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LEGALLY BLONDE, THE MUSICAL Highlights Fun Now thru March 3rd! Review LEGALLY BLONDE, THE MUSICAL Highlights Fun Now thru March 3rd!
by Linda Hodges and Nick Hodges - February 17, 2012

Elle and the girls of Delta Nu Sorority go from college glam to courtroom chic now thru March 10th at Walnut Creek's Dean Lesher Theatre. (more...)


BWW Reviews: YOUNG FRANKENSTEIN Brings Audiences to Life with Laughter Review BWW Reviews: YOUNG FRANKENSTEIN Brings Audiences to Life with Laughter
by Harmony Wheeler - February 15, 2012

The humor of Mel Brook's "Young Frankenstein: The Musical" follows that of the original 1974 film, but adds just enough new punch lines to make the show fresh for the younger generations unfamiliar with the movie. The comedy of show even sometimes exceeds that of the film, which follows the grandson of Victor von Frankenstein and his adventures in Transylvania after he arrives in town to settle his dead grandfather's estate. The temptation to recreate his grandfather's experiments on dead bodies proves too strong, and Frederick Frankenstein finds himself with his own monster and an angry town mob at his door. (more...)


BWW Reviews: Virago's A TASTE OF HONEY is Bold and Compelling - Playing Now Thru Feb. 25 Review BWW Reviews: Virago's A TASTE OF HONEY is Bold and Compelling - Playing Now Thru Feb. 25
by Linda Hodges - February 09, 2012

Virago Theatre Company's A TASTE OF HONEY, playing now through Feb. 25, pays homage to playwright Shelagh Delaney's unflinching honesty with this bold and compelling production that offers a starkly realistic look into the social issues of 1960's England. (more...)


BWW Reviews: A.C.T.'s HIGHER Immerses Audiences in Architecture, Israeli Culture, and Grief  Review BWW Reviews: A.C.T.'s HIGHER Immerses Audiences in Architecture, Israeli Culture, and Grief
by Harmony Wheeler - February 06, 2012

An intense and captivating look at architecture, grief, and Israeli culture and history, Carey Perloff's "Higher," challenges audiences to look at their lives and consider why they do what they do. Produced by American Conservatory Theatre, the play - both dramatic and comedic - shows now through February 19 at The Theater at Children's Creativity Museum in San Francisco. The change in venue for this particular show brings audiences closer to the action. Although the play's fantastic script certainly makes it worthy of playing at the larger A.C.T. Theater, the smaller seating area does nothing to diminish the quality of the show. If anything, it makes viewers feel like they are a part of the story, like they have a stake in what happens. (more...)


BWW Reviews: Audiences Dance and Whistle with THE KING AND I at Playhouse Merced Review BWW Reviews: Audiences Dance and Whistle with THE KING AND I at Playhouse Merced
by Harmony Wheeler - February 05, 2012

The Merced Playhouse production of "The King and I" leaves audiences whistling plenty of happy tunes. The tunes come easily enough after a pleasant evening of some of Rogers and Hammerstein's most well-known songs. (more...)


BWW Reviews: Lamplighters' THE GONDOLIERS Brings the Familiar Sounds and Humor of Gilbert and Sullivan Review BWW Reviews: Lamplighters' THE GONDOLIERS Brings the Familiar Sounds and Humor of Gilbert and Sullivan
by Harmony Wheeler - January 28, 2012

Not quite as memorable as some of its Gilbert and Sullivan counterparts, but just as enjoyable, the Lamplighters' production of "The Gondoliers" features a lush orchestra, strong vocals and a silly story of mistaken identities that serves as a satire of the class distinctions and royalty of Gilbert and Sullivan's time. The simple plot of the operetta/musical (sung in English) follows two gondoliers in Venice who are told by Don Alhambra del Bolero, an Inquisitor of Spain, that one of them is the king of the fictional land, Barataria. Marco and Giuseppe, both newlyweds, are even more surprised to learn that whomever happens to be the king was married in infancy to Casilda, the daughter of the Duke and Duchess of Plaza-Toro. The news takes them away from their wives, Tessa and Gianetta, to their kingdom, where they immediately begin implementing an all-are-equal structure matching their Republican, anti-monarchy values. Meanwhile, Casilda has her own secret hopes for romance, but not with either of the gondoliers. (more...)


BWW Reviews: THE PITMEN PAINTERS Highlights Class Struggle and Art Now Thru Feb. 12th Review BWW Reviews: THE PITMEN PAINTERS Highlights Class Struggle and Art Now Thru Feb. 12th
by Linda Hodges - January 24, 2012

Heartfelt, honest and peppered with humor, the TheatreWorks premiere of The Pitmen Painters will leave you with a desire to pick up a paintbrush yourself. (more...)


BWW Reviews: Acrobatics, Circus History and Clown Acts Leave HUMOR ABUSE Audiences Laughing Out Loud Review BWW Reviews: Acrobatics, Circus History and Clown Acts Leave HUMOR ABUSE Audiences Laughing Out Loud
by Harmony Wheeler - January 20, 2012

autobiographical show, "Humor Abuse." With a lifetime of circus training, including two years spent with Cirque du Soleil, Pisoni must be used to the body twisting, acrobatic feats, but they still come as nerve-racking, albeit humorous, shockers to the audience every performance at American Conservatory Theatre. Of course, his acts are not nearly as frightening as Pisoni's admitted nemesis, the balloon, which he uses throughout his act. Using various props and clown acts as demonstrations of key moments in his life, Pisoni incorporates everything from his father's circus story to his own coming of age journey into this captivating play. (more...)


GHOST LIGHT Illuminates a Son's Struggle Now Thru Feb. 19th Review GHOST LIGHT Illuminates a Son's Struggle Now Thru Feb. 19th
by Linda Hodges - January 14, 2012

Opening night for "Ghost Light" at the Berkeley Repertory Theatre saw luminaries from the world of politics converging for the production - a play that examines the struggle of a son coming to grips with the death of his father, San Francisco Mayor George Moscone, who was assassinated in 1978. (more...)


BWW Reviews: MICHAEL JACKSON IMMORTAL TOUR Celebrates Jackson's Legacy with Visually Stunning Cirque Du Soleil Twist Review BWW Reviews: MICHAEL JACKSON IMMORTAL TOUR Celebrates Jackson's Legacy with Visually Stunning Cirque Du Soleil Twist
by Harmony Wheeler - January 14, 2012

In costume, creativity and sheer visual spectacle, "Michael Jackson: The Immortal World Tour by Cirque du Soleil" goes beyond any other Cirque, rocking arenas with Jackson's best-known music, pumping the audience's adrenaline with dramatic lighting and blowing all expectations away with huge LED screens and two impressive finale numbers involving lit up costumes and pyrotechnics. (more...)


BWW Reviews: CATS at Broadway San Jose - Still Has Staying Power Review BWW Reviews: CATS at Broadway San Jose - Still Has Staying Power
by Linda Hodges - December 29, 2011

Frolicking felines took the stage last night in all their graceful glory, bringing the Andrew Lloyd Webber classic CATS to life once again - this time at Broadway San Jose. The fantastical, magical world of London's Jellicle cats, who are gathered together for their yearly Jellicle Ball, still has the power to transfix and delight even now, thirty years after it first opened on Broadway. (more...)


Dr. Seuss' HOW THE GRINCH STOLE CHRISTMAS! Steals the Show - Now Thru Dec. 29 Review Dr. Seuss' HOW THE GRINCH STOLE CHRISTMAS! Steals the Show - Now Thru Dec. 29
by Linda Hodges and Nick Hodges - December 25, 2011

Holiday magic was evident at San Francisco's Golden Gate Theatre even before the Grinch began to steal Christmas.This show for all ages stars the fiendish Grinch (the foul and perfectly sublime Stefan Karl), who does not like Christmas, but discovers that there is more to the holiday than he ever imagined. (more...)


BWW Reviews: SF Ballet Ends the Christmas Season with Colorful NUTCRACKER  Review BWW Reviews: SF Ballet Ends the Christmas Season with Colorful NUTCRACKER
by Harmony Wheeler - December 23, 2011

San Francisco Ballet holds a special place in "Nutcracker" history. It brought the once unknown and little performed Tchaikovsky ballet to the United States in 1944 - the beginning of what has become an American and world-wide holiday tradition. It's a magical tradition that has children dancing in their living rooms to Tchaikovsky's perfect score and imaging a growing tree in their own living rooms (my younger self chief among them in spirit, although likely the least talented). What little girl doesn't dream of a prince sweeping her off her feet? I know I still do, and I'm 23 years old! (more...)


BRING IT ON has Lift - Now thru Jan. 7th Review BRING IT ON has Lift - Now thru Jan. 7th
by Linda Hodges - December 17, 2011

High school is never easy and, as Truman High's head cheerleader Campbell (the perfectly blonde Taylor Louderman) finds out, it's especially hard when last minute redistricting means you now have to attend inner-city Jackson High where there is no cheerleading! With a book by Jeff Whitty (Avenue Q) and music by Lin-Manuel Miranda (In the Heights) and Tom Kitt (Next to Normal), Bring It On: The Musical is bubbly, choreographed and, except for the occasional "biotch" to remind us that it's high school, clean, G-rated fun. (more...)


BWW Reviews: Hillbarn Theatre Charms Audiences With WILL ROGERS FOLLIES  Review BWW Reviews: Hillbarn Theatre Charms Audiences With WILL ROGERS FOLLIES
by Harmony Wheeler - December 13, 2011

Ziegfeld never spared any expense with his follies shows - lavish sets, beautiful chorus girls in extravagant costumes, vaudevillian acts - so one can only imagine what it took for a small community theatre to put on the Ziegfeld inspired musical, "Will Rogers Follies." And Hillbarn Theatre has done quite the successful job of it, too. With a tiered stair case, projected images on side screens, a wild West feel, and a lot of costumes for a good sized chorus that includes a group of Follies girls, not to mention a fairly talented cast, Hillbarn has downsized the flashy show without costing the audience any of the pleasure and entertainment of the spectacle. (more...)


BWW Reviews: Berkeley Rep's THE WILD BRIDE is Bold and Transformative - Now thru Jan 1 Review BWW Reviews: Berkeley Rep's THE WILD BRIDE is Bold and Transformative - Now thru Jan 1
by Linda Hodges - December 09, 2011

All the way from across the pond, from Cornwall's Kneehigh Theatre to be exact, comes a dark fairy tale brilliantly told, stunningly performed and miraculously conjured up here on the stage of Berkeley Repertory's Roda Theatre. The US premiere of The Wild Bride, playing now through January 1st, is tragically, magically hellish and heavenly all at the same timeā€¦ and it will disarm you. (more...)


BWW Reviews: A.C.T. Continues to Bring Christmas Spirit to San Francisco with A CHRISTMAS CAROL Review BWW Reviews: A.C.T. Continues to Bring Christmas Spirit to San Francisco with A CHRISTMAS CAROL
by Harmony Wheeler - December 09, 2011

Can you hear the sound of children laughing? Smell the vegetables cooking? Feel the cool air surround you? Hear the carolers singing? There's one carol you won't want to miss. American Conservatory Theatre's annual production of the classic Charles Dickens tale, "A Christmas Carol," has earned its place in the line of many adaptations of the classic worth watching over and over again every year. There are few stories people never tire of, and a Christmas story like "A Christmas Carol" is one of them. With beautiful, dream-like sets and a strong cast that highlights veteran, masters program students and child actors, A.C.T. stays true to the dialogue of the originals short story while adding in its own creative variations, including a musical score. The story follows the stingy Ebenezer Scrooge as he is visited by four ghosts and encouraged to reform and embrace the Christmas spirit. (more...)


BWW Reviews: African American Shakespeare Company Creates Magic for Children with CINDERELLA Review BWW Reviews: African American Shakespeare Company Creates Magic for Children with CINDERELLA
by Harmony Wheeler - December 06, 2011

Although the African American Shakespeare Company does not promote its production of "Cinderella" as children's theatre, the term describes the show entirely. The script contains a few hilarious moments that will fill any person with a lot of joy, but it seems written purely for children. The acting, too, comes across as melodramatic and perfect for children. (more...)


BWW Reviews: Impressive Cast Brings Comics to Life in Retro Dome's YOU'RE A GOOD MAN, CHARLIE BROWN!
by Harmony Wheeler - December 05, 2011

As much as Linus loves his blanket and Schroeder loves his piano, this reviewer loves The Retro Dome's production of "You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown!" I welcome the reader to sound off as many "good griefs!" as you like while I go on and on about how this musical is so wonderful and fun. Or, perhaps you might yell "Good Grief!" as you read my one petty criticism of the show. But, no matter what, you ought to take a trip to the clean and groovy, seventies themed Retro Dome, for it's a good show, Charlie Brown! (more...)


BWW Reviews: 42nd Street Moon Brings Lost Kern and Hammerstein Musical THREE SISTERS to America Review BWW Reviews: 42nd Street Moon Brings Lost Kern and Hammerstein Musical THREE SISTERS to America
by Harmony Wheeler - December 05, 2011

Seventy-seven years after its London premiere, Jerome Kern and Oscar Hammerstein's "Three Sisters" has come out of the dark for a full production with San Francisco's 42nd Street Moon. The musical only played for two months before closing in London and never made it to America aside from a staged concert of select songs. The restoration, which has been in the works for more than a year and received a grant from The National Endowment for the Arts, finally made its American debut Saturday night. (more...)


BWW Reviews: Marin Theatre Produces Compelling New Look, Strong Cast For THE GLASS MENAGERIE Review BWW Reviews: Marin Theatre Produces Compelling New Look, Strong Cast For THE GLASS MENAGERIE
by Harmony Wheeler - December 01, 2011

In Tennessee Williams' classic play, "The Glass Menagerie," a main character describes an encounter he has with a magician. Tom watched as the magician had audience members nail him into a coffin, but then escaped from the coffin without removing one single nail. Such a trick seems impossible in real life, and Tom feels trapped in his own coffin, unable to move on. Marin Theatre Company's production conveys this solemn situation with solid acting, bare sets and a lone trumpet player who plays music with the feel of a private-eye detective movie and that represents the ghostly memories of Tom, as well as a portrait of his deserting father. The trumpet, played by Andrew Wilke, is original to this production, added to help with scene transitions, as well as to create a symbol without having a full portrait of the father. Wilke stays in the background for the entire play, which lasts about two hours and fifteen minutes plus a fifteen minute intermission. His music, composed by MTC regular Chris Houston, amplifies the depression setting, but also adds a bit of hope when it wafts through Tom's small apartment, coming from a neighboring dance hall. (more...)


BWW Reviews: Puppet, Music and Dance Combine in Aurora Theatre's Innovative Take on THE SOLDIER'S TALE  Review BWW Reviews: Puppet, Music and Dance Combine in Aurora Theatre's Innovative Take on THE SOLDIER'S TALE
by Harmony Wheeler - November 23, 2011

The puppet and its master are one. Gracefully and poetically, they move together. The puppet's face remains still, but seems to convey a hundred emotions. The puppeteer's face changes with the puppet's character, mimicking what the character feels. Yet the character has another master. The Devil has made a deal with this character and will manipulate him like a puppet until he owns him. No, this puppet's name is not Pinnochio, and his master is not Gepetto. Prima ballerina Muriel Maffre controls Joseph the puppet in Aurora Theatre Company's innovative production of "The Soldier's Tale," which follows a soldier and his deals with the Devil and includes music by Igor Stravinsky (known for "The Rite of Spring" and "The Firebird Suite"). (more...)


BWW Reviews: FELA! Will Occupy Your Heart - Playing now thru Dec. 11th at SF's Curran Theatre Review BWW Reviews: FELA! Will Occupy Your Heart - Playing now thru Dec. 11th at SF's Curran Theatre
by Linda Hodges - November 17, 2011

In the 70's, Nigeria rose up and struck a new chord for justice with Afrobeat founder and political activist, Fela, as their controversial leader. The show, which opened last night at San Francisco's Curran Theatre, sways, plays and sings the political heart song of Nigeria through the life story of this musician turned activist, Fela Kuti. In its west coast premiere, the Tony-winning Broadway sensation packed a powerful opening night musical and political punch that was dynamic and experientially transformative. Everybody, please say "yeah yeah!" (more...)


BWW Reviews: SF Opera Delivers Traditional Production of Bizet's Carmen Review BWW Reviews: SF Opera Delivers Traditional Production of Bizet's Carmen
by Harmony Wheeler - November 17, 2011

Unless you've never seen 'Carmen,' one of the most legendary operas ever written, San Francisco Opera's production of 'Carmen' will come across as old news. The chorus and orchestra, led by the spirited conductor, Nicola Luisotti, bring the only real action and vitality present in the production, while Anita Rachvelishvili (who shares the title role with Kendall Gladen) and a few supporting characters deliver the only memorable voices of the production. (more...)


BWW Reviews: SHOOT O'MALLEY TWICE Intrigues Now Thru Nov 26 Review BWW Reviews: SHOOT O'MALLEY TWICE Intrigues Now Thru Nov 26
by Linda Hodges - November 14, 2011

Shoot O'Malley Twice, which opened last Friday at StageWerx 446 in San Francisco, confounds the conventional and delivers a bizarre and comedic play of innocence lost and parallel universes found that is thoroughly intriguing and delightful. (more...)


BROADWAYWORLD TV

 
🔀SAN FRANCISCO SHOWS
Disney's Mulan JR in San FranciscoDisney's Mulan JR
(Runs 7/17 - 8/1)
The Apple Tree in San FranciscoThe Apple Tree
(Runs 7/25 - 8/3)
Shrek in San FranciscoShrek
(Runs 6/19 - 8/3)
As You Like It in San FranciscoAs You Like It
(Runs 7/5 - 8/10)
The Glass Menagerie in San FranciscoThe Glass Menagerie
(Runs 8/1 - 8/10)
Shrek in San FranciscoShrek
(Runs 8/8 - 8/10)
Oliver! in San FranciscoOliver!
(Runs 8/15 - 8/31)

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