San Francisco Jewish Film Festival 2021

              It’s back: the San Francisco Jewish Film Festival, the oldest and still the largest festival of its kind, has returned after last year’s pandemic-related hiatus.               Well, let’s modify that: it’s back with caveats.  Only one day, July 25th, will see actual live screenings, in  ...

East Bay Theatre Post-Pandemic Preview

East Bay theaters are planning live productions starting late this summer after more than a year of valiantly entertaining and enlightening us through Zoom, podcasts, and film. They worked hard, with surprisingly good results, but it isn’t easy to replicate on Zoom the energy enjoyed from being part of  ...

The Lord of Cries

John Corigliano and Mark Adamo’s new Dracula opera, “The Lord of Cries,” which premiered at Santa Fe Opera on July 17, operates at fever pitch for three hours—it’s a brilliantly creepy theatrical experience with Anthony Costanzo, countertenor, at its gender-fluid center. This is mostly  Dracula on a symbolic basis—the  ...

Marriage of Figaro

New York Times reporters are now being trained to make strong impressions when they appear as experts on broadcast news panels. One rule: introduce only one or possibly two ideas into any answer you give. One is better. The TV audience can’t take-in more. No one  ...

Becoming Dr. Ruth

Among the hallmarks of 1980s culture were big hair, shoulder pads, yuppies, MTV and a middle-aged Jewish woman with a heavily accented raspy voice who achieved worldwide fame as a sex therapist.    In “Becoming Dr. Ruth” you learn that Ruth K. Westheimer, Ph.D., is a  ...

The Mango Tree

A girl and her brother, a volatile river goddess, and a ripe mango tantalizing just out of reach on a branch high above the ground combine to deliver an evening of storytelling magic in the MOXIE Theatre streaming production of “The Mango Tree.” This world premiere  ...

Magic Fruit

TheatreFirst’s 2020-21 virtual season is presenting six world premiere plays and visual essays. Initially, the theater company aired online chapters of the offerings. Now TheatreFirst is showing full versions of each production. While the first chapter of “Magic Fruit” showed great promise, I’m happy to report  ...