Arts & Culture

Ema: Fire with fire

Ema: Fire with fire

  • MOVIES
  • by Gregg Shapiro
  • Aug 24, 2021

When a movie about a pyromaniac sociopath opens with a shot of the burning traffic-light she set ablaze and ends with her refilling a gas can at a petrol station, as Pablo Larraín's 'Ema' does, you know you are in for a scorching experience.

Magic Mann: Colm Toibin's novelization of 'Death in Venice' author's life

Magic Mann: Colm Toibin's novelization of 'Death in Venice' author's life

  • BOOKS
  • by Tim Pfaff
  • Aug 24, 2021

In 'The Magician,' Colm Toibin's novelization of the Thomas Mann biography, the 'Venice' tale is resurrected, like the Proustian madeleine, in all subsequent examples of Mann's sweet tooth for comely youth.

Louise Fitzhugh's truth and lies: 'Harriet the Spy' author's revelatory biography

Louise Fitzhugh's truth and lies: 'Harriet the Spy' author's revelatory biography

  • BOOKS
  • by Jim Provenzano
  • Aug 23, 2021

In a thoroughly researched and utterly fascinating biography, 'Sometime You Have to Lie: The Life and Times of Louise Fitzhugh, Renegade Author of Harriet the Spy,' Leslie Brody shares intimate details of the writer's fabulous and troubled life.

Oakland Symphony Music Director Michael Morgan dies

Oakland Symphony Music Director Michael Morgan dies

  • MUSIC
  • by Cynthia Laird
  • Aug 23, 2021

Michael Morgan, a gay man and the longtime music director and conductor of the Oakland Symphony, died August 20 at Kaiser Hospital in Oakland. He was 63.

'Wicked in Concert' to air on PBS Aug. 29

'Wicked in Concert' to air on PBS Aug. 29

Broadway's return will be celebrated on August 29 with 'Wicked in Concert,' a musical event featuring the songs from one of the most successful musicals in Broadway history.

50 Years in 50 Weeks: 1990's 'Companion,' shipped

50 Years in 50 Weeks: 1990's 'Companion,' shipped

  • DVD
  • by Jim Provenzano
  • Aug 19, 2021

Despite the smaller independent film 'Parting Glances' having preceded it by a few years, 'Longtime Companion' hit strong with a wide national release, becoming essentially the first largely-viewed AIDS-themed narrative film of the decade.

Q-Music: Greetings from Vinylville: Barbra pleases, Morly music

Q-Music: Greetings from Vinylville: Barbra pleases, Morly music

  • MUSIC
  • by Gregg Shapiro
  • Aug 18, 2021

With the vinyl LP arrival of her new album 'Release Me 2,' the compilation follow-up to 2012's 'Release Me,' comprised of previously unreleased material, Barbra Streisand has entered hipster territory.

Harvey Guillén: from funny house to vampire familiar

Harvey Guillén: from funny house to vampire familiar

In contrast to his role as a human in the hit comedy vampire series 'What We Do in the Shadows,' Harvey Guillén is also the voice of a new character in Disney's 'Mickey Mouse Funhouse.' He shared his experiences developing diverse characters.

Greek love in the ranks: The Sacred Band's 300 lover-warriors

Greek love in the ranks: The Sacred Band's 300 lover-warriors

  • BOOKS
  • by Tim Pfaff
  • Aug 17, 2021

In 'The Sacred Band: Three Hundred Theban Lovers Fighting to Save Greek Freedom,' classics scholar James Romm doesn't just tell: he tells all. A mass grave of Theban soldiers carefully and deliberately buried in pairs. Make that couples.

The Lost Leonardo: art world discoveries and deceptions

The Lost Leonardo: art world discoveries and deceptions

  • ART
  • by Brian Bromberger
  • Aug 17, 2021

Leonardo da Vinci, the Renaissance genius and now a global brand, takes a back seat to his artistic creation in the spellbinding new documentary, 'The Lost Leonardo,' about the queer journey of the painting 'Salvator Mundi.'

Sealed with a kiss: Leslie Cohen discusses lesbian bars and becoming 'art'

Sealed with a kiss: Leslie Cohen discusses lesbian bars and becoming 'art'

  • BOOKS
  • by Gregg Shapiro
  • Aug 17, 2021

In 'The Audacity of a Kiss: Love, Art and Liberation,' the historic art world, opening a historic women's bar, and more events are included in Leslie Cohen's honest and fascinating memoir.

Dance: Interrupted — Amy Seiwert and Ben Needham-Wood works-in-progress

Dance: Interrupted — Amy Seiwert and Ben Needham-Wood works-in-progress

  • DANCE
  • by Jim Provenzano
  • Aug 17, 2021

Like many art forms, dance concerts have been put on hold until recently. Amy Seiwert and ODC Theater present their 11th Sketch series of works in progress, August 27-29 at ODC Theater and online.

Going Out, Homing's In, Aug. 13-19, 2021

Going Out, Homing's In, Aug. 13-19, 2021

  • CULTURE
  • by Jim Provenzano
  • Aug 12, 2021

Theaters, bars, museums and more venues have reopened, while some have cancelled concerts (like Stevie Nicks!), but are you ready? Most Bay Area venues require proof of vaccination, so get your shots and have fun.

50 Years in 50 Weeks: 1989, Angels & AIDS

50 Years in 50 Weeks: 1989, Angels & AIDS

  • THEATER
  • by Jim Provenzano
  • Aug 12, 2021

In addition to the disastrous earthquake (see this week's News edition of this series), 1989 was full of AIDS: protests, drug treatments, and the staged reading of a new play-in-progress about AIDS by Tony Kushner titled 'Angels in America.'