Arts & Events

New: LA VOIX HUMAINE: “Can You Hear Me Now?”

Reviewed by James Roy MacBean
Sunday March 19, 2017 - 02:12:00 PM

Under the auspices of San Francisco Opera Lab, Francis Poulenc’s one-act opera La Voix Humaine, set to a text by Jean Cocteau, was given three performances March 11, 14, and 17 at Taube Atrium Theatre. Italian soprano Anna Caterina Antonacci, who was last heard here in 2015 as Cassandre in Berlioz’s Les Troyens and as Cesira in the world premiere of Marco Tutino’s Two Women, sang the role of the never-named woman whose voice is the only one we hear in La Voix Humaine as she talks on the telephone with her lover of five years who is now breaking up with her, much to her distress. We hear nothing of the man on the other end of the phone line. The full weight of this opera must be carried by one singing actress who can make it work dramatically. -more-

Handel’s Atalanta at San Francisco Conservatory of Music

reviewed by James Roy MacBean
Friday March 17, 2017 - 04:25:00 PM

The opera Atalanta by George Friederic Handel received a semi-staged production last weekend, March 11-2, at San Francisco Conservatory of Music. Handel composed Atalanta for the events celebrating the 1736 wedding of Frederick, Prince of Wales, to Princess Augusta of Saxe-Gotha. The story of Atalanta is drawn from the pastoral tradition of ancient Greek writers, who delighted in depicting the simple life of shepherds and nymphs. Here the story revolves around two couples: the shepherd Aminta and the nymph Irene, and the noble couple comprised of Meleagro, King of Aetolia, and Atalanta, Princess of Arcadia. To complicate matters, both Meleagro and Atalanta appear in disguise, he as the shepherd Tirsi, she as the huntress Amarilli. In a ‘back-story’, Atalanta had rebuffed the marriage proposal of Meleagro and had gone off instead to imitate the chaste goddess of the hunt, Artemis. -more-

Theater Review: 'Bus Stop' at Ross Valley Players

Ken Bullock
Friday March 17, 2017 - 12:05:00 PM

One of the genuinely iconic pictures of modern Americana—and its discontents—is Edward Hopper's famed and oft-reproduced 1942 painting, 'Nighthawks,' depicting "Night + brilliant interior of cheap restaurant," as Hopper's wife Jo noted in the log they kept of each painting he did ... Four figures inside, glass all round, bathed in light as if on display to the lonely night streets of New York outside that offer stark contrast.

Thirteen years later, William Inge's play, 'Bus Stop,' became a hit on Broadway and within a year, was made into a somewhat different movie adaptation in Hollywood, also a hit, starring Marilyn Monroe. The movie's usually remembered as a star vehicle, the play as postwar Americana. -more-

AROUND AND ABOUT Film: Rob Stewart Memorial Screening, Two Ecology Documentaries at East Bay Media Center

Ken Bullock
Friday March 17, 2017 - 12:03:00 PM

East Bay Media Center will present three memorial screenings of Rob Stewart's cology documentaries 'Sharkwater' (2008, which helped in the banning of shark finning, winning 22 international awards, and 'Revolution' (2012), receipient of 36 international awards, this Friday and Saturday, March 17 & 18, at 7, Sunday, March 19 at 2, at the Center, 1939 Addison, between MLK & Milvia, downtown Berkeley. Tickets: $6, at the door or online at or email: maketv@ 843-3699 -more-