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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...)


BWW Reviews: Hillbarn Theatre Celebrates Christmas with MAME Review BWW Reviews: Hillbarn Theatre Celebrates Christmas with MAME
by Harmony Wheeler - December 16, 2013

Everyone needs a little Christmas. Agree or disagree with her life ethics, but Mame possesses a zest and optimism for life that most people desire and require. (more...)


BWW Reviews: It's That Time of Year with CHRISTMAS CAROL at A.C.T. Review BWW Reviews: It's That Time of Year with CHRISTMAS CAROL at A.C.T.
by Harmony Wheeler - December 13, 2013

Tradition continues with Charles Dickens' "A Christmas Carol" at American Conservatory Theatre, surrounded by the magic of San Francisco tourist hot spots decked out in holiday decor. (more...)


BWW Reviews: SNOW QUEEN One of A Kind Review BWW Reviews: SNOW QUEEN One of A Kind
by Harmony Wheeler - December 13, 2013

Not a typical Broadway musical, San Jose Repertory Theatre's world premiere of "The Snow Queen" is a unique experience. The Hans Christian Anderson fairy tale does not lend itself naturally to stage. Without its country-twanged score, San Jose's production could pass as a mere children's play. But the final product proves itself so much more. Although it takes time for the characters to pull their audience into the journey, the production's multitalented cast, raw sound and layered themes make it a musical to discuss and digest well after the ensemble bows. (more...)


BWW Reviews: LITTLE WOMEN Has Big Charm Review BWW Reviews: LITTLE WOMEN Has Big Charm
by Harmony Wheeler - December 10, 2013

Louisa May Alcott's "Little Women" has made its way into American hearts as a classic holiday children's novel, film and musical. Although Christmas plays only a small role in the story's events, a common warmth and familial atmosphere finds its way onto every page, into every line, and, in Theatrework's production of the recent Broadway musical adaptation, included in every song. (more...)


BWW Reviews: SNOOPY a Fun and Energetic Dog Treat Review BWW Reviews: SNOOPY a Fun and Energetic Dog Treat
by Harmony Wheeler - December 02, 2013

You're a good man, Charlie Brown, but Snoopy is pretty good, too. In fact, he's the head beagle, and he's played with excellence, honor, smarts and lots of puppy charm by Keith Pinto, who so wonderfully portrayed the same character last year in another Peanuts-based musical at the Bay Area's Retro Dome. Of course, it wouldn't be Peanuts without the rest of the gang, present for 42nd Street Moon's production of the clever and always enjoyable musical, "Snoopy." (more...)


BWW Reviews: THE BOOK OF MORMON Is Freakin' Awesome Review BWW Reviews: THE BOOK OF MORMON Is Freakin' Awesome
by Linda Hodges - December 02, 2013

'The Book of Mormon' has been hailed as one of the top musicals of the decade and now through January 19, 2014, San Francisco audiences will have the opportunity to judge for themselves as to whether a musical about Mormons on a mission to win converts to the Church of Latter-day Saints deserves such an accolade. (more...)


BWW Reviews: Playhouse Merced Presents One of the Best Carols Around with CHRISTMAS CAROL Review BWW Reviews: Playhouse Merced Presents One of the Best Carols Around with CHRISTMAS CAROL
by Harmony Wheeler - November 25, 2013

For one of the best Ebenezer Scrooges you're ever likely to see on stage, make a stop in Merced, CA. For a most enjoyable version of Charles Dickens' classic, 'A Christmas Carol,' visit Playhouse Merced's intimate and friendly theatre. The company's current production of Keith Ferguson and Bruce Green's version of the ghostly holiday tale features memorable new music mixed with well known carols. Led by a perfect dose of narration from Trevor Blondin and Chelsea King, this version pulls much from Dickens' own words. (more...)


BWW Reviews: THE GERSHWIN'S PORGY AND BESS Will Capture Your Heart: Now Thru Dec. 8 Review BWW Reviews: THE GERSHWIN'S PORGY AND BESS Will Capture Your Heart: Now Thru Dec. 8
by Linda Hodges - November 18, 2013

San Francisco audiences were delighted to welcome a powerful and wistfully evocative production of The Gershwin's Porgy and Bess to the bay area and to the stage of the Golden Gate Theatre where it plays now through December 8. Opening night was also the launch of the much anticipated national tour of this Tony award-winning revival. Directed by Diane Paulus, with a book adapted by Suzan-Lori Parks from DuBose and Dorothy Heyward's original book, Porgy and Bess's dramatic story of love, death, addiction and hope comes alive once again for a whole new audience of theatregoers. (more...)


BWW Reviews: Cirque's AMALUNA an Artistic Triumph Review BWW Reviews: Cirque's AMALUNA an Artistic Triumph
by Harmony Wheeler - November 18, 2013

Cirque du Soleil's newest creation, "Amaluna," has a lyrical feel, like the grand dance of the peacocks it so beautifully uses in much of its imagery. Similar to other traveling Cirque shows, it has a grand beginning and finale where the ensemble gathers all at once on the stage for a dance of sorts. But the expressive choreography fits the feminine nature of "Amaluna," and so appears more often throughout as white and black peacocks gracefully flit across the stage. (more...)


BWW Reviews: SHNSF's PETER AND THE STARCATCHER Enchants Now thru December 1 Review BWW Reviews: SHNSF's PETER AND THE STARCATCHER Enchants Now thru December 1
by Linda Hodges - November 10, 2013

Swashbuckling adventure and hilarious hijinks await patrons of SHNSF's Curran Theatre with 5-time Tony Award winning Peter and the Star Catcher, which has sailed into San Francisco for a magical turn before returning to Neverland or other parts unknown. This clever prequel to J.M. Barrie's beloved Peter and Wendy is powered by starstuff (which figures prominently in the play) and a high-energy cast that is the tightest ensemble I've seen in a long time. Good, old-fashioned storytelling, reliance on late, 19th century stagecraft -- and two directors (Roger Rees and Alex Timbers) whose imaginations were allowed to run amok -- have created a wildly enjoyable and enchanting show. Playing now through December 1, Peter and the Star Catcher is one show you will definitely want to see. (more...)


 
🔀SAN FRANCISCO SHOWS
Sleuth in San FranciscoSleuth
(Runs 3/28 - 4/26)
Venus and Adonis
(Runs 4/27 - 4/27)
Macbeth in San FranciscoMacbeth
(Runs 5/8 - 5/1)
The Real Housewives of Walnut Creek: The Musical in San FranciscoThe Real Housewives of Walnut Creek: The Musical
(Runs 4/17 - 5/4)
The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee in San FranciscoThe 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee
(Runs 4/5 - 5/4)
Wittenberg
(Runs 4/4 - 5/4)

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