The Marriage of Figaro, LA Opera

What is not to like about Mozart's "Marriage of Figaro"? Not much. When skillfully executed, the music is Mozart at his liveliest. The story is a convoluted farce with overtones of the conflict between the classes and the eternal battle of the sexes told with charm, giving the cast an  ...

Five Shorts from SXSW 2015

  Feature films get most of the hype, but a tightly focused short can often be as much of a satisfying cinematic experience (with far less filler) than a full-length movie. Exhibit A: the following five gems from "South by Southwest's" 2015's documentary shorts program, all of which are  ...

Chapter Two, San Diego

Two wounded people give love another try in a revival production of Neil Simon’s “Chapter Two” at the North Coast Rep. While the setting and dialog are straight out of the 1970s, surprisingly little feels dated about this touching tale packed with one-liners that remain laugh-out-loud funny. George (David  ...

The Life Of Oharu (1952)

    While watching the DVD of "The Life Of Oharu," a 1952 film by Kenji Mizoguchi, I was put into mind of the Theo Angelopoulos film, "The Weeping Meadow," the first part of a trilogy the film director did not complete before his death. Normally, one might  ...

The Originalist

American playwrights have written about the United States Supreme Court for nearly 70 years, at least since the 1946 Broadway premiere of "The Magnificent Yankee," about Oliver Wendell Holmes. "First Monday in October" (1978) imagined the first female justice. "Father Chief Justice" (1997) depicted Edward Douglass White, one of the  ...

Don Quixote

  Heaps of froth rose to the top of San Francisco Ballet’s Mar. 22, 2015 matinee offering of “Don Quixote.” The cast stole its audience’s hearts right from the start, and huge dollops of credit are due some of the company’s finest character dancers: (in order of appearance) James  ...

Ballet 422 (2014)

The title of a new documentary directed by Jody Lee Lipes, “Ballet 422,” refers to the four hundred twenty-second work choreographed for the New York City Ballet. The movie follows the creation of “Paz de la Jolla,” by Justin Peck, a 25-year-old corps de ballet dancer in the company, who  ...

ODC Dance, Program Two

There are certain creative jobs that always sound like a hoot to have, like the person who gets to name paint chip colors…or in the case of “Dead Reckoning,” the person who gets to develop the “snow concept.” That is the title given to company dancer Yayoi Kambara who came  ...

Top Five Films at SXSW

According to Boston Magazine, the term FoMO ("Fear of Missing Out") was coined by a marketing strategist back in 2000, but the basic concept has been perfected by the annual South by Southwest festival in Austin, TX. Boasting 145 feature films over the course of ten days in its 2015  ...