"Crimson Shore" is a highly satisfying addition to the long list of Agent Pendergast thrillers by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child, and sees the unusual hero and his ward dealing with the locals, including monsters, in Massachusets. Read John Orr's review.
"The Martian," by Andy Weir, is one of our favorite reads in a long time. An astronaut is injured and stranded on Mars, with no working communications and not enough food to last the years it would take a rescue mission to come get him. A very impressive, fascinating book. Read John Orr's review.
See more reviews and interviews in Books.
THEATER & DANCE
Ray Renati / Pear Theatre
Marjorie Hazeltine as Karen Weston, left, with Betsy Kruse Craig as Barbara Fordham in the Pear Theatre production of Tracy Letts' "August: Osage County," playing June 24 through July 10, 2016, in Mountain View.
"August: Osage County" is getting a powerful production at Pear Theatre in Mountain View. A great cast is bringing Tracy Letts' brilliant play to life with excellent performances. John Orr reviews.
San Jose Stage Company
Dave Lepori / San Jose Stage
In a scene from "The Wild Party" at San Jose Stage are, standing from left, Keith Pinto, Allison F. Rich, Joshua Hollister and Nathaniel Rothrock. Mike Birr is on the ground. The show runs June 4 through July 24, 2016. www.thestage.org
"The Wild Party," book, lyrics and music by Andrew Lippa, is an adult portion, with a focus on sex, booze and drugs. But San Jose Stage has a very impressive production of it on stage, and it is recommended. Read John Orr's review.
Palo Alto Players
Richard Mayer / Palo Alto Players
Jimmy Mason as Spike, Patricia Tyler as Sonia, Walter M. Mayes as Vanya and Judith Miller as Masha in "Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike," by Christopher Durang, produced by Palo Alto Players. The show is running June 10 through June 26, 2016, at the Lucie Stern Theatre in Palo Alto.
"Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike," by Christopher Durang, is getting a delightful production at Palo Alto Players. A very good cast, a great set and excellent production values. Read John Orr's review.
Broadway By The Bay
Mark Kitoaka and Tracy Martin / Broadway By The Bay
Danila Burshteyn as Will Parker, foreground, regales his buddies with tales of Kansas City, where he won $50 in a rodeo, in "Oklahoma!" staged by Broadway By The Bay at the Fox Theatre in Redwood City. From left in back are Ray D'Ambrosio as Cord Elam, Josiah Frampton as Slim, ensemble members Kyle Arrouzet and Andy Rotchadl, Andrew Mondello as Ike, and ensemble members Chris Aceves and Isaac Goldberg. The show runs from June 3 through June 19, 2016.
"Oklahoma!" gets a rousing, powerful musical performance at Broadway By The Bay," but hurry to see it, because it only runs till June 19, 2016. Great orchestra, great singers and dancers, magnificent music. John Orr reviews.
Mark and Tracy Photography / Hillbarn Theatre
David Blackburn as Oscar, left, and Monique Hafen in the title role of "Sweet Charity," playing at Hillbarn Theatre in Foster City, May 5- 29, 2016.
"Sweet Charity" is a blast and a half at Hillbarn Theatre largely because of a terrific star turn by Monique Hafen. The rest of the cast is quite good, also. Read John Orr's review.
Review: Raphael's Portrait of a Lady with a Unicorn'
Galleria Borghese, Rome
Raphael's "Portrait of a Lady with a Unicorn" is on view at The Legion of Honor in San Francisco, through April 10, 2016.
Raphael's "Portrait of a Lady with a Unicorn" is on view at the Legion of Honor in San Francisco, during its first visit to the United States in its 500 years. It is magnificent. Anna Koster reviews the exhibit, which is on view through April 10, 2016.
For ears and eyes
Kate Davis covers Meghan Trainor's "All About That Bass" with Post Modern Jazz, and wow! How do we love it? Let us count the ways! Oh, nevermind, we can't count that high. Just go watch and listen to the video on YouTube.
Puddles the Pity Clown performs an amazing cover of Lorde's "Royals." Yes, it's a weird act, but ya know, whatever works. This guy's done plenty of interesting work as an entertainer, including under his real name, Mike Geier. Check out his fabulous video.
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.
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".
"D.W. Washburn" is a terrific song. So is "Saved." Here, they are performed as part of the revue "Smokey Joe's Cafe." The tenor in the lead for "D.W. Washburn" is fab.
"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.
Haley Reinhart is fabulous. What a voice! Here, she teams up with Post Modern Jukebox for "Creep." Fabulous.