Issue:  Vol. 45 / No. 31 / 30 July 2015

Dance - Garden party
in Stern Grove

Even Stern Grove is looking dry this year. Last Sunday's free outdoor performance by the San Francisco Ballet, with their full orchestra, on the natural-amphitheater stage of the city's often fog-bound park, was danced under more hot sun than I can remember in 20 years of attending the event. Several thousand people, it looked like, brought their picnics and spread out on the lawn, on the terraces, and up the cliff behind us into the eucalyptus trees, where it looked like they had to dig their heels in to keep their purchase on the steep forest floor. (read more)

Fine Arts - Once
in love with Amy

Amy Winehouse, the soulful British singer/songwriter whom Tony Bennett once called the best jazz vocalist of her generation, had it all: a big, heart-rending voice, fame and success, none of which saved her from the inner demons that overtook her, or the downward spiral into drug and alcohol addiction that led to her death four years ago. Most of what is known about Winehouse comes from tabloids and magazines, her music, and most recently, Asif Kapadia's heartbreaking documentary Amy. But who was this fragile, prodigiously talented young woman, mercilessly hounded by the paparazzi, whose autobiographical songs such as "Rehab," "You Know I'm No Good" and "Back to Black" still haunt listeners, and whose life came to a tragic and very public end at the age of 27? (read more)

Out There - Summer spirits in victuals & art

A warm summer night earlier this month in San Francisco. Out There and our personal-size pizza Pepi found our way down to the Embarcadero... (read more)

Out & About -
Risk is this

Enjoy a splashy array of traditional, innovative and edgy arts events this week. (read more)

Theatre - Vulgarity with bubbles

Champagne White is misunderstood and also mispronounced. The newlywed is now Mrs. White Juan Spritzer, but mostly it's White Wine Spritzer that gets served up. (read more)

Music - Young singers
served by intimacy

The Merola Opera Program's summer festival recently offered two one-act operas on an enticing double bill at the Cowell Theater at Fort Mason. (read more)

Film - Philosophical conundrum

Until Irrational Man, the new Woody Allen thriller/comedy about a philosophy professor who discovers he needs to murder a stranger in order to feel more completely alive... (read more)

Books - Considering the
Queen of Camelot

In the last paragraph of his unflattering best-selling biography of Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy Onassis 25 years ago, C. David Heymann wrote of his subject as an everlasting mystery. (read more)

Books - Midnighter's writer

Gay comic-book readers and fanboys rejoice. Midnighter has arrived, or returned, depending on your perspective. (read more)

DVD - Russian

Watching Jonathan Taieb's seductively lensed Moscow crime drama Stand (TLAReleasing) reveals an attractive young Russian male couple, Anton and Vlad. (read more)

Fine Arts - Alexander the Great & Greek love

Aristotle tutored him. He became king of Macedonia at 20. At 30, his unprecedented military victories made him ruler of an empire... (read more)

Television -
Looking at race on the lavender tube

This is shaping up to be the hottest summer on record, and the political landscape being splayed out... (read more)

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