La Traviata, SF Opera

“La Traviata,” that quintessential tale of a Parisian courtesan-with-a-heart-of-gold-except-she-dies-of-consumption-at-the-end, is one of Verdi’s most beautiful and beloved operas. That’s the first reason to go and see the revival at San Francisco Opera. The second is the production, originally directed by John Copley with lavish sets by John Conklin and period  ...

Dog and Pony, San Diego

A man and a woman work for years as a creative team. One is married; the other single. What if suddenly the deck is cleared and they had a shot at romance. Would it ruin their professional relationship? That’s the one-trick pony in the musical “Dog and Pony,” receiving its  ...

Marry Me a Little, Mountain View, CA

It’s a very slender branch on which to hang a show. But the leaves are songs by Stephen Sondheim and the roots are anchored in the longing for love, so what can be bad? Playwright Craig Lucas (“Light in the Piazza” and “Prelude to a Kiss”) and his longtime collaborator  ...

Maestro, Berkeley

One of my favorite Stephen Sondheim lyrics is sung by a stripper with the improbable name of Mazeppa (he rhymes it with “shleppah”) in, of course, “Gypsy.” The song is titled “You Gotta Get a Gimmick” and it reminds me of pianist/playwright/performer Hershey Felder. He’s got a gimmick for sure  ...

Interview: Seth Bockley, playwright

    Seth Bockley is a Chicago-based playwright, playwright-in-residence at the Goodman Theatre and author of "Ask Aunt Susan," which opened at the Goodman’s Owen Theatre this week. He has been involved with the Goodman for several years as part of their playwrights unit, where "Ask Aunt Susan"  ...

“Ask Aunt Susan”

        Photo by Liz Lauren.     Seth Bockley’s new play, "Ask Aunt Susan," is a smart, funny 90-minute tear through today’s era of digital connections and a"cri de coeur" for a slower pace and a little more humanity in  ...

Death of the Author, LA

Spoiler Alert: Animals are, indeed, hurt in this play. They’re the oxen gored by playwright Steven Drukman and they can be found at almost any university today — from the president to a major department chair to a lowly instructor and all the way down to two soon-to-graduate  ...

Show Boat, SF Opera

Y’all come on down to the levee folks. The “Show Boat” is in town and it’s a singin’, dancin’ romp. But is it an opera? Well, maybe more of an operetta, but who cares? In a spiffy production at San Francisco Opera (a co-production with Lyric Opera of Chicago, Washington  ...