Othello, San Diego

On the page, "Othello" seems like a study in opposites: black and white, good and evil, right and wrong, but the Old Globe’s production delivers unforeseen nuance. The results are tense, horrific, even funny. Set in Venice and Cyprus, the story begins soon after Othello (Blair Underwood) secretly marries  ...

Invasion OF The Body Snatchers (1978)

In rewatching the 1978 version of "Invasion Of The Body Snatchers," after many years (I originally saw it in a double feature with "Coma"), I was presented with one of the best examples of why a critic needs to be able to separate his emotions from his intellect when writing  ...

Jersey Boys (2014)

As an old rock and roller who first listened to music on a small AM radio many years ago, it’s a pleasure for me to see rock and roll groups like the Four Seasons now in the Hollywood and Broadway spotlight.   “Jersey Boys,” first a 2006 Tony  ...

The Late Henry Moss

Sam Shepard is known for his in-your-face, verbally and physically violent brawls between brothers or between fathers and sons. His plays like “True West,” “Curse of the Starving Class” and “Buried Child” helped Chicago’s Steppenwolf Theatre Company create its reputation for confrontational theater. He also influenced playwrights like Martin McDonagh,  ...

Endeavour (Season 2), PBS

A welcome new season of “Endeavour,” the prequel to the legendary “Inspector Morse” series, revisits young Detective Constable Endeavour Morse of the Oxford City Police CID as he hones his deductive powers in four complex new episodes set in the 1960s. The brilliant 33-episode “Inspector Morse” series (1988 -  ...

Making Color, London

Ultramarine is a blue pigment derived from a semi-precious stone, lapis lazuli. During the Renaissance period, lapis lazuli was more highly prized than gold, and with good reason: its only source was in the remote province of Badhakhshan in northeast Afghanistan. (Sar-i Sang mine, north of Kabul, where miners work  ...

Third Person (2013)

I kept watching “Third Person” with curiosity, despite the inner voice in my head chiding me. The plot is disjointed, the dialogue is clumsy, and some of the acting is sub-par, yet I found myself involved with some of the characters and wanted to know the film’s outcome. “Third  ...

A Million Ways to Die in the West (2014)

Writer, Director, Actor, and Producer Seth MacFarlane’s latest flick "A Million Ways To Die In The West" is more of a vanity piece than an actual movie. If you don’t like MacFarlane’s brand of humor stop reading right now, this movie isn’t for you. It is nearly impossible to objectively  ...

American Buffalo, Berkeley

David Mamet’s searing 1975 masterpiece about a botched robbery by three Chicago low-lifes fizzled rather than sizzled through its opening night at Berkeley’s Aurora Theatre. Not that the play isn’t worth seeing, it is. But this production of "American Buffalo" seems to lack drama and tension and is instead milked  ...