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Author: Robert M. Gardner

“Beautiful, The Carole King Musical” Transports Us, at San Jose Center

“Beautiful, The Carole King Musical” Transports Us, at San Jose Center

Sarah Bockel as Carole King Makes the Earth Move by Robert M. Gardner The latest version of “Beautiful—The Carole King Musical” features a fast pace and talented performers, especially the heartwarming Sarah Bockel as Carol King. Bockel does an excellent job portraying King from her teen aged years to her Carnegie Hall concert. With her powerful voice, Bockel’s songs sound amazingly like King’s originals. “Beautiful,” a must-see musical event, opened Tuesday at the San Jose Center for the Arts. Broadway…

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“The Liar” Delights, at Center Rep, Walnut Creek

“The Liar” Delights, at Center Rep, Walnut Creek

David Ives’ Modernized Corneille Classic Rings True by Robert M. Gardner “The Liar” is a hoot!  This is a very good comedy that delights on many levels. The Lesher Center has scored another hit with a brilliant cast under the skillful guidance of Director Michael Butler. The liar is Dorante (irrepressible Jeremy Kahn), an incorrigible, mendacious Cavalier, newly arrived in Paris.  The liar hires the always truthful Cliton (exuberant Joseph Patrick O’Malley) as his servant who quickly becomes his confidant…

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“The Song of the Nightingale” Takes Flight, at Town Hall, Lafayette

“The Song of the Nightingale” Takes Flight, at Town Hall, Lafayette

Min Kahng Puts Modern Twist on Classic Fairy Tale by Robert M. Gardner Set in Ancient China but with its feet firmly planted in the present, Min Kahng’s musical adaptation of the Hans Christian Andersen fairy tale “The Nightingale” takes wing at Town Hall Theatre. Kahng’s infectious music harmonizes perfectly with the exuberant cast, making a light and carefree musical mood. Kids and their parents will be enthralled by the brilliant designs and the fast pace. Town Hall Theatre brings…

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“Barbecue” Sizzles with Satire, Comedy, at S.F. Playhouse

“Barbecue” Sizzles with Satire, Comedy, at S.F. Playhouse

Robert O’Hara Cooks Up Social Class Ridicule by Robert M. Gardner In a working-class community, we meet two O’Mallery families—one white, one black—who are gathering in the park for an intervention.  Springing from the fertile mind of prolific author Robert O’Hara and directed by the multi-talented Margo Hall, “Barbecue” treats us to subtle insights disguised as humor. In Act One, “Barbecue” relies heavily on gags and class stereotypes to display family dynamics.  When James T (hip, jiving Adrian Roberts) from…

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