Essay: 2012 Not a Great Theatre Year

By Bill Eadie | December 30, 2012 |

Let’s face it. 2012 was by no means a great theatre year. Even so, there was good work that went on in San Diego and elsewhere, despite a disappointing overall result.

Jeremy Denk Offers Memorable Mozart at Copley

By Ken Herman | December 18, 2012 |

We may be immersed in December’s holiday madness, but San Diego Symphony Music Director Jahja Ling has clearly delegated all the orchestra’s seasonal celebration to conductor Matthew Garbutt and his Holiday Pops battalions. No “Messiah” (full or lite), no Christmas oratorios, no seasonal choral samplers this year. Instead, Maestro Ling selected a banquet portion of old favorites for this weekend’s (Dec. 14-16) installment of the Jacobs Masterworks Series: the evergreen Berlioz “Sinfonie fantastique,” Verdi’s roiling Overture to La forza del destino, and Mozart’s cheery Piano Concerto in C Major, K. 467. In terms of musical performance, this choice was a…

Vintage Holiday Musical Endures

By Kris Eitland | December 17, 2012 |

Strong singing, tap dancing, and the wintery setting in “Irving Berlin’s White Christmas,” warm the heart with nostalgia. The production, which San Diego Musical Theatre delivered to the Birch North Park Theatre Friday, is entertaining and sparkly, but showing its age, like a holiday card from 1954 that was lost in the mail. The songs – 17 of them – are timeless.  Adapted from the film (with Bing Crosby and Danny Kaye, Rosemary Clooney and Vera-Ellen), the score includes “White Christmas,” which triggers a sing-a-long at the end of the show. Note that Crosby’s version remains the top-selling single of…

Yefim Bronfman Scores with Prokofiev in La Jolla

By Ken Herman | December 15, 2012 |

An ad campaign some years back cleverly proclaimed “You don’t have to be Jewish to like Levi’s Jewish Rye Bread.” You certainly don’t have to be Russian to play the music of Sergei Prokofiev, but after hearing Yefim Bronfman’s commanding, exuberant performance of Prokofiev’s Eighth Piano Sonata Friday (Dec. 14) at La Jolla’s Sherwood Auditorium, I could be persuaded that being Russian gives an inside track to interpreting this music. When the 54-year-old Bronfman was born in Tashkent, it was part of the Soveit Union, and the young pianist grew up in the same repressive Soviet culture in which Prokofiev…

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