A “My Fair Lady” that Draws Gender Battle Lines

Dripping with sexism and class snobbery, “My Fair Lady” is one of those musicals so grating to 21st century sensibilities, one might feel it should remain on the shelf. Ah, but the Lerner-Loewe tunes are magnificent. And any tale that’s persisted from Greek mythology to Shaw’s “Pygmalion” to “Pretty Woman” clearly touches deep psychological chords.

Enter Bartlett Sher, whose “My Fair Lady” shifts the story’s focus from its Pygmalion, the arrogant Henry Higgins, to Eliza Doolittle as a smart, scrappy woman who insists on dictating the terms of her own life.

Read More

Dance Bonanza from Litvak, Malashock

We’re vaccinated. We’re masked. And we’re returning to theaters to see dance! Last week, I got to shows by two companies, Litvak Dance and Malashock Dance. Both featured work by multiple choreographers, making it a dance bonanza.

Read More

“Ofrenda” a Day of the Dead Banquet

An ofrenda (offering) is an altar made to welcome departed family members on Day of the Dead. The welcome from “Ofrenda” was so spectacular, surely the nearly 3,000 living souls at the Rady Shell on Sunday were surrounded by legions of spirits, drawn to the heart-melting singing, thrilling percussive footwork, and parade of vivid costumes.

Read More

Litvak’s Dance and Setting Enchant

While it’s been thrilling to return to live performances, much of what I’ve seen had a sense of compromise. Happily, nothing felt second-best about Litvak Dance’s performance on August 28. Sadie Weinberg, who launched this North County company just three years ago, is a powerhouse networker. She recruited two guest choreographers to create work for the company: New York-based Rebecca Margolick, one of Dance Magazine’s “25 to Watch” this year; and Texas-based Joshua Manculich, who’s made dances for companies around the country.

Read More