The only “Wedding Bell Blues” for Marilyn McCoo and Billy Davis Jr., who perform this weekend at Yoshi’s in Oakland, are the ones in the hit song they recorded in 1969. The pair has been wed for more than 40 years. It’s not all been bliss, but they worked through the hard times and literally wrote the book on maintaining a successful relationship with “Up, Up and Away: How We Found Love, Faith and Lasting Marriage in the Entertainment World.” Read More
There’s a graciousness to conversation with Trini Lopez that flies in the face of today’s sound-bite-driven, self-obsessed world of showbiz.
“May I tell you a story?” he asks, and the pause lengthens to the point where you realize the question is sincere.
Lopez, who makes his Rrazz Room debut this week, has many stories to tell from both before and after his debut album — filled with hits such as “La Bamba” and “If I Had a Hammer” — made him a name a half-century ago. Read More
The paraphrased expression “music soothes the savage beast” has taken on new meaning for actress and athlete Dot Jones, the grand marshal of the San Francisco LGBT Pride parade on Sunday.For the past two seasons of the hit series “Glee,” Jones has portrayed McKinley High’s football coach Shannon Beiste. It’s a French surname, but Jane Lynch’s arch Sue Sylvester — known for dubbing other characters in the show with derogatory nicknames — loves to give the pronunciation a distinctly American twang. Read More
Nobody told actor and comedian Jay Mohr that his stand-up gig at Cobb’s this weekend coincided with the San Francisco LGBT Pride parade and celebration.
“That is fantastic,” he says. “I’m not gay, but I am certainly on the waiting list. I’ve got my Rufus Wainwright CDs, I have my Hermés man-bag, and I’m very much aware that bear Alec Baldwin is much hotter than twink Alec Baldwin.“ Read More
Broadway’s current lineup includes a number of famous movie titles crafted or crammed onto musical adaptations — "Ghost," "Sister Act" and ‘Priscilla, Queen of the Desert." So it seems only fair that traffic should flow in both directions, which it does with "Rock of Ages," the star-studded film adaptation of the still-running Broadway musical opening this week.
It’s a traditional boy-meets-girl story, set with tongue in cheek in the heavy metal, hair band milieu of Los Angeles’ Sunset Strip in the 1980s. Read More
Frameline 36 — this year’s edition of the San Francisco International LGBT Film Festival running Thursday through June 24 — has the broad theme “Find Your Story.”
Second only to concepts of male and female, and sometimes blurring that line, LGBT people — frequently appended with Q, I and other initials — represent a thoroughly diverse spectrum of humanity. Read More
“Write what you know” is the helpful admonishment often given to creative scribes. For Valerie Vigoda, Brendan Milburn and Gene Lewin — known collectively as the band GrooveLily — writing about the experiences of a music group gigging the country in a beat-up RV was right up their wheelhouse. Read More
Based on a 1946 novel by Nikos Kazantzakis and filmed in 1964 as “Zorba the Greek” with Anthony Quinn, the 1968 musical “Zorba,” onstage in a revival at the Eureka Theatre, has excellent credentials. Songs are by John Kander and Fred Ebb, then basking in “Cabaret” glow. The book is by Joseph Stein, lauded for adapting Sholom Aleichem’s stories into “Fiddler on the Roof.” If you squint, you just might imagine you are seeing a mish-mashup of those two better shows in “Zorba.” Read More
One of the fairest ladies to emerge on the Broadway scene in the past decade is Laura Benanti, who is wrapping up the current season of Marilyn Levinson’s Bay Area Cabaret at the Venetian Room this weekend.
The beautiful brunette, a true Broadway baby, celebrated her first birthday just months before her parents, Linda Wonneberger and Tony nominee Martin Vidnovic, opened the 1980 revival of “Brigadoon.” The couple divorced and Wonneberger moved to New Jersey, where she married psychotherapist Salvatore Benanti. Read More
There’s an admirable core of pragmatism to Debbie Reynolds. The Hollywood star turned 80 on April 1, but she’s nobody’s fool. “I earned all my years,” she says, “and I have a lot I can say to you.”She’s going to do just that Sunday afternoon at the Marin Center, sharing stories, singing a few songs and dipping into her renowned set of celebrity impressions.“I don’t really care about birthdays,” Reynolds says. “I care about whether you are having a good time and doing something with your life. I’ve really had quite an exciting time of it, from rags to riches.” Read More
When composer George Gershwin died unexpectedly in 1937, 41-year-old Ira Gershwin was left without his brother and principal collaborator. Though he did not write a lyric for the next three years, the elder Gershwin did resume his career, which lasted four more decades, until his death in 1983.It’s this period that film and theater critic Rex Reed explores in “The Man That Got Away,” a concert of the work of Ira after George, with more than two dozen songs including hits such as “My Ship” and “Long Ago and Far Away” nestled among less well-known tunes. Read More
In the world of redheads, Miss Coco Peru — who performs two shows today at the Victoria Theatre — manages to blend an air of impossibly good breeding, a la Bree Van De Kamp Hodge (Marcia Cross of “Desperate Housewives”), with the scrappy snarkiness of Kathy Griffin.
Clinton Leupp, the actor inside the always impeccable, titian-toned Marlo Thomas flip and restrained cocktail chic, has turned the act into a science that has earned kudos from both Cross and Griffin. Read More
Home is where the heart is for Ute Lemper. The internationally renowned singer, who makes a one-night visit to Herbst Theatre on Saturday, was born in Germany, but considers the U.S. — specifically New York — her home now.“Germany was my youth and my upbringing,” she says, still sprinkling in a few phrases “auf Deutsch.” “But really, my home is here. I would feel very claustrophobic if that was my home.” Read More
The tenuous relationship between two brothers, one mentally challenged, and the vagrant who enters their lives is the setting for Harold Pinter’s “The Caretaker,” which opens next week at the Curran Theatre with award-winning Welsh actor Jonathan Pryce.It’s been a long time since Pryce has visited San Francisco. “I was there very briefly in the mid-’70s,” he says. “I finished the play ‘Comedians’ in New York and went out to L.A. with it. My wife and I drove all the way through Big Sur to San Francisco and back.” Read More
Kathleen Turner suspects that her great-grandfather would approve of the unconventional nun she is portraying in Matthew Lombardo’s “High,” which opens for a one-week engagement at SHN’s Curran Theatre on Wednesday.“He was a Methodist missionary in China but he broke from the church because he didn’t believe in creating what were called rice Christians,” she says, referring to the pejoratively used term for those who convert for food or other material necessities rather than from true faith. Read More