Angels in America

It’s difficult to see Berkeley Rep’s impressive and astute new production of Tony Kushner’s Pulitzer Prize-winning two-part epic, “Angels in America: a Gay Fantasia on National Themes,” without revisiting the early days of AIDS in the San Francisco Area, when people were dying terrible deaths and few in the  ...

1945 (2017)

When my son was six and a student at Mountaineer Montessori School, he learned the Shaker hymn, “’Simple Gifts.” “I hate that song,” he said to me one afternoon, as we drove away from his school. His vehemence took me by surprise. I thought about a line in  ...

Eureka Day

Talented playwright Jonathan Spector has achieved the almost impossible. He’s created an exceptional play that is laugh-out-loud funny, yet with an intelligent and introspective perspective. On an external level, “Eureka Day” is a hilarious send-up of Berkeley’s quintessential form of political correctness, which has slowly  ...

Avengers: Infinity War (2018)

Aside from the time Warner Bros. poured a fortune into the first two Christopher Reeve "Superman" movies, superhero films languished for a generation. Comic book artists can draw on paper for comparatively nothing what no movie budget can match. It took decades for cinema technology to catch up. When it  ...

Unbound, Programs A and B

To mark its 85th anniversary, San Francisco Ballet added “Unbound,” to this year’s season, a series of four programs, A, B, C, and D, consisting of commissioned works by recognized choreographers, some of who have never before set work on the company. The dancers were divided into teams, each assigned  ...

Head Over Heels

In San Francisco for only a few weeks before it premieres on Broadway this summer, “Head Over Heels” is an infectiously funny, lively and smart upbeat musical with lots of glitz and pizzazz. Originally conceived by Tony winner Jeff Whitty (writer of the book to the Broadway musical  ...

Voices of America

For its yearly mixed rep program, English National Ballet brought an all-American barnburner of a lineup. William Forsythe, after a 20-year hiatus, returned with two short works, “Approximate Sonata 2016,” and “Playlist (Track 1 and 2),” the latter created on the dancers; Aszure Barton’s work “Fantastic Beings”—is a creature  ...

Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater

This season marks the 50th Anniversary of the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater’s return to Cal Performances. This sustained and mutually beneficial relationship with Cal Performances represents the very best between arts organizations and is truly reason for celebration. As part of this spring’s residency, the company offered  ...