Issue:  Vol. 44 / No. 44 / 30 October 2014

Theatre - Leslie Uggams
reinvents herself

Leslie Uggams doesn't spend much time counting backwards, except maybe when other performers boast about their 50 or so years in show business. "I start adding up my own years, and I go, 'Please, that's nothing.' But that's usually the only time I really think about it," she said. "I believe in reinventing yourself, moving on, trying different things."

It was in 1950, at age 6, that Uggams made her first professional appearance, on TV's Beulah show. Now in her early 70s, she has been finding new doors opening to her, including a summer run in Connecticut as Mama Rose in Gypsy, and an upcoming Florida engagement as the title character in Mame. (read more)

Dance - Impromptu intimacies

Cal Performances devoted last weekend in Berkeley to Schubert. Sunday afternoon the great pianist Richard Goode played the last three sonatas in Zellerbach Hall, while Friday and Saturday nights that wonderful stage was given to the dancers of Sasha Waltz and guests, accompanied by pianist Cristina Marton and mezzo-soprano Ruth Sandhoff.

I haven't heard the sonatas yet, but Waltz and her dancers have set a very high standard of musicianship for anyone to match. (read more)

Out There - For the birds

The ease of taking two-day getaways is one of the Bay Area's great perks, with so much natural beauty and wonder only a short drive from the pulse and frenetic energy of the city. (read more)

Theatre -
Power to the people!

Sitting with college friends in a dorm room around 1970, we found vicarious danger and a smattering of imagined relevance listening to Gil Scott-Heron's "The Revolution Will Not Be Televised. (read more)

Music - Spoiler alert: tragedy looms

The San Francisco Opera revived its classic production of Puccini's beloved potboiler Tosca last week for an abbreviated run of five performances at the War Memorial Opera House. (read more)

Out & About - Electerror

If you're not voting this week, you can only blame yourself for whatever political stupidity reigns over the next few years. (read more)

Music - Soundtracking

Throughout his prolific career as a film-score composer, the late Henry Mancini won four Oscars and 20 Grammys. (read more)

Fine Arts - Portraits of the supremely talented

Unlike his contemporaries Richard Avedon and Irving Penn...photographer Arnold Newman was a free agent who never became a household name. (read more)

Film - How not to talk about Hiroshima

Hiroshima Mon Amour is the greatest film ever made. (read more)

Books - Fall poetry picks

There is much joy to be had in reading newly minted, just-released poetry books from the smaller presses. Here are a few standout selections. (read more)

Film - Fear of a dry planet

It's both a treat and a dilemma for a critic when a new film evokes warm feelings beyond its own considerable merits, when it provokes an aesthetic/sensory response that one only accords the best of the best. (read more)

Film - Shining light
in dark places

My day begins at 3:45 a.m. with an information vitamin: the national edition of The New York Times. (read more)

DVD - Turning the screw for Halloween

Seven years after The Innocents, the daytime TV soap opera Dark Shadows was riding a wave of enormous popularity. (read more)

Books - Paternity tests

In his new memoir, Scottish actor Alan Cumming describes his annus horribilis, 2010, in which deeply buried family secrets were revealed (read more)

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