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THEATER & DANCE
San Jose Stage Company
Kniffin, Shell, Psarras, Rouverol
Dave Lepori / San Jose Stage
Tim Kniffin as Erik, Marie Shell as Deidre, George Psarras as Richard, and Madeline Rouverol as Brigid, in Stephen Karam’s “The Humans,” as produced by San Jose Stage Company. It plays November 20 through December 15, 2019.
"The Humans" is a slice-of-life story that won a Tony and was Pulitzer Prize finalist in 2016. Madeline Rouverol talked about the show with John Orr.

MUSIC
California Pops Orchestra
Frederick Hodges
Sam Huie / California Pops Orchestra
Frederick Hodges was excellent as he performed George Gershwin's "Rhapsody in Blue" with the California Pops Orchestra on November 3, 2019, at the San Mateo Performing Arts Center.
Frederick Hodges was brilliant as he joined the California Pops Orchestra on November 3, 2019, for an excellent performance of George Gershwin's "Rhapsody in Blue." John Orr reviews.

THEATER & DANCE
Broadway by the Bay
Jen Brooks
Tracy Martin /Mark & Tracy Photography
Jen Brooks, as the Witch, is transformed in the Broadway by the Bay production of "Into the Woods," running November 8-24, 2019, at the Fox Theatre in Redwood City.
"Into the Woods" is getting a very well cast production at the Fox Theatre, a show that makes the most of the humor in the script. John Orr reviews.

Hillbarn Theatre
Green, Reber
Tracy Martin / Hillbarn Theatre
April Green as Julia Budder, left, and Chris Reber as James Wicker in "It's Only a Play," running October 10-27, 2019, at Hillbarn Theatre.
"It's Only a Play" is, perhaps, Terrence McNally's mash note to Broadway theater, but it's not his greatest play. Still, Hillbarn is fielding a really good cast to stage the play. John Orr reviews.

San Jose Stage Company
Rich, Harris, Garlick, Okuniewicz
Dave Lepori / San Jose Stage Company
Parker Harris as Brad, center left, and Ashley Garlick as Janet are shocked by what they find in the castle in San Jose Stage Company’s production of Richard O’Brien’s "The Rocky Horror Show." At left is Allison F. Rich as Magenta, and at right is Sean Okuniewicz as Riff Raff. The raucaus and hilarious rock 'n' roll musical runs October 2 through November 3, 2019.
"Rocky Horror Show" is getting a brilliant, powerful, funny production at San Jose Stage. The cast is great, the music is great, the audience is great. It is a very interactive show. You've been good this year, right? You deserve to go see this amazing performance. Read John Orr's review.

Keith Pinto
Keith Pinto
Dave Lepori / San Jose Stage
Keith Pinto rocks the lingerie look of Dr. Frank-N-Furter for "Rocky Horror Show," which runs October2 through November 3, 2019, at San Jose Stage.
Keith Pinto is all dressed up for another of the over-the-top roles in which he always excels: Frank-N-Furter, in "Rocky Horror Show," at San Jose Stage. He talks about his love of these crazy roles, and the pain of five-inch heels, with John Orr.

Hillbarn Theatre
Caitlin McGinty
Mark & Tracy Photography / Hillbarn Theatre
Caitlin McGinty as Reno Sweeney in Hillbarn Theatre’s production of “Anything Goes,” which runs August 29-September 15, 2019.
"Anything Goes" is getting a lively and beautiful production at Hillbarn Theatre. We're late ringing the bell for this one -- it closes on Sunday. But get tickets if you can, there is a great cast! John Orr talked with Hillbarn Executive Artistic Director Dan Demers. Read on.

Lance Gardner
Gardner, Abrams
Kevin Berne / TheatreWorks Silicon Valley
Lance Gardner as Richard Hannay wrestles a map out of the hand of Annie Abrams as the lifeless Annabella Schmidt in “The 39 Steps,” presented by TheatreWorks Silicon Valley August 21 – September 22, 2019 at the Mountain View Center for the Performing Arts..
Lance Gardner is dashing and handsome as Richard Hannay, hero, in the TheatreWorks Silicon Valley staging of "The 39 Steps." He talked with John Orr about his life. Read on.

Katie Coleman
Katie Coleman
John Orr / Regarding Arts
Music Director Katie Coleman after the opening-night performance of "Cabaret" at City Lights Theatre Company in San Jose, July 20, 2019.
Katie Coleman started piano lessons at 6, and before long she was playing songs from musicals. She's grown up to be a bicoastal music director for musicals. These days, she splits her time between "Cabaret" in San Jose and "Hamilton" in San Francisco. She told John Orr about her life.

City Lights Theater Company
Sarah Haas
Taylor Sanders / City Lights
Sarah Haas as Frenchie, a Kit Kat Klub girl, dances atop The Emcee in the nightclub number "Sitting Pretty." City Lights Theater Company presents the original 1966 version of the iconic musical "Cabaret," July 18-August 25, 2019.
"Cabaret," as seen on Broadway in 1966, is a bit different from the modern versions of the show most of us have seen. But director/choreographer Kit Wilder and an excellent cast have done a fine job breathing new life into the 1966 version at City Lights. John Orr reviews.

MUSIC
Paul McCartney
Paul McCartney
Tony Lacy-Thompson / Regarding Arts
For the Wings song “Let Me Roll It,” Paul McCartney swapped his bass for a Les Paul guitar and kicked out some jams at the Shark Tank, running into the riff from Jimi Hendrix’s “Purple Haze.”
Paul McCartney may be 77 years old, but he's still rockin' like the brilliant Beatle he's been all these years. Tony Lacy-Thompson reviews McCartney's recent show in San Jose. Read on.

THEATER & DANCE
Broadway San Jose
Book of Mormon
Broadway San Jose
The often irreverent but generally sincere "The Book of Mormon" plays at the San Jose Center for the Performing Arts, July 16-21,2019.
"The Book of Mormon" roadshow is briefly in San Jose, and Tony Lacy-Thompson says it is hilarious. Read his review.

Francis Jue
Jue, Kuroda
Alessandra Mello / TheatreWorks Silicon Valley
Francis Jue as Resten, left, and Emily Kuroda as Alta, the last native speakers of a dying language in “The Language Archive,” presented by TheatreWorks Silicon Valley, July 10 – August 4 at the Lucie Stern Theatre in Palo Alto.
Francis Jue has had a long and successful partnership with TheatreWorks Silicon Valley. That's where he met his husband, Randy Adams, and he has appeared in 15 shows there. The latest is "The Language Archive." He spoke with John Orr.

Doug Santana
Kruse Craig, Santana, D'Ambrosio, O'Bryon Champlin
Joyce Goldschmid / Palo Alto Players
Betsy Kruse Craig as Dolly, Doug Santana as Francis Henshall, Ray D’Ambrosio as Charlie “The Duck” Clench, and Katie O’Bryon Champlin as Rachel Crabbe, from left, in the Palo Alto Players production of "One Man, Two Guvnors," at the Lucie Stern Theatre, June14-30, 2019.
Doug Santana is already getting lots of applause, laughs and rave reviews for his role in "One Man, Two Guvnors," at Palo Alto Players. We hope you already saw this story in The Palo Alto Daily News! But if you didn't, here it is again. The show closes on Sunday, so hurry to see it! John Orr wrote this story.

Adrienne Herro
Rich, Herro, Miller
Dave Lepori / The Stage
Allison F. Rich as Tanya, Adrienne Herro as Donna and Jill Miller as Rosie, from left, in a preproduction photo for San Jose Stage Company's production of "Mamma Mia!" The show runs May 29-July 7, 2019.
Adrienne Herro was only 8 or 9 when she saw "Annie" and decided the stage was for her. Now she is starring in "Mamma Mia!" at San Jose Stage, surrounded by friends in a great cast. She spoke with John Orr.

Broadway San Jose
Gjurich, Lazarov
Joan Marcus photo
Olivia Gjurich as Fruma-Sarah, Yehezkel Lazarov as Tevye, and the cast of "Fiddler on the Roof," at the San Jose Center for the Performing Arts, May 21-26, 2019.
"Fiddler on the Roof" is dancing and singing at the San Jose Center for the Performing Arts. Tony Lacy-Thompson reviews.

City Lights Theater Company
Marquis, Whittemore, Psarras, Green, DeHart
Taylor Sanders / City Lights
Maria Giere Marquis as pioneering astronomer Henrietta Leavitt, foreground, with Jessica Whittemore, George Psarras, April Green and Karen DeHart, from left, in the background. Set by Ron Gasparinetti. Lauren Gunderson's "Silent Sky" is running at City Lights Theater Company May 16-June 16, 2019.
"Silent Sky," by Lauren Gunderson, is getting an extraordinary, deeply moving production at City Lights, featuring an excellent cast. John Orr reviews.

Maria Giere Marquis
Marquis, Psarras
Taylor Sanders / City Lights
Maria Giere Marquis as Henrietta Leavitt, left, and George Psarras as Peter Shaw in a pre-production publicity photo for "Silent Sky." The two perform in the Lauren Gunderson play at City Lights in San Jose, May 16 through June 16, 2019. The photo was made at the Fallon House in San Jose.
Maria Giere Marquis, who recently triumphed as the murderous Lady Macbeth at the Dragon, returns to City Lights to play Henrietta Leavitt in Lauren Gunderson's excellent "Silent Sky." Marquis talked with John Orr. Read the story.

Sunnyvale Community Players
Smita Patibanda
Christopher Berger / Sunnyvale Community Players
Smita Patibanda is Dorothy in the Sunnyvale Community Players production of "The Wiz," playing April 26-May 19, 2019.
'The Wiz' has Dorothy, Scarecrow, The Lion and The Tinman following that Yellow Brick Road, as directed by Gary Stanford Jr., with whom we spoke. Read the story.

Dragon Theatre
Johnson, Rahamim, Haas
Lance Huntley / Dragon Theatre
"By the pricking of my thumbs, Something wicked this way comes." The three witches of "Macbeth" at the Dragon Theatre. From left are Troy Johnson, Roneet Aliza Rahamim, and Sarah Haas. The show runs March 15 - April 7, 2019.
"Macbeth" is getting an excellent production at the Dragon Theatre in Redwood City, thanks to a small cast where everybody pitches in with everything. John Orr reviews.

TheatreWorks Silicon Valley
Jordan, Rudd
Kevin Berne / TheatreWorks
Michelle E. Jordan as Sister Rosetta Tharpe, left, and Marissa Rudd as Marie Knight perform in "Marie and Rosetta," presented by TheatreWorks Silicon Valley, March 6 - 31, 2019, at Lucie Stern Theatre in Palo Alto.
"Marie and Rosetta" is the powerful, roof-raising story of gospel/blues greats Sister Rosetta Tharp and Marie Knight. Michelle E. Jordan, who plays Sister Rosetta in the play with music, spoke with John Orr. Read the story.

Foothill Music Theatre
Repetti, Pickett
David Allen / Foothill Music Theatre
Steve Repetti as Mob Boss Nick Valenti, left, leans in for a kiss from Jocelyn Pickett as his girlfriend Olive in “Bullets Over Broadway The Musical,” presented by Foothill Music Theatre, February 28 – March 17, 2019, at the Lohman Theatre in Los Altos Hills.
Jocelyn Pickett, in addition to being tall, gorgeous, a good singer and a good dancer, can do funny. Not every musical-theater performer can do funny. But Pickett can, and that's why director Milissa Carey cast her in "Bullets Over Broadway The Musical." Pickett talked with John Orr. Read the story.

SHN
Hamilton
Joan Marcus / SHN
Julius Thomas III, second from left in front, in the title role of "Hamilton," now at the SHN Orpheum Theatre in San Francisco, through September 8, 2019.
"Hamilton" really is as great as almost everyone has said. The show is in San Francisco for a second visit, and Joanne Engelhardt reviews.

Smuin Ballet
Kretz, Felsch
Keith Sutter / Smuin
Smuin dancers Erica Felsch and Robert Kretz in Trey McIntyre’s “Blue Until June,” a company premiere in Smuin's Dance Series 01 program in Mountain View February 21-24, 2019.
"Dance Series 01" includes the company debut of Trey McIntyres' "Blue Until June," which is inspired by recordings of Etta James. Fabulous stuff. John Orr reviews.

Cirque du Soleil
Waz
Matt Beard / Cirque du Soleil
Waz flies through the air with the greatest of ease, that daring young man ... hanging from a lamp. Cirque du Soleil's "Volta" is in San Jose, February 13 through March 24, 2019.
"Volta" is the latest collection of thrills from Cirque du Soleil, and is under the big top at the Santa Clara Fairgrounds for the first time. Tony Lacy-Thompson reviews.

The Pear Theatre
Skinner, Wagner, Alabastro
Michael Craig / The Pear
Michelle Skinner, Gwendolyne Wagner, and Tasi Alabastro, from left, in "Spending the End of the World on OK Cupid." The play runs January 25 to February 17, 2019, at The Pear Theatre in Mountain View.
"Spending the End of the World on OK Cupid" by Jeffrey Lo wonders what we would do if we all thought the world was going to end in 12 hours. It's on stage at The Pear. John Orr reviews.

San Jose Stage Company
Randall King
Daniel Garcia photo
Randall King will play Big Daddy in The Stage's production of "Cat On A Hot Tin Roof," running February 6 – March 3, 2019, in San Jose.
"Cat on a Hot Tin Roof" is one of the great American plays, and Randall King is reveling in getting to play Big Daddy, some 30 years after he played Brick. Older and wiser, he sees more in the play than he did then. He spoke with John Orr. Read the story.

Hillbarn Theatre
Vettel, Pinto
Mark and Tracy Photography / Hillbarn Theatre
Chris Vettel as Judge Turpin, front, is about to get the shave of his life thanks to Keith Pinto in the title role of "Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street," running January 24 through February 10, 2019, at Hillbarn Theatre.
"Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street" is getting a thrilling production at Hillbarn, thanks to a great cast, director and orchestra that can serve Stephen Sondheim's amazing songs. John Orr reviews.

City Lights Theater Company
Vega, Bogovich
Steve DiBartolomeo / City Lights
Damian Vega as Cal, left, is stunned by the bitter vitriol pouring out of Lillian Bogovich as Katharine in Terrence McNally's "Mothers and Sons," at City Lights Theater, January 17 through February 17, 2019.
"Mothers and Sons," by Terrence McNally, is getting a crisp and meaningful production featuring a powerful performance by Lillian Bogovich. John Orr reviews.

Hillbarn Theatre
Pinto, Orth
Mark and Tracy Photography / Hillbarn Theatre
Keith Pinto and Heather Orth in a promotional photograph for "Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street," playing January 24 through February 10, 2019, at the Hillbarn Theatre.
Heather Orth is delighted to finally get a chance to play Mrs. Lovett in "Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street." She spoke with John Orr about the role, and her career. Read more.

MUSIC VIDEOS

For ears and eyes

Judy Garland was an amazing talent, unmatched in many ways. Want the proof? Lend eyes and ears to her singing "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" in a poor quality recording from the ancient days of TV. Fabulous.
Some guys singing "Bad Romance." It's so much fun.
Molly Bell is amazing. We have a profile of her here in Regarding Arts, but here's a favorite video of her performing in Divas for Life.
Lake Street Dive is a band formed by Rachael Price, who is a wonderful vocalist. I love this tune, which I heard on A Prairie Home Companion. Then I found this video.
"Laundry Room." Another from The Avett Brothers. Here is another tune that delves deep into emotion and yearning.
"While My Guitar Gently Weeps." Fabulous band performs in 2004 to honor George Harrison upon his posthumous induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a solo artist. Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, Jeff Lynne, Steve Ferrone, Dhani Harrison and Prince. Mike Campbell of the Heartbreakers does the early solo stuff. Prince shows up and takes over.
Tim O'Brien: "Hey, Joe," at Celtic Connections 2009, Glasgow Scotland.
Trucks & Tedeschi Band: "Midnight in Harlem," at the 2010 Guitar Festival.
Asylum Street Spankers: "Monkey Rag," and "If You Want Me to Love You."
OK Go: "This Too Shall Pass." Incredible Rube Goldberg machine video.
Willie Dixon: "I'm Nervous." Funny and charming video of the great songwriter, singer and bassist.
John Lee Sanders: Fabulous musician. Give a listen to "Midnight in New Orleans".
"Let's Go Get Stoned" is the first thing the friend of a friend said when he got off the plane from Vietnam in 1967 or so. It's also the title of this fab song by Ray Charles.