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  • Philip Glass' Appomattox a Civil Bore

    Article

    Philip Glass' Appomattox a Civil Bore

    It's hard to imagine a more suitable composer for a major opera about the constancy of war than Philip Glass, although vthe reason for this is not flattering. Just as the author Arthur Koestler once said that "the most persistent sound which reverbe...

    by Chloe Veltman on October 17, 2007
  • Halo 3's Advertising Glare Outshines Xbox 360 Game

    Article

    Halo 3's Advertising Glare Outshines Xbox 360 Game

    What's left to say about Halo 3? How about this: All the pomp and circumstance surrounding its launch sure has been distracting. Commercials that look like clips from a Hollywood movie, extravagant collectors' sets that sell for $130, limited-editio...

    by Gary Hodges on October 10, 2007
  • You'll Laugh Dying

    Article

    You'll Laugh Dying

    You Kill Me (Genius) Funny thing seeing Philip Baker Hall in You Kill Me, as he's already played the role of a drunken hit man's boss in The Matador, to which this feels like a slapshtick-noir sequel. It's also the photo-negative of Sexy Beast:...

    by Jordan Harper on October 10, 2007
  • Bulrusher Conjures Jena 6 Tension in Wilds of Boonville

    Article

    Bulrusher Conjures Jena 6 Tension in Wilds of Boonville

    Whenever I go to see a show at the Ashby Stage, I feel as if I am entering a parallel universe. Located across the street from the Ashby BART station in one of the less salubrious corners of Berkeley, the home of Shotgun Players is an unexpected oas...

    by Chloe Veltman on October 10, 2007
  • Article

    Benedictus

    If you read the newspapers with a discerning eye, you'll get the strong sense that we'll be at war with Iran in the very near future. If you are like the vast majority of our nation's populace (myself included), you probably don't know much about Ir...

    by Nathaniel Eaton on October 10, 2007
  • Article

    Six Degrees of Separation

    It seems entirely unfair to blame a show for not being "New York" enough, as if somehow only New York held the key to good American theater. And yet what was missing from SF Playhouse's ambitious and heartfelt production of John Guare's beautiful pl...

    by Molly Rhodes on October 10, 2007
  • Article

    Also Playing - Our critics weigh in on local theater

    A Propos of the Wet Snow. There is a lovely moment to start the second act of this play inspired by Fyodor Dostoyevsky's Notes from the Underground that hints at what the show could have been: A man returns to his lover and relates the horror of see...

    on October 10, 2007
  • Article

    Our top DVD picks scheduled for release this week:

    Alfred Hitchcock Presents: Season Three (Universal) Black Sheep Unrated (Genius) Bob Mould: Circle of Friends (Granary) Bruce Springsteen: Under Review-1978-82: Tales of the Working Man (Sexy Intellectual) Concert for Diana (Universal) ...

    on October 10, 2007
  • Article

    Party Pooper - The Wii's latest pool game is a cue stick in the mud

    Billiards is one of the few sports that's as taxing on a computer screen as it is in real life. It's played in pubs, after all, and its legendary star was named "Fats." Unfortunately, most virtual billiard games are behind the 8-ball in terms of ...

    by Chris Ward on October 3, 2007
  • Fist Things First

    Article

    Fist Things First

    Caligula: Imperial Edition (Penthouse) (Spoiler alert: Fisting!) One day back in the swingin' '70s, somebody mentioned how "absolute power corrupts absolutely," and then Bob Guccione, Gore Vidal, Malcolm McDowell, Helen Mirren, and Peter O'Toole ...

    by Jim Ridley on October 3, 2007
  • Article

    Our top DVD picks scheduled for release this week:

    The Audrey Hepburn DVD Collection (Paramount) Bram Stoker's Dracula: Collector's Edition (Sony) Christmas Television Favorites (Warner Bros.) The Comedians of Comedy: Live at the Troubadour (Image) Criminal Minds: The Second Season (Para...

    on October 3, 2007
  • Article

    Marsh Theater's 'Countercoup' Takes Audience to Rehab

    Over the past 15 years, the Marsh has developed a very successful system of attracting solo artists or would-be performers to develop their life stories for the stage. With a combination of in-house directors (David Ford and Charlie Varon), classes ...

    by Nathaniel Eaton on October 3, 2007
  • Article

    Dostoevsky's 'Notes From the Underground' Struggles on Stage

    There is a lovely moment to start the second act of this play inspired by Fyodor Dostoevsky's Notes From the Underground that hints at what the show could have been: a man returns to his lover and relates the horror of seeing a coffin carried from a...

    by Molly Rhodes on October 3, 2007
  • 'Big Co.' at Boxcar Delivers Anticorporate Message for Free

    Article

    'Big Co.' at Boxcar Delivers Anticorporate Message for Free

    A few weeks ago, a strange package arrived in my mailbox. It contained nothing but a copy of the September 2007 issue of Fast Company magazine. There was a yellow Post-It note attached to the front cover upon which the words "Note to self: Big compa...

    by Chloe Veltman on October 3, 2007
  • Political Artist Julia Page Waits for Godot to Bring Peace to Middle East

    Article

    Political Artist Julia Page Waits for Godot to Bring Peace to Middle East

    The phrase "political art" is enough to turn any dinner party toward the vodka bottles. Political art? It's awkward. Preachy. Certainly undeserving of public funding. In a 2004 New York Foundation for the Arts poll, 69 percent of respondents agreed ...

    by Traci Vogel on October 3, 2007
  • Article

    Josh Keyes' 'Surface Tension' Confronts Pollution at Hang Art

    In March, the small city of Cordova, Alaska, erected a totem pole that depicts the distorted face of former ExxonMobil CEO Lee Raymond. Technically, the totem is a "shame pole," a traditional way of publicly embarrassing someone who has failed to ad...

    by Traci Vogel on October 3, 2007
  • Article

    'ApresGarde' Covers Lowbrow's Flank at Gallery 1988

    How many names does one movement need? Lowbrow, pop surrealism, post-pop, post-brow, underground, outsider -- there are plenty of labels already for the axis of figurative, hallucinatory artwork that runs through comix, custom car culture, and graph...

    by Traci Vogel on October 3, 2007
  • Article

    Encore

    Expedition 6. Bill Pullman's new docudrama was born out of a desire to make sense of the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster of February 2003. The result, a nebulous nexus of texts culled from such sources as NASA space logs and Osama bin Laden speeches...

    on October 3, 2007
  • Knocked-Up's cousin 'Freaks and Geeks' Gets Its Revenge in 'The TV Set'.

    Article

    Knocked-Up's cousin 'Freaks and Geeks' Gets Its Revenge in 'The TV Set'.

    Knocked Up (Universal) Apparently, while Judd Apatow was making Knocked Up, he was also prepping for its DVD release, as most of the bonuses here were shot during breaks on location. And they're no small treats, either -- finally, here's a "coll...

    by Jordan Harper on September 26, 2007
  • Starbucks Saves Life of Michael Gates Gill, Tom Hanks To Play the Barista

    Article

    Starbucks Saves Life of Michael Gates Gill, Tom Hanks To Play the Barista

    In How Starbucks Saved My Life, Michael Gates Gill, son of New Yorker writer Brendan Gill, takes a long fall from grace into a green apron. Already in his 60s, Gill is diagnosed with a brain tumor, loses his job as an advertising executive at J. Wal...

    by Evan James on September 26, 2007
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I Do: New Conservatory and the Thrillpeddlers Put Fresh Spins on the Nuptial Tradition I Do: New Conservatory and the Thrillpeddlers Put Fresh Spins on the Nuptial Tradition

If you attempt to resist the steamrolling charm of New Conservatory Theatre Center's Standing on Ceremony: The Gay Marriage Plays, you're not just hardening your heart — you're missing out… More >>

Rise of the White Male Weenie: With "Silicon Valley," Mike Judge's Underdogs Finally Take Over Rise of the White Male Weenie: With "Silicon Valley," Mike Judge's Underdogs Finally Take Over

If ever there was a champion for the American beta male — nay, omega male — which is to say, a champion for the probably least-championable class of American, it… More >>

Get on the Bus: Visions of Working at Google Get on the Bus: Visions of Working at Google

Interviewing at Google was probably the most intimidating thing I've ever done. First of all, I had to figure out why they make manholes round so I could answer that… More >>

And the Winner Is: Miss Kinky America And the Winner Is: Miss Kinky America

When I was a little girl, I would beg my mother to let me stay up late enough to watch the Miss America pageant on television. The gowns, the high… More >>

Goodnight, Galleries: Evictions, Rising Rents, and Tech Are Changing the Way San Franciscans See Art Goodnight, Galleries: Evictions, Rising Rents, and Tech Are Changing the Way San Franciscans See Art

"We have gotten an eviction notice." The words come from Anthony Williams, the co-founder of the Meridian Gallery, with a matter-of-factness that says everything about the art gallery scene in downtown… More >>

Salvage at Last: Shotgun Players Arrives at Its Final Stoppard Frontier Salvage at Last: Shotgun Players Arrives at Its Final Stoppard Frontier

Art and politics are bedfellows in Shotgun Player's presentation of Salvage, the third play in Tom Stoppard's Tony Award-winning trilogy, The Coast of Utopia. Brave in scope, anchored by the… More >>

Deal or No Deal?: Some Rescues Just Aren't Worth It Deal or No Deal?: Some Rescues Just Aren't Worth It

"Wow, what a douchebag." After I had said this for about the fifth time watching The Profit, CNBC's "save my small business" show, I realized that the way to succeed in… More >>

Authentically Yours: Feminist Porn Gets Political Authentically Yours: Feminist Porn Gets Political

Earlier this month, I walked into the dungeon of a Toronto sex club where a leather swing hung in the center of the room, suspended by chains. I ran my… More >>

She-Wolf: Bay Area Native and Comedian Chelsea Peretti Talks Oakland vs. San Francisco She-Wolf: Bay Area Native and Comedian Chelsea Peretti Talks Oakland vs. San Francisco

Full moons don't transform Chelsea Peretti into a wolf. Sometimes, all it takes is an annoying Twitter comment. Enter "Wolf Mode"— a highly intense state of spiritual unrest when Peretti assumes… More >>

Liar, Liar: ACT and 99 Stock Deceive Audiences, But to Very Different Effects Liar, Liar: ACT and 99 Stock Deceive Audiences, But to Very Different Effects

Venus in Fur, now at ACT, is an exercise in endurance for actors. The two characters, director Thomas (Henry Clarke) and actor Vanda (Brenda Meaney), never get to leave the… More >>

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