Fast and Furious Presents: Hobbes and Shaw (2019)

"Fast and Furious Presents: Hobbes and Shaw" is as overwrought as its title. It's also overlong, overblown and over-the-top. That's nothing new for a series known for its over-the-topness. Explosions, car chases and exploding car chases might as well be mistaken for realism in this  ...

The Peanut Butter Falcon (2019)

Don't meet your heroes is how the old saying goes. They'll just let you down. Well, The Peanut Butter Falcon - from writer and directors Tyler Nilson and Michael Schwartzis – is here to say otherwise. Zak (the show-stealing Zack Gottsagen), a young man with downs  ...

San Francisco Ballet at Stern Grove

The pieces chosen for the opener and closer of this year’s Stern Grove San Francisco Ballet program proved the best fit for the venerable if quirky raked stage with brown panel backdrop, like you’ve seen on TV in the “Better Call Saul” office. George Balanchine’s 1952 work, “Scotch Symphony,”  ...

Them That Follow (2019)

In February 2014, a pastor named Jamie Coots from Kentucky died from a rattlesnake bite during his sermon. By the time an ambulance arrived, he'd gone home and declined medical treatment. Instead, he believed God would save him if it was his will. It may sound outlandish, but according  ...

Another Roll of the Dice

From the first joyful strains of “I Hear Music” sung by a sassy waitress wearing bobby socks, a toe-tapping-head-bobbing good time is in store with the world premiere musical “Another Roll of the Dice” at the North Coast Rep. Over the course of two acts,  ...

Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (2019)

Remember when actors sold movies? Quentin Tarantino does. The director's ninth feature--presumably his second to last-- is a love poem of that era told on a magnificent scale. The time is 1969. The place is Hollywood. The heroes, a couple of actors, cast their gaze  ...

The Art of Self-Defense (2019)

"The Art of Self Defense" is a gender case studies that doesn't feel like homework. In other words, your psychology 101 professor would hate it, and you're bound to love it. It's a haunting, evasive and startling funny satire with a black belt in martial  ...

Carmine Street Guitars (2018)

In the West Village of New York, numerous blocks down from the uber trafficked and demonstratively commercialized Time Square/Mid-town area, and just before you get to the loud, busy Houston Street (pronounced hows-ton, not hue-ston, like the city), there is an idyllic two-block section called Carmine Street. Or, it  ...

The Tale of Despereaux

The downside to creating a brilliant show comes later, when you create one that’s merely good. When Pigpen Theatre Company came to the Old Globe in 2017 to perform their original story, The Old Man and the Old Moon, it was a revelation. By comparison, the company’s world premiere  ...