Issue:  Vol. 44 / No. 37 / 11 September 2014

Music - Forbidden love
on the opera stage

The San Francisco Opera's 92nd season opened last Friday in typically grand fashion with a new production of Vincenzo Bellini's bel canto masterpiece Norma . The striking and unfussy staging by director Kevin Newbury is handsomely designed by David Korins, with attractive costumes by Jessica Jahn and appropriate lighting by D.M. Wood, who both make strong SFO debuts. But regardless of the impressive physical look of the opera and, on this occasion, the sheer fabulosity of the before and after parties on opening night, Bellini's bel canto literally means "beautiful singing," and it is ultimately up to the divas onstage to deliver the goods. (read more)

Film - The trick who comes
to Lake Tahoe

This week a terrific, revealing home movie, shot in one of the most pristine slices of nature, opens. Tom Dolby, scion of the fabled Dolby Sound clan, along with his college chum and co-director Tom Williams, offers a quirky family drama, Last Weekend.

Anxious matriarch Celia Green (crackling good Patricia Clarkson) has decided that it's time to ring down the curtain on her tribe's tradition of marking the end of summer at their sprawling Lake Tahoe estate. This weekend her adult gay son Theo (Keep the Lights On co-star Zachary Booth) has brought along his latest trick, Luke (one-time ACT student Devon Graye), and the perky one-night-stand has his own ideas about how the script will play out. (read more)

Out There - And we're off in the new season!

The fall arts season got off to a rip-roaring start last week. (read more)

Theatre -
Broken hearts club

Three sisters live in a hermetic world, their memories replaying a happier time in another place. (read more)

Out & About -
Facts & figures

Going out to see artsy stuff will change your brain. (read more)

Theatre - Welcome to Seth Rudetsky's living room

Seth Rudetsky is an ad for A.D.D. – not for its treatments, but for how to make showbiz lemonade from attention deficit disorder. (read more)

Film - Scottish pop & talking heads

If you think about it, the thing that pops in romance cinema is not the bedtime stuff, but whether the would-be lovers have a special way of chatting each other up. (read more)

Television -
The fabulousness of Joan Rivers

Icon. Legend...what else do we call Joan Rivers but an icon and a legend, since she was a comedy genius and on TV for five decades? (read more)

Music - Serious music
mixed with light fare

The San Francisco Symphony launched the 103rd season last week with an opening-night gala that managed with characteristic ease to be both stylish and pleasantly laid-back. (read more)

Books - Judy in her
own words

It was bound to happen. I can see my run as this paper's resident Judyologist (that's what my editor calls me) coming to an end. (read more)

Books - Revolutionary Michelangelo

If you asked the average person who was the greatest artist of all time, chances are the reply would be Michelangelo Buonarroti. (read more)

Books - Fall bookshelf browsing

Gay poet Richard Blanco became a household name when he was selected as the fifth inaugural poet, reading his poem "One Today" at President Obama's second inauguration in 2013. (read more)

Books - Two gay spymaster authors

Many famous authors have been intelligence agents for their governments. (read more)

Music - Spiritual endeavors

Conspirare has proved itself such a consistent and reliable – not to mention fine – chorus that it is enough to say that they have a new recording out to recommend it. (read more)

Music - Regular person with a big voice

Of all the celebrities we've chatted with, few have been as genuinely down-to-Earth or as friendly as Jennifer Hudson. (read more)

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