The Good Person of Szechwan

The little lifeboat is swiftly sent down./ Too many men too greedily/ Hold on to it as they drown. — Bertolt Brecht When Bertolt Brecht (1898-1956, “Three Penny Opera”) wrote the light and lively fable of “The Good Person of Szechwan”at the start of World War  ...

The Play That Goes Wrong

Alas, sometimes a title gives away the plot. Maybe it is foolish to expect more from a play written by a committee, namely Henry Lewis, Jonathan Sayer, and Henry Shields. It is summer and once again theatrical producers are certain audiences crave humor. Here is  ...

San Francisco Jewish Film Festival 2019

If it's July, it must be the San Francisco Jewish Film Festival—the 39th edition this year.             And as always, the festival promises a wide array of feature films, documentaries, shorts, director appearances, and discussions--not only in San Francisco but also in Albany, Piedmont, Palo  ...

The Lion King (2019)

The build up to the 2019 version of The Lion King seemed to escape the blowback on remakes (especially the Disney variety) of “why?” and “can’t we leave our classics alone?” The marketing plan was as big and epic as the original and the visual seems so advanced, it  ...

Midsommar (2019)

In Ari Aster's "Midsommar," the hills are alive with the sound of music (literally!). The hills of Sweden warp to the hymns of the occult. Fittingly, this sensationally scary sophomore feature warps and stretches you like silly putty.  It's shaping up to be  ...

Yesterday (2019)

When I got home from my 7 o'clock screening, the power in my neighborhood went out. Under normal circumstances this would have been perfectly normal--the product of construction or some over-eager birds. But the screening was for  "Yesterday," a movie where the electricity goes out around the  ...

On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous

“On Earth We Were Briefly Gorgeous,” is a unique story with an even more unique approach and style by poet Ocean Vuong. The novel is written as a letter from a son, at the time in his late 20s, to his mother who is illiterate. The letter/story, the narrator-protagonist  ...