.Arts Feature

Aug 10, 2022

A Goddess Is Born: Berkeley Rep stages musical inspired by African myth

A goddess’s birth can be a long process—but her emergence is glorious. Director/creator Saheem Ali, playwright Jocelyn Bioh and composer Michael Thurber have been midwifing the world-premiere musical Goddess, opening at Berkeley Rep Aug. 14, for years. The piece has gone through multiple iterations and four postponements, and is now...
Jul 13, 2022

Ain’t I a Woman?: ‘Hella Feminist’ will celebrate and challenge at OMCA

“Do you identify as a feminist?” If the answer is, “Yes,” you might be lauded or vilified. To some, you are a courageous activist fighting for equal rights and justice for half of the world’s population. To others,...
Jul 6, 2022

Voodoo Chile: Fantastic Negrito’s slightly improbable return

What makes Xavier Dphrepaulezz, aka Fantastic Negrito, a changemaker? Consider the following: He has won three consecutive Grammy awards for Best Contemporary Blues Album - as an independent artist. Unlike some modern-day artists working in the blues idiom...
Jun 22, 2022

Front and Center: Sheryl Crow goes down long and winding road in new documentary

Let’s be clear—Sheryl Crow is someone who veers away from the off-stage spotlight whenever she can. As someone who cheerfully admits to “...living with my head in the sand,” she’d be the last person you’d expect to...
Jun 15, 2022

Pamela Z Speaks Out: The multifaceted artist riffs on electronic music

Pamela Z is a polyglot. The realization she speaks simultaneously in multiple languages slaps aside previous definitions I and others have applied to the Bay Area-based composer, vocalist and multimedia artist. The new definition pops up during...
Jun 1, 2022

Serious Clowning: Satirist David Sedaris on life, death and his latest collection of essays

When humorist and writer David Sedaris and I talk about his new collection of essays, Happy Go Lucky (Little Brown), two expected but nonetheless delightful things happen. First, we laugh a lot, and second, it’s impossible to...
May 4, 2022

Native Land, Native Hands: Choreographer Antoine Hunter’s latest turns to Bay Area sculptures

Antione Hunter’s site specific, world premiere production, Native Land, Native Hands, uproots and re-envisions the script on two well-known tree proverbs and slays the dragon that says to see the invisible—to see Deaf people—requires magic. Instead, the new...
Apr 13, 2022

Jazz Like A Woman: Changing the narratives of a timeless musical form

Curious about the “state of the union” for professional jazz musicians in the Bay Area who identify as women, I called for a response from a representative sample composed of three local artists. Separately, each is a...
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