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Black Voices Coming Together

Black Voices Coming Together

BY STEVE ERICKSON | Dev Hynes wears many hats. He’s worked as a musician, producer, and/ or songwriter for artists like A$AP Rocky, Carly Rae Jepsen, Solange, Florence and the Machine, FKA twigs, Kylie Minogue, and Blondie. As a solo artist, he’s used two different “band” names: Lightspeed Champion and Blood Orange. He’s a black gay […]

They’re Not Asking

They’re Not Asking

BY STEVE ERICKSON | iTunes genre tags are rarely very creative. I can’t count the number of rock albums I’ve downloaded that are described as “Alternative,” a term no one has seriously used since about 1992. In protest of the way African-American singers automatically get classified as R&B, Frank Ocean labeled his mixtape “Nostalgia/ Ultra” as […]

When Bernstein’s Ambitions Reach Critical “Mass”

When Bernstein’s Ambitions Reach Critical “Mass”

BY ELI JACOBSON | In his lifetime (which began exactly 100 years ago this August 25), Leonard Bernstein was a polarizing figure. To some he was an angel of musical talent: a virtuoso pianist, an expert proselytizer for all forms of music in the mass media, and a genius composer and conductor of classical music, jazz,and […]

Several Solid Innings in Cooperstown

Several Solid Innings in Cooperstown

BY DAVID SHENGOLD | Glimmerglass presents two American works this summer: the Pulitzer Prize-winning “Silent Night” by Kevin Puts (libretto by the justly busy Mark Campbell) and centenarian Leonard Bernstein’s “West Side Story.” I had seen and enjoyed the Puts/ Campbell piece before — moving but not mawkish in portraying World War I’s unofficial “Christmas Truce.” […]

Life In A Cabaret

Life In A Cabaret

BY CHRISTOPHER BYRNE | They were the icons of an era — The Tropicana, El Morocco, and The Stork Club — clubs that defined New York’s nightlife in the 1940s through 1960s as the sine qua non of the glamorous life, dripping with stars and churning with gossip, all to the tune of fantastic entertainment. […]

Working It… Well or Just Too Hard

Working It… Well or Just Too Hard

BY CHRISTOPHER BYRNE | If you make no other theater plans in the next couple of weeks, do whatever you can to catch “Carmen Jones” at Classic Stage Company. This spectacular, intimate production of what has long been a problematic work is fresh, vibrant, and alive with extraordinary talent and emotion. John Doyle has stripped the […]

Midsummer Madness

Midsummer Madness

BY ELI JACOBSON | When Will Crutchfield moved his “Bel Canto at Caramoor” program to SUNY Purchase as the “Teatro Nuovo” festival, Caramoor Festival artistic vice president Kathy Schuman turned to On Site Opera for a replacement operatic presentation. Caramoor scheduled a revival of On Site Opera’s 2017 production of Mozart’s “The Secret Gardener” performed for […]

The Sanctity of Gay Sex

The Sanctity of Gay Sex

BY STEVE ERICKSON | Years & Years are huge stars in the UK, with their 2015 album “Communion” and single “King” hitting #1 there, but so far their success in the US has been far more limited, with “Communion” peaking at #47 here. Although they play a very accessible style of dance-oriented pop, the fact that […]

Uneasy Listening

Uneasy Listening

BY STEVE ERICKSON | “Love and Light,” the opening track on transfemme singer/ producer Lotic’s debut album “Power,” takes a blissful music box-style melody played on bright, trebly synthesizers that could’ve come off a New Age record and develops it by layering much noisier sounds on top of it. The title track returns to a […]

Triumphant Tetralogy

Triumphant Tetralogy

BY DAVID SHENGOLD | This year for its annual June Festival — which makes a great add-on to Frameline’s LGBTQ film festival and the Bay Area’s other Pride events — San Francisco Opera really delivered “festival goods.” The company revived Francesca Zambello’s “Ring” cycle for three traversals, developed and honed over the years locally and […]

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