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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  ...

Water by the Spoonful, San Diego

There’s an old saying that you can’t choose your family. It’s true, to some extent, but the relationships in "Water by the Spoonful" show it can be a lot more complicated. Set in Philadelphia, and pretty much everywhere else,  ...

The Tallest Tree in the Forest, LA

Paul Robeson sang the soundtrack of my childhood. I wore out two copies of his 78-rpm album, "Ballad for Americans," yet continued to play it, scratches and all. When I was about 8 years old I met him after a  ...

Tribes, Berkeley

Lovers and losers; speaking and signing; silence and sound; but, above all, family. It’s all interwoven in the intricate pattern of Nina Raine's “Tribes,” one of the best shows to come down the pike in a long, long time. As  ...

Ruth Draper’s Monologues, LA

Ruth Draper is not a household word for you? Well, you are forgiven. She was born in 1884 and performed monologues through the early 1950s. The grayest of the gray-haired in the audience may recall a moment or two of  ...

Margaret Jenkins Dance Company, San Francisco

How does one mark a particular passage of time, with some anniversaries being more significant than others? For Margaret Jenkins this meant looking back over 75 productions, early studio performances, site-specific works, and international collaborations. At age 71, she has  ...

A Song at Twilight, LA

The old adage — “never tell your best friend anything you wouldn’t want your worst enemy to know” — is the armature of Noel Coward’s “A Song At Twilight,” one of the last plays he wrote (1966) before his death  ...