BOOKS

Crimson Shore
"Crimson Shore" is a highly satisfying addition to the long list of Agent Pendergast thrillers by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child, and sees the unusual hero and his ward dealing with the locals, including monsters, in Massachusets. Read John Orr's review.

"The Martian," by Andy Weir, is one of our favorite reads in a long time. An astronaut is injured and stranded on Mars, with no working communications and not enough food to last the years it would take a rescue mission to come get him. A very impressive, fascinating book. Read John Orr's review.

See more reviews and interviews in Books.

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THEATER & DANCE
Hillbarn Theatre
Ambler, McGinty, Batchelder, Lopez, Boger
Mark & Tracy Photography / Hillbarn Theatre
Jim Ambler as Bert, Caitlin McGinty as Mary Poppins, Darlene Batchelder as Queen Victoria, Ron Lopez Jr. as policeman, and Noah Boger as Neleus, from left, in "Mary Poppins," playing November 25 through December 18, 2016, at Hillbarn Theatre in Foster City.
"Mary Poppins," which lives forever as a Disney movie, is getting a very lively, excellent production at Hillbarn Theatre in Foster City. Director Dan Demers has assembled an awesome cast, and the show is delightful from start to finish. Read John Orr's review.

Ambler, McGinty
Mark & Tracy Photography / Hillbarn Theatre
Jim Ambler as Bert, left, and Caitlin McGinty in the title role of "Mary Poppins," playing November 25 through December 18, 2016, at Hillbarn Theatre in Foster City.
Caitlin McGinty, all six feet of her, flies into Hillbarn Theatre today (November 25, 2016) in the title role of "Mary Poppins," and we are expecting a delightful show. John Orr got to talk with her the other day, and believes she may be, in fact, supercalifragilisticexpialidocious. Read the story.

Buljan, Silverstein, Krolick
Courtesy of Hillbarn Theatre
Liz Buljan with Hillbarn Theatre’s 2016 Bravo! Award recipient, Lori Silverstein, and Kris Krolick, from left, at Hillbarn Theatre’s gala, When You Wish Upon A Star, at Peninsula Temple Sholom in Burlingame, on Nov. 5, 2016.
Wish Upon A Star BRAVO! 2016 gala was a lot of fun for attendees, and also raised a nice bunch of money for Hillbarn Theatre. Tony Lacy-Thompson was there and reports on the gala.

Foothill Theatre
Baily, Befera, Rose, Tingley
David Allen / Foothill Theatre
Samantha Rose, center, as Emily, looks back on a happier time watched by, from left, Dee Baily as Mrs. Gibbs, Carla Befera as the Stage Manager, and Elyssia Tingley as Mrs. Soames in "Our Town," playing in the Lohman Theatre at Foothill College in Los Altos Hills, November 3 through November 20, 2016.
"Our Town" is getting a clever staging at Foothill Theatre under the steady hand of director Bruce McLeod. Well worth seeing; hurry to do so. Read John Orr's review.

The Pear Theatre
Alvarez, Weiland, Mitchell, Muntean
Ray Renati / The Pear Theatre
Vanessa Alvarez, Michael Weiland, Briana Mitchell and Nicolae Muntean, from left, in "Major Barbara," playing at The Pear Theatre in Mountain View, October 28 through November 20, 2016.
"Major Barbara" is George Bernard Shaw's love song to rich industrialists, and reviewer John Orr doesn't like it. But, Orr says, The Pear has gathered an excellent cast to perform it. Read Orr's review.

Hillbarn Theatre
Satterwhite, Gorrebeeck
Mark & Tracy Photography / Hillbarn Theatre
Brad Satterwhite as Lance Cpl. Harold W. Dawson, left, and Tom Gorrebeeck as Lt. j.g. Daniel Kaffee in "A Few Good Men," playing October 13 to October 23, 2016, at Hillbarn Theatre in Foster City.
"A Few Good Men" is getting a powerful production at the Hillbarn Theatre, but hurry to get your tickets. We are late to post a review, and the show closes all too soon. Read Tony Lacy-Thompson's review.

TheatreWorks Silicon Valley
Brady, Wortham, Hitchcock Cone
Kevin Berne / TheatreWorks
Steve Brady as Tony Reilly, Jessica Wortham as Rosemary Muldoon, and Lucinda Hitchcock Cone as Aoife Muldoon, from left, have a heated discussion in TheatreWorks Silicon Valley's regional premiere of "Outside Mullingar," playing October 5 through October 30, 2016, at the Mountain View Center for the Performing Arts.
"Outside Mullingar" is full of charm and wit and, eventually, romance. TheatreWorks is staging a must-see production of the play by John Patrick Shanley. John Orr reviews.

Cavalia
Elise Verdoncq
Dan Harper / Cavalia
Rider Elise Verdoncq, center, with some of the 65 horses and 48 artists of "Odysseo," a show by Cavalia, being performed through October 30, 2016, in San Jose.
"Odysseo" is the current show from Cavalia featuring beautiful horses in beautiful performances. It's in San Jose, California, through October 30, 2016. Jacqueline Lee and Daniel Tkach review.

We Players
Maria Leigh
Tina Case / We Players
Maria Leigh as Juliet. Audiences follow the action in We Players' site-integrated presentation of "Romeo and Juliet" at Villa Montalvo¸ October 6-16, 2016.
"Romeo and Juliet" didst perhaps never have a lovelier stage. Villa Montalvo plays host to the We Players, who installed and performed Shakespeare's romantic tragedy in several parts of the beautiful estate, with the audience following along. Tony Lacy-Thompson reviews.

A.C.T. San Francisco
Motley, Joy
Kevin Berne / A.C.T.
Chiara Motley as a ghost, left, visits Robert Joy as King Charles III in "King Charles III" at A.C.T. in San Francisco, through October 9, 2017.
"King Charles III" is an amusing, provocative and thoughtful "what-if?" at American Conservatory Theatre in San Francisco. As in, "What if Queen Elizabet II" suddently croaked and Prince Charles became kind? Tony Lacy-Thompson, a Brit himself, reviews.

Palo Alto Players
Miller, Wells
Joyce Goldschmid / Palo Alto Players
Corey Wells as Prince Eric, left, and Cheyenne Wells as Ariel in "Disney's 'The Little Mermaid,'" playing September 16 through October 2, 2016, at Palo Alto Players.
'Disney's "The Little Mermaid'" is a big ball of fun at Palo Alto Players, illuminated by the bright smile of Cheyenne Wells, who is delightful as Ariel. Read John Orr's review.

Dragon Productions Theatre Company
Campbell, Johnson, Feichtmeir, Champlin
Kimberlee Wittlieb / Dragon Theatre
Robert Sean Campbell as Lucky, Jim Johnson as Vladmir, Ronald Feichtmeir as Estragon, and Michael Champlin as Pozzo, from left, in "Waiting for Godot" at Dragon Theatre in Downtown Redwood City, September 16 through October 2, 2016.
"Waiting for Godot" makes for theatrical brilliance when delivered by the right cast of actors, such as the great bunch directed by Jeanie Smith at the Dragon. Very impressive production. Read John Orr's review.

Courtney Hatcher
Harrington, Hatcher
Mark Kitoaka / Hillbarn Theatre
Gennine Harrington as Paulette, left, gets her Dewey (played by Remy the French bulldog) back with the help of Courtney Hatcher as Elle Woods in "Legally Blonde: The Musical," at Hillbarn Theatre in Foster City through September 18, 2016.
Courtney Hatcher has been terrific in all kinds of different shows we've seen. We thought it was about time we wrote about her. John Orr interviews the talented performer.

Hillbarn Theatre
Ron Pickett, Hatcher, Neal
Mark Kitoaka / Hillbarn Theatre
Elana Ron, Jocelyn Pickett, Courtney Hatcher, and Noelani Neal, from left, celebrate the big win in "Legally Blonde: The Musical," at Hillbarn Theatre in Foster City through September 18, 2016.
"Legally Blonde: The Musical" may be pink fluff, but it is beautifully sung, danced and acted pink fluff, with a great star turn by Courtney Hatcher. Read Tony Lacy-Thompson's review.

TheatreWorks Silicon Valley
Andrew Lippa
Kevin Berne / TheatreWorks Silicon Valley
Andrew Lippa, composer of "The Addams Family," "Big Fish," and "The Wild Party," among others, is a very accomplished fellow, but manages a good deal of boyish charm in "The Life of the Party," which is a celebration of his work. It is getting its U.S. premiere at TheatreWorks Silicon Valley, August 24 through September 18, 2016.
"The Life of the Party" is Andrew Lippa, who has composed lots of excellent shows, and who proves to be a pretty good singer and hoofer in this show dedicated to his work. The TheatreWorks Silicon Valley production is delightful. John Orr reviews.

ART
Preview: Anne & Mark's Art Party 2016
Birds
Courtesy of Sara Friedlander
"Birds-of-Immigration-Amsterdam-to-NY," three-dimensional mixed media panels by Sara Friedlander, will be shown at Anne & Mark's Art Party 2016.
Anne & Mark's Art Party 2016 is likely to be an all-out blast of creativity. Anna Koster tells us what's planned. Read her story.

Review: 'Strandbeest: The Dream Machines of Theo Jansen'
Strandbeest exhibit
Amy Snyder / Exploratorium
Visitor to the Exploratorium in San Francisco get a view of the adoptees in the exhibit "Strandbeest: The Dream Machines of Theo Jansen."
"Strandbeest: The Dream Machines of Theo Jansen" is a fascinating show at the Exploratorium in San Francisco, and Anna Koster urges us to go see it before the show closes on September 5, 2016. Read her review.

MUSIC
Matt Schofield interview and review
Matt Schofield
Tony Lacy-Thompson / Regarding Arts
Matt Schofield and his band perform at Club Fox in Redwood City on Wednesday, August 3, 2016. Wednesdays are usually jam nights, but for this special show, with Garth Webber and band opening, and Schofield and band headlining, the jam was skipped.
Matt Schofield was in the Bay Area, and Tony Lacy-Thompson got to interview him and see his show at Club Fox in Redwood City. A fascinating tale of a modern-day blues man. Read on.

Lyle Lovett and His Large Band
Lovett
Tony Lacy-Thompson / Regarding Arts
Lyle Lovett croons a tune with His Large Band at the Mountain Winery in Saratoga on July 5, 2016.
Lyle Lovett and a lot of singers and other musicians were great at Mountain Winery in Saratoga the other night. We know this is true because Tony Lacy-Thompson was there and wrote about it. Read his review.

MUSIC VIDEOS

For ears and eyes

Wilkie Ferguson provides the charming vocal and tap dances with Sarah Reich in Post Modern Jukebox's delightful cover of Usher's "I Don't Mind."
Haley Reinhart is magnificent when she sings the Post Modern Jukebox cover of Radiohead's "Creep." Amazing. Here is the black and white studio version, and here is a color version from a concert. Magnificent.
Kate Davis covers Meghan Trainor's "All About That Bass" with Post Modern Jazz, and wow! How do we love it? Let us count the ways! Oh, nevermind, we can't count that high. Just go watch and listen to the video on YouTube.
Puddles the Pity Clown performs an amazing cover of Lorde's "Royals." Yes, it's a weird act, but ya know, whatever works. This guy's done plenty of interesting work as an entertainer, including under his real name, Mike Geier. Check out his fabulous video.
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".
"D.W. Washburn" is a terrific song. So is "Saved." Here, they are performed as part of the revue "Smokey Joe's Cafe." The tenor in the lead for "D.W. Washburn" is fab.
"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.

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