Linda Vista

"Linda Vista," in its world premiere at Steppenwolf Theatre, is a smart and thoroughly entertaining production—a very adult comedy—funny, sexy and poignant. Dexter Bullard, who directed "The Flick" and has directed Letts’ plays before, has created a fast-moving story of lust, comedy and betrayal. The title refers to the  ...

Made for SF Ballet, Program 7

Helgi Tomasson created “Trio” in 2011. It proceeds from a sixth sense of what Tchaikovsky’s piece “Souvenir” proposed about the shape of a dance work. Tomasson abandoned the notion of a continuous motif in favor of three different ones. “Trio” captures an aesthetic that gained popularity over the course  ...

Hershey Felder as Irving Berlin

“Hershey Felder as Irving Berlin” is one in a series of one-man musical biographies written and performed by Hershey Felder. Berkeley Rep theater goers and critics, myself included, have already sung the praises of Felder, the gifted concert pianist, composer and actor, who wrote and performed the first-rate one-man show,  ...

Truman (2015)

You know you’re in for a treat when among the opening scenes of a film is one where two mature men face each other across a threshold, say nothing, but with an exchange of facial expressions and body language, tell you that their story is long, and encumbered. That’s acting  ...

Son

Like a speeding bulldozer crushing everything in its path, a nightmarish past comes barreling back into the lives of two lesbians about to get married in “Son,” a new work by playwright James L. Beller Jr. The promising new play, which needs work, is receiving its world premiere  ...

Adapt!

Adapt! is a new play written and directed by Blanka Zizka, cofounder of the Wilma Theater and is having its premiere there this month. Half autobiography and surrealistic dream, the play dramatizes Zizka’s own experience as an émigré who left her Czechoslovakia in the late 70s, when  ...

Into The Woods

A confession is in order. I love Sondheim. I adored “Into The Woods” when it was presented by The Oregon Shakespeare Company at the Wallis in 2014. I rushed to take grandchildren to the 2015 film with Meryl Streep. I could not wait to go again to the Fiasco Theater  ...

Needles and Opium

Robert Lepage’s 1991 creative drama of transatlantic love, loss and foreign complications intersperses tales of American jazz trumpeter Miles Davis (1926-1981) (outstanding Wellesley Robertson III) and French writer, playwright and filmmaker, Jean Cocteau (1889 –1963) (marvelous Olivier Normand) with a heartbroken Lepage stand-in, Quebecois actor Robert (also Olivier Normand).  ...

Andrew Osborne’s Top Five Films at SXSW 2017

Does moviegoing matter? And with so many options for consuming entertainment, is there still a distinction between small and big screens? In the mainstream blockbuster world, theaters have become theme park attractions with vibrating D-BOX seats and 3-D Imax beasties tearing each other to CGI  ...

Red Velvet

Ira Aldridge is an unsung hero of the long-running civil rights struggle. Born in 1807, the African American actor fled the U.S. to perform in Europe, where he had a 40-year career and was quite popular in Russia. But how did he do it? The play begins in a  ...