The Monuments Men

            I understand why George Clooney would have been intrigued with filming “The Monuments Men.” In a dramatic, yet true, World War II episode, eleven museum directors, art curators, and art historians voluntarily joined the Army to save millions  ...

Mother Courage and Her Children, Washington, DC

Masterful, magnetic, and entertaining best describe the outstanding performance seen Feb. 6 by stage and screen star Kathleen Turner in the uniquely engaging Arena Stage production of Bertolt Brecht’s masterpiece “Mother Courage and Her Children.” With lines like “No one ever started a revolution sitting down” and “War is like  ...

The House That Will Not Stand, Berkeley

Slavery, freedom, power, the position of women, racial inequality, degrees of color — so many serious subjects come up in Marcus Gardley’s uneven “The House That Will Not Stand.” But, for some reason, the Bay Area native, now a New York up-and-comer, chose to write it funny. The laughs —  ...

‘Hockney, Printmaker,’ London

In a leafy, affluent enclave of southeast London is Dulwich Picture Gallery. Designed by regency architect Sir John Soane (who also designed the Bank of England), this was the country’s first public art gallery. Founded in 1811, it is home to one of the finest collections of Old Masters in  ...

Bethany, San Diego

There is an emerging genre describing the economic downturn that began in late 2008 and continues today. Mass layoffs, foreclosures, the dystopian trajectory of the banking crisis — we are reliving these nightmares in fiction. Add "Bethany" to the list. Set in a hopeless any-suburb in early 2009, "Bethany"  ...

A Day Trip to Carmel

A relatively quick and easy drive from the San Francisco Bay Area is Carmel, a quintessential charming California town, with definite hints of affluence. Although Carmel is sleepy in comparison to nearby Monterey and the Bay Area, it still has much to offer in the way of a day trip  ...

Richard Deacon at Tate Britain

Tate Britain’s new spring exhibition focuses on British sculptor and Turner Prize winner Richard Deacon (born 1949) and is the largest chronological survey of Deacon’s work for 25 years. The exhibition also marks the unveiling of "Fold 2012," a gigantic sculpture created out of green-glazed ceramic blocks, which shift and  ...

Richard III, Washington, DC

The Folger Shakespeare Library’s Elizabethan theater has been transformed from its usual proscenium stage to theater in the round for Robert Richmond’s extraordinary production of “Richard III.” Every element — actors, costumes, scenic design, lighting, sound design and music — contributes to a production that both stops time and leaves  ...

Martha Graham Dance Company, Berkeley

The late Martha Graham was nothing less than an icon in the dance world, permanently revolutionizing the art form with her innovative choreography and methodology. The eponymous company that carries on her rich legacy brought a couple of her most iconic works to Berkeley over the weekend — with another  ...

In the Time of the Butterflies, San Diego

Political revolutions are perceived as a male-dominated undertaking. In the 1950s, however, it was four sisters who inspired a Caribbean nation to topple one of Latin America’s most brutal dictators. How these women born to privilege went from hair ribbons and secret crushes to gunrunning is the subject  ...