"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.
Preview: Anne & Mark's Art Party 2016
Courtesy of Sara Friedlander
"Birds-of-Immigration-Amsterdam-to-NY," three-dimensional mixed media panels by Sara Friedlander, will be shown at Anne & Mark's Art Party 2016.
Anne & Mark's Art Party 2016 is likely to be an all-out blast of creativity. Anna Koster tells us what's planned. Read her story.
Review: 'Strandbeest: The Dream Machines of Theo Jansen'
Amy Snyder / Exploratorium
Visitor to the Exploratorium in San Francisco get a view of the adoptees in the exhibit "Strandbeest: The Dream Machines of Theo Jansen."
"Strandbeest: The Dream Machines of Theo Jansen" is a fascinating show at the Exploratorium in San Francisco, and Anna Koster urges us to go see it before the show closes on September 5, 2016. Read her review.
THEATER & DANCE
A.C.T. San Francisco
Kevin Berne / A.C.T.
Chiara Motley as a ghost, left, visits Robert Joy as King Charles III in "King Charles III" at A.C.T. in San Francisco, through October 9, 2017.
"King Charles III" is an amusing, provocative and thoughtful "what-if?" at American Conservatory Theatre in San Francisco. As in, "What if Queen Elizabeth II" suddenly croaked and Prince Charles became king? Tony Lacy-Thompson, a Brit himself, reviews.
Palo Alto Players
Joyce Goldschmid / Palo Alto Players
Corey Wells as Prince Eric, left, and Cheyenne Wells as Ariel in "Disney's 'The Little Mermaid,'" playing September 16 through October 2, 2016, at Palo Alto Players.
'Disney's "The Little Mermaid'" is a big ball of fun at Palo Alto Players, illuminated by the bright smile of Cheyenne Wells, who is delightful as Ariel. Read John Orr's review.
Dragon Productions Theatre Company
Kimberlee Wittlieb / Dragon Theatre
Robert Sean Campbell as Lucky, Jim Johnson as Vladmir, Ronald Feichtmeir as Estragon, and Michael Champlin as Pozzo, from left, in "Waiting for Godot" at Dragon Theatre in Downtown Redwood City, September 16 through October 2, 2016.
"Waiting for Godot" makes for theatrical brilliance when delivered by the right cast of actors, such as the great bunch directed by Jeanie Smith at the Dragon. Very impressive production. Read John Orr's review.
Mark Kitoaka / Hillbarn Theatre
Gennine Harrington as Paulette, left, gets her Dewey (played by Remy the French bulldog) back with the help of Courtney Hatcher as Elle Woods in "Legally Blonde: The Musical," at Hillbarn Theatre in Foster City through September 18, 2016.
Courtney Hatcher has been terrific in all kinds of different shows we've seen. We thought it was about time we wrote about her. John Orr interviews the talented performer.
Mark Kitoaka / Hillbarn Theatre
Elana Ron, Jocelyn Pickett, Courtney Hatcher, and Noelani Neal, from left, celebrate the big win in "Legally Blonde: The Musical," at Hillbarn Theatre in Foster City through September 18, 2016.
"Legally Blonde: The Musical" may be pink fluff, but it is beautifully sung, danced and acted pink fluff, with a great star turn by Courtney Hatcher. Read Tony Lacy-Thompson's review.
TheatreWorks Silicon Valley
Kevin Berne / TheatreWorks Silicon Valley
Andrew Lippa, composer of "The Addams Family," "Big Fish," and "The Wild Party," among others, is a very accomplished fellow, but manages a good deal of boyish charm in "The Life of the Party," which is a celebration of his work. It is getting its U.S. premiere at TheatreWorks Silicon Valley, August 24 through September 18, 2016.
"The Life of the Party" is Andrew Lippa, who has composed lots of excellent shows, and who proves to be a pretty good singer and hoofer in this show dedicated to his work. The TheatreWorks Silicon Valley production is delightful. John Orr reviews.
Matt Schofield interview and review
Tony Lacy-Thompson / Regarding Arts
Matt Schofield and his band perform at Club Fox in Redwood City on Wednesday, August 3, 2016. Wednesdays are usually jam nights, but for this special show, with Garth Webber and band opening, and Schofield and band headlining, the jam was skipped.
Matt Schofield was in the Bay Area, and Tony Lacy-Thompson got to interview him and see his show at Club Fox in Redwood City. A fascinating tale of a modern-day blues man. Read on.
Lyle Lovett and His Large Band
Tony Lacy-Thompson / Regarding Arts
Lyle Lovett croons a tune with His Large Band at the Mountain Winery in Saratoga on July 5, 2016.
Lyle Lovett and a lot of singers and other musicians were great at Mountain Winery in Saratoga the other night. We know this is true because Tony Lacy-Thompson was there and wrote about it. Read his review.
For ears and eyes
Wilkie Ferguson provides the charming vocal and tap dances with Sarah Reich in Post Modern Jukebox's delightful cover of Usher's "I Don't Mind."
Haley Reinhart is magnificent when she sings the Post Modern Jukebox cover of Radiohead's "Creep." Amazing. Here is the black and white studio version, and here is a color version from a concert. Magnificent.
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.