Grins, gams and gumshoes in SF Playhouse Angels

Jul 14

Grins, gams and gumshoes in SF Playhouse <i>Angels</i>

It's real vs. reel in the San Francisco Playhouse summer musical, City of Angels, a delightfully jazzy take on film noir, greed the constant battle between commerce and art.

This 1989 Broadway hit, with a dazzling score by the great Cy Coleman (music) and David Zippel (lyrics) and a genuinely funny book by Larry Gelbart is a real treat, and it's nice to see that SF Playhouse's musicals just get stronger and stronger.

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Big laughs, super star in Moon’s Little Me

May 05

Big laughs, super star in Moon’s <i>Little Me</i>

My faith in the good ol' American star-making machine is kaput. Any yahoo with a access to a "reality" show camera crew gets 15 minutes and all the nonsensical covers of ridiculous magazines they could wish for. Or singers of dubious talent get in front of a national audience singing notes by the pound with no understanding of (or interest in) the songs they're macerating.

And then you have journeymen performers like Jason Graae, who by all rights should be an enormous star, doing stellar work that is seen by far too few. I get worked up every time I see Graae perform because something is definitely not right that his dynamic performer with a golden voice and flawless comic timing hasn't already had several hit sitcoms, won a couple of Tony Awards, sold millions of albums, had a few plum roles on the big screen and written at least one tell-all memoir. In another era, all of the above would be true, but the truth is, Graae is a genius in a world of show biz that has come and gone (and may yet come again – if we're lucky).

Lest you think I'm exaggerating, go see Graae play seven leading men in 42nd Street Moon's production of Little Me.

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Theater review: `Wildcat’

May 11

Maureen McVerry is Wildcat Jackson and Rob Hatzenbeller is Joe Dynamite in the 42nd Stret Moon production of the 1960s musical Wildcat. Not much growl left in `Wildcat’«« There’s a moment in Wildcat that redeems the whole shaky venture. With 42nd Street Moon, the company that dusts off lost, forgotten or unjustly ignored musicals, there’s...

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Broadway by the Bay’s musical man

Apr 01

As someone who has loved musicals since his formative years, Jim Gardia is certainly in the right business. And to think, he could have ended up as a swim coach. In college, Gardia, who was a competitive swimmer, was seriously considering a career as a swim coach. “But theater pulled me harder,” he says. For six years he worked with Los Angeles’...

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New seasons: TheatreFIRST, Broadway by the Bay

Oct 22

TheaterFIRST, under the new artistic direction of Dylan Russell, has announced its 15th anniversary season, which will run from January to June 2009 and will include a staged reading series and a Harold Pinter revival. The season opens with a staged reading series from mid-January to mid-February. Plays and location still to be announced, but the readings will be at...

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