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Calendar, Night&Day Wicked Awesome

Wicked Awesome

Kendra Kassebaum is Glinda. She rules the big stage as the not-yet-Good-Witch in the popular musical Wicked. Along with some of her friends and cast members (alas, not the not-yet-Wicked-Witch-of-the-West Elphaba), Kassebaum performs on a smaller stage at the “Cabaret…
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Calendar, Night&Day

The Mother of All Brechts

Bertolt Brecht is best known among theater buffs for his chintzy-chic Weimar Republic cabaret collaborations with Kurt Weill. But Mother Courage, one of the most depressing accounts of war ever penned in the 20th century, is his true masterpiece. Although…
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Culture, Stage

Happy End

The back room at Original Joe's provides a suitably speak-easy setting for Bertolt Brecht and Kurt Weill's Happy End. Set in Chicago circa 1939, this gangster movie-style musical theater piece revolves around an unlikely romance between tough guy Bill Cracker…
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Music, Reviewed Rosin Coven

Rosin Coven

Rosin Coven is so Berkeley. With its penchant for puppetry, glamorous stage garb, ultra-exuberant theatricality, and endearing quirks (including a curious etymology fetish), the self-proclaimed "World's Premiere Pagan Lounge Ensemble" is a flamboyant performance troupe above all else. Which makes…
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Culture, Stage

Here Lies Jenny

Bebe Neuwirth has an unusual voice. It's not what you would call beautiful. In Here Lies Jenny, a showcase of loosely knit songs by German composer Kurt Weill, she sounds a bit like a sheep nursing a hangover. Weill's songs…
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Dining, Eat Innocence Well-Fed

Innocence Well-Fed

When I read that the San Francisco Symphony was mounting a short festival, provocatively titled "Innocence Undone: Wagner, Weill, and the Weimar Years," devoted to German music composed between the wars, I had two thoughts in quick succession: I wanted…
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Culture, Stage Henry and June, the Prequel

Henry and June, the Prequel

Henry Miller in Brooklyn starts, promisingly enough, with a suicide. Miller comes on and sits at his typewriter in the middle of a grandly sloppy room -- strewn with silk clothes and nude watercolors, lace tablecloths and empty bottles --…
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Film, Zoom Lens

Zoom Lens

The Bay Area's most political film fest marks its 20th anniversary at a peculiarly untethered moment in the Jewish saga: The Holocaust is fading into the past as the survivors' club dwindles, while the state of Israel -- the other…
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Music,

Weill-ed Blue Yonder

If you believe those Y2K survivalists who are currently stockpiling food, Royal typewriters, and cold hard cash in desert hideaways, technology is going to be the ruin of us all. It's a fear that invades thinking about music as well:…
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Music,

House of Tudor

We didn't need to be beaten over the head with the scores from Titanic and Pulp Fiction to realize that movie soundtracks long ago ceased being background noise. At their worst, soundtracks generate big cash without having any conceivable relationship…
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Film,

Zoom Lens

September Songs: The Music of Kurt Weill With its charismatic angst and sprightly melancholia, the music Kurt Weill wrote in prewar Germany and '40s New York continues to be up-to-date. Everything about this celebration of it gives off a sardonic…
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