In Your Arms (World Premiere)

  I submit that the two most powerful words in the English language are: what if.   Eight years ago, Tony award-winning director-choreographer Christopher Gattelli (“Newsies”) had a “what if” moment that he shared with producer Jennifer Manocherian. Next, they enticed a who’s who of playwrights (collectively  ...

Appropriate

    Families, families, families, love them or hate them, where would we be without them? Add death of a patriarch to the mix and you have a volatile substance, fodder for many a playwright and still the stories have the power to transfix.   Papa  ...

Barber of Seville

  The second production of the ENO’s new season, shown on the same week as "Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk," is Jonathan Miller's twelve revival of "The Barber of Seville." It is Rossini’s most celebrated comic opera based on the play written by French playwright Beaumarchais; its sequel "The Marriage of  ...

Home Fires

    Stories of English heroism during World War II never fail to inspire me. They also make me wonder how I would have managed had I lived in a rural English village, like the Cheshire village of Great Paxford, during that long and brutal war. In  ...

Cinderella, Mariinsky Ballet, Berkeley

You know the drill. Boy meets girl, boy loses girl, girl loses slipper, boy finds girl and she gets, not only a husband, but a complete pair of shoes. Everybody’s favorite fairy tale came to graceful and exuberant life this week on the Zellerbach stage, courtesy of Cal Performances,  ...

Disgraced

Photo caption: L to R, White, Sturgis, Young, Crane. Photo by Liz Lauren. “Disgraced” won a 2013 Pulitzer Prize for playwright Ayad Akhtar. But that doesn’t mean you won’t be squirming in your seat in mental discomfort as the 85-minute play progresses. The play tackles questions of Islamaphobia, Muslim-American  ...

Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk

The ENO began its 2015/16 opening season with Shostakovich’s ‘tragic – satire opera’ Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk (1934) which caused Stalin to walk out during a performance and led to a scathing review in Russia’s political newspaper Pravda. Directed by Dmitri Tcherniakov and conducted by the brand new music director  ...

West Wave Dance Festival 2015

        Ernest Delight   Under the direction of Laura Elaine Ellis and Kendra Kimbrough Barnes, the Black Choreographers Festival has been mentoring, training and presenting black choreographers since 2005. This most recent offering, entitled “New Voices/New Works,” showcased thework of Dazaun  ...