BareStage’s ‘Almost, Maine’ not quite there

In a show composed entirely of short vignettes, it’s assumed there’s some coherent concept tying it all together. In BareStage Productions’ “Almost, Maine,” that concept is, quite simply, love. On a deeper level, it’s about love and its layers — highs and lows, fear and trust, contradictions and simplicities. The
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Crowning performances in Carole King musical rock audience

There’s no denying that Carole King was the ultimate rock ’n’ roll songstress of her generation. The wild-haired musician became a household name in the ’70s after the release of her 1971 classic Tapestry — an album that not only won four Grammys (including Record of the Year) but also
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Play about Picasso is a portrayal in fragments

Paris, 1904. We are welcomed to the Lapin Agile by its bartender, Freddy (Doug Boyd), who greets a 25-year-old and clean-cut Albert Einstein shortly afterward. From the show’s program, we know Pablo Picasso, passionate artist by day and even more passionate womanizer by night, will eventually join him. The two
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Music in ‘Angel Heart’ opera soars over storyline

It’s Sunday night, and Hertz Hall’s theater is dark but packed full of people. No one dares to move or speak as a chilling trill cuts through the silent air. More strings chime in, and the stage is illuminated to reveal a small orchestra of cellos. Their sound is crisp,
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‘Carrie the Musical’ savors the sweet sound of revenge

Once upon a time, a group of mean-spirited kids elected their whipping girl prom queen to humiliate her in public. This has happened a few times in fictional American history, but only Carrie White got the revenge every bullied kid dreamed about. This tale of horror, ostracism and coming of
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‘Next to Normal’ production only stays true to title

Unlike in the days of Gershwin, Lerner and Loewe or Rodgers and Hammerstein, musicals are no longer only about extravagant tap numbers and happy endings. In the age of “Rent” and “Spring Awakening,” with the worlds of Broadway and rock music colliding, musicals today tell all sorts of stories —
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Berkeley Rep season opener brings Chekhov-inspired comedy to West Coast

In Christopher Durang’s “Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike,” Anton Chekhov meets Walt Disney in this over-the-top comedy that takes place in the rustic Pennsylvanian home of two single 50-something siblings. When their self-absorbed Hollywood actress sister comes gallivanting back into the picture with her very young and often
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