Post image for Theater Preview: WASHED UP ON THE POTOMAC (San Francisco Playhouse)

LOOKING FOR PROOF Proofreading: It may be a lost art. As an editor, I have become accustomed to scanning copy everywhere for mistakes, either in grammar or with facts. But lately, the effects of having computers think for us is starting to do irreparable harm to language and communication. Just today, after catching a typo […]

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Post image for Theater Review: END OF THE RAINBOW (Laguna Playhouse in Laguna Beach)

THE LEGEND THAT GOT AWAY No, this show isn’t how fans want to remember Judy Garland at the bittersweet end. End of the Rainbow, Peter Quilter’s sardonic salute to a star on the skids, is a sometimes-sadistic portrait of an imploding diva. A festering production at Laguna Playhouse, Quilter’s retro take on “Little Girl Blue” […]

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Post image for Theater Review: HAIRSPRAY (San Diego Musical Theatre at Horton Grand Theatre)

EVEN WHEN YOU’RE HAIR CAN’T HOLD UP, THIS MUSICAL CAN To say you like Hairspray really doesn’t cut it. Do you mean the 1988 John Waters film starring Devine and newcomer Ricki Lake? Or maybe you mean the 2003 Tony winner for “Best Musical,” which also yielded Harvey Fierstein a Tony for his role as […]

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Post image for Concert Preview: GREGORY PORTER AND SAVION GLOVER (with Vince Mendoza at the Hollywood Bowl)

OLDIES AND TAP: YOU’D BE NUTS TO MISS THIS CONCERT Jazz singer Gregory Porter certainly has amassed an impassioned and appreciative audience of all ages and races. But ever since double Grammy-winning composer, actor, and soul, jazz, and gospel song stylist released his latest Blue Note recording, Nat “King” Cole & Me, he cemented himself […]

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Post image for Theater Preview: ANNIVERSARY! STORIES BY TOBIAS WOLFF AND GEORGE SAUNDERS (Word for Word)

WORD FOR WORD’S PERSONAL VICTORY LAP MAY BE THE BEST DEEP KISS YOU’VE EVER HAD San Francisco’s Word for Word has been transforming classic and contemporary fiction into amazing theatrical experiences by performing short stories in their entirety, preserving the authors’ language and honoring their literary intent. Now, Word for Word celebrates its 25th season […]

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Post image for Chicago Theater Review: HOLDING THE MAN (Pride Films and Plays at the Pride Arts Center)

HOLDING OUR ATTENTION Playful and powerful, hilarious and anguished, Tommy Murphy’s Holding the Man is a 2006 drama based on an immensely successful 1995 memoir. The author was apprentice Australian actor Tim Conigrave, who died in 1995, as did his lover John Caleo in 1992, of AIDS. (The 2015 film version, starring Geoffrey Rush and Guy Pearce, […]

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Post image for Theater Preview: THE MOST HAPPY FELLA (Musical Theatre West in Long Beach)

ABBONDONZA If ever there was a reason to say, “Absolutely, positively, do not miss this event,” this is it. For one night only on Sunday August 19 at 7pm, Musical Theatre West’s Reiner Reading Series offers the final show of its eighth and final season, Frank Loesser’s The Most Happy Fella. While it’s been an incredible […]

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Post image for Theater Review: BAREFOOT IN THE PARK (The Old Globe in San Diego)

THE GLOBE MAKES IT LOOK LIKE A WALK IN THE PARK Barefoot in the Park, Neil Simon’s second Broadway hit after Come Blow Your Horn, played a staggering 1,530 performances in its initial run, winning a Tony Award for director Mike Nichols. It’s somewhat inconceivable that a play this frothy, containing less pathos than Simon’s […]

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Post image for Chicago Theater Review: HURRICANE DAMAGE (Pride Films and Plays at the Pride Arts Center)

DAMAGE CONTROL Sometimes everything old is just — well — old again: The fourth entry in Pride Films and Plays’ five-show PAC Pride Fest, Hurricane Damage is a bittersweet world-premiere by New York playwright Kevin Brofsky that wants to engage us more than it does. A group portrait of two aging gay lovers, a long-separated friend, and […]

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Post image for Theater Preview: WAITRESS (National Tour at the Hollywood Pantages Theatre)

SWEET AS PIE, FLAKY AS CRUST, OR BOTH? If the heat in the kitchen is getting you down, you may want to head on over to Hollywood, where the Broadway hit Waitress arrived last night for a limited four-week at the Pantages Theatre August 3-26, 2018, and then continuing on tour after that through the […]

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