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THEATER & DANCE
Cirque du Soleil
Waz
Matt Beard / Cirque du Soleil
Waz flies through the air with the greatest of ease, that daring young man ... hanging from a lamp. Cirque du Soleil's "Volta" is in San Jose, February 13 through March 10, 2019.
"Volta" is the latest collection of thrills from Cirque du Soleil, and is under the big top at the Santa Clara Fairgrounds for the first time. Tony Lacy-Thompson reviews.

The Pear Theatre
Skinner, Wagner, Alabastro
Michael Craig / The Pear
Michelle Skinner, Gwendolyne Wagner, and Tasi Alabastro, from left, in "Spending the End of the World on OK Cupid." The play runs January 25 to February 17, 2019, at The Pear Theatre in Mountain View.
"Spending the End of the World on OK Cupid" by Jeffrey Lo wonders what we would do if we all thought the world was going to end in 12 hours. It's on stage at The Pear. John Orr reviews.

San Jose Stage Company
Randall King
Daniel Garcia photo
Randall King will play Big Daddy in The Stage's production of "Cat On A Hot Tin Roof," running February 6 – March 3, 2019, in San Jose.
"Cat on a Hot Tin Roof" is one of the great American plays, and Randall King is reveling in getting to play Big Daddy, some 30 years after he played Brick. Older and wiser, he sees more in the play than he did then. He spoke with John Orr. Read the story.

Hillbarn Theatre
Vettel, Pinto
Mark and Tracy Photography / Hillbarn Theatre
Chris Vettel as Judge Turpin, front, is about to get the shave of his life thanks to Keith Pinto in the title role of "Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street," running January 24 through February 10, 2019, at Hillbarn Theatre.
"Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street" is getting a thrilling production at Hillbarn, thanks to a great cast, director and orchestra that can serve Stephen Sondheim's amazing songs. John Orr reviews.

City Lights Theater Company
Vega, Bogovich
Steve DiBartolomeo / City Lights
Damian Vega as Cal, left, is stunned by the bitter vitriol pouring out of Lillian Bogovich as Katharine in Terrence McNally's "Mothers and Sons," at City Lights Theater, January 17 through February 17, 2019.
"Mothers and Sons," by Terrence McNally, is getting a crisp and meaningful production featuring a powerful performance by Lillian Bogovich. John Orr reviews.

Hillbarn Theatre
Pinto, Orth
Mark and Tracy Photography / Hillbarn Theatre
Keith Pinto and Heather Orth in a promotional photograph for "Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street," playing January 24 through February 10, 2019, at the Hillbarn Theatre.
Heather Orth is delighted to finally get a chance to play Mrs. Lovett in "Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street." She spoke with John Orr about the role, and her career. Read more.

North California Arts Collective
Stanford, Ivy-Louthaman, Armour
Damian Marhefka photograph
Pasha Stanford, Leslie Ivy-Louthaman, and Kymi Armour in “Juke Joint Jukebox,” January 11-27, 2019, at The Shelton Theatre in San Francisco.
“Juke Joint Jukebox” takes its audience on a well-sung tour of black American music, from times of slavery to the death of Martin Luther King Jr. Writer/director/performer Gary Stanford Jr. talked with John Orr about the show.

Smuin
Dean, Pallozzi
Chris Hardy / Smuin
Terez Dean, left, and Mattia Pallozzi celebrate the season in "Winter Weather," part of Smuin’s The Christmas Ballet touring the Bay Area through December 24, 2018.
"The Christmas Ballet" is always a fun, sexy treat filled with excellent dancing and good humor. Vanessa Ochavillo reviews this year's edition.

The Stage
Alcoholidaze
The Stage
Promo for "Alcoholidaze Another Round"
"Alcoholidaze" is drinking for a good cause -- raising money for The Stage in San Jose. Plus, it's a good party, with very talented people singing clever songs to entertain you! John Orr spoke with Allison F. Rich about the event.

Tandy Beal & Company
Wasnak, Raz
Cliff Warner photo
Diane Wasnak (Pino) and Jeff Raz (Razz) with the cast in Tandy Beal & Company's holiday show "JOY!," featuring circus, live music, and stunning visuals. "JOY!" will play November 23-December 2 in Santa Cruz and December 7-9, 2018, in San Jose.
"JOY!" is the delightful show from Tandy Beal that combines dance, music and circus in magical ways. Vanessa Ochavillo reviews.

Randy O'Hara
Hildebrandt, Sammon, O'Hara, Reber
Mark and Tracy Photography / Hillbarn Theatre
Sammi Hildebrandt, Brenna Sammon, Randy O’Hara, and Christopher Reber, from left, in Hillbarn Theatre’s production of “A Christmas Carol,” which runs November 29–December 16, 2018.
Randy O'Hara often is called on to wear a ton of costuming and makeup. In "A Christmas Carol" at Hillbarn Theatre, he also gets to play a handsome young man as well. He spoke with John Orr.

TheatreWorks Silicon Valley
Rudd, Sullivan, Gambardella
Kevin Berne / TheatreWorks
Michael Gene Sullivan as The Man in the Yellow Suit, center, rejoices at discovering the secret to the Tuck family's eternal youth, with carnival workers Marissa Rudd,left, and Giana Gambardella in “Tuck Everlasting,” presented by TheatreWorks Silicon Valley at the Lucie Stern Theatre in Palo Alto, November 28 – December 30, 2018.
"Tuck Everlasting" is delighting audiences at the Lucie Stern Theatre in Palo Alto with its magical tale of living forever and the meaning of familial love. Tony Lacy-Thompson reviews.

The Stage
Amador, Callender, McCormick
Dave Lepori / The Stage
Juan Amador, L. Peter Callender, and Rondrell McCormick, from left, in "Between Riverside and Crazy." The Stephen Adly Guirgis play runs at The Stage November 21 to December 16, 2018.
"Between Riverside and Crazy" is a rich and rewarding play built with multiple levels and stunning ironies. It's getting an excellent production in San Jose, with a deeply impressive performance by L. Peter Callender. John Orr reviews.

City Lights
Marquis, Torre, Ryan
Taylor Sanders / City Lights
Mary Lou Torre as Ruthie, center, referees a fight between Maria Giere Marquis as Maddie, left, and Jeremy Ryan as Richard. "Making God Laugh" is at City Lights, November 15-December 23, 2018.
"Making God Laugh" is getting some laughs and some sober reflection, thanks to an excellent cast delivering the Sean Grennan play. John Orr reviews.

Broadway By The Bay
Raquel Nicole Jetè
Mark Kitoaka / Broadway By The Bay
Raquel Nicole Jetè in the title role of “Aida” in Broadway By The Bay’s production, playing November 2-18, 2018, at the Fox Theatre in Redwood City.
"Aida" is getting a beautiful, charming, for-the-whole-family production in Redwood City. Tony Lacy-Thompson reviews.

Palo Alto Players
Gough, Monagle
Joyce Goldschmid / Palo Alto Players
Tom Gough as Sen. Hubert Humphrey, left, and Michael Monagle as Lyndon B. Johnson in Palo Alto Players' "All The Way," running Nov. 2-18, 2018, at the Lucie Stern Theatre in Palo Alto.
"All The Way," Robert Schenkkan's Tony winning play, is getting an excellent production in Palo Alto, with a powerful cast, including Michael Monagle as LBJ. Tony Lacy-Thompson reviews.

MUSIC VIDEOS

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.
Asylum Street Spankers: "Monkey Rag," and "If You Want Me to Love You."
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.