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  ...

Together, Together (2021)

“Together Together” is a respectable attempt at understated comedy (or is it quirky comedy or dramaedy?). It seems to be unabashedly more of a mildly amusing film in search of, or without need of, a genre label or purpose. Anna (Patti Harrison) is a 20-something gestational surrogate for middle-aged,  ...

The Waves in Quarantine

“The Waves in Quarantine,” Berkeley Rep’s artistic and impressionistic, although somewhat puzzling, series of six linked documentary films, was shot during the pandemic. The project’s foundation is the 1990 musical adaptation of Virginia Woolf’s 1931 experimental novel, “The Waves.” Woolf’s book consists of soliloquies spoken by  ...

Trying

First-day-on-the-job jitters take on new meaning when your boss was a judge at the Nuremberg trials for Nazi war criminals. How a young woman, at the beginning of her life’s journey, finds common ground with a tormented man at the end of a storied career, is earnestly told in  ...

Monday (2021)

Most people would not put much credence on a relationship that begins in a club, even worse when one or both parties are drunk. Depending on your perspective at the end of “Monday,” a romantic drama by Argyris Papadimitropoulos (“Suntan,” “Wasted Youth”) that advice to avoid bar hook-ups will  ...

God of Vengeance

This remarkable English language presentation of the 1906 Yiddish play, "God of Vengeance" ("Got Fun Nekome")was written by Sholem Asch (1880–1957), the prolific and popular Polish-born fiction writer. Returning after a successful short run in March 2021, the Yiddish Theatre Ensemble's production of "God of  ...

San Francisco Ballet at Home Program 3 2021

Program 03’s curator has posed several challenges as well as questions for the reviewer. Three contemporary story ballets overload one program. It takes at least two viewings to appreciate them in a filmed format. Two of the three, "Symphony #9” by Alexei Ratmansky and “Swimmer,” by Yuri Possokhov, are  ...

News of the World (2020)

“News of the World” is a western film in the old tradition. A good guy, Captain Jefferson Kyle Kidd played by Tom Hanks, fights forces of evil as he attempts to reunite a damsel in distress—well, a 10-year-old girl (played by Helena Zengel)—with her remaining biological family. The child  ...