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San Diego Arts Reviews

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  • Gales of Laughter Erupt at NCR’s ‘Forum’
    It’s easy to forgive Burt Shevelove, Larry Gelbart and Stephen Sondheim’s A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum for its many faults. It’s sexist, misogynistic, homophobic, and the plot has been done for eons, or, at least, 200 BCE. It’s low comedy at its best. In fact,... Read more »
  • Changes in San Diego Opera’s 2018-2019 Season
    David Bennett [photo courtesy of San Diego Opera]Over the weekend, San Diego Opera announced some changes in the 2018-19 season announced earlier this year. Hansel and Gretel, Engelbert Humperdinck’s delightful fairy tale opera, will be replaced by performances of Peter Rothstein’s All is Calm: The Christmas Truce of 1914 as... Read more »
  • Opera NEO’s Aria Marathon Opens the Summer Opera Season on Many, Many, Many High Notes
    Encountering Opera NEO’s annual Aria Marathon Sunday, July 15, at Palisades Presbyterian Church in Allied Gardens signaled that Opera NEO’s summer festival is again at hand. This marathon is a ritual that gives each singer participating in the five-week festival the opportunity to sing their best opera aria to a... Read more »
  • Backyard Renaissance Mounts an Irresistible ‘Zoo Story’ at Diversionary
    Edward Albee’s trenchant one-act play The Zoo Story shot an arrow through the heart of Eisenhower era button-down complacency. In 1958, while Americans were delighting in the vapid flamboyance of Ford’s new Edsel line and sleek kitchen appliances turned out in brown and lime green, Albee focused on the existential... Read more »
  • At Old Globe, The Lorax Browbeats All Ages
    I’ve always thought that Ted Geisel’s Dr. Seuss stories contain some mystical link with young readers that will forever elude grown-ups. They’re whimsical, charming and ridiculous, yes, but armed with a sly subversive edge that stimulates children without rousing adult complications. That is at work in Dr. Seuss’s The Lorax, a... Read more »
  • Pandemonium in Old Town
    Jonathan Sangster and Sean Murray. (Photos courtesy of Ken Jacques.)For any production of Monty Python’s Spamalot to succeed, there needs to be well-delivered, non-stop hilarity coupled with cleverly executed musical sequences. Cygnet Theatre’s interpretation features these elements in spades, largely thanks to Artistic Director, Sean Murray. Set in a fictional... Read more »
  • ‘Angels in America’ Confronts the Politics of the Trump Terror
    Earlier this year, an exasperated President Donald Trump sounded his plaintive cry, “Where is my Roy Cohn?” Soon after, a New York Times ad appeared explaining that Nathan Lane was playing Roy Cohn at the Neil Simon Theatre on Broadway. If you think that the timing of current revivals of... Read more »
  • Kate Burton Conjures Prospera in ‘Tempest’ at Old Globe
    Nearly every evening through July 22, “a tempestuous noise of thunder and lightning is heard” in Balboa Park, caused by a gender-switching, glitter-swirling production of Shakespeare’s The Tempest, at the Old Globe’s outdoor theatre. ‘Tis wonderfully wicked to open a Shakespeare Festival with a shipwreck. The cast of The Tempest,... Read more »
  • ‘The King and I’ Enchants at the Civic
    The CastPhoto by Matthew Murphy Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Golden Age musical, The King and I, is notably difficult to produce professionally. It requires an exceptionally large cast, and most of the principals must perform in a “legit” singing style that borders on operatic quality. Quite a few cast members must... Read more »
  • Creative Comedies From Local Artists
    Michael Lundy and Cody Ingram. (Photo courtesy of Compulsion Dance & Theatre.)The main goal of comedy is, of course, to make people laugh, and there is a wide spectrum of comedy, from light to dark to twisted. Three comedies at the 2018 San Diego Fringe Festival have very little... Read more »

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