Spellbound

Two elements in the gala’s ceremonial intro nearly upstaged the nativist spit and polish of “Men’s Regiment from Stars and Stripes.”  First was Artistic Director Helgi Tomasson’s paradoxical pitch to set aside our points of view in the service of affirming that “We are all Americans,” (which all present  ...

No Quarter

“Astrology is not about astrology. It is about what is already happening. Astrology isn’t about us, but the way we are sewn into the weave of all we belong to. Right now, you are not dead, but you will die. What kind of ancestor will you be?” Larry Arrington  ...

Your House Will Pay

In 2019, two Korean siblings, Miriam and Grace Park who are both in their twenties, and like many others their age, they are grappling on a social level of the shooting of a black teen by a Los Angeles police officer. This is not new for Miriam, who is  ...

Just Mercy (2020)

Real-life hero lawyer Bryan Stevenson, founder of the Equal Justice Initiative (EJI), and an advocate for death row inmates and others unfairly incarcerated, comes to life on the big screen in “Just Mercy.” Adapted from Stevenson’s memoir of the same title, it is a depiction of one of the  ...

Underwater (2020)

A crew member of the Poseidon, a drilling rig seven miles under the sea, plops a creature on the dining table. It squirms about aimlessly, leaving a trail of blood where the surrounding crowd usually eats. Yet no one reacts. They stare at the creature as if  ...

The Two Popes (2019)

115 priests wander the Vatican as the Gregorian chant drowns out their conversations. What they are discussing is obvious: A new pope must be picked by the end of the day. But what's less obvious is a tune being whistled in the bathroom. "What is that hymn?" Benedict (Anthony  ...

Best Movies 2019

1. AVENGERS: ENDGAME True, Martin Scorsese said comic book movies are nothing but theme parks...but, WHAT a theme park. And though it may not even count as cinema for some people, this climactic installment of the Marvel Cinematic Universe's Infinity saga (three  ...

Best TV 2019

1. LODGE 49 (AMC) Dearly beloved, we are gathered here today to pay tribute to one of the weirdest, most singular TV programs since "Twin Peaks: The Return" (and the original "Twin Peaks" before it), gone far too soon from this  ...

Copenhagen

Berkeley’s Indra's Net Theater is now staging the first American production of the newly revised version (2018) of playwright Michael Frayn’s illustrious, award-winning drama, “Copenhagen,” well-directed by Indra’s Net Artistic Director Bruce Coughran. The celebrated “Copenhagen” is based on the 1941 meeting between two internationally respected physicists, Niels Bohr  ...

Becky Nurse of Salem

Sarah Ruhl rules! The MacArthur Fellowship “genius” award winner’s latest play, a world premiere, and her sixth at Berkeley Rep is a thoroughly captivating, charming, and ultimately satisfying quirky comedy that ponders the Salem witch trials and much more. With humor and insight, “Becky Nurse of Salem” explores family  ...