BroadwayWorld.com

San Francisco Theater Reviews

San Francisco Home Page | Broadway Reviews | Search Reviews:
 

BWW Reviews: MASKED BALL in San Francisco Review BWW Reviews: MASKED BALL in San Francisco
by Harmony Wheeler - October 20, 2014

Verdi was a master at crescendo. In "Masked Ball," the score foreshadows and defines even while characters defy fate. As Count Anckarstrom laments his wife's betrayal in the opera's third act, the harp and violin take turn in old romance and revenge, building to a grand determination. Like Verdi's "Rigoletto" and "Il Trovatore," "A Masked Ball" concludes with a game-changing revelation in answer to an incredible setup. (more...)


BWW Reviews: Say a Happy Hello to BYE BYE BIRDIE in Walnut Creek Review BWW Reviews: Say a Happy Hello to BYE BYE BIRDIE in Walnut Creek
by Harmony Wheeler - October 19, 2014

Contra Costa Musical Theatre knows how to put on a happy face. You will, too, after two and a half hours of living with Bye, Bye Birdie. Inspired by the likes of Elvis Presley, Ed Sullivan and the bright colors and square designs of the 1950's, CCMT's production features its usual high-tech scenic design and familiar faces in lead roles. (more...)


BWW Reviews: DO I HEAR A WALTZ Plays A Flat Tune Review BWW Reviews: DO I HEAR A WALTZ Plays A Flat Tune
by Harmony Wheeler - October 07, 2014

When Broadway actress Emily Skinner takes the stage and opens 42nd Street Moon's current offering, the next two hours look bright and worthwhile. Venice, Italy, as displayed on stage by set designer Hector Zavala promises magical, mystical miracles. Yet as the musical progresses, rather slowly at that, the script turns Skinner's immediately likeable character into a flawed one, condemned for what may seem to many like reasonable judgment calls. (more...)


BWW Reviews: PIPPIN Revival Hits the Heights - Now thru October 19th Review BWW Reviews: PIPPIN Revival Hits the Heights - Now thru October 19th
by Linda Hodges and Nick Hodges - September 29, 2014

The air was crackling with excitement on opening night for the much anticipated revival of Pippin at San Francisco's Golden Gate Theatre. And for good reason. The show won four Tony Awards last year including Best Musical Revival, with Diane Paulus taking home the Tony for Best Director. Patina Miller as the Leading Player took home Best Actress, while Andrea Martin won Best Featured Actress. Not to be outdone, the national tour signed Sasha Allen, Lucie Arnaz, and John Rubinstein, not to mention Canada's circus troupe, Les 7 doigts de la main. Talk about the wow factor. Pippin is an exuberant, extravaganza of a show and it plays now through October 19 at SHN's Golden Gate Theatre. (more...)


BWW Reviews: SF Opera's SUSANNAH a Stunning Masterpiece Review BWW Reviews: SF Opera's SUSANNAH a Stunning Masterpiece
by Harmony Wheeler - September 11, 2014

Set in Tennessee around the time of the Dust Bowl, 'Susannah' takes its inspiration from a story in the book of Daniel. Composer Carlisle Floyd's decision to remove the original's redemptive prophet seems to condemn Christianity, but also gives his revised version the dramatic thrust needed to explore the human condition and turn out a masterpiece. (more...)


BWW Reviews: Hillbarn Theatre's FUNNY GIRL is Fabulous, Now Through 9/21 Review BWW Reviews: Hillbarn Theatre's FUNNY GIRL is Fabulous, Now Through 9/21
by Linda Hodges and Nick Hodges - September 05, 2014

'Hello gorgeous.' The Hillbarn Theatre in San Mateo kicked off its 2014-2015 season with the sensational Funny Girl. Based on the life of Fanny Brice, Funny Girl originally starred Barbra Streisand in the icon role of the famous vaudeville and Ziegfeld Follies legend. It was a part that catapulted her into stardom and made Streisand a household name. Hillbarn Theatre showed a lot of chutzpah in putting on a show so closely associated with a major star, but this is their 'Season of Awakening,' therefore daring, dreams and self-discovery are most definitely in the air. Debuting Executive Artistic Director Dan Demers wraps it all up with this quote from Mark Twain (by way of Demers' mother): The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why,' which certainly could be a quote about Ms. Brice. (more...)


BWW Reviews: WICKED Defies Gravity Once Again Now Thru September 14th Review BWW Reviews: WICKED Defies Gravity Once Again Now Thru September 14th
by Linda Hodges and Nick Hodges - September 03, 2014

Glinda and Elphaba have flown into San Jose to appear in Wicked and have broken box office records at San Jose's Center for the Performing Arts, grossing $1,516,245 during the first week of its three-week engagement. The two witches will be in town (along with a phenomenal cast) through September 14 only so get your tickets now before somebody drops a house on you. Hodges & Hodges are seasoned Wicked audience viewers, but we're here to tell you that this company is spectacular and you're in for a wonderful night of theatre at Broadway San Jose. (more...)


BWW Reviews: FIDDLER ON THE ROOF Brings Tradition to Merced Review BWW Reviews: FIDDLER ON THE ROOF Brings Tradition to Merced
by Harmony Wheeler - September 01, 2014

Great theatre is tradition in Merced, where Playhouse Merced just opened its 2014-2015 season with "Fiddler on the Roof," now in its 50th Anniversary. The classical musical has become a tradition of its own in theatres across the world. (more...)


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...)


 
🔀SAN FRANCISCO SHOWS
Guys and Dolls in San FranciscoGuys and Dolls
(Runs 10/11 - 10/26)
Kinky Boots in San FranciscoKinky Boots
(Runs 12/2 - 12/28)
Camelot
(Runs 1/13 - 1/14)
Guys and Dolls in San FranciscoGuys and Dolls
(Runs 3/4 - 3/5)
Newsies The Musical in San FranciscoNewsies The Musical
(Runs 2/17 - 3/15)
MAMMA MIA! in San FranciscoMAMMA MIA!
(Runs 4/1 - 4/2)
The Book of Mormon in San FranciscoThe Book of Mormon
(Runs 7/14 - 7/19)

View All | Add Show | Auditions

BWW BLOGS