James Durbin, last season’s most enigmatic “American Idol” hopeful, says he “most definitely” feels the Bay Area helped fuel his mod-metal-rock vibe.
Thanks at least in part to The City’s leanings and the creative juices of his hometown Santa Cruz, the 22-year-old rose to meteoric heights on “Idol.”
He may have been the head-turning, surprise third runner-up, but like “Idol” alum Chris Daughtry, who came in fourth several years back, Durbin has generated more attention as a nonwinner. Read More
Dig out your legwarmers. “Xanadu,” the Olivia Newton-John movie musical from the 1980s, is rolling into The City — in a theatrical musical version in which roller skates and gaggle of Greek muses command the spotlight.Well that, and making dreams come true.The show, onstage in previews now, runs through Jan. 15 at the New Conservatory Theatre Center. Read More
It’s a tale that only The City could give birth to: Four envelope-pushing drag queens morph into television’s most celebrated characters, “The Golden Girls,” become a huge stage hit and suddenly need more spotlights — literally.Pass the cheesecake. Read More
There’s nothing like a three-time Tony Award winning musical about a civil rights titan who used his distinctly original brand of big-band music to fight against injustice to usher in inspiration during the holidays.
That would be “Fela!,” which opens at the Curran Theatre on Tuesday. The show — which won 2010 Tonys for best choreography, costume design and sound design — captures the spirit of Fela Anikulapo Kuti, whose biting, often sarcastic, music was used as a tool to speak out against actions of the military regimes in his native Nigeria. Read More
Asked about his gig in The City today, appearing with Scott Nevins for the first time, Wilson Cruz laughs. “By the time we get there, we will either have something really brilliant, or we’ll have baked cookies for the audience and we can all sit there, eat and have a big love fest,” Cruz said in a recent interview. Cruz and Nevins share the bill at the Rrazz Room tonight in a unique teaming that could spawn future similar ventures from the two eclectic performers. Read More
Cirque du Soleil returns to The City with a bang — literally, a big one. In “Totem,” opening Friday in Grand Chapiteau near AT&T Park, Cirque’s creative titans capture the theme of evolution, and also offer a stunning, vivid reminder that as a species, we can’t seem to escape our interconnectedness.There hasn’t been a Cirque show quite like this. Read More
The moon must have roamed through the Seventh House countless times since the 1960s — no word yet on whether Jupiter officially aligned with Mars — but if there’s one thing everybody still seems to be waiting for, it’s the “peace” and “love” to steer the stars.
Which makes the arrival of “Hair” this week at the Golden Gate Theatre both fitting and timely, what with an onslaught of nonbullying campaigns and the Occupy Wall Street brouhaha grabbing headlines. Read More
Anybody who witnessed Don Reed’s stellar performance during the 2½-year run of his show “East 14th” realizes that the hilarious Bay Area native has boundless energy. It makes the buzz over his new stage adventure “The Kipling Hotel: True Misadventures of the Electric Pink ’80s” all the more inviting. In “Hotel,” now in previews at The Marsh in The City, the comedic force shares the next phase of his autobiography. Read More
Comedy is fun, but it can be lonely.
Somebody give Jo Koy a hug.
The popular Filipino-American comedian, who appears this week in The City, jokes about the creative yin and yang of his art form.
“You have to have really thick skin, man,” Koy says about being a comic. “It can be a really lonely and depressing journey because it’s only you. You’re the only person that believes you can make it. You have to really believe in yourself and go for it. I know that’s very cliché-sounding, but it’s true.”
Time for the yang. Read More
Debuting at 10 a.m. Saturday on the Cooking Channel is “Easy Chinese: San Francisco” featuring popular foodie Ching-He Huang, best known for the “Chinese Food Made Easy” series.The City is featured prominently in the new show, which highlights the distinctly original vibe of the Bay Area — everything from Chinatown’s vibrant and hidden culinary gems to home-cooked Chinese meals with original flair. Read More
If “Glee” collided with “Mamma Mia” in Tel Aviv, it would resemble something like “Mary Lou,” a musical romp opening at the Castro Theatre this weekend. Israeli director Eytan Fox’s knack for storytelling and courage to delve beneath the surface — and offer characters audiences relate to — do not go unnoticed in this modern-day fable. “It was actually a musical theater production and it became Israel’s biggest success ever, and everybody was happy about that,” Fox says. “But the book needed work and we rewrote the story from scratch into one we really believe in.” Read More
There are a few obvious things people know about Rita Moreno, mostly that she’s that rare show-biz creature in history to have nabbed an Oscar, a Tony, a Grammy and two Emmys. But forget about all that. Because by the time the curtain falls on the revered actress’ new stage outing, “Rita Moreno: Life Without Makeup,” audiences will likely discover a woman they hardly knew at all. Read More
Playwright Claire Chafee has a gift. A good one in fact, because any writer that can make audiences laugh at the emotional roller coasters they find themselves on in life, is downright ingenious. Welcome to “Why We Have A Body,” the hit play that took The City by storm back in 1993 and is now being revived.With previews beginning Wednesday, the show, directed by Katie Pearl, runs through Oct. 2 at the Magic Theatre, where it all began.Chafee, originally from New York, turned heads with “Why …” thanks, in part, to the complexities of the characters she created. Read More
The Kinsey Sicks have been living the perfect drag fairy tale. There’s always a happy ending (in their shows, at least) and their careers were blessed from the get-go by alpha diva, the Divine Miss M.
“In a certain way, Bette is responsible for us,” jokes Irwin Keller (Winnie in the group). He recalls the 1990s — forget the clothes, just embrace the “learning” — when buddy Ben Schatz corralled three friends, Keller among them, to hit a local Midler concert. Read More
Human rights issues are not simply cultural and political. They sometimes are fodder for creative works that, in turn, inspire others to make a difference.They also are the impetus behind New Conservatory Theatre Center ushering in its second international show this year with “When it Settles.” A benefit for NCTC’s New Plays Program, it’s unique in that it not only spotlights two lesbian British artists, but it’s also a production divided in two — one half is dance, performed by Carrie Whitaker, the other is a theater piece with Louie Jenkins. Read More