Four actors, four chairs and one keyboard player with just a few lines make up “[title of show],” a musical guaranteed to thrill musical theater lovers.
Diehard fans will delight in the depth and frequency of its Broadway references, yet the clever show — onstage in a local premiere at TheatreWorks — stops short of alienating those who don’t collect decades-old Playbills or haven’t committed lists of Tony winners to memory. (TheatreWorks’ program does include a handy glossary.) Read More
In his new book “Devil’s Plaything,” San Francisco writer Matt Richtel maintains the wild and crazy pace he created in his first novel, “Hooked.”Again, his protagonist is Nat Idle, a seasoned but ragtag San Francisco journalist who finds himself in the middle of what he believes is a biotech industrial conspiracy — one that is using his old, feisty, dementia-diagnosed grandmother as a human guinea pig. Read More
Blue Man Group has gone on steroids — and the result feels like an assault on the senses.Twenty years ago, the quirkyperformance-art piece was the darling of the New York underground scene, and it was a charming bit of fun, filling a small off-Broadway theater with off-the-wall antics.Back then, before YouTube and “Jackass,” three men in blue face makeup scarfing and regurgitating Twinkies and Cap’n Crunch seemed novel, and the nonspeaking characters’ oddball interaction with the audience in such an intimate space evoked a palpable, if unusual, community spirit. Read More
More than two decades since he and his friends created the wild performance art extravaganza known as Blue Man Group, Phil Stanton remains intrigued by at least one mysterious aspect of the show.
“How old is the Blue Man? It’s literally unknown,” he says on the phone from New York in an interview to promote the touring version of the popular production, which opens at the Golden Gate Theatre on Tuesday. Read More
Lisa Rogovin, the founder of Edible Excursions, will lead a special tour of the Ferry Building Marketplace on Thursday to benefit Japan earthquake and tsunami relief efforts.Can you talk a bit about Edible Excursions? We offer culinary tours of the Ferry Plaza Marketplace and farmers market, the Mission district and the Gourmet Ghetto in North Berkeley led by epicurean concierges — chefs, culinary school graduates, caterers or food writers. Read More
Obasi Davis is having a busy spring, having just completed baseball season on the freshman team at Berkeley High School — he pitched and played third base — and preparing for a big poetry slam at Davies Symphony Hall tonight. Read More
The 2011 “SF Follies” — version 2.0, if you will — is as fun, and as frustrating, as its predecessor.The original wacky, irreverent musical revue, which played in a smallish Union Square area theater for a few months in 2009, is back in an updated presentation onstage in the sizable theater at Pier 39. Many of the same moments of inspired lunacy remain, like the maniacal sea lion and the crazed combination of ubiquitous movie critic Jan Wahl and historic Playland character Laughing Sal. Read More
Some fine performances — particularly by the leads — boost 42nd Street Moon’s production of “Silk Stockings,” a musical based on the 1939 film classic “Ninotchka,” which showcased Greta Garbo in one of her few comic roles.
Making her debut with the troupe known for its attention to lost and undiscovered musicals is Lee Ann Payne as Ninotchka, a lively presence who illustrates the show’s primary theme with her wholehearted transformation from stern Soviet official to lighthearted lady in love. Read More
For those who haven’t planned for Mother’s Day — shame on you! Here’s a list of last-minute entertainment Mom surely will enjoy today. Aquarium of the Bay: Moms and grandmas celebrating Mother’s Day with their children or grandchildren by visiting the unique and diverse animals that call San Francisco Bay home will be given free admission. [10 a.m. to 8 p.m., $8-$16 for everyone else, The Embarcadero and Beach Street, S.F., (415) 623-5300, www.aquariumofthebay.org] Read More
The actress and educator appears in 42nd Street Moon’s production of Cole Porter’s Cold War-era “Silk Stockings” and heads up the troupe’s new school for musical theater training. How long has the school been in existence? We built the studio in August 2010; it’s on Van Ness and Grove, near the symphony hall. It’s a big, noisy wonderful place.What’s offered in the classes? We do the triple threat: acting, singing and dancing for adults and teens in nine-week sessions. At the end, we put on a show. Read More
Even without splitting his pants on opening night, Hugh Jackman would be a big hit in The City.Yet, as he said at the end of his nearly two-hour show at the Curran Theatre on Wednesday, even though everything that could have gone wrong did — he had a great time. The Australian star of stage and screen and People magazine’s 2008 sexiest man alive simply oozes charisma. He put on a great show, too, with the sum better than its individual parts. Read More
Lester Chambers, who sang lead and played cowbell on the Chambers Brothers’ pivotal 1968 hit “Time Has Come Today,” is ready to be in the spotlight again.
The 71-year-old wouldn’t have said that a little more than a year ago, when various ailments, particularly “everything that causes high blood pressure,” had him incapacitated and living out of his car and recording studio in the North Bay.
Today, he says, “Every day is fantastic. I feel as good as I look,” thanks to the proper medicine, a good doctor and a stable home with his son Dylan in Petaluma. Read More
Americans waging war against the Swiss for slapping a tax on imported cheese is the topic of George and Ira Gershwins’ 1927 musical “Strike Up the Band.”
In the 21st century, the notion remains amusing, thanks to the Marx Brothers-inspired book by George S. Kaufman, played broadly and to perfection by 42nd Street Moon, the San Francisco troupe dedicated to reviving lost and little-known musicals.
But the silliness mingles well with sharp satire and a plethora of strong songs, including standards the likes of “The Man I Love,” “I’ve Got a Crush on You” and the title tune. Read More
Unlike her last Las Vegas extravaganza, “A New Day,” Celine Dion’s new show at the Caesars Palace theater, created just for her, is “all about the songs.” Her previous five-year gig at The Colosseum broke sales records with its wild Cirque du Soleil-style theatrics. This time, after a world tour and the addition of twins Nelson and Eddy, she is returning for three years with a set list of varied tunes backed by a 31-piece orchestra. Read More
Composer-singer Peter W. Tucker dedicates his new musical, “As Always,” to a San Francisco Parks Trust program called Music in Parks, which is the modern counterpart to a city-sponsored youth theater program he attended decades ago, a pursuit that sparked his lifelong interest in the arts.
Now he comes full circle, performing with vibrant singers Jessica Fisher and Nephi Speer, pianist Frederick Harris and cellists Cornelia Leuthold and Severin Suter in this modest-scale, 85-minute show featuring melodic original songs. Read More