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Norma, SF Opera

Bel canto means “beautiful singing” and that’s what you get in San Francisco Opera’s new production of Bellini’s “Norma.” With the fantastic American soprano Sondra Radvanovsky in the title role, once utterly owned by the likes of Maria Callas  ...

A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Orinda, Calif.

“To sleep, perchance to dream…” The Bard of Avon sure loved the scenarios and fantasies that visit mankind once the head hits the pillow and we drift off into sleep. From Lady Macbeth’s nightmares to the monstrous Caliban’s dream of  ...

The Two Gentlemen of Verona, San Diego

Let’s just come out and say it. “The Two Gentlemen of Verona” is the amuse-bouche of Shakespearean comedies. It doesn’t have the cutting dialogue or villainy of “Much Ado About Nothing” or the many facets of “As You Like It,”  ...

Pygmalion, Cal Shakes

Once upon a time there was a Greek sculptor who, so legend has it, created a statue so beautiful that he fell madly in love with it and, with the help of the omnipresent gods, infused her with life. Trouble  ...

Quartet, San Diego

The premise for "Quartet" seems custom-made for a hilarious evening. Four former opera stars, with long histories, come together to spend their final years in an artist’s home. They share lost glories, simmering resentments and dark secrets. Unfortunately, "Quartet" promises  ...

Ether Dome, San Diego

Faced with the prospect of surgery, most of us consider the cost to our wallet and the inconvenience of recovery to our lifestyle. It would never cross our mind that agony, in the form of excruciating pain on the operating  ...

Hercule Poirot, PBS Masterpiece (Season 12)

Two new exciting episodes featuring David Suchet as Hercule Poirot, Dame Agatha Christie’s favorite Belgian sleuth, will be aired soon on PBS Masterpiece Mystery. Of the entire series of 70 mysteries, they are two of the five Poirot programs not  ...

Buyer and Cellar, LA

Somewhere folks who make up summer reading lists and compile theatrical playlists get the notion that we still have the summer off from school to simply be amused before we return in September. The curmudgeon in me screams, “I haven’t  ...

San Francisco Jewish Film Festival

Highlights of the Jewish Film Festival “Theodore Bikel: In the Shoes of Sholem Aleichem” “The Green Prince” “Run Boy Run” “112 Weddings” “Quality Balls: The David Steinberg Story” “Above and Beyond” “Havana Curveball” “The Sturgeon Queens” The 34th San  ...

Dixie’s Tupperware Party, LA

Are you thinking you caught me leaving out some important information in the heading? Like the actor's name? Well, I am glad you are awake, but here is the dilemma: At this point I think I should put in a  ...