"Crimson Shore" is a highly satisfying addition to the long list of Agent Pendergast thrillers by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child, and sees the unusual hero and his ward dealing with the locals, including monsters, in Massachusets. Read John Orr's review.
"The Martian," by Andy Weir, is one of our favorite reads in a long time. An astronaut is injured and stranded on Mars, with no working communications and not enough food to last the years it would take a rescue mission to come get him. A very impressive, fascinating book. Read John Orr's review.
See more reviews and interviews in Books.
West Bay Opera
Otak Jump / West Bay Opera
Heather Green as Salome dances for David Gustafson as the excited King Herod, under the eyes of Katherine Naegele as a lady in waiting, left, and Michelle Rice as Herodias. The West Bay Opera production is to be performed May 26 and 28, and June 3 and 4, 2017, at the Lucie Stern Theatre in Palo Alto.
"Salome" by Richard Strauss, based on a play by Oscar Wilde, is only for the opera company that is stout of heart and overflowing with talent. Such as West Bay Opera, which is staging a stunning production, through June 4, 2017. Don't miss it. John Orr reviews.
THEATER & DANCE
City Lights Theater Company
Steve DiBartolomeo / City Lights Theater Company
Erik Gandolfi as Don, Lillian Bogovitch as Alice, and Kristin Brownstone as Catherine, from left, in City Lights Theater Company's production of "Rapture, Blister, Burn," running May 18 through June 18, 2017. This is an early photo; in the actual play, the book case is well populated with books and family gew-gaws.
"Rapture, Blister, Burn," the witty, wise and perceptive play by Gina Gionfriddo, is getting a very effective production at City Lights in San Jose. A fine cast, an excellent set and a very good time in the theater. John Orr reviews.
Dawn L. Troupe
Tracy Martin / Hillbarn Theatre
Dawn L. Troupe as Deloris Van Cartier, pretending to be Sr. Mary Clarence, right, gets a load of the singing of the nuns as City of Angels Church in Hillbarn Theatre’s production of "Sister Act," May 4 through May 28, 2017.
Dawn L. Troupe has blessed many a Bay Area stage with her talented presence, and now she has answered the call to play the lead in "Sister Act" at Hillbarn Theater. She talked with John Orr. Read the story.
Mark and Tracy Photography / Hillbarn Theatre
Beth Ann Wells Viloria as Mother Superior, left, talks to Dawn L. Troupe as Deloris Van Cartier about staying in the convent in Hillbarn Theatre’s production of "Sister Act," playing May 4 through May 28, 2017.
"Sister Act," always a popular musical comedy, gets a terrific cast at Hillbarn Theatre. Tony Lacy-Thompson reviews.
Palo Alto Players
Joyce Goldschmid / Palo Alto Players
Chris Mahle as Sir Bedevere, Michael Monagle as King Arthur, Joey McDaniel as Patsy, Josiah Frampton as Sir Robin and Nick Kenrick as Sir Galahad in "Monty Python's Spamalot," at Palo Alto Players, April 28 through May 14, 2017.
"Monty Python's Spamalot" is so hilarious that even with a few production problems, it's a blast at Palo Alto Players, thanks to a great cast and fabulous script. John Orr reviews.
Tony Lacy-Thompson / Regarding Arts
James Reber, Lee Kopp and Keith Pinto, from left, as "The Rude Mechanicals" of Shakespeare's "Midsummer Night's Dream," as performed by ShakesBEERience at Café Stritch in San Jose on Monday, April 17, 2017. Lolling about on the floor are Gendell Hing-Hernandez as Pyramus and Skylar Collins as Thisbe.
"A Midsummer Night's Dream" is usually performed, ya know, with costumes and scenery. At ShakesBEERience in San Jose, they don't bother with that. But they have beer. Lots of beer. And a talented cast. Tony Lacy-Thompson reviews.
Review: 'Over the Top: Math Bass & the Imperial Court SF'
Anna Koster photo
Math Bass, center, speaks with a journalist before the exhibition opens to the public. Her apple sculpture "Elizabeth" (ceramic with lacquer and wood, 22 x 22 x 22 inches) and untitled ladder (wood, 67 x 36 x 18 inches) are in the foreground. Both were created in 2017 for this exhibition. Portraits of monarchs from the Imperial Court SF's 62-year history hang on the wall. A selection of Empresses' and Emperors' banners hang above.
"Over the Top: Math Bass & the Imperial Court SF" is a fascinating story that blends modern works by Math Bass with historical artifacts from a 62-year-old LGBTQ society in San Francisco. Anna Koster has seen the show and reports. See her review.
For ears and eyes
Judy Garland was an amazing talent, unmatched in many ways. Want the proof? Lend eyes and ears to her singing "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" in a poor quality recording from the ancient days of TV. Fabulous.
Some guys singing "Bad Romance." It's so much fun.
Molly Bell is amazing. We have a profile of her here in Regarding Arts, but here's a favorite video of her performing in Divas for Life.
Lake Street Dive is a band formed by Rachael Price, who is a wonderful vocalist. I love this tune, which I heard on A Prairie Home Companion. Then I found this video.
"Laundry Room." Another from The Avett Brothers. Here is another tune that delves deep into emotion and yearning.
"While My Guitar Gently Weeps." Fabulous band performs in 2004 to honor George Harrison upon his posthumous induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a solo artist. Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, Jeff Lynne, Steve Ferrone, Dhani Harrison and Prince. Mike Campbell of the Heartbreakers does the early solo stuff. Prince shows up and takes over.
Tim O'Brien: "Hey, Joe," at Celtic Connections 2009, Glasgow Scotland.
Trucks & Tedeschi Band: "Midnight in Harlem," at the 2010 Guitar Festival.
OK Go: "This Too Shall Pass." Incredible Rube Goldberg machine video.
Willie Dixon: "I'm Nervous." Funny and charming video of the great songwriter, singer and bassist.
John Lee Sanders: Fabulous musician. Give a listen to "Midnight in New Orleans".
"Let's Go Get Stoned" is the first thing the friend of a friend said when he got off the plane from Vietnam in 1967 or so. It's also the title of this fab song by Ray Charles.