A Five Star Life (Viaggio Sola) (2013)

        “A Five Star Life” is an intelligent, well-acted, subtle film, with a story line that is quite rare — it’s about a perfectly happy 40-ish single woman. The splendid Margherita Buy plays the attractive, self-assured Irene, whose enviable profession is critiquing five-star  ...

Juan Siddi Flamenco

Juan Siddi Flamenco won a kind of unofficial genius grant this year. After six years dancing six nights a week at a Santa Fe tablao during high season, he and his company were acquired, basically, by Aspen Santa Fe Ballet. In practical terms, that means just four, count-em, four appearances  ...

The Jungle

In a space the size of my bedroom, Oracle Theatre slaughters and carves up cattle, fights for workers’ rights, celebrates a wedding, worships at Christmas, and dies in childbirth. And with rolls of paper and paint, they conjure believable scenes of life in Chicago’s Packingtown a century ago. (Take that,  ...

Ether Dome, San Diego

Faced with the prospect of surgery, most of us consider the cost to our wallet and the inconvenience of recovery to our lifestyle. It would never cross our mind that agony, in the form of excruciating pain on the operating room table, is part of the bargain. But that’s exactly  ...

Don Pasquale, Santa Fe

Laurent Pelly’s take on “Don Pasquale” this summer at Santa Fe Opera is tight, funny and physical. With only five characters and no chorus, this narrowly focused opera allows for each individual voice, and actor, to shine. Beyond that, thanks to Pelly, a particularly energetic director, the production moves.  ...

Hercule Poirot, PBS Masterpiece (Season 12)

Two new exciting episodes featuring David Suchet as Hercule Poirot, Dame Agatha Christie’s favorite Belgian sleuth, will be aired soon on PBS Masterpiece Mystery. Of the entire series of 70 mysteries, they are two of the five Poirot programs not yet aired in the United States. “The Big Four"  ...

Imperial War Museum, London

London’s Imperial War Museum (IWM London) has reopened after a £40 million ($68 million) refurbishment, its first since the 1980s. The result is a sleek, lofty interior designed by Foster & Partners housing a spacious and attractive museum that invites the visitor to wander and explore. New displays mark the  ...

Daniela Mack and Alek Shrader

“Carmen” and “Don Pasquale” may be alternating onstage at the opera this weekend, but that won’t stop cast members in the two operas from fraternizing. Daniela Mack and Alek Shrader, who are playing, respectively, the title role in “Carmen,” and Ernesto, the male protagonist in “Don Pasquale,” will most definitely  ...

Buyer and Cellar, LA

Somewhere folks who make up summer reading lists and compile theatrical playlists get the notion that we still have the summer off from school to simply be amused before we return in September. The curmudgeon in me screams, “I haven’t spent an hour lying on the lawn, watching the clouds,  ...

San Francisco Jewish Film Festival

Highlights of the Jewish Film Festival “Theodore Bikel: In the Shoes of Sholem Aleichem” “The Green Prince” “Run Boy Run” “112 Weddings” “Quality Balls: The David Steinberg Story” “Above and Beyond” “Havana Curveball” “The Sturgeon Queens” The 34th San Francisco Jewish Film Festival (SFJFF), the first and the longest-lasting  ...