The Night Alive, LA

Alas, dear reader, once again I am stuck in a tale of good-news/bad-news. Being a glass-half-full kind of a gal, I figure why not try to start with the good? "The Night Alive" is the much-awaited winner of the New York Drama Critics Circle best play award by Conor McPherson.  ...

Music Hall

A bare stage. There’s only a curtain, a stool, a pair of high-heeled shoes, and a trunk. But here three actors create a magical environment, an environment of beauty and bleakness about their fading careers as cabaret performers: The Artiste (gracefully played by Jeffrey Binder) and two Boys, her accompanists  ...

The Agony And The Ecstasy

You know a film is not that good when the best contemporaneous review one can find of it was from the notoriously bad New York Times film critic Bosley Crowther. Who was Bosley Crowther, you ask? Well, he was the Roger Ebert of his day. That is, he was the  ...

“Enticing Beauty” Diablo Ballet

How many boutique, suburban-based companies can celebrate a 22nd season with a smartly staged program featuring works by such choreographers as George Balanchine, Christopher Wheeldon, Sean Kelly, Sonya Delwaide, and Robert Dekkers? You can count them on the fingers of one hand. Diablo Ballet has weathered ups and downs that  ...

Reborning, LA

"Reborning." The meaning is as crazy as it sounds. Reborning is the act of creating an individual infant doll in the precise image of a child whom a parent has lost. People (mostly women) pay mucho dinero for these creepy idols, then often fawn over them as though they were  ...

Les 7 Doigts de la Main Circus

You know right away when a renowned circus troupe is in town, not because elephants have paraded down urban boulevards but because of the buzz it generates among all age groups. After all, a circus is for everyone, for “Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, children of all ages..." However,  ...

The Lyons, Berkeley

The Lyons sure can roar! At each other, at perfect strangers and, after a couple of hours of Nicky Silver’s dark comedy, newly opened at Berkeley’s Aurora Theatre, it seems at the audience as well. The family Lyons — dying father Ben (a wonderfully dyspeptic Will Marchetti); mama  ...