La Emi–Flamenco in Santa Fe

    Every little girl should have a chance to stomp. Emmy Grimm, known onstage as “La Emi,” has been dancing flamenco since she was 3. Her mentor is Maria Benitez, an internationally known powerhouse of a dancer, now retired from the stage, who has been passing along  ...

Sweeney Todd, SF Opera

I must confess I have always preferred my horror on an intimate scale. That means a television set rather than a multiplex and, most particularly, Stephen Sondheim’s macabre masterwork, “Sweeney Todd,” as a chamber opera, rather than a Broadway musical. Some of the best outings of this 1979 multi-Tony Award-winning  ...

Gianni Schicchi & Pagliacci

For the opening of its 30th anniversary season, the LA Opera has turned to Hollywood for a 2 hour and 40 minute double bill: Woody Allen's production of "Gianni Schicchi" and Franco Zeffirelli's "Pagliacci." The Chandler was packed for opening night, long gowns in profusion, and the crowd justifiably primed  ...

Art at Stanford University:

  The day was warm and the campus was quiet when my aunt and I toured two neighboring, but vastly dissimilar, art museums at Stanford University. We were there primarily to see the two new exciting acquisitions at the Cantor Arts Center, “Richard Diebenkorn: The Sketchbooks Revealed,” and Edward  ...

Amélie, Berkeley Rep

Once upon a time there was a little girl with a great big imagination. Her parents were unloving and aloof and her only friend, Fluffy the Goldfish, was dumped unceremoniously into the Seine. Very much alone, Amélie turned inward to a life of the mind where nuns had the heads  ...

Charles Ray: Sculpture, 1997-2014

Nineteen sculptures by Chicago-born sculptor Charles Ray fill three large galleries on the second floor of the Art Institute’s Modern Wing through October 4. Most of the pieces are figurative and tell their own stories, like “Sleeping Woman,” a life-size stainless steel carving of a homeless woman sleeping on a  ...

Heart of Darkness

A "dark" subject drawn from a famous book. A US premiere from an opera from the other side of the pond. Prestige. Glamour. Well, many operas and films aren't that different from people.They look or sound profound, but aren't. "Acclaimed " Brit composer Tarik O'Regan's opera from Joseph Conrad's  ...

The Comedy of Errors, San Diego

Here’s a fun idea: Set "The Comedy of Errors" in 1920s New Orleans — Shakespeare in the Jazz Age. You get music, dancing and a general licentiousness to supplement an endless series of mistaken identities. The opportunities for mischief are virtually endless. And this is a play that thrives  ...