Paul Nash (Tate Britain)

How serious were the British about Modern art? When the first Post-Impressionist exhibition arrived in London in 1910, students at the Slade School of Art were banned from attending, for fear it would corrupt them, although of course they sneaked in anyway. This attitude was common  ...

Bruce Conner: It’s All True

This fascinating first retrospective of the diverse oeuvre of Bruce Conner (1933-2008) contains more than 250 objects in many media — painting, film, video, assemblage, drawing, collage, print, photography, photogram and performance, which were mostly created in San Francisco over 50 years. Conner was a unique artist, and from all  ...

The Hard Problem

Usually a Tom Stoppard play is an intellectual treat, but “The Hard Problem” is part treat and part treatment. Perhaps I over-anticipated the renowned playwright’s first new play in nine years since I’m such a fan of his work, particularly “Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead,” “Arcadia,” “Shakespeare in  ...

Sweetbitter

Stephanie Dandler’s debut novel, "Sweetbitter," is a raw and gutsy romp through a year in the life of a young woman’s launch into a restaurant career in the food capital of the world. The 22-year-old heroine, Tess, has gladly departed her midwest roots in search of her true self  ...

Culberg Ballet

Past/Present Deborah Hay “belongs to a group of choreographers who were behind the Judson Church Movement in New York in the 1960s, where daily life movements became part of the choreography and untrained people became dancers.” Her background and a history of awards and commissions from many dance companies,  ...

Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?

Fifty-four years after its Broadway debut, the award-winning “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?” by Edward Albee (1928-2016) hasn’t lost any of its strength and force. The alcohol-fueled psychological mêlée among George, Martha, Nick and Honey retains its full intensity and potency. Without the tight direction  ...

Trump, Clinton and Sinclair Lewis

There’s something for everyone in this locally-sourced adaptation of Sinclair Lewis’s “It Can’t Happen Here,” and therein lies its fatal flaw. Berkeley Rep’s artistic director Tony Taccone’s enthusiasm for the Federal Theatre Project, an outgrowth of the Depression-era Works Project Administration, prompted an eleventh-hour decision to produce a new  ...

Bridge Project: Ten Artists Respond to Locus

“The Bridge Project: Ten Artists Respond to Locus” is an elaborate and somewhat heady vehicle for a multidisciplinary exchange of San Francisco Bay Area performing artists. It features ten world premieres that all utilize dance legend Trisha Brown’s iconic, “Locus” (1975) as their departure point, homage, inspiration, and overriding structure—a  ...

The Complete Piano Etudes of Philip Glass

Composer-performers were all the rage in nineteenth century Europe. Liszt wowed big crowds with his miraculous technique, and so did Chopin, but the less flashy piano concert tours of Brahms and Clara Schumann were big draws plus their bread and butter jobs. Still our obsession with "holy German art" has  ...