‘Wicked’ defies gravity in San Jose

Even before the curtain rose, the 2014-15 national tour production of “Wicked” promised to uphold the hit musical’s reputation for a dazzling theatrical experience during its engagement at the San Jose Center for the Performing Arts. The stage curtain itself is an elaborate map of Oz centered around the Emerald
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Musical ‘Catch Me If You Can’ catches a lucky break

Across a backdrop of oranges and Pan Am blues, the cast of “Catch Me If You Can” spun and sang their way onto the outdoor stage at Oakland’s Woodminster Amphitheatre this weekend. Though the night was chilly and the script a bit weak, the largely upbeat cast boogied through the
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Lea Michele gets “Louder” on debut album

Lea Michele has a voice that could sing just about any musical genre, but if you had to slot her into one, it would be Broadway. Her wide range and precise musical training make her perfect for the stage, not for belting pop ballads. Michele’s debut album, Louder, is a
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Travel Tuesday: Tiny Temescal’s big surprises

Nestled within the curves of Broadway and the State Routes 24 and 13, Lake Temescal is a glittering blue gem amid miles of concrete. And less than one mile in circumference, it’s a tiny gem. But Lake Temescal offers us a precious treasure as we sink unquestioningly into the semester’s
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Ben Rimalower self-discovers in ‘Patti Issues’

UC Berkeley alumnus returns with moving monologue

If you know Patti Lupone, you know she’s not someone to be messed with. For more than 30 years, this diva has ruled Broadway with an iron-clad grasp and a voice that says, “Fuck you, I’m amazing,” with every soaring note. Even as a child, Ben Rimalower could sense this
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‘Jersey Boys’ remains a classic

“You ask four guys how it happened, you get four different versions.” This is how Tommy DeVito, the brusque patriarch, introduces the story of how a ramshackle group of guys from New Jersey became one of the top-selling pop groups of all time — The Four Seasons. It’s a sordid
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(Jeff Capps/Senior Staff)

Photo Essay: Oakland’s First Friday returns

Oakland’s First Friday and Art Murmur returned this past week after February’s street festival ended in tragedy when 18-year-old Kiante Campbell was shot and killed at 20th Street and Telegraph Avenue. That First Friday could have been the city’s last. The monthly night gathering attracts thousands for its food, music
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‘The Lion King’ transports and transfixes in SF

Since its premiere in 1994, there has been one sound that retains the power to both excite and empower. It’s a piercing, raw and wholly bewitching chant that can stir even the most ornery of curmudgeons out of their embittered stupor. Out of silence, the words come thundering in: “Nants
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You’ve gotta be born with it


I once knew an acting coach who adamantly stated that “you can’t teach someone how to act — either you have it, or you don’t.” Funny thing to say, I have to admit, for someone who made a living teaching people to act. But, as she used to say, if
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