions of Islamaphobia, Muslim-American  ...

Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk

The ENO began its 2015/16 opening season with Shostakovich’s ‘tragic – satire opera’ Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk (1934) which caused Stalin to walk out during a performance and led to a scathing review in Russia’s political newspaper Pravda. Directed by Dmitri Tcherniakov and conducted by the brand new music director  ...