Review: “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” in San Francisco

Most folk’s exposure to Roald Dahl’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory came through reading the book or watching the somewhat renamed 1971 Gene Wilder film. “Charlie” purists rejected Tim Burton’s 2005 cinematic take on the tale as too dark and weird. Well folks, you ain’t seen nuthin’ yet. San Francisco’s SHN Golden Gate Theatre is…

A Day at SFFILM 2019

I’ve been covering the San Francisco International Film Festival for over ten years now, so long that it’s changed its name. Now it’s known as the SFFILM Festival and it’s running now through April 23 at a variety of venues in the Bay Area. My day began with a “check-in” at the Festival Lounge. This…

Review: “Hello, Dolly!” in San Francisco

Anyone going to a performance of Hello, Dolly! – running now at the SHN Golden Gate Theatre in San Francisco through March 17 – with an appetite for an enlightened look at male/female relationships is likely to leave quite hungry. The current national tour of the 2017 revival of the 1964 Broadway smash based on…

Review: “Dear Evan Hansen” in San Francisco

Dear Evan Hansen, I attended the opening night performance of the San Francisco run of your national tour at the Curran Theatre. I’ve heard a lot about your show – the six Tonys (including Best Musical) and the Grammy for Best Musical Theater Album. I’ve seen the songs performed on various television shows and many…

Review: “The Hunchback of Notre Dame” in San Francisco

The Hunchback of Notre Dame was originally scheduled last season at the Spreckels Theatre Company. The musical, whose development started in Germany and ended in New Jersey (having never made it to Broadway), is an atypical Disney production. More Les Misérables than Little Mermaid, it’s an interesting amalgam of Victor Hugo’s gothic novel and music from…

Review: “School of Rock” in San Francisco

One might think that the talents behind Downton Abbey and Phantom of the Opera would be odd choices to make a Broadway musical out of a 2003 movie starring Jack Black. One would be correct. School of Rock, now on the San Francisco stop of its national tour, is Julian Fellowes’ and Sir Andrew Lloyd…