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BWW Reviews: PIRATES OF PENZANCE a Glorious Thing Review BWW Reviews: PIRATES OF PENZANCE a Glorious Thing
by Harmony Wheeler - August 11, 2014

A paradox! A paradox! A most ingenious paradox! Only the ridiculous humor and unpredictable circumstances of Gilbert and Sullivan could make so much sense. In the capable hands and clear diction of Lamplighters Musical Theatre, it is, indeed, a glorious thing to be a pirate king, or the audience of one. (more...)


BWW Reviews: PIXAR in Concert at SF Symphony Review BWW Reviews: PIXAR in Concert at SF Symphony
by Harmony Wheeler - July 18, 2014

The San Francisco Symphony plays Toy Story, Finding Nemo, Ratatouille, A Bug's Life, WALL-E, Cars, Up, The Incredibles, Monsters Inc. and Brave through Sunday July 20 at the building with perfect acoustics, Davies Symphony Hall. Film clips accompany their counterparts, and even the few Pixar films that disappointed find new life and movement when highlighted with their scores. Two hours of Pixar music is pure magic. (more...)


BWW Reviews: JERSEY BOYS Breaks Box Office Records at Broadway San Jose - Playing Now thru July 20! Review BWW Reviews: JERSEY BOYS Breaks Box Office Records at Broadway San Jose - Playing Now thru July 20!
by Linda Hodges and Nick Hodges - July 17, 2014

When you hear the term The Four Seasons and you think of 'Sherry,' 'Big Girls Don't Cry,' 'Oh, What a Night,' and 'Walk Like a Man' instead of snow, leaves, rain or sunshine, then the hit musical Jersey Boys is a must see! (more...)


BWW Reviews: SCT's SPAMALOT Full of Character Review BWW Reviews: SCT's SPAMALOT Full of Character
by Harmony Wheeler - June 30, 2014

Stockton Civic Theatre's Spamalot is an animated musical well-fitting the over-the-top humor of its Monty Python inspiration. With golden facial expressions from Bill Yee as King Arthur's manservant Patsy, a myriad of accents from Tom MacDonald's multiple characters, and even a conductor (of Stockton's brand new, live orchestra) with great personality, the production had its opening night audience laughing uncontrollably. Oh yeah, and that King Arthur guy was pretty good too. (more...)


BWW CD Review: San Francisco Symphony's WEST SIDE STORY is a Triumph Review BWW CD Review: San Francisco Symphony's WEST SIDE STORY is a Triumph
by David Clarke - June 23, 2014

When it comes to contemporary classics in American musical theatre, just the sheer mention of Leonard Bernstein's WEST SIDE STORY is enough to get any fan of the medium listening. His clever orchestrations, drive and ambition, and unique construction made the show a hallmark of the genre that is still adored and studied today. (more...)


BWW Reviews: ORPHAN OF ZHAO at ACT-SF is Intense Powerful Drama Review BWW Reviews: ORPHAN OF ZHAO at ACT-SF is Intense Powerful Drama
by Harmony Wheeler - June 13, 2014

Beginning with small truths and oral tradition, legend eventually turns to the written word. At the heart of this process is Ji Junxiang's ancient play, The Orphan of Zhao, rooted in real events and a resonating theme of loyalty and justice. Currently reworked for American Conservatory Theatre (co-produced with La Jolla Playhouse) after a controversial run at Stratford in 2012, James Fenton's adaptation brings characters full circle, even in the midst of an onslaught of tastefully staged deaths. (more...)


BWW Reviews: TheatreWorks' MARRY ME A LITTLE Has Humor and Appeal Review BWW Reviews: TheatreWorks' MARRY ME A LITTLE Has Humor and Appeal
by Harmony Wheeler - June 09, 2014

Reset to San Francisco with a technology-inspired flair, TheatreWorks' current production of 'Marry Me A Little' is at once charming and original. (more...)


BWW Reviews: FANTASIA at SF Symphony Review BWW Reviews: FANTASIA at SF Symphony
by Harmony Wheeler - June 03, 2014

Classical music and drawn animation might be considered things of the past, but they had glorious relevance at the Davies Symphony Hall this past weekend. The Disney cartoons of 1940's revolutionary Fantasia played in brilliant, restored, high-definition color alongside clips from Fantasia 2000 with musical accompaniment by the San Francisco Symphony. (more...)


BWW Reviews: Hodges & Hodges Review JOSEPH AND THE AMAZING TECHNICOLOR DREAMCOAT! Review BWW Reviews: Hodges & Hodges Review JOSEPH AND THE AMAZING TECHNICOLOR DREAMCOAT!
by Linda Hodges and Nick Hodges - May 30, 2014

Hodges and Hodges were on the scene at the San Jose Center for the Performing Arts for the opening night of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. 'Joseph' is part of Broadway San Jose's current season and if you haven't been to this venue to take in a show, then you're missing something special. Their current offering stars American Idol alums (and newlyweds) Diana DeGarmo and Ace Young who were announced as the leads for the 2014 tour in March. (more...)


BWW Reviews: Oakland Youth Chorus Dazzles at their Broadway on Broadway Performance Review BWW Reviews: Oakland Youth Chorus Dazzles at their Broadway on Broadway Performance
by Linda Hodges - May 17, 2014

It was a night to remember as the Oakland Youth Chorus (OYC) took to the risers and promptly raised the roof on the 1st Presbyterian Church on Broadway in Oakland, belting out some amazing Broadway tunes and putting on an all-around great show for the sold-out crowd. This was not just a concert for doting parents and dewy-eyed devotees. These kids can sing! The performances from the many choral groups that comprise OYC were impressive and fun and definitely high-energy entertainment. (more...)


BWW Reviews: 42nd St Moon is PAINTING THE CLOUDS WITH SUNSHINE Review BWW Reviews: 42nd St Moon is PAINTING THE CLOUDS WITH SUNSHINE
by Harmony Wheeler - April 06, 2014

42nd Street Moon's Greg MacKellan and Mark D. Kaufmann wrote 'Painting the Clouds with Sunshine' as a tribute to musical films of the depression era, but their end result may very well have been a successful film of that time. (more...)


BWW Reviews: Merced Offers New Version of THE THREE MUSKETEERS Review BWW Reviews: Merced Offers New Version of THE THREE MUSKETEERS
by Harmony Wheeler - April 06, 2014

If an Alexandre Dumas version of the San Francisco Charles Dickens Christmas Fair existed, I imagine its skits would look somewhat like Playhouse Merced's current production of "The Three Musketeers." That's no surprise, since writer, director Micah Chandler specializes in sword fights and teaches his own "Dogs of War stage combat performing arts troupe." And Merced's "Musketeers" feels very much so like a community troupe putting together a show. It comes with those low-budget kickers and generally read-through-type acting, but it also includes clear standouts in its cast, a near-perfect script and fantastic scenic design by Corey Strauss. (more...)


BWW Reviews: WICKED Defies Gravity in Fresno Review BWW Reviews: WICKED Defies Gravity in Fresno
by Harmony Wheeler - April 04, 2014

'Wicked' arrives in Fresno this week with two new witches at the broom and wand. They share their experience with children and adults new to the musical's magic, and the special quality of the leads' first week of performances makes the production enjoyable for the more familiar, familial audience members, as well. (more...)


BWW Reviews: CCMT's LES MISERABLES is Master of the House Review BWW Reviews: CCMT's LES MISERABLES is Master of the House
by Harmony Wheeler - March 25, 2014

Based on Victor Hugo's classic novel, the often-called 'epic' musical 'Les Miserables' sets a high standard, especially for theatre companies with smaller budgets. While that budget does affect Contra Costa Musical Theatre's production in minor ways, the company follows through on its promise to once again deliver visually stunning, challenging and new material (or newly available for rights, at least). (more...)


BWW Reviews: SF Ballet's CINDERELLA is Beautiful and Fresh Review BWW Reviews: SF Ballet's CINDERELLA is Beautiful and Fresh
by Harmony Wheeler - March 14, 2014

Christopher Wheeldon's playful choreography perfectly matches Sergei Prokofiev's talent for combining characters, story and music. Both artists have a unique quality that makes their work instantly recognizable. So it's only fitting that Wheeldon should take on Prokofiev's 'Cinderella.' And he partners with a long list of scenic, lighting and puppet designers, most with experience working in the Broadway, film and opera industries. The result led to sold-out crowds for last year's run at San Francisco Ballet. Now the production returns for a limited time with the audience anticipation and enthusiasm just as strong. (more...)


BWW Reviews: Playhouse Merced Makes a Believer With Fun, Original SHREK Review BWW Reviews: Playhouse Merced Makes a Believer With Fun, Original SHREK
by Harmony Wheeler - March 03, 2014

Playhouse Merced continues to prove itself with challenging material and increasingly talented casts. Having opened their season last fall with the epic Les Miserables, they now turn to the imaginative Shrek the Musical, and their new season is just around the corner with a special announcement event planned for March 22. (more...)


BWW Reviews: SF Symphony Hosts A NIGHT AT THE OSCARS Review BWW Reviews: SF Symphony Hosts A NIGHT AT THE OSCARS
by Harmony Wheeler - February 17, 2014

"Beautiful." "Overwhelming." "Beyond description." All simple words to explain music and its connection to our souls. But Jon Burlingame has a natural, pleasant way of describing music. The leading writer and expert on film and television scores began San Francisco Symphony's Night at the Oscars with a quick look at more recent scores, from the synthesized "Social Network" to the culture-based "Slumdog Millionaire." But the symphonic score still has a place, Burlingame said, introducing the audience to Saturday evening's program. (more...)


BWW Reviews: Entertainer Extraordinaire Sam Harris Presents 'Liter-usical' - Now That's Entertainment! Review BWW Reviews: Entertainer Extraordinaire Sam Harris Presents 'Liter-usical' - Now That's Entertainment!
by Linda Hodges - January 31, 2014

Riding the wave of enthusiasm for his newly released book 'Ham: Slices of a Life,' singer and entertainer extraordinaire Sam Harris played to a sold-out crowd at Feinstein's at the Nikko in San Francisco. They came expecting a great show and he did not disappoint. Calling his performance a 'liter-usical,' a combination of literary book tour and Broadway musical extravaganza, he alternated between reading juicy morsels (amuse-bouche, if you will) from his book with songs that served to highlight the chapters of his life. (more...)


BWW Reviews: Joan Ryan Brings Down the House at Feinstein's at the Nikko Review BWW Reviews: Joan Ryan Brings Down the House at Feinstein's at the Nikko
by Linda Hodges - January 26, 2014

Tucked away in a corner of the Nikko Hotel is Feinstein's - a 140 seat, intimate nightclub with cozy banquettes and tables graced with crystal chandeliers and a stage on which the Steinway holds pride of place. As the 8 o'clock hour approached, smartly dressed San Franciscans along with tourists in casual wear made their way into the hotel, the buzz in the air clearly indicating that they were here to enjoy the best that San Francisco had to offer. And tonight that 'best' was powerhouse performer Joan Ryan. (more...)


BWW Reviews: ACT's MAJOR BARBARA a Major Triumph Review BWW Reviews: ACT's MAJOR BARBARA a Major Triumph
by Harmony Wheeler - January 20, 2014

Politics and humor go hand in hand throughout George Bernard Shaw's classic, but rarely performed "Major Barbara." Shaw's work includes, not the kind of politics and humor that lends itself to one side mocking another, but English wit that bookends passionate speeches and dialogue. Although Shaw's socialist position likely influenced the topics he chose to address and his desire to provoke action, here his script allows each character his or her fair argument. (more...)


BWW Reviews: WEST SIDE STORY Still Shows Many Faces Review BWW Reviews: WEST SIDE STORY Still Shows Many Faces
by Erica Miner - January 07, 2014

The day Leonard Bernstein died, a sense of gut-wrenching loss pervaded the musical world. Anyone who had watched and listened to his extraordinary music making could not help but be affected by his passion and reverence for music. Those of us lucky enough to have known and worked with him and availed ourselves of his wisdom, still hold deep affection and respect for him, along with a feeling that we have been blessed many times over. (more...)


BWW Reviews: BEAUTY AND THE BEAST Enchants Now Through Jan 5 Review BWW Reviews: BEAUTY AND THE BEAST Enchants Now Through Jan 5
by Linda Hodges - December 26, 2013

The enchanting musical Beauty and the Beast delighted audiences at San Francisco's Curran Theater on opening night and is the perfect dose of holiday entertainment for children of all ages. Disney's timeless tale of love and transformation is touring the country and will be in San Francisco through January 5, 2014. A NETworks Presentations event, this show forgoes some of the more costly set designs of the original Broadway show but loses nothing of the melodic magnificence of Menken, Ashman and Rice's original masterpiece. Musical Director/Conductor Kevin Francis Finn helms the lush orchestrations of Danny Troob, while the beautifully crafted book by Linda Woolverton brings her animated original to the stage in superb fashion. (more...)


BWW Reviews: TERRACOTTA PRINCE A Fresh Take on Nutcracker Review BWW Reviews: TERRACOTTA PRINCE A Fresh Take on Nutcracker
by Harmony Wheeler - December 23, 2013

My mother took me to the ballet when I was young. I came home with a souvenir bouquet and would not stop listening or dancing to the score, imagining a giant Christmas tree and those nasty rats scurrying across my living room floor. I like to imagine the magic of theatre and the arts creating that same wonder for people all over the world. (more...)


BWW Reviews: Burt Bacharach and the San Francisco Symphony Enchants Audiences Review BWW Reviews: Burt Bacharach and the San Francisco Symphony Enchants Audiences
by Iris Moebius - December 21, 2013

On Friday and Saturday of the past weekend composer Burt Bacharach appeared at Davies Symphony Hall with the San Francisco Symphony. Burt Bacharach is a household for many generations and audiences, and even those who don't know his name certainly know his music. He achieved fame scoring many Hollywood movies, writing songs for such legends as Diane Warwick. Broadway audiences know many of those songs from Promises Promises, a musical that was written in the 60s and recently wowed audiences in the 2010 revival. And even the hit TV show Glee featured Bacharach's music. (more...)


BWW Reviews: CHRISTMAS CAROL at Center Rep The Best Around Review BWW Reviews: CHRISTMAS CAROL at Center Rep The Best Around
by Harmony Wheeler - December 17, 2013

The most Scrooge among us would crack a smile at Center Rep's 'A Christmas Carol.' Although the old miser may balk at the cost of extravagant special affects and lovely costumes, or even at the time-honored message of hope and love, it's impossible to avoid laughing when the unseen Ghost of Christmas Present knocks a cup of punch from an overconfident young man's hand. Or consider the confetti that shoots out into the audience and the snow that gently falls down to cheerful faces. (more...)


 
🔀SAN FRANCISCO SHOWS
"Romeo and Juliet"
(Runs 7/26 - 9/28)
Motown the Musical in San FranciscoMotown the Musical
(Runs 8/15 - 9/28)
Pippin in San FranciscoPippin
(Runs 9/23 - 10/19)
Kinky Boots in San FranciscoKinky Boots
(Runs 12/2 - 12/28)
Newsies The Musical in San FranciscoNewsies The Musical
(Runs 2/17 - 3/15)

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