‘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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‘Gravity’ film tackles weighty issues of life and death

Alfonso Cuaron has an unmatched ability to transport audiences out of the cinema and to uncharted lands of make-believe. In 1995, he made the world of Frances Hodgson Burnett’s turn-of-the-century children’s story “A Little Princess” come alive in film. In 2004, he darkened the halls of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft
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Lorde starts on high notes with ‘Pure Heroine’

I’m kind of over getting told to throw my hands up in the air,” sneers the teen singer-songwriter Lorde on the track “Team” from her wildly hyped debut Pure Heroine. Unimpressed with what her youth culture offers, the 16-year-old from New Zealand seeks to be an adrenaline shot to the
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Student film festival features a mixing of media

Last Wednesday night, the Pacific Film Archive screened the annual “Bay Area Student Film Festival,” a showcase dedicated to exploring the talent and creative perspectives of student filmmakers in the area. The festival accepted submissions of any short films less than 20 minutes — experimental or narrative — from students
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Bluegrass festival is hardly formal, strictly celebratory of genre

Low Low’s slow-churning melodies and haunting harmonies were the antithesis of the warm, jovial midday sun they accompanied Friday on Arrow stage. The three-piece based in Duluth, Minn., brought the cold of its hometown to the city, interrupting its icy melancholy every so often with striking vocal arrangements that would
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Michelle Lin’s Picks of the Week

‘Beautiful: The Carole King Musical’ A Grammy legend will be gracing the Bay Area this week, but only as a fictional portrayal. “Beautiful: The Carole King Musical,” starring Tony nominee Jessie Mueller in the titular role as well as Jake Epstein (Yes, from “Degrassi: The Next Generation”!), will open at SHN
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On Tour: Youth Lagoon is all grown up in SF

This past Saturday,  a crowd of hip, 20-something San Franciscans gathered around the low stage at The Mezzanine for what Trevor Powers of Youth Lagoon fame called “the last American show [he] will play in very, very long time.” Powers was dressed in a black and white striped blazer that
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