Houghton Hall: Portrait of an English Country House, SF and Nashville

San Francisco, CA

Houghton Hall: Portrait of an English Country House, SF and Nashville

Most Americans don’t devote their lives and fortunes to shoring up their titled family’s 300-year old estate the way Lord David Cholmondeley, the current owner of the historic 4,000-acre, 106-room Houghton Hall in Norfolk, England does. So it was with  ...

Partenope, SF Opera

Near the end of Act I of this decidedly comic British production of “Partenope,” in its company premiere at San Francisco Opera, a breeze wafts through an open window, billowing the diaphanous curtain in seductive swirls. That undulating fabric is  ...

Swan Lake, Australian Ballet (U.S. West Coast tour)

Who says you can’t teach an old bird new tricks? Certainly not choreographer Graeme Murphy, who has taken the venerable “Swan Lake” and stood it on its head. The result is a gorgeous, sophisticated dance-fable that will satisfy all but  ...

Un Ballo in Maschera, SF Opera

What better way to celebrate the birthday of Giuseppe Verdi than with his famous costume party? And so it was that I found myself on October 10 at the San Francisco War Memorial Opera House raising a metaphorical glass to  ...

Joe Goode Performance Group

“He’s a good boy…Heeee zzza Goode boooboi…He’s a…” chants and slurs Melecio Estrella at the start of “29 Effeminate Gestures.” Estrella hits this angry mantra over and over as if it were a punching bag, until the sentence turns into  ...

Old Hats, SF

To say something is “old hat” is to say that it is passé, out of style, yesterday’s news. And, indeed, clowning and mime have seen a gradual decline in popularity since the glory days of Charlie Chaplin, Emmett Kelly and  ...

An Audience with Meow Meow, Berkeley, Calif.

A pussycat she’s not, in spite of the name. (And who knows what her real name is?) No, she can purr on occasion and preen and lick her fur, but Meow Meow has claws, and she’s not afraid to show  ...

Susannah, SF Opera

“Ain’t it a pretty night,” sings the soprano and, whenever “Susannah” is in town, the night is more than pretty. It’s gorgeous. Carlisle Floyd’s 1955 work, written when he was only 27, may be the quintessential American opera  ...

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  ...