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  ...

The Whaleship Essex

  Tales of the whale—the commercial treasure and leviathan of the sea—and the sailors who set out in wooden ships to hunt them, are endlessly fascinating. Herman Melville’s “Moby Dick” stands as one of the great adventure stories of world  ...

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  ...

My Name Is Asher Lev

  Asher Lev is an artist, a round-faced, cherubic artist whose paintings horrify his deeply religious Hasidic parents and community. “My gift is demonic and divine. It has the power to hurt and the power to heal,” he says at  ...

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  ...

The Jungle

In a space the size of my bedroom, Oracle Theatre slaughters and carves up cattle, fights for workers’ rights, celebrates a wedding, worships at Christmas, and dies in childbirth. And with rolls of paper and paint, they conjure believable scenes  ...

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  ...