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“Tosca”—A Beautifully Sung but Unimaginative New Production, from S.F. Opera

“Tosca”—A Beautifully Sung but Unimaginative New Production, from S.F. Opera

Puccini’s Great Opera Has a Dazzling Star, Fresh Sets & Costumes by Pamela Feinsilber Critics attend a popular opera such as “Tosca” many, many times over the years. We saw it here just four years ago, with the amazing Lianna Haroutounian in the lead and tenor Brian Jagde as her beloved, Cavaradossi. This is my third “Tosca,” so it was impossible to see even the new San Francisco Opera production with fresh eyes. It was, though, the first-ever opera for…

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“King of Cuba” Tickles, Triumphs, at Central Works, Berkeley

“King of Cuba” Tickles, Triumphs, at Central Works, Berkeley

Cristina Garcia Makes Comedy of Clashing Cuban Patriarchs by Mary Volmer Pictured on the cover of Central Works’ program for Cristina Garcia’s “King of Cuba” is a sandcastle. It’s the work of a determined child, symmetrical and elegant in its simplicity. But look closely: the turret topped with a Cuban flag is crumbling. And what will become of the castle and the flag when the tide changes? What will take its place? Funny as it might seem to comment on…

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“King of Cuba” Dissects Revolution, at Central Works, Berkeley

“King of Cuba” Dissects Revolution, at Central Works, Berkeley

Millennial Notes Cristina Garcia Challenges Political Gangs by Tyler Jeffreys The world premiere of “King of Cuba” comically pits two political pity parties, left and right, against each other. Adapting her prize-winning novel of the same name, Cristina Garcia makes fun of both parties, and has us chuckling all the way. Garcia makes fun of two old men at war, in a Cuba versus Florida pissing contest. First, El Comandante, aka Fidel Castro (magical Marga Gomez) celebrates his 90th birthday…

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♦ Angels in America, “Perestroika” Flies Us to Heaven, at Berkeley Rep

♦ Angels in America, “Perestroika” Flies Us to Heaven, at Berkeley Rep

Kushner & Taccone Make Magnificent Miracles by Barry David Horwitz In “Perestroika,” Part Two of Angels in America, playwright Tony Kushner and director Tony Taccone take us on world-shaking, supernatural voyages.  Millennium has dawned and this time they fly us  to Heaven with Prior Walter and his seductive Angel. Prior (passionate Randy Harrison) discovers what’s wrong with the world and why he has AIDS. Prior learns the world is slowing down because God has retired–since the 1906 San Francisco earthquake….

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