'Handle With Care' Is An Alternative To
Traditional Holiday Productions

The bilingual romantic comedy by Jason Odell Williams is billed as the "perfect Jewish
Christmas story," although it's only loosely a holiday tale Read More

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'Figaro' Is Delightfully Bawdy, Yet Still Refined

When endeavoring to describe opera, some begin combing through a thesaurus in search of highfalutin adjectives and impassioned verbs. But in Opera San Jose's production of Mozart's classic-and bawdy-The Marriage of Figaro, many of the usual operatic tropes are delightfully subverted, satirized and outright mocked. Set in a Spanish castle, the story occurs in a single, emotionally explosive day. » Read More

Jim Campbell Goes Lo-Fi At The San Jose Institute of Contemporary Art

The dark gallery is full of people. Some are sitting on the long wooden bench at the back of the room. Others mill about, shifting back and forth on the balls of their feet, comfortable position after another. Everyone is staring straight ahead at the black box centered in the middle of a white wall. They murmur to each other: What is behind the box? Why is it emitting a kaleidoscope of colors? A few move forward to peer behind the box, unable to let the mystery be. » Read More

'Missing Persons': A New Exhibit at the Cantor

Missing Persons is the name of their thought-provoking new exhibit at the Cantor, and visitors can feel its impact almost immediately upon examining several silhouettes from the 19th century on display. These black shadows were once connected to individuals. In this context, however, surrounded by dozens of other thematically similar photographs and paintings, the silhouettes quickly turn into symbols of someone's absence. » Read More

The Blues Brothers Coming to Campbell's Heritage Theatre

There have been many Saturday Night Live spin-offs over the course of the sketch comedy show's 40 years on the air. Plenty are forgettable-like A Night at the Roxbury and The Ladies Man. Some are tolerable in their quirky context. Coneheads comes to mind. Wayne's World, of course, is truly a gem. » Read More

Silicon Valley Honors Its Ancestors at Multiple Dia de Los Muertos Celebrations

Much like the religious traditions that predate Halloween, the traditional Mexican holiday of Dia de los Muertos-Spanish for "Day of the Dead"-is tied to honoring family, friends and loved ones who have passed on. Also, like Halloween-which scholars believe to be the result of pagan European harvest festivals being taken into the fold of the Christian church-Dia de los Muertos blends Spanish and Catholic tradition with a centuries-old indigenous celebration honoring the Aztec goddess of the afterlife. » Read More

Seegers Open Liberal Arts School

Back when they were first dating, Dana and Yori Seeger would dream, over beers, about exactly what they would do if they won the lottery. The answer: Open an art school, of course. But not like the schools they'd attended-where they'd experienced complacent faculty, parochial politics and an education lacking connection to the outside world. How can artists create a business for themselves? Who are they in the context of their community, and really, in society? » Read More

Stephen Beal's 'Warp and Weft' Features Geometric Abstractions

At a time when so much of contemporary art is about combining disparate found objects in order to create weird and puzzling assemblage, it is refreshing to find an artist who revels in creating art that celebrates the formal elements and requires-actually invites-close scrutiny. Berkeley artist Stephen Beal has found his niche working within the grid, using it as a formal structure from which to explore geometric abstraction. » Read More

McMurtry Building Completes Stanford's Arts District

The administration at Stanford University has been experiencing a bit of an edifice complex recently. With a new emphasis on pumping up the arts and humanities at a school that's become increasingly associated with churning out the next generation of Silicon Valley tech workers, there was a need to improve existing institutions, like the Cantor Arts Center, and to create new spaces for the visual and performing arts. » Read More

Stage Review: 'Proof'

Math equations elegantly link disparate parts of our existence. TheatreWorks Silicon Valley does the same with Proof by tracking the depression and genius of a math prodigy. Catherine (Michelle Beck) considers her next move after years of caring for her once brilliant, then delusional, father while tackling doubts due to her gender, lack of college degree and inherited potential for mental instability. » Read More

Artists Including Me: William Wegman

In an untucked, partially unbuttoned, red plaid shirt, William Wegman looks as if he's just left his studio to oversee the final installation of Artists Including Me, now on display in the San Jose Museum of Art's capacious upstairs salon. Curators circle around the artist like the ardent, independent geometries that float around a Kandinsky canvas, each one unique and vibrant in their own right. » Read More

San Jose Stage Company's New Production of RFK

A plaque in San Jose's St. James Park marks the spot where, in 1968, Robert F. Kennedy delivered a rousing speech to an audience of 10,000, shortly after announcing his candidacy for U.S. president. By June of that year, shortly after winning the California primary, he was dead from an assassin's bullet. » Read More

Rick Guidice: The NASA Paintings

On the cover of a 1975 NASA report entitled Space Settlements: A Design Study, the reflection of a space station appears in the face panel of an astronaut's spacesuit, as he or she floats in through the void. Look closely at the astronaut's left shoulder and you can make out the word "Guidice" in sky blue lettering. NASA owns Reflections, the name of the painting, which Rick Guidice created, along with a series of about sixty more for the NASA study. » Read More

The Pear Theatre Opens Its new Season with 'The Walls of Jericho'

Mountain View's The Pear Theatre (formerly the Pear Avenue Theatre), which recently moved to a brand-new performance space, kicks off its first season in its new home with The Walls of Jericho, a world-premiere adaptation of a classic romantic comedy. The Pear's artistic director, Diane Tasca, adapted the 1933 short story Night Bus (by Samuel Hopkins Adams, also the basis for the Oscar-winning film It Happened One Night) into a sweet and charming production for the stage. » Read More

The Palo Alto Players' Production of 'Chicago' is Racy, Rowdy Fun

Sex! Murder! Scandal! And all that jazz. Chicago is a one of the very best musical comedies ever to hit the Great White Way, and Palo Alto Players delivers a nearly flawless version of the razzle-dazzle-filled spectacular. Based on the true stories of several Windy City women who literally got away with murder during the Roaring '20s, Chicago (by John Kander, Fred Ebb and Bob Fosse) debuted on Broadway in 1975. It's a mix of Jazz Age music styles and modern black humor that's held up well. » Read More

Man and Machine

From the perspective of John Markoff, much of today's debate on the future of technology can be traced to one fundamental question: Should machines replace humans or should they work with humans? According to Markoff, this dichotomy originally underlined two opposing methodologies in the field of artificial intelligence. Today, this question drives all major technological advances in, and philosophical inquiries into, AI. » Read More

'Dead Man's Cell Phone' Rings True, but Doesn't Live Up to Premise

If you found the ringing cell phone of a stranger, would you answer it? It's obvious that Sarah Ruhl's Dead Man's Cell Phone was written during the time when mobile telephones were omnipresent but before the era of the smartphone. The script's frequent mentions of the background noise of ringing phones and the irritatingly loud conversations of strangers are no longer so relevant now that most folks seem to use their phones to type, swipe and silently scroll. » Read More

New Exhibit, 'Hippocampus Wallpaper,' is a Riot of Color

In their respective day jobs, Colin Frangicetto and Drew Roulette each help create wild, energetic and psychedelic explosions of sound. And they spend much of their downtime doing the same thing with paint. Their new exhibit at Empire Seven Studios, "Hippocampus Wallpaper," is a riot of color. The witty show, whose title refers to the idea of memory and emotion acting as the brain's wallpaper, peeling and eroding with time, features artwork by two friends, artists and fellow musicians: Colin Frangicetto and Drew Roulette, best known for their work, respectively, in the bands Circa Survive and Dredg. » Read More

'The Wireless Age' at History San Jose

The Perham Collection of Early Electronics is one of the hidden treasures of History San Jose's archives. Normally the collection sits in storage, but as of this weekend, several pieces come to light in a new exhibit, The Wireless Age: Electronics Entrepreneurs Before Silicon Valley (1900-1960). Everything, from ancient vacuum tubes to decades-old Ampex tape decks, comes alive—animated by the stories behind them. We see Hewlett-Packard's second-ever oscillator as well as some old-school surveillance equipment that inspired novels and films. » Read More