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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.  ...

A Raisin in the Sun, Cal Shakes

It has been more than half a century since Lorraine Hansberry’s iconic “A Raisin in the Sun” first took the stage, for those who saw it changing the way white America viewed the upward struggle of their African American neighbors.  ...

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  ...