Jean Lowerison

Theater Review: "Ruthless! The Musical"

You’ve got typical hard-driving stage moms like Rose in “Gypsy.” And then you’ve got the reluctant Judy Denmark (Eileen Bowman), whose eight-year-old daughter Tina (Madison O’Donovan) was “Born to Entertain.”

But Judy, though she loves playing social secretary for Tina, really thinks having a normal childhood and getting through school will stand the girl in better stead.

Theater Review: “Ain’t Misbehavin’"

Cynthia Thomas, Tony Perry, Yvonne, Ron Christopher Jones and Anise Ritchie

What do you get when you take a quintet of terrific singing and dancing actors, add some 30 songs of the Harlem Renaissance period by the inimitable Fats Waller, and combine that with a killer backup combo?

Theater Review: "A Gay Marriage"

J. Marcus Newman, Patricia Elmore Costa, Tom Andrew. back: Sherri Allen, Michael Lundy.

Did the U.S. legalize same-sex marriage so gays could be as miserable in marriage as straights?

That’s one of the questions under consideration in Ronnie Larsen’s “A Gay Marriage,” in its world premiere through July 31 at Diversionary Theatre.

Theater Review: "The Twentieth Century Way"

This is Johnson’s third turn at ion, and he gets better every time I see him.

Here’s a novel setup: Two actors – “ruggedly handsome” Warren (Richard Johnson) and “pretty boy” Brown (Colton Iverson) do improv while waiting – and waiting – for auditions for the same film role.

The more assertive Warren suggests a vice theme based on an actual obscure law passed in California in 1914 which called oral copulation “social vagrancy.”

Theater Review: "The Last Tiger In Haiti"

Reggie D. White, Clinton Roane, Andy Lucien, Brittany Bellizeare and Jasmine St. Clair in "The Last Tiger In Haiti."

Time is mushy and truth variable (an understatement) in the world premiere of Jeff Augustin’s “The Last Tiger In Haiti,” where five kids of varying ages serve “Mister” as restaveks (slaves) until they are 18, when they will be freed.

“Last Tiger” is a co-production with Berkeley Repertory Theatre.

Theater Review: "Buddy: The Buddy Holly Story"

Noah Zuniga-Williams as Buddy Holly with Randy Coull and Dawn Marie Zuniga-Williams as Norman and Vi Petty

Buddy Holly, who had a short life but a huge influence on early rock and roll music, comes alive again in OnStage Playhouse’s terrific production of “Buddy: the Buddy Holly Story.”

Theater Review: "Maestro"

Hershey Felder as Leonard Bernstein

Leonard Bernstein is one of the best known and best loved of American composers, remembered by all for his sparkling score for the classic musical “West Side Story.” But he always wanted to be known as a serious composer – which he also was.

Theater Review: "Sunday In The Park With George"

“Artists are bizarre,” says artist’s model Dot (Melissa Fernandes), bored as she sits once again for boyfriend/pointillist artist Georges Seurat (Jon Lorenz).

Dot, in one of those long, hot dresses, wants a little attention; Georges wants to “finish the hat” (his term for finishing a painting), and is monomaniacally focused with doing just that, whatever the cost.

Theater Review: "Macbeth"

Jonathan Cake as Macbeth and Clifton Duncan as Macduff in William Shakespeare's Macbeth.

What can you do to spruce up Shakespeare’s “Macbeth,” that old warhorse we read in ninth grade and have been seeing regularly ever since?

Movie Review: "Honeyglue"

Zach Villa and Adriana Mather in Honeyglue

You have to be willing to accept a lot of nonsense if you’re going to make it through “Honeyglue,” beginning with the title.  I’ll explain that later.