Palo Alto Players
Mahle, Shelby
Joyce Goldschmid / Palo Alto Players
Chris Mahle as Banjo, left, and James Shelby as Sheridan Whiteside in “The Man Who Came to Dinner,” staged by the Palo Alto Players June 15 through July 1, 2018, at the Lucie Stern Theatre.
"The Man Who Came to Dinner" is a very funny Kaufman & Hart play from 1939 that it getting a very entertaining revival at the Lucie Stern Theatre. Tony Lacy-Thompson was there on opening night, and reviews.

"The Man Who Came to Dinner" was also reviewed by Regarding Arts' John Orr, for the Palo Alto Weekly. Read that review at the Palo Alto Weekly.

TheatreWorks Silicon Valley
Vivino, Sicular
Kevin Berne / TheatreWorks
Donna Vivino as Natalie, left, is questioned by Robert Sicular as Representative Walter on the witness stand in "Finks," presented by TheatreWorks Silicon Valley at the Mountain View Center for the Performing Arts, June 6 to July 1, 2018.
"Finks" offers song, dance, jokes and some grim history of a bad time in the 1950s when entertainers were hurt by the very unamerican activities of Congress. TheatreWorks is staging the California premiere of Joe Gilford's play. Joanne Englehardt reviews.

"Finks" was also reviewed by Regarding Arts' John Orr, for the Palo Alto Weekly. Read that review in the Palo Alto Weekly.

Madeline Lee and Jack Gilford
Courtesy of Joe Gilford
Madeline Lee Gilford and Jack Gilford in 1949.
Writer Joe Gilford grew up as the son of Jack and Madeline Lee Giford, who were both very funny and very talented, but who had been victims of the 1950s Hollywood blacklists. He wrote a play, "Finks," which takes a fictionalized look at that era. It's getting its California premiere at TheatreWorks Silicon Valley. Joe Gilford talked with John Orr. Read the story.

Broadway San Jose
Wexler, Antico, Greenan, Stevens
Joan Marcus photo
Jonny Wexler, Tommaso Antico, Corey Greenan and Chris Stevens, from left, in "Jersey Boys," playing at the San Jose Center for the Performing Arts, June 5-10, 2018.
"Jersey Boys" is leading Baby Boomers on a nostalgia journey at the San Jose Center for Performing Arts, carried on waves of great harmonies. Georgette Silver reviews.

San Jose Stage Company
Keith Pinto
Dave Lepori / San Jose Stage Company
Keith Pinto as Hedwig in San Jose Stage Company’s production of “Hedwig and the Angry Inch,” playing May 30 through July 22, 2018.
"Hedwig and the Angry Inch" is getting a powerful, totally entertaining production at San Jose Stage Company, thanks to a great cast led by Keith Pinto and Ashley Garlick, a fabulous band, and director Allison F. Rich. John Orr reviews.

Broadway by the Bay
Nick Kenrick
Alicia Jeffrey / Broadway by the Bay
Nick Kenrick rehearses his role as Jerry Lee Lewis in "Million Dollar Quartet," which opens on Friday, June 8, and closes on June 24, 2018, at the Fox Theatre in Redwood City. Photo made on May 29, 2018, at the TheatreWorks rehearsal space in Redwood City.
Nick Kenrick is a terrific musical theater performer who was an absolute knock-out as Jerry Lee Lewis in "Million Dollar Quartet" for Palo Alto Players. Now he is reprising the performance for Broadway by the Bay in the huge Fox Theatre in Redwood City. John Orr thinks the show will be great. Read the interview with Kenrick.

San Jose Stage Company
Keith Pinto
Dave Lepori / San Jose Stage Company
Keith Pinto stars as Hedwig in the San Jose Stage Company production of "Hedwig and the Angry Inch," which opens in previews on May 30 and runs through July 22, 2018.
Keith Pinto is troweling on the makeup (with help from Ashley Garlick) to play the lead rol in "Hedwig and the Angry Inch." The powerful rock musical opens in previews tonight (May 30, 2018). Pinto talked about the show with John Orr. Read the story.

The Pear Theatre
Smith, Brown, Aronica
Michael Craig / The Pear Theatre
What do hot dogs have to think about? Ask Kyle Smith, Matt Brown, and Ariel Aronica, clockwise from upper left, who are convenience store hot dogs contemplating weighty issues in Paul Braverman's "Stuck in the Middle," part of Pear Slices 2018. The show runs through May 20, 2018. John Orr, of Regarding Arts, reviewed for the Palo Alto Weekly.
"Pear Slices 2018" was fun, funny and often quite thought-provoking at Mountain View's The Pear Theatre. John Orr reviewed for Palo Alto Weekly.

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.

West Bay Opera
Nikola Printz
Otak Jump / West Bay Opera
Nikola Printz as Carmen with the West Bay Opera chorus, in “Carmen” as staged by West Bay Opera. “Carmen” is being performed at Lucie Stern Theatre in Palo Alto, May 25, May 27, June 2 and June 3, 2018.
"Carmen," by Georges Bizet, is proving a hit at West Bay Opera. Tickets are pretty much sold out, but show up on Saturday or Sunday anyway, and you may luck into a canceled ticket. John Orr spoke with José Luis Moscovich. Read the story.


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.