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November 19, 2013

ADICTIVE THRILLER. AARON LOEB'S BRILLIANT 'IDEATION'




IDEATION

SF PLAYHOUSE  
Brings a Great Performance
It's Acting Heaven!  
 
IDEATION is an entrepreneur journey where four people "Ben Euphrat, Jason Kapoor, Carrie Paff*, Mark Anderson Phillips* and Michael Ray Wisely* get together to do business, and make money out of it. Each person is trying to "Up" the next person. What's really interesting about "Ideation"? The men and one woman that focus on there ideas. What are they going to create? Are they creating a product, service, or what? Well, they do make quite a fuss at putting ideas on a white board. However, they continually fail at the project. One gives feed back, and another puts him down.

One tries to refine. Another feels that he has a better plan. The only woman there, thinks that none of this is going to work. The Brain Storming is like software. It doesn't get very far. But, they do try to research out numeric possibilities.

The philosophical ideas live in the mind of the creator. The others try to destroy a new recurrence. Yep, it's just blah, blah, blah -- and erase and erase, until the chalk breaks. O.K. lets get to the breakout performances. They have extraordinary intelligence and razor-edge humor. Its notably nuanced. This story is certainly one of Loeb's best works. His razor sharp writing and the Great Cast give us unimpeachable performances.

I've never seen anything like this Stage Play. Its Scope and Grandeur is amazing and magnificent. I'm still thinking about it.  Once in a decade an audience gets raw challenges. They sure do it here. The director absolutely knows how to create emotion. This cat-and-mouse -bare-knuckle play keeps you on the edge of your seat. IT'S ELECTRIFYING!
 
THE PERFORMERS OF THE YEAR ARE: Ben Eukphrat (Scooter), Jason  Kapoor (Sandeep), Carrie Paff* (Hannah), Mark Anderson Phillips* (Brock), Michael Ray Wisely* (Ted). Clive Worsley (voice over).

*****
DIRECTOR: "KEEPS SHOW CAPTIVE FROM START TO FINISH!"

SF Playhouse is using "The Tides Theatre" on Sutter Street for this show.

RATING: Five Glasses of Champagne. (highest rating) -trademarked-

(((Lee Hartgrave has contributed many articles to the San Francisco Chronicle Sunday Datebook and he has also produced a long-running Arts Segment on PBS KQED -7 years)





November 14, 2013

LUA HADAR IS FULL OF SURPRISES


LUA HADAR - COURTESY PHOTO





THE WITTY AND CHARMING HADAR BRINGS TO THE "SOCIETY CABARET" AN ASTONISHING ARTISTIC WHIRLWIND OF SPECTACULAR VISUAL EFFECTS, AND EXCELLENT MOVEMENT, PLUS SUBERB MUSIC -PLUS THE INCREDIBLE JAZZ BAND TWIST. WOW! 

Hadar's production is flawless. She has ground-shaking energy that shakes up the popular audience. She also has humour and heart that will keep up the dancing, comedy and quirky fun. Yep - Her show is a little ditzy -- and so am I. Hadar keeps us on the edge of our seats. Gee - I should have brought my roller skates.

 Hadar's blast of energy and musical arrangements turn in glorious pulsating bravado jocularity - and yes, you will be overwhelmed. 'The Society Cabaret' at The Rex Hotel -- is the new comfort zone. Its gorgeous lighting effects are flawless with Candles on every table that really mellow the room out. What we get is sheer artistry and classic style.

The show runs, Thursday, November 14 at 8pm. Friday, November 15 at 8pm and Saturday, November 16 at 8pm.

Hadar's show is direct from a sellout in Paris. No wonder her 'C'est Magnifique at Society Cabaret, is accompanied by the swinging cosmopolitan jazz band 'Twist'. You will feel like you're in a French Music Hall - or a black and white movie.

Also attending: G. Scott Lacy, Russ Lorenson, Tom Orr, Ken Henderson and Lawrence Helman. This is the place for sensational triumphs. The show is like a gig on a "Princess Cruise". As Lua Hadar might say: "Hit it Boys! 

RATING: FOUR GLASSES OF CHAMPAGNE!!!! (highest rating) -trademarked-

November 11, 2013

IF IT FITS - ITS NEWS!








EXCITING STUFF IS GOING ON AT FEINSTEIN'S AT THE HOTEL NIKKO

SHAWN RYAN HAS IT ALL!  


Ryan put on the best show in town. When entertainment calls - Ryan gives the show of the decade. He's one of the Stage Greats. This smart Alec knows how to get belly laughs. Here's one - 'Stop Wondering' - Shawn: "Bitch please! - I've go better things to do. And yes he does. He surprised the audience with 'Condo 8' - very country. I would not have believed it. It was almost like I was riding a train around the world. Ryan is formidable. Someone sitting next to me said: "I Agree with this Show - Press releases are so "Dead" -- where are the real PR people of yesteryear?" Gee Whiz - how would I know .  Ryan would, he has it all -- and he incorporates these musical geniuses into the evening: John Ainsworth: Piano: Kelly Park - Bass: Daniel Fabricant - Drums: Surya Prakasha - Guitar: Mark Holzinger - Singers: Jessica Coker and Jenny coker - Audio: Nic Atamanuik - Photo: Jeanette and Mike - Managers: Jessica & Mitch Booker: John Iachette. Ryan also gave the audience one of the most funny evenings that I have ever experienced. He's breathtaking!

*****

JIM BRICKMAN AND SPECIAL GUEST DAVID BURNHAM

WOW! What a powerful evening at San Francisco's gorgeous Venetian Room. Brickman and Burnham. I'm so glad that I got to see it at the Fairmont's packed show. First on the stage was Jim Brickman who runs his amazing fingers along the piano. I can't imagine that no one would not be a fan. Brickman's music is positively breathtaking. And here is the Surprise -- he has a fantastic sexy, singing voice also. At the Fairmont there were incredible moments for everyone that loves music. I do. Then  comes along DAVID BURNHAM. It continues a slick and astonishing evening as Burnham and Brickman smoothly work together. The currents are there. The two talented men made an evening of the best of music. I was stunned. These are the moments of great art. A masterpiece - with stunning Masters on the stage is something that no one in that fantastic atmosphere will ever forget that evening. I do hope that they will come back soon.  It was magnificent!

*****   
NOW I'M OFF TO THE OUTER LIMITS








November 5, 2013

I MARRIED AN ANGEL "STAR POWER IS EPIC!"

Kari Brigitta (Angel) - Sean Thompson (Count Willy Palaffi
Courtesy Photo

THEATRE BUFFS WILL LOVE THIS
MUSICAL AT THE EUREKA THEATRE

The Angel gets married. It's just wonderful -- and 'surprise' Angel has wings on her back. No matter Angel and her Husband elope to Paris. He says "Now, I can take a bath without my wife flying out the Window." You see, Angel is without her wings. They fell off of her. Angel (Kari Yancy*) is so very much in love with the handsome Sean Thompson* (Count willy Palaffi) - and Count Willy doesn't mind that her Angels wings fell off her back. He prefers it.

This thirties musical is just full of wonderful harmony and sweet rhythms. Richard Rodger's and Lorenz Hart seemed to love the chorus. The songs all have that wonderful infectious glimpses. Well -- heck, if you had wings and danced all night with a 'Count' wouldn't you just be delirious? Yes, you would.

Kris Vecere* (The Stage Manager) has brought even more energy to this production. Ruth Raser Timbrell (Costume Designer). Zack Thomas Wilde (Choreographer) for this production - but he also choreographed and directed 42nd Moon Hits like 'Joey' and 'Strike Up the Band". And of course there is the strong presence of Dave Dobrusky (Music Director). He has more awards than I can imagine -- but you will love them all. And Director Greg MacKellan, turned up one of the best Entertainments that I have ever seen. It's Rich and Impressive!

All in all this musical "I Married and Angel" is just extremely entertaining! It's addictive -- and its a must go to see it at 42nd Street Moon (Eureka Theatre). The humor is razor sharp. It pulls you in. The principal roles are perfectly performed with authentic 30's style and charm. Here is a couple of great songs, 'Spring is Here' and 'The Roxie Music Hall.' The handsome set makes the stage look twice as large. Everything is perfection.

THE EXCEPTIONAL CAST: Bill Fahrner* (Harry Sziigetti), Justin Gillman (Anton/Janos), Allison F. Rich* (Countess Peggy Palaffi), Nathaniel Rothrock (Peter Mueller), Elena Ruggiero (Duchess/Seronella), Abby Sammons (Olga/Arabella , Megan Stetson (Magda/Modiste/Clarinda), Victoria Steward-Davis (Ilona/Vendeuse/Lucinda), Sean Thompson* (Count Willy Palaffi), Halsey Varady* (Anna Murphy), Stephen Vaught (General Lukash), Kari Yancy* (Angel -[Brigitta]

Music by Richard Rodgers - Lyrics by Lorenz Hart - Book by Rodgers & Hart

RUNS FROM OCTOBER 30 - NOVEMBER 17, 2013 at 42ND STREET MOON (Eureka Theatre)
*****
(((Four Glasses of Champagne. (highest rating!) -trademarked)))


JIM BRICKMAN AND DAVID BURNHAM TAKE THE STAGE TO BRING TO THE VENETIAN ROOM A STIRRING CRESCENDO!  


JIM BRICKMAN, THE GRAMMY NOMINATED PIANIST/SONGWRITER HOLDS THE RECORD FOR THE MOST MALE ARTIST APPEARANCES ON BILLBOARDS LIST. HE WILL MAKE HIS FIRST APPEARANCE IN SAN FRANCISCO AT THE FANTASTIC VENETIAN ROOM  

AND LUCKY US, HE WILL BE JOINED ON THE VENETIAN ROOM STAGE WITH BROADWAYS David BURNHAM (Light on the Piazza, Wicked.) You won't want to miss this terrific evening of music and song in the gorgeous evening of music and song. 

JIM BRICKMAN IS ONE OF THE MOST AMAZING ENTERTAINERS THAT I HAVE EVERY HEARD. I am always amazed when he flawlessly gives us that nice and easy music. Brickman has world recognition wherever he is on stage. There are the Love songs, the Tears and the beautiful melodies that keep me humming all evening. Heck - I just can't get that music out of my head. Don't know what he will bring us this Sunday Evening -- but I can't wait to be at the Fairmont. Perhaps he might brings us "By Heart", "Angel Eyes", or "Simple Things".  Hey -- no matter what he brings to the piano -- I will have my ears perked up. I also hope that he brings "Love of My Life" -- It's irresistible.

Brickman is a great Songwriter and pianist and one of the most interesting composers around. Of Course, seeing and hearing him live at the Classic and Glamorous Venetian room will thrill you. I know I will be overly thrilled.

  Brickman is a man of all talents. He has hosted his own Radio Show - and he has also released many PBS specials. And if you want to travel with him, you can hop on a PBS special with Brickman hosting an annual fan cruise.

He is known for his solo piano compositions, pop-albums and vocals. Here is some of the music that we may get to hear: "No Word", (Gold) "By Heart" (Gold), "Picture This" (Gold), and "Destiny" (Gold).  But no matter what he brings to the stage -- It will be intoxicating! His Star Power is formidable! Love it!
*****

ALSO ON THE STAGE WILL BE  BROADWAY'S DAVID BURNHAM

DAVID BURNHAM takes us from up-lifting 'Pop' to reflective. If I have the chance, I listen to his music daily. He arranges his music as a true entertainer should. We are lucky that we get to hear him this evening at the Fairmont.

There is no doubt that Burnham is one of the greats. He has a marvelous voice. He sings the fabulous music -- and the songs that he composed are extraordinary.

Burnham knows how to bring phrasing and emotion to the edge of the stage. Yes -- it mesmerizes us. It's not only the stories that are elegantly arranged, it is also the beautiful stories that are brought out the for the live performances.

You won't be disappointed when you go to this show. He is a fantastic performer that fills the room with an abundance of love. The only thing that I can add is that Burnham keeps us fascinated with passion and powerful vocals.

From Broadway Stage - to the Fairmont Venetian Room. David Burnham is going to take us on a journey that we won't forget.

*****

(((Lee Hartgrave has contributed many articles to the San Francisco Chronicle Sunday Datebook and he also produced and hosted a long running Arts Segment on PBS KQED)))