Hillbarn Theatre
Jepoy Ramos
Mark and Tracy Photography / Hillbarn Theatre
Jepoy Ramos in Hillbarn Theatre’s production of “The Full Monty,” running May 3-20, 2018.
"The Full Monty" is getting a revealingly good production at Hillbarn Theatre. Tony Lacy-Thompson was there on opening night, and reviews.

Palo Alto Players
Mason, Nguyen, van Gastel, Kelly, LaFever
Joyce Goldschmid / Palo Alto Players
Jimmy Mason as Stacee Jaxx is surrounded by, clockwise from upper left, Amanda Nguyen, Breanna van Gastel, Shannon Kelly, and Jessica LaFever in Palo Alto Players’ production of “Rock of Ages,” playing April 27 through May 13, 2018.
"Rock of Ages," as a musical, isn't as good as the cast, band, set and costumes built for it by Palo Alto Players. John Orr reviews.

3Below Theaters
the Warsaw gang
Kersh Branz photo
"The People in the Picture" include "The Warsaw Gang." In front are, from left, Brian Watson and Jim Ambler; in the second row, from left, are Stephen Guggen Heim, Susan Gundunas and Krista Wigle; from left in back are F. James Raasch and John Minagro. The show runs April 26-May 13, 2018, at 3Below Theatre in San Jose. In the background, from left, are percussionist Aharon Wheels Bolstra, keyboardist Tom Tomasello and violinist Kymber Gillen.
"The People in the Picture" is playing at 3Below Theaters in San Jose, a touching sometime funny tale of European Jews escaping the Holocaust to live in New York. Tony Lacy-Thompson reviews.

Brad Satterwhite
Noble, Satterwhite, Neuenfeldt
Mark & Tracy Photography / Hillbarn Theatre
Elspeth Noble as Margaret, left, and Brad Satterwhite as Richard Hannay hide their handcuffs from Ross Neuenfeldt as the innkeeper lady in "The 39 Steps" at Hillbarn Theatre in Foster City, October 16 through November 2, 2014. It was Satterwhite's first role in the area, after college at UCLA and a couple of years as an actor in the Los Angeles area.
Brad Satterwhite is building a strong career as an actor and singer on Peninsula stages, not to mention being very productive as a novelist. And, working a day job. Busy fella. He is starring in "The Full Monty," which opens on May 3, 2018, at Hillbarn Theatre. John Orr interviewed him.

Mick Berry
Mick Berry
Courtesy photo
Mick Berry peforming in “Keith Moon: The Real Me.”
"Keith Moon: The Real Me" is writer/performer Mick Berry's tribute to one of the classic bad boys of rock. Tony Lacy-Thompson spoke with Berry. Read the story.

San Jose Stage Company
Rich, Williams, Sicular
Dave Lepori / San Jose Stage
Allison F. Rich as Cora, Johnathan Rhys Williams as Frank, and Robert Sicular as Nick in San Jose Stage Company’s production of "The Postman Always Rings Twice," April 11 through May 6, 2018, at The Stage.
"The Postman Always Rings Twice," in a new adaptation by Jon Jory, is getting its world premiere at San Jose Stage Company, and the show is a powerhouse of excellent acting. John Orr reviews.

Allison F. Rich
Rhys Williams, Rich
Dave Lepori / San Jose Stage
Jonathan Rhys Williams, left, and Allison F. Rich in "The Postman Always Rings Twice," which runs April 11 through May 6, 2018, at San Jose Stage.
Allison F. Rich captures an audience's interest immediately with her striking beauty, but it is her talent, charisma and craft that keeps them watching. She opens tonight (April 14, 2018) in "The Postman Always Rings Twice" at San Jose Stage. John Orr interviewed her. Read on.

TheatreWorks Silicon Valley
Richardson, Hess
Kevin Berne / TheatreWorks
Rob Richardson as Robert, left, and Joan Hess as Francesca (Joan Hess) share a special bottle of brandy in "The Bridges of Madison County" presented by TheatreWorks Silicon Valley at the Mountain View Center for the Performing Arts, April 4-29, 2018.
"The Bridges of Madison County," a musical based on the popular romantic novel, has opened for TheatreWorks in Mountain View, and Tony Lacy-Thompson was there to review.

Palo Alto Players
LaFever, Klein
John Orr / Regarding Arts
Jessica LaFever, left, and Izetta Klein, who both will be appearing in the Palo Alto Players production of "Rock of Ages," opening on April 28, 2018, chat at the Players' gala benefit at Mitchell Park Community Center on March 24, 2018.
Palo Alto Players raised some money and it looked like everybody had fun at the troupe's third annual fundraising gala, March 24, 2018, at Mitchell Park Community Center. John Orr dropped in and wrote about the event. Read on.

The 2018 Palo Alto Players fundraising gala is called "Guess Who's Coming to Dinner?" in honor of a play the troupe plans to produce, "The Man Who Came To Dinner." And, to celebrate some surprise performers who will be at the colorful event. Read more about it.

Dragon Productions Theatre Company 2nd Stage Series
Keller, Caulfield, Gage, Lockett
Kimberly Wadycki / Dragon Productions Theatre Company
Hannah Mary Keller, Pat Caulfield, Martin Gagen, and Dorian Lockett, from left, in "Race" at The Dragon Theatre in Redwood City, March 16 through April 8, 2018.
David Mamet's "Race," producted as part of Dragon Theatre's 2nd Stage Series, doesn't entirely hold together. Joanne Engelhardt reviews.

Brian Herndon
Gough, Herndon
Taylor Sanders / City Lights Theater Company
Brian Herndon as the moneylender Shylock in "The Merchant of Venice," staged at City Lights Theater Company in San Jose, March 22 through April 22, 2018. In the background is Tom Gough as the Duke of Venice.
Brian Herndon is taking on the role of Shylock in City Lights Theater Company's production of "The Merchant of Venice." He is well aware of the heritage of the famous role, and its meaning in an age when antisemetism has been raising its ugly head. He talked about it with John Orr. Read the story.

Jeffrey Lo
Jeffrey Lo
Mark Kitaoka photo
Portrait of director Jeffrey Lo at Hillbarn Theatre in January 2018, as he was working on "Peter and the Starcatcher." He is directing "Cowboy Versus Samurai," which just opened at The Pear.
Jeffrey Lo was recently named casting director at TheatreWorks Silicon Valley, but is still completing his work on directing "Cowboy Versus Samurai" at The Pear. The busy, busy man spoke by phone with John Orr. Read the story.

Jessica Rosa Maxey
Jessica Rosa Maxey
Berenice Sullivan / Pacific Coast Repertory Theatre
Jessica Rosa Maxey as Peggy Sawyer in the Pacific Coast Repertory Theatre production of "42nd Street," which ran November 4 through November 19, 2017, in the Firehouse Arts Center in Pleasanton.
Jessica Rosa Maxey is a knock-out as a dancer, singer and actor in musicals all around the San Francisco Bay Area. Also, she is a Ph.D. candidate in electrical engineering at Stanford. It can be said that both sides of her brain work very well. Read an interview with her.

Allie Townsend
Hurley, Townsend
David Allen photo
Allie Townsend as Doralee Rhodes, right, gives Aaron Hurley as her manager Franklin Hart Jr. a piece of her mind in a pre-production publicity photo for Dolly Parton's "9 to 5 The Musical," presented by Foothill Music Theatre at the Lohman Theatre, Los Altos Hills, March 1 through March 18, 2018.
Allie Townsend is a successful, modern working person who thinks highly of what Dolly Parton did with "9 to 5: The Musical." Townsend is playing the Parton part in a production of the show at Foothill Music Theatre. She spoke with John Orr. Read the story.

TheatreWorks Silicon Valley
Robert Kelley
CarlaBefera photo
TheatreWorks Silicon Valley Founder and Artistic Director Robert Kelley describes the company's 2018-19 season during a session Monday, February 12, 2018, at the Mountain View Center for the Performing Arts.
TheatreWorks Silicon Valley's 2018-19 season lineup was announced on Monday, and it's a really promising bunch of plays and musicals that are likely to entertain and illuminate. John Orr writes about the season.

San Jose Stage Company
Allison F. Rich
Dave Lepori photo
Buckets of blood! Allison F. Rich as Mrs. Lovett in San Jose Stage Company’s production of “Sweeney Todd,” running February 7 through March 18, 2018, at The Stage.
"Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street" is getting an excellent production at San Jose Stage Company through March 18, 2018. Get your tickets soonest! Tony Lacy-Thompson reviews.

Review: 'Over the Top: Math Bass & the Imperial Court SF'
Math Bass
Anna Koster photo
Math Bass, center, speaks with a journalist before the exhibition opens to the public. Her apple sculpture "Elizabeth" (ceramic with lacquer and wood, 22 x 22 x 22 inches) and untitled ladder (wood, 67 x 36 x 18 inches) are in the foreground. Both were created in 2017 for this exhibition. Portraits of monarchs from the Imperial Court SF's 62-year history hang on the wall. A selection of Empresses' and Emperors' banners hang above.
"Over the Top: Math Bass & the Imperial Court SF" is a fascinating story that blends modern works by Math Bass with historical artifacts from a 62-year-old LGBTQ society in San Francisco. Anna Koster has seen the show and reports. See her review.


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.