Last night was movie night. I soaked in a film by Paolo Sorrentino—Youth—that deals with all the big issues: life, death, family, friendship, love … I’m still not sure I’ve entirely absorbed it. The cast includes Michael Caine, Harvey Keitel, Rachel Weisz, Paul Dano and Jane Fonda. The cinematography by Luca Bigazzi was exquisite, in fact painterly, in several scenes. There were several surreal passages that still have my mind swirling. The music, by David Lang, was tender, captivating and compelling. Here’s “Simple Song #3” from the closing scene. [Read more…]
The San Diego Repertory Theatre production of FLYING SOLO, a collaboration of Nathan Gunn and Hershey Felder, chronicles Nathan Gunn’s life and career. The show captivates the audience not only with musical selections from the operas and musicals that he has performed but with its genuine portrayal of Gunn’s life and his relationship with those who have influenced him.
In addition to numerous operas and operettas at major venues around the world, Gunn has starred in a number of musicals including Sweeny Todd (The Houston Grand Opera), Camelot and Carousel (both with the New York Philharmonic) and Show Boat (Carnegie Hall and the Lyric Opera of Chicago). He will be seen in the revival production of The Magic Flute (directed and designed by Julie Taymor) at the Metropolitan Opera in December 2018. [Read more…]
A group of stop-action musicians performs in a poignant little short animation by ainslie henderson via Puppet Animation Scotland. [Read more…]
When Teresa Gunn performs her one woman show Teresa Gets a Boyfriend at City College’s Saville Theatre on Saturday, February 24, she will take on the universal and often time worn themes of looking for love, finding love and trying to keep love.
Creative storytelling makes old stories new and Teresa Gunn is a consummate storyteller. Twenty years ago the San Diego recording artist and educator undertook a series of one woman performances as fundraisers for the nonprofit Musicians for Education/Street of Dreams. She refers to this series as the Trailer Park Queen Project. [Read more…]
The Purple Rose Theatre Company’s production of FLINT, written by Jeff Daniels and directed by Guy Sanville, is a powerful, evocative, and moving work packed with “tough language.” The 75-minute performance gives witness to two sets of families — an African American couple Mitchell and Olivia and a white couple Eddie and Karen — responding not only to the Flint water crisis but also to the current political, social, and cultural climate.
Set in Mitchell and Olivia’s home in September 2014, five months after the city switched the water supply, the couple attempts to decipher the city’s confusing and conflicting instructions through postings on their phones.
The setting provides a realistic feel — a small kitchen complete with sink, cupboards, a refrigerator, a small dining table, and three chairs. This humbly furnished space becomes the site for conversation, contention, and confrontation. The thrust stage of the intimate 168-seat theatre allows for the complete digestion of the external and internal damage, and pain of each character [Read more…]
Keeping with yesterday’s theme of cultivating a global perspective, here’s another video that might inspire a perspective even more encompassing than global. All you have to do is look up. [Read more…]
Hershey Felder’s Hershey Felder as Irving Berlin (directed by Trevor Hay) opened at the San Diego Repertory Theatre’s Lyceum Stage on December 22, 2017.
One of the pleasures of attending Felder’s shows (in which he portrays world-renowned composers such as Beethoven, Liszt, Tchaikovsky, and Bernstein) is his unique “story-telling” with the composer’s music that illuminates the relationship between his music and life. A skillful actor, Felder entertains his audience with his personification of the composer and other characters. By the end of the show, his audiences, through key events in the composer’s life, “get to know” a human being, not just a composer. [Read more…]
In celebration of Opening Night on Thursday, December 21, the #HamiltonLDN company created a digital #Ham4Ham mashup of a few of their favorite UK and Hamilton songs! Arrangement: Richard Beadle. #RiseUp [Read more…]
If you haven’t had your dose of Dickens this season, it’s not too late! Aside from live productions in San Diego, there is always the Alistair Sims version — and let’s not forget, the Muppets version.
The spirit of caring for the poor, helping our fellow man and experiencing redemption are not just Christian values. These qualities are in some form in all religions, legends and myths.
No writer has captured them so engagingly as Charles Dickens. [Read more…]
The Disney/Pixar companies have redeemed themselves after the 2013 debacle of requesting to trademark “Dia de los Muertos.” By hiring a mostly Latino cast and working extensively with Latino consultants, the result is an absolute win with their new film, “Coco.”
“Coco” works on many levels. First, it’s a delightful children’s movie with beautiful and colorful animation, lively music, and sight gags to please little tykes. It’s also an educational film, introducing to audiences who don’t know, the meaning and traditions of Dia de Los Muertos — a cultural, sometimes religious, spiritual, and familial holiday in Mexico and Latin America.
November 1 and 2 are days that many families visit cemeteries and/or build altars in their homes, decorating them with pictures of the deceased, flowers, candles, food, etc. The movie can bring about a discussion between Anglos and Latinos, who tend to have very different views of death and the afterlife. [Read more…]
Ping Chong + Company’s new multimedia workALAXSXA/ALASKA premiered at the Harper Studio Theater at the University of Alaska, Anchorage on August 31, 2017.
The title ALAXSXA/ALASKA is two different words for Alaska: Alaxsxa, an ancient word of the Unangax tribe, meaning the land against the sea breaks, was changed, by Russian traders in the eighteenth century, to Alaska. The juxtaposition of the two names suggests social, political, and cultural encounters and clashes between the natives and new settlers.
Integrating multiple theatre languages such as puppetry, video projections, movement, and music within a small performing area with a table in the center and two stools, ALAXSXA/ALASKA portrays past encounters between indigenous Alaskan Native communities and newcomers with three performers. [Read more…]
Moxie Theatre is staging its first production the 2017-2018 season, Martyna Majok’s “Ironbound.” Directed by Jennifer Eve Thorn, “Ironbound” is a story about a Polish immigrant woman “for whom love is a luxury and a liability as she fights to survive in America,” as described in the program.
Set at a bus stop at night in Elizabeth, New Jersey, Jacque Wilke portrays the life of Darja from 1992 — shortly after she emigrated to the United States with her first husband Maks (Arusi Santi) — until 2014, when she deals with her unfaithful boyfriend Tommy (Eric Casalini), a letter carrier.
Using 2014 as a jumping-off point, the play’s narrative goes switches between defining moments in Darja’s relationships with her two husbands (only her first husband appears on stage), her son (who never appears on stage) and Tommy, her current boyfriend. Vic (Carter Piggee), a high school kid, who finds Darja at the bus stop after she has been beaten by her second husband, acts as a Good Samaritan. [Read more…]