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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  ...

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  ...

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  ...

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  ...

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  ...

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  ...

Silent Movie Festival, San Francisco

    It's disorienting: San Francisco's Silent Film Festival has moved from its iconic mid-July position to the last weekend in May!  What's going to enliven the doldrums of summer? On the other hand, what better way  ...

Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike, San Diego

Had a good belly laugh lately? You will, courtesy of the side-splitting, Tony Award-winning “Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike,” receiving its San Diego premiere at The Old Globe with an acting ensemble that comes up all aces.  ...