Straying from its reliable faux-operetta structure of comedic chef falls for elusive, sometimes-acrobatic chanteuse, Teatro ZinZanni’s current edition of “License to Kiss II” turns its spotlight on a lone pastry chef in search of the perfect dessert. While the final souffle falls a tad flat, there are some wonderful ingredients worth savoring in this version of the cabaret, circus and dinner show set in a European spiegeltent on the waterfront, and now in its 11th year. Read More
Once again, the folks at Boxcar prove they are “the little (theater) engine that could” with their insane, inventive, irresistible “Clue.”
Artistic Directors Peter Matthews and Nick O. Olivero have adapted the screenplay of the foppish 1985 cult film — itself inspired by the perennial board game — and crafted a unique and loving sendup of a sendup. Read More
There is a strong thread of service to others that runs through the life and career of Martha Reeves, former leader of the Vandellas, who returns to the Rrazz Room next week for her third annual appearance.“It started with my family,” she says of the crowded house shared with her parents and 11 siblings. “Being the first girl, I had a lot of responsibility and also had to be an example. It put me in an authoritative position, which made me realize I could be a leader. I could be responsible for others.” Read More
Valerie Holiday can’t explain why she has so rarely performed in California. “We’re trying to fix that now,” she laughs, referring to the Rrazz Room debut of The Three Degrees this week.Holiday joined the relatively unknown Philadelphia-based group in 1967 four years after Fayette Pinkney, Shirley Porter and Linda Turner were discovered by producer and songwriter Richard Barrett. Read More
Haven’t answered Frank Loesser’s musical question yet? Here are some options in The City for the New Year’s Eve procrastinators among you.Jazz and blues Let the good times roll with jazz and blues artists Kim Nalley at 7 and 10 p.m. at the Rrazz Room; Dianne Reeves at 8 and 10 p.m. at Yoshi’s; Lavay Smith & Her Red Hot Skillet Lickers at 8 p.m. at Bimbo’s 365 Club; and John Lee Hooker Jr. at 8 and 10 p.m. at Biscuits & Blues. Read More
Margaret Cho likes to keep a full calendar. Wrapped around her recent three wild weeks on “Dancing With the Stars,” the former San Franciscan promoted “Cho-Dependent” — her debut album as a singer-songwriter — and continued her comedy tour across the nation. She appears at the Nob Hill Masonic Center on Saturday.“It’s crazy, isn’t it?” Cho says about the schedule, which includes planning for the third season of “Drop Dead Diva,” her Lifetime series shot in Georgia, and making new videos for the album such as “Lice,” which was inspired by a trip to Morocco last year. Read More
If a deceased bisexual 40-something glam-rock icon and a straight, 20-something cabaret princess seem like an odd pairing, explain why to Carly Ozard, who’ll spend two evenings at The Rrazz Room sharing her revelry in and reverence for the talent and the legend of Queen’s Freddie Mercury.
A 7-year-old Ozard first experienced Mercury on the radio, “and it was like I woke up,” she says. “Was it a guy? Was it a girl? I had to know more.” Read More
There’s a wonderfully pragmatic guy-next-door quality to Marvin Hamlisch.
Awards and world-famous friends seem to be just part of a day’s work for the composer-conductor, who will simultaneously launch the seventh season of Marilyn Levinson’s Bay Area Cabaret and rechristen the Venetian Room at the Fairmont Hotel as an upscale entertainment venue Sunday.
Hamlisch played the Venetian Room “many, many, many years ago. I can’t remember when,” he says, “but then I can’t remember Tuesday, so that tells you something.” Read More
By today’s “Glee”-filled standards, a group of students having frank discussions about sex barely raises an eyebrow. Not so in 1960, when “Where the Boys Are” presented four girls — including singer Connie Francis in her screen debut — awakening to their sexual urges with very different opinions of how to behave.This week, Francis returns to the Castro Theatre, scene of her sold-out 2007 concert, for a 50th-anniversary screening of “Boys” on Wednesday and a concert performance, backed by a 21-piece orchestra, on Saturday. Read More
By today’s “Glee”-filled standards, a group of students having frank discussions about sex barely raises an eyebrow. Not so in 1960, when “Where the Boys Are” presented four girls — including singer Connie Francis in her screen debut — awakening to their sexual urges with very different opinions of how to behave.
This week, Francis returns to the Castro Theatre, scene of her sold-out 2007 concert, for a 50th-anniversary screening of “Boys” on Wednesday and a concert performance, backed by a 21-piece orchestra, on Saturday. Read More
With more than 300 theater companies in the Bay Area, surviving, let alone thriving in a tough economy, one that’s been particularly hard on arts organizations, is an accomplishment. Cutting Ball Theater has managed to do that, and marks its 10th anniversary with a “10.10.10” gala Sunday. Read More
There’ll be no onstage reunion with Robert Wagner when Stefanie Powers opens “Hart of My Heart” for two nights at The Rrazz Room this weekend.
The Hart of the title is not a television character, but lyricist Lorenz Hart, first long-term writing partner of composer Richard Rodgers.
That Powers sings still surprises those who know her only as a glamorous society sleuth or from her campier early days as “The Girl From U.N.C.L.E.” Read More
Can you remember what you were doing at age three? Janis Paige can.
“We had an old wind-up Victrola and I knew how to work it. I remember singing ‘My Blue Heaven’ over and over to no one in particular. I can still sing it today,” she says.
Today is 85 years later and Paige is sharing reminiscences of her long career in story and song for two appearances at the Rrazz Room on Sunday and Monday. Read More
According to Cheryl Bentyne, who’s one-quarter of the musical group the Manhattan Transfer, even Grammy-winning recording artists have to do their chores. This explains why she has spent the waning days of the summer outside her 1836 Sudbury, Mass., vacation home with a brush dripping “cottage red” on her hands.
“I painted a house!” she says. “Not the inside. Not a closet. Not around a windowsill. I painted a house.” Read More
Tales of lost love are a songwriting staple. The Motown team of Holland-Dozier-Holland mined it well.
In 1970 they came up with “Band of Gold” which became a Top 10 hit and a career-launcher for Freda Payne, who opens a week-long run at The Rrazz Room on Tuesday.
Before conquering the charts, Payne left her native Detroit for time in Manhattan where she worked with the likes of Quincy Jones and Pearl Bailey, while understudying Leslie Uggams on Broadway. Read More