Café Society

Starting with the plain white opening titles against a black background, Woody Allen's latest romantic comedy, "Café Society," has all the earmarks of earlier Allen rom-coms: an Allen avatar with a Jewish background, a beautiful love interest (or two), a score consisting of mid-twentieth-century standards. Some people will  ...

Macbeth, Old Globe Theater, San Diego

If forced to summarize Macbeth in two words, you might choose brutality and suffering. While Hamlet dives into the big existential, Lear hammers at disloyalty and Othello focuses on deception, Macbeth takes an unblinking look at some of man’s basest instincts. The Globe’s production does not flinch, taking  ...

Shostakovich Under Stalin’s Shadow

Conductor Andris Nelsons and the Boston Symphony Orchestra continue their stellar series of performances of the works of Dmitri Shostakovich with their Deutsch Grammophon release “ Shostakovich Under Stalin’s Shadow,” a 2-cd set with their live performances of symphonies Nos. 5, 8 and 9 recorded in Symphony Hall in  ...

Cabaret, National Tour

An only child privy to adult conversations, I have a memory of the film, “I Am a Camera,” playing at Provincetown’s Art Cinema Theater when I was, say, seven, and overhearing my mother telling friends, “See that film!” The penetrating saturation of her brown eyes stood in for the exclamation  ...

Jenůfa

Despite how musically rich and sensitive Janáček’s opera Jenůfa is, its grotesque storyline, which includes the murdering of a child, is not. It captures a sample of small-town life in Moravian Slovakia during the mid-1850s, which first influenced Gabriela Preissová to write Její Pastorkyňa ("The Stepdaughter"), which inspired Janáček to  ...

Disgraced

Ayad Akhtar’s 2013 Pulitzer Prize winning play, “Disgraced,” has finally arrived in Los Angeles. It was the most produced play in America last season. Witty and timely it pulls no punches in the arena of American racial relations or the battleground called marriage and it entertains. Hard to beat.  ...

Jenůfa, SF Opera

The last time I saw Karita Mattila in “Jenůfa” she played the title role, a young village girl madly in love with the town ne’er-do-well and secretly carrying his child to boot. Now, her gleaming voice burnished with maturity, the great Finnish soprano sings the role of Kostelnička, Jenůfa’s overprotective  ...