The Christians

      Let me lay it on the table: the top critics have praised “The Christians.” Christopher Isherwood of the New York Times called it “a mesmerizing drama … a terrific play.” The LA Times’ critic, Charles McNulty said, “This is a rare play about religion  ...

Nutcracker, SF Ballet

It’s the holidays. It’s “The Nutcracker.” So what else is new? Actually, quite a lot, depending on whose eyes you are looking through. In a long career of reviewing, this critic has seen more “Nutcrackers” than you can shake a candy cane at, but this year’s foray was in  ...

The Fall of the House of Usher, SF Opera

An opera based on a Poe short story had its American premiere at the War Memorial Opera House recently. With great expectations it was born and, four performances later, mercifully it died. Whatever prompted San Francisco Opera to present Gordon Getty’s “Usher House” (on a double bill with Claude Debussy’s  ...

Three Acts, Two Dancers, One Radio Host

For 20 years public radio maverick Ira Glass has been the snug talking nasal pitched storyteller of “This American Life.” Of the hundreds of stories he has broadcast and produced each one features someone telling their personal and very human story shaped by his perceptive and often beguiling questions. The  ...

Fallen Angels

In staging Noel Coward’s 1920s comedy, “Fallen Angels,” director Shannon Cochran has shaken it up and mixed a cocktail of ‘20s fun and fashion with a wink of sly gender role reversal. Remy Bumppo’s new production runs almost two hours but the time will fly as you try to  ...

Baskerville: A Sherlock Holmes Mystery

  That savage hound is loose on the moor again and Basil Rathbone is nowhere in sight.  Fortunately, however,  comic sleuths are on the case via Ken Ludwig’s "Baskerville: A Sherlock Holmes Mystery" currently at the Philadelphia Theatre Company presentation of the McCarter Theater/Arena Stage production, directed with surgical  ...

Where to Invade Next (2015)

    Michael Moore makes me embarrassed to recommend his new movie “Where to Invade Next.” By now, Moore’s snarky ragamuffin caricature is every bit his trademark as Charles Chaplin’s Little Tramp was his, but the former is much less charming than the latter. Here Moore pretends to  ...

EmSpace Dance +Detour Dance

  I asked the people next to me at Nohspace on Friday, November 4, which of the two offerings they liked. “Detour Dance,” they replied. Yes, I agreed. It was entertaining, eventful, lively and well performed. But Emspace’s “Whether to Weather” for this reviewer, is a real work of  ...

Emma, Silicon Valley

Adorable Emma. Impossible Emma. Self-absorbed and totally “Clueless” (anybody remember Alicia Silverstone's breakout movie?) Emma. Jane Austen’s irrepressible heroine, who gets her kicks from meddling in other people’s lives while not having a notion about her own, has been captivating audiences since she first appeared in print 200 years ago.  ...