Arts & Events

THEATER REVIEW:Inferno Theatre's 'Dracula,' running through November 18

Ken Bullock
Friday November 03, 2017 - 06:58:00 PM

Violin and accordion (Carol Braves and Lana Palmer) process into the playing space under the dome atop Brooklyn Preserve near Lake Merritt, introducing the new version of 'Dracula,' adapted and staged by Giulio Perrone, the founder of Berkeley's Inferno Theatre, a trick-or-treat of ensemble theater, bringing the atmospherics and the strange interrelations of Bram Stoker's vampire masterpiece alive--or at least undead--to audiences this autumnal season ... -more-

L’État de siège by Albert Camus in Berkeley

Reviewed by James Roy MacBean
Friday November 03, 2017 - 07:20:00 PM

Written in 1948 during Franco’s Fascist regime in Spain, Albert Camus’s L’État de siège (State of Siege) may have gained a new relevancy in Trump’s America. Brought to our shores by Théàtre de la Ville-Paris, State of Siege was performed October 21-2 under the auspices of Cal Performances at Zellerbach Hall. Director Emmanuel Demarcy-Mota calls State of Siege “a grand allegory,” one that may help us face “the horrific perils such as we are now experiencing.” Though this play has clear albeit oblique references to both Fascist Spain and Nazi Germany, Camus’s State of Siege has eerie resonance in today’s world of Trump’s megalomania. Though nominally set in Cadiz, Spain, State of Siege offers a Kafkaesque view of totalitarian government everywhere it rears its ugly head. In some ways, this play reminded me of George Orwell’s 1984, for here too the meanings of words are turned on their heads. When a vote is scheduled in this play, one totalitarian functionary explains to another that the electorate is free. If they vote for the existing totalitarian government, he says, it proves they are free. If they vote against the oppressive regime, he says, it proves they are misled by sentimentality and are therefore not free. Such is the logic of dictators. I can imagine Trump saying this. -more-

A Stunning Chopin Recital by Pianist Daniil Trifonov

Reviewed by James Roy MacBean
Friday November 03, 2017 - 07:23:00 PM

On Monday evening, October 30, Davies Hall was nearly filled to capacity with audiences who came to hear the much-heralded 26 year-old Russian pianist Daniil Trifonov in a recital of works by Frédéric Chopin and various composers who were influenced by Chopin. Though this was not Trifonov’s first appearance in Davies Hall, (he performed with the San Francisco Symphony in 2014 as a Shenson Young Artist); Trifonov’s reputation has grown considerably in the ensuing three years, largely based on appearances at Carnegie Hall and in Los Angeles with Gustavo Dudamel and Los Angeles Philharmonic. In the January 9, 2017 issue of The New Yorker, music critic Alex Ross devoted an article to Daniil Trifonov in which Ross stated that, “What sets Trifonov apart is a pair of attributes that are seldom found in one pianist: monstrous technique and lustrous tone.” Ross also quoted no less an authority than Argentine pianist Marta Argerich as saying of Trifonov, “What he does with his hands is technically incredible. It’s also his touch -- he has tenderness and also the demonic element. I never heard anything like that.” -more-