Review: ‘The Nice Guys’

“The Nice Guys,” writer-director Shane Black’s darkly entertaining R-rated homage to action movies of the 1970s, is not particularly nice. But it’s a whole lot nicer than many of the films that inspired it. Low-rent L.A. private eye Holland March (Ryan Gosling, displaying admirable physical comedy chops) is a drunk and a screw-up, but he…

Tenth year for Jasson Minadakis at MTC

“Don’t get me started.” Jasson Minadakis, one quickly notices, uses that phrase a lot. “Don’t get me started.” For the record, when it comes to talking about theater—especially the kind of expectation-defying, definition-challenging, artistically fearless theater Marin Theatre Company (MTC) has become known for over the 10 years that he has served as its artistic…

Review: ‘Red Velvet’

Slavery was still legal in England in 1833, when American actor Ira Aldridge became the first black man to appear on stage in London. Following the death of famed actor Edmund Kean, Aldridge was called upon to play the lead in Shakespeare’s Othello, alongside white actors at Keane’s Theater Royal, in Covent Garden. With Abolition just…

Review: ‘Money Monster’

Few filmmaking tricks are harder to pull off than that of fusing honest, political outrage with solid, crowd-pleasing entertainment. Whenever significant political questions are tucked into a mainstream movie – as in the recent “Avengers” and Captain America films – they are usually so dumbed down and simplified they are unlikely to cause anyone to…

Will Durst takes on the 2016 election

“It’s a very exciting time to be a political comedian,” remarks Will Durst, acclaimed satirist, newspaper columnist, stand-up comic and author. Durst ought to know. When it comes to politics and comedy, few have more assiduously studied the odd art and science of laughing at politicians than Will Durst. “It’s rare when a comedy scene…

Photograph inspires science-based art project

It all began with a photograph. Last year, while doing research for a middle-school science project, 14-year-old Audrey Andrews – better known locally as one half of the culinary sister-act the Twin Chefs – stumbled upon a 1960s-era black-and-white photo of NASA computer programmer Margaret Hamilton. “It was so powerful,” says Andrews. “It’s a simple…