Arts & Events

Theater Review: Ayckborn's Communicating Doors at Actors Ensemble of Berkeley

By Ken Bullock
Wednesday July 27, 2011 - 02:33:00 PM

Kind of an inversion of Plaza Suite, Neil Simon's comedy of three little comic melodramas in the same hotel room, a part in each essayed by the same actor, Alan Ayckbourn's Communicating Doors proves to be a doorslammer that echoes down the corridors of time. -more-

Press Release: Berkeley Symphony Chooses New Executive Director

From Jenny Lee, BSO
Tuesday July 26, 2011 - 11:28:00 AM

Berkeley Symphony Board of Directors today announced the selection of its new executive director, René Mandel, to head the 42-year-old organization. His appointment is the culmination of a nationwide search that began in April. Mandel will succeed current Executive Director James Kleinmann, who served Berkeley Symphony since 2006, and assume his duties with the orchestra on August 1. -more-

Don't Miss This

By Dorothy Snodgrass
Sunday July 24, 2011 - 12:50:00 PM

Hearing of the killer heat wave in much of the nation, thanks to the powers that be, we in the bay area have our wonderful natural air conditioning. We also have some great entertainment lined up for the summer. -more-

Eye from the Aisle: SEUSSICAL at Berkeley Playhouse—enough to make a Grinch grin

By John A. McMullen II
Sunday July 24, 2011 - 12:21:00 PM
William Hodgson is The Cat in the Hat

When approaching the Julia Morgan Theatre Center at the premature hour of 7 pm on Friday night last, I was confronted by many miniature homunculi which caused me to gasp and grasp tight the hand of my companion. She reassured me that they were only children. I was not anticipating them. I don’t get out much, except to go to theatre, and thankfully they are seldom there since they make noise and fidget.

It was the Berkeley Playhouse—which I had hitherto eschewed for the above reasons, and out of a preference for tragedy and irony. And to make matters more dire, this was SEUSSICAL, THE MUSICAL, god help us all. But I had been invited by a creative colleague, so I held my breath, if not my nose, and deigned to attend.

For all my Grinch-like persona and curmudgeonly mien, I must unequivocally and highly RECOMMEND this production to everyone, regardless of age. The Broadway-worthy performances of the cast are the first reason. Indeed, the performances are so engaging that the rug-rats—probably a third of the audience—are for the most part quiet and rapt for the entire two hours plus. -more-

Around & About Music: Carmel Bach Festival; Berkeley West Edge Opera's Caliban Dreams

By Ken Bullock
Wednesday July 27, 2011 - 02:46:00 PM

For those heading down the coast, the Carmel Bach Festival is in its last week, with unusual programs like Stephen Prutsman's Bach, Jazz and the Spaces In Between, in which the San Francisco pianist plays his solo piece, Bach & Forth, working off themes from J. S. Bach, Charlie Parker and Schoenberg, as well as being joined by a string quartet for arrangements--some by Prutsman--of pieces by Bach, Dizzy Gilllespie, John Coltrane, Joe Zawinul, and Turkish and Uzbeki music, teasing out the relationships Prutsman discovers `in the mix. -more-

Around & About Theater: Duerrenmatt's The Visit, My Fair Lady

By Ken Bullock
Wednesday July 27, 2011 - 02:41:00 PM

Duerrenmatt's The Visit, with Carla Spindt, Solano College Theatre, outdoors--free! Woodminster Summer Musicals stages My Fair Lady -more-