ARTS COME ALIVE IN SAN
Welcome to the launching of the FIFTEENTH good-luck season underway at www.artssf.com, the
the arts, your best source in the San Francisco Bay Area for reviews.
Classical Music, Books, Theater, Dance
The life of a zine is about a minute
---San Francisco Chronicle headline.
But clearly, they weren't talking about the arts-review 'zine
With weekly reviews on WHAT'S NEW on the arts scene: Modern
(non-commercial), premieres, theater reviews, dance, rarities, and
Northern California authors or themes. At times, even a review or two
far-off lands. Also some reports from the major symphonic,
and operatic concerts, all emphasizing new or modern creativity.
Read the reviews first on artssf.com. Reports are compiled by veteran
Area critics Paul Hertelendy, D. Rane Danubian, Carol Benet, V.I.
Hambleton, J. Charles, Georgia Rowe, Alix
Karl Toepfer et al in a vast (?) staff
of a good (very good!) six-to-seven
collaborators. Then there's our secret-weapon time machine: roving
critic Steven Emanuel, who scouts theater, thespians, books and
other themes in varied bailiwicks, anticipating hits that may
land in Northern California before long. .
The 13th season had again featured more than 100 reviews in toto
contributors---122, to be exact. The Greater S.F. Bay
Area remains a
in new works and modern approaches, as stimulating as ever, fed by an
audience thirsty for the fresh, novel and profound. Most reviews appear
within 24 hours after a performance..
CURRENT REVIEWS and news follow,
with the most recent:
-- (BALLET) The Smuin Ballet showcases visceral modern works by Pickett
and Moultrie while stumbling on Smuin.
-- (ON THE PODIUM) Swinging the stick isn't so easy: Conductors are
hobbled by ailments, too.
-- (BALLET) Madness, sexuality, and stunning statuary in Eifman
-- (DANCE)The Wheeldon "Cinderella" is a colossal spectacle for young
and old, worthy of annual revival.
-- (SYMPHONY) S.F. Symphony reviewing Beethoven, also in context of
John Adams' new "Absolute Jest."
-- (DANCE) Funk comes resonantly to life as David Dorfman plays Pied
Piper to the young dance fans.
-- (DANCE) Bassist Edgar Meyer is all over the stage, live, in Lines
Ballet's new feast for the eyes "Meyer."
-- (THEATER) ACT's docu-drama musical "Stuck Elevator," making 71
minutes seems like 81 hours.
-- (BALLET) The fiery passions of Hell, the white of the Heavens: The
S.F. Ballet offers each. Take your pick!
-- (BALLET) A modern treatment of Ibsen scores in S.F. Ballet's
-- (THEATER) Love gone awry in the play 'Reasons to Be Pretty.'
-- (OPERA) Some day, there'll be a great opera on the
post-impressionist painter Paul Gauguin. But not this one!
-- (MUSIC) New Century's strings light up the night with Chausson,
-- (NEW MUSIC) S.F. Contemporary Music Players delve into earnest
-- (SYMPHONY) Steven Stucky's sensitive new song cycle on Milosz poems
premiered by Berkeley Symphony, alongside Bruckner.
-- (SYMPHONY, DANCE) Unusual troika collaborations in symphony and
dance. How effective are they?
-- (BALLET) The Cranko 'Onegin' from Pushkin draws audience raves at
the S.F. Ballet's revival.
-- (THEATER) San Francisco's tiny Custom Made company scores with
-- (THEATER) The Callas of international journalism returns to life in
"Fallaci," at BRT.
-- (SYMPHONY) Marin County has a jewel in its midst, with the Symphony
playing Kernis, Mozart and the 'Eroica.'
-- (THEATER) You're embarrassed you laughed---'Dead Metaphor' is so
-- (SYMPHONY) New young stars on the rise---pianist Yuja Wang, and
composer Samuel Adams.
-- (CHAMBER MUSIC) In Berkeley, the Lee Trio unveils a new Rosenthal
suite, and a less familiar Janacek.
-- (RECITAL) Violinist Anne-Sophie Mutter could fill volumes on
intelligent programming, exuberant play.
-- (OPERA) 'The Secret Garden,' so elusive in so many dramatizations,
fares no better as a family opera.
-- (BALLET) S.F. Ballet sitting on top of the world with Wheeldon,
-- (BALLET) The "Rite of Spring" centennial, with a rousing new
Possokhov version. At the S.F. Ballet.
-- (STRING QUARTET) Escher players in San Jose with Beethoven hit some
-- (STRING QUARTET) Kronos Quartet back home with new premieres, and a
memorable Stookey opus.
-- (RECITAL) Violinist Hilary Hahn innovates, with a dozen new
encore pieces peppering her program.
-- (SYMPHONY) The triumph of a puckish Lynn Harrell in a modern cello
concerto in Berkeley.
-- (HALL ACOUSTICS) Acoustics changeable at will in experiment
demonstrated at Stanford's new Bing Hall.
-- (THEATER) Guirgis' play with the unprintable title scores big at SF
-- (THEATER) In a Magic misfire, playwright Octavio Solis shows he is
all too human.
-- (BALLET) Between the dated French confection and the avant-garde,
Jerome Robbins stands out at the SFB.
-- (BALLET) The Joffrey Ballet, bigger than ever, back at Berkeley with
a new persona.
-- (THEATER) "4,000 Miles," a masterful play out of New York, at ACT
-- (DANCE) Company C Ballet glows in the suburbs with three new
-- (THEATER) Silliness, hilarity reign at teenagers' adventure
"Troublemaker:" at Berkeley Rep.
-- (SYMPHONY-THEATER) Various perspectives of 'Peer Gynt,' in San
Francisco Symphony's robust co-staging.
-- (NEW CONCERT HALL) Long overdue, Stanford Univ. now has the Bing
Concert Hall, a superlative facility.
-- (SYMPHONY) 70% of a world premiere is better than none, linking
Holloway, Debussy, the SFS, and soprano Renee Fleming.
-- (CHAMBER ORCHESTRA) The San Jose ensemble has it, in spades, this
time with Heisinger, Harrison.
-- (YEAR'S BEST, MUSIC) The cream of the crop in 2012 Bay Area
concerts. with many novelties.
-- (YEAR'S BEST, DANCE) The San Francisco Ballet remains the master of
the hall in 2012---always on its toes.
-- (CHORUS) Chanticleer, vocal masters of the classical Christmas, goes
outside the envelope to many lands and centuries.
-- (SYMPHONY) Berkeley Symphony spotlights a precocious composer of
tone poems, Dylan Mattingly, 21.
-- (SYMPHONY) The mythical Pandora unleashed, in a vigorous,
down-to-earth new symphonic work by Mark Volkert.
-- (BALLET) Different "Draculas" played by companies on both coasts.And
they're not exactly bite-sized!
-- (DANCE) Garrett-Moulton's dance theater piece "Angles of
Enchantment" is packing 'em in.
-- (BALLET) Doldrums in the suburbs? Credit Diablo Ballet for shaking
-- (THEATER) Berkeley Rep's long-awaited "White Snake"---Zimmerman's
latest---scores as a visual treat.
-- (THEATER) Magic Theatre takes up the fractured nuclear family in
Ziegler's new play.
-- (CHAMBER MUSIC) Pavel Haas Quartet may be a mite too passionate in
play for its own good.
-- (THEATER) ACT/SF revives "Elektra," with Olympia Dukakis.
-- (BALLET) A menacing and seemingly invincible Dracula dominates at
the Washington Ballet.
-- (MUSIC, VARIOUS) A Salonen week, capped by a sensational "Wozzeck"
in a new type of performance.
-- (BALLET) A heartening renaissance of quality ballet in San Jose
after the turmoil of last year.
-- (PLAYER PIANO) Ear-opening rhythms you've never heard live: The
Nancarrow centennial at Berkeley.
-- (OPERA) Wagner's "Lohengrin" combines the magical savior-knight with
astute psychological insights and disaster.
-- (DANCE) Lines Ballet's new "Constellation" features novel
illuminated spheres and 10 nimble dancers.
SF Symphony unearths Prokofiev film score celebrating Ivan the
-- (OPERA) Heggie's opera "Moby-Dick," after Melville, is a must-hear
modern work of our times.
Edmund Campion blends electronics and orchestra for new hall's
-- (SYMPHONY) Paul Dresher's concerto premiere
offers a whale of a string instrument.
-- (CHORUS) Chanticleer, the unaccompanied all-male chorus, peruses
seven centuries impeccably.
The precarious boldness of Shostakovich, his covert themes, and evading
arrest in the USSR.
Recent programmatic music closes out Cabrillo, with views of Dionysus,
a Persin legend, Miro, the North Star.
-- (CHAMBER MUSIC) In 10th season, Music at Menlo (Park) has come of
-- (THEATER) A realistic "War Horse" takes center stage, and you forget
-- (OPERA) New Mexico's high range challenges sopranos and lush
romantic operas alike.
-- (OPERA) Coloratura, swash-buckling drama in Rossini's drawn-out
"Maometto II," in Santa Fe
-- (OPERA) A stunning compressed psychodrama in Santa Fe Opera's "King
MacMillan's 'Apocalypse' was a climax, not the end of the world, at
Cabrillo surprises again: A multi-media, multi-woman production
-- (OPERA) A wild, wacky, bawdy, satirical pair of one-act operas in El
Cerrito ring the bell.
-- (THEATER) Sha Sha Higby's one-woman show of theater, dance, art.
Double-barreled concerto stars Bell and Grimaud ring out a Napa Valley
-- (OPERA) Don't dispatch "Postcard from Morocco" to the dead-letter
office; it's an engaging farce/vehicle for emerging singers.
-- (CONTEMPORARY) A sold-out house for an all-Cage concert of fun,
whimsey, rude noises, and intriguing concepts.
Bach's B Minor Mass everywhere. But in S.F., with period instruments.
-- (THEATER) Victor Hugo's “Les
Misérables” returns to the S.F. stage, vibrant as ever.
-- (THEATER) Yes, a musical and modern minstrel show at ACT:
-- (OPERA) "Nixon in China:" Arguably the
longest-lasting, most popular late-20th-century opera. Finally in San
-- (OPERA) Ever heard the Mad Hatter and Cheshire Cat sing? It's been
"Alice in Wonderland" in St. Louis.
-- (THEATER) Eve Ensler's kaleidoscopic drama about teen girls
grappling with life, at the Berkeley Rep.
Ethereal spatial sounds, a gruesome death-camp drama, and Beethoven's
Ninth end the season.
"Bluebeard's Castle" "almost staged" at the S.F. Symphony, under MTT's
-- (DANCE-THEATER) Joe Goode's latest show packs it all in: theater,
dance, song, live music, video.
-- (THEATER) Another spooky, funny play from McDonagh, "Behanding in
-- (THEATER) A skilful blending of Maya and ancient-Greek cultures in
the play "Bruja."
Pianist Yuja Wang, a San Francisco favorite, tackles Rach 3, brings
down the house.
Nostalgia and romanticism prevail with Mahler, the "Pastoral" and
Schnittke at the S.F. Symphony.
_-- (THEATER) Is Beckett's "Endgame" simple? Profound? Realistic?
Existential? Eternal questions remain.
Philharmonic on tour: Magnus Lindberg provides the Finnish, but there's
a great Tchaikovsky conclusion.
The ever-innovative Kronos Quartet in new and recent music from Vietnam
and the Arctic-Inuit tradition.
An admirable all-French program---but why on Cinco de Mayo, when the
Mexicans had defeated the French?
-- (BALLET) "Don Quixote" may not retain much Cervantes, but nowhere
will you get more dance all evening long.
A Berkeley Symphony premiere on women of faith---and a surprise male
-- (SYMPHONY) Los Angeles' Philharmonic pours out a wealth of
Schubert with guests.
-- (THEATER) Magic Theatre's new play resonates with existential family
-- (THEATER) Intriguing new play, "Aliens," in social critique: We
cannot cope, we cannot adapt.
-- (THEATER) The comedy "Maple and Vine" says, just forego those
portable electronics, and it's a trip to the 1950s.
-- (DANCE) Lines' dancers shine, but the second time around,
-- (THEATER) Berkeley Rep's 'Red' is a talky two-man show about painter
-- (OPERA) God gets injured, composer Wold takes the stage, and
'Certitude and Joy' is saved from disaster.
-- (BALLET) A troupe
us to three strange places, poles apart. Three poles? Sure, it's just
Ballet at work.
-- (BALLET) Edwaard (sic) Liang creates a maarvelous (sic) new piece on
Rachmaninoff for the S.F. Ballet.
-- (BALLET) Menlowe, a new ballet company on the S.F. Peninsula, soaks
up talent from all over to fill the bill.
-- (SYMPHONY) S.F. Symphony readies for the NY tour with four moderns,
including Bates and Adams premieres.
-- (BALLET) S.F. Ballet's 'Romeo'
features two stellar ballerinas from opposite ends of the earth as
-- (SYMPHONY) Life too structured? S.F. Symphony has the antidote, via
John Cage's "Song Book" guideposts.
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