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Thaïs, LA Opera

“Thaïs.” Does the name ring a bell? If you are not an opera aficionado, the likely answer is no, unless you happen to recall the haunting "Méditation from Thaïs." If so, you are on the right track. This late 19th-century ...

Carmen and In the Upper Room, Ballet San Jose

“Carmen” was first produced in London in 1949 and then premiered in San Jose on May 3, 2002. It is Luigi Bonino's revival of Roland Petit's one-act retelling of the opera as ballet. The "end of season" show May 11 ...

Interview w/Neil LaBute

Tom loves Helen. And why shouldn’t he? She’s smart, pretty and has a great sense of humor. But she’s also fat, and for Tom that just may be a deal breaker. This is the conundrum at the heart of Neil ...

The Ghost of Gershwin, LA

As someone who loves George Gershwin’s music, could listen to it 24/7 and never tire of it, I’d looked forward to reviewing "The Ghost of Gershwin" at the Lonny Chapman Theatre in North Hollywood. But I quickly tired of ...

A Delicate Balance, LA

It’s Saturday and you’ve just been given tickets to an Edward Albee play. What to wear, what to wear? You look through your closet for something appropriate: (a) Tux. Un-huh. (b) Business casual. Ahh, no. (c) Hazmat suit. Hmmm…. Answer ...

The Suit, SF

“The Suit” doesn’t fit as well as expected. With the renowned director Peter Brook’s name attached, one goes in expecting something magical like that long-ago “Midsummer Night’s Dream” or the “Marat/Sade” that set a standard for much that followed ...

The Lion in Winter, LA

It’s a story as old or older as any to be found in the Old Testament: a dysfunctional family; a husband and wife at each other’s throats; adult children twitching with ambition and sibling rivalry and, of course, a pearl ...

Acis and Galatea, Berkeley

In her time, Isadora Duncan choreographed opera, among them Gluck’s “Orpheus and Eurydice.” There is lovely pastoral dance in that work; Mark Morris has evoked her spirit and style in Handel’s “Acis and Galatea.” Noted as a "world premiere," this ...

Mahagonny Songspiel and Les Mamelles de Tirésias, SF

Just when you think it can’t get any better, amazingly it does. In its brief history Opera Parallèle, under the artistic direction of founder/conductor Nicole Paiement, has presented little-known contemporary works by Phillip Glass, Samuel Barber, John Harbison, Leonard Bernstein ...

Not a Genuine Black Man, Berkeley

Brian Copeland has a sad story to tell. But he tells it with such wit and self-deprecating humor that his audience has been laughing through its tears. For 10 years, in fact, making “Not a Genuine Black Man” allegedly the ...