Issue:  Vol. 45 / No. 48 / 26 November 2015

Theatre - Spirit of Ebenezer

The singer, actor, and overall funnyman Jason Graae has a dense resume that ranges from Broadway to opera, nightclubs to concert halls, television to cruise ships, and theater to CDs. "I'm on the road a lot to afford my fabulous life in Los Angeles," he said. "I don't see it much, but I hear it's great." His house is under the "HO" in the Hollywood sign, and "you can take that anyway you like."

Graae is a trouper in the truest sense of the word, and while his near future includes guest-starring gigs with various symphonies in Jerry Harman tributes and nightclub dates with Broadway star and frequent collaborator Faith Prince, he also takes time for labors of love. Scrooge in Love! is one of those labors, and in this world-premiere musical sequel to A Christmas Carol, he plays a somewhat mellowed Ebenezer Scrooge as he navigates his post-epiphanal life. Scrooge in Love! begins its run Nov. 25 at the Eureka Theatre under the auspices of 42nd Street Moon. (read more)

Music - Master singers

Richard Wagner's nostalgic meditation on art and human relationships, Die Meistersinger von Nurnberg is his only comedy and also one of San Francisco Opera General Director David Gockley's Top 10 favorites. Fittingly, the local premiere of Sir David McVicar's thoughtfully subtle Glyndebourne 2011 staging, which opened last week at the War Memorial Opera House, features in the American impresario's 10th and final season.

Co-directors Marie Lambert and Ian Rutherford, with Colm Seery re-creating Andrew George's rustic choreography, make their SFO debuts, along with Sir Mark Elder on the podium. 90 instrumentalists, 90 choristers, 17 principal singers, 12 dancers and 19 supernumeraries join in the massive production. It takes a village to make a village, and by the end of the long (sehr langen) performance, the audience is part of the community, too. (read more)

Film - How (Not)
To Be a Man

Jennifer Siebel Newsom is the second wife of our very own ex-Mayor Gavin Newsom, a tall, handsome man with a gorgeous head of black hair who once stood back-to-back with me so we could determine just how much taller he was. (read more)

Out There - Lesbian love in midcentury NYC

Lesbian crime novelist Patricia Highsmith's chilly, psychologically complex works have long appealed to filmmakers. (read more)

Books - Adventures in nude travel

I've been to expensive nudist resorts in Jamaica and the Virgin Islands.
There's a completely nudist fully functioning city on the Mediterranean coast of France. (read more)

Out & About - Vacationary

Weekends off lead to lax living. (read more)

Theatre - Equestrian enticements

Anyone with an addiction to beauty might consider getting a fix from the gang of horse-pushers on the waterfront. (read more)

Theatre - Brutalist force

They did the mash. They did the monster mash. Or more accurately, the monster mash-up. (read more)

Television - World AIDS Day special

The most startling revelation in HBO's Countdown to Zero is an interview with former President George W. Bush, who recalls his commitment to fighting AIDS in Sub-Saharan Africa. (read more)

Music - Igor Levit's keyboard wizardry

Don't think you're just going to listen, passively, to Igor Levit's new Sony CD set. (read more)

Film - The beekeeper's daughter

In a turbulent if confusing film year containing a host of mixed messages, Italy may just show the way with a female-charged farm comedy... (read more)

Film - Men brawling in Paris

Paris, Ville Lumiere, or "city which is light," recently experienced a municipal game-changer on par with our 9/11, when seven young, virile, homegrown Islamic fundamentalists... (read more)

Books - American kitsch

All families have myths, navigating how they arrived at where they are now, with stories that convey a history dancing around truth, often embroidered by an embellished past. (read more)

DVD - Cautionary tales

The collection Dishonored Bodies from Spanish filmmakers Juanma Carillo and Felix Fernandez contains nine cautionary tales of varying degrees of diabolical humor, suspense and erotic tension. (read more)

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