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Category: Music Theater

VISITING LINCHPIN POWERS SUPERB MODERNIST MUSIC-THEATER

VISITING LINCHPIN POWERS SUPERB MODERNIST MUSIC-THEATER

STANFORD—Arguably the most dazzling world premiere of the season took place before an audience of only 100 in a basement studio space hosting a solo music-theater opus. The unorthodox double-barreled staging for singer and string quartet made for a stellar  performance vehicle for East Coast soprano Majel Connery—part singer, part half-crazed actress, part keyboardist. Going barefoot, she writhed about the floor raving and attacked a variety of apples hanging all around her runway stage, with patrons just three feet away…

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REVIVAL OF AN ANCIENT TALE IN DANCE AND SONG

REVIVAL OF AN ANCIENT TALE IN DANCE AND SONG

Via Mark Morris’ Surprising Middle Eastern Foray BERKELEY—Over the past four decades in  Iran, dancing has been either prohibited or frowned upon by the governing powers. In dramatizing a tragedy in timeless Persian song and dance, Mark Morris and his dance group are injecting new life into an endangered species from halfway around the world. In his world premiere here, Morris co-created a 50-minute-long Persian-Azerbaijani work of song, music and dance, “Layla and Majnun,” based on one of the oldest…

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WOMEN AT THE FOREFRONT

WOMEN AT THE FOREFRONT

Ojai Fest Is the Latest Spotlighting Their Creativity By Paul Hertelendy  artssf.com, the independent observer of San Francisco Bay Area music and dance  Week of June 17-24, 2016 Vol. 18, No. 73 BERKELEY—Is this the year of the woman in serious music? The entire Ojai Music Festival program this year is dominated by women’s creativity, inclluding the major opus, Kaija Saariaho’s “The Passion of Simone.” Joana Carneiro will be one of the rare woman conductors at the San Francisco Symphony…

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A THEATER OF FOOTBALL, DANCE

A THEATER OF FOOTBALL, DANCE

  The SF Playhouse brings another unusual and fascinating play to the stage, the West Coast premiere of Andrew Hinderaker’s “Colossal”. Several of Hindraker’s works have played in New York and in Chicago, where he is based at Chicago Dramatists. “Colossol” is his most produced play and it is easy to see why. The on-field team warm-up starts 15 minutes before the production and is a splendid work of football and dance choreography. It’s good to be in your seats…

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NEW TWISTS IN BOY-GIRL MUSICAL

NEW TWISTS IN BOY-GIRL MUSICAL

“Dogfight” at the SFPlayhouse is a “Musical Love Story,” the old-fashioned kind of American musical where boy meets girl, there is a crisis and then they re-meet and everything is perfect. But this has a twist and even though it is placed during the Vietnam wartime in 1963 it feels very modern. The music is modern as well. The music and lyrics of Benj Pasek and Justin Paul come from the school of Steven Sondheim or even Leonard Bernstein with…

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SHIFTING SHOALS, SHIFTING FAMILY TIES

SHIFTING SHOALS, SHIFTING FAMILY TIES

New Play at Berkeley Rep By Carol Benet artssf.com, the independent observer of San Francisco Bay Area theater Weeks starting May 5, 2015 Vol. 17, No. 53 BERKELEY — Tarell Alvin McCraney’s “Heads of Passes” is a faith-based play with a topline cast about family conflicts in the Deep South, loosely based on the Biblical “Book of Job.” With added rewrites after its Berkeley Rep run, it will be headed to New York City. Playwright Tarell Alvin McCraney is big…

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‘TARTUFFE’ ANEW AT THE BERKELEY REP

‘TARTUFFE’ ANEW AT THE BERKELEY REP

Timely Hypocrisy, Pomposity, Comedy By Carol Benet artssf.com, the independent observer of San Francisco Bay Area theater Weeks starting April 5, 2015 Vol. 17, No. 49 BERKELEY—Molière’s satirical comedy “Tartuffe,” first performed in 1664, remains one of the most timely scripts ever written despite the vast time gap since it appeared, it. In it, Molière makes fun of excessive religiosity, yet this new interpretation at Berkeley Rep by Dominique Serrand and Steven Epp, who plays Tartuffe, is both hilarious and…

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