SD Opera figure makes Tom Cruise look good
Published - 08/21/15 - 09:46 AM | 7884 views | 0 0 comments | 13 13 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Actor-writer Phil Johnson is looking very retro in 'She-Rantulas from Outer Space in 3-D,' which got positive press in The New York Times. PHOTO BY DAREN SCOTT
Actor-writer Phil Johnson is looking very retro in 'She-Rantulas from Outer Space in 3-D,' which got positive press in The New York Times. PHOTO BY DAREN SCOTT
In his August 11 New Yorker piece, Alex Ross says he was happily shocked by the “nonembarrassing classical music scene” in the current blockbuster film “Mission Impossible – Rogue Nation,” with Tom Cruise. Set at Vienna Opera, the scene depicts Puccini’s “Turandot,” and soprano Lise Lindstrom, San Diego Opera’s recent Turandot and Salome, sings the title role while Cruise pursues the bad guys.

Got questions about San Diego Opera and its future? Get the answers and express your concerns when you meet new general director David Bennett as he addresses “A New Vision for San Diego Opera” at a community conversation at 7 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 10 in the Neil Morgan Auditorium at the Central Library, 330 Park Blvd. Admission is free.

Even though the operas don’t start until January, San Diego Opera’s season gets under way at the Balboa Theatre at 7 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 19 with a recital by tenor René Barbera, who made such a favorable impression at the company’s 50th anniversary celebration in April that he was asked to return in his first American recital. He’s programmed opera standards, show tunes and zarzuelas. Tickets are available at

While we’re in a classical vein, I just learned today that the Neave Trio (violinist Anna Williams, cellist Mikhail Veselov and pianist Toni Kames), so splendid with Blythe Barton Dance in the award-winning piece “Reverberate,” at the recent San Diego Fringe Festival, will play a recital at California Center for the Arts, Escondido, at 3 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 22. They are the trio in residence at San Diego State University. Put it on your calendars now. Tickets are available at (800) 988-4253.

Also mark your calendars for the return of Lamb’s Players Theatre’s production of Mark St. Germain’s “Freud’s Last Session,” starring Robert Smyth as Sigmund Freud and Francis Gercke as C. S. Lewis. It’s a scintillating, stimulating and funny evening, playing on Lamb’s' Coronado stage Sept. 11 to 27. Performances are at 7:30 p.m. Fridays, 4 and 8 p.m. Saturdays and 2 p.m. Sundays. Tickets are $22 to $74, with discounts for seniors, active duty military, youth under 18 and young adults (18-34) at 1142 Orange Ave., Coronado, (619) 437-6000.

“Dear Evan Hansen,” the new musical by “Dogfight” duo Benj Pasek and Justin Paul and directed by former La Jolla Playhouse Artistic Director Michael Greif, is moving off-Broadway, to Second Stage. No date is announced as yet. “Dogfight” premiered locally this month at Cygnet Theatre.

In advance of its New York Fringe Festival opening, Phil Johnson and Ruff Yeager’s “She-Rantulas from Outer Space in 3-D” (the '50s Americana spoof that premiered at Diversionary Theatre) received great recommendations in The New York Times. Times critic Alexis Soloski attended the opening weekend and had mainly positive remarks, praising the cast for their able gender switches and suggesting that with certain modifications the comedy could have legs – possibly eight of them.

At the Old Globe Theatre Monday, Aug. 17, donors and patrons enjoyed “Craig100,” a celebration of founding director Craig Noel’s 100th birthday. Noel died five years ago at the age of 94. The script and slideshow, directed by Richard Seer, was extremely well written and featured Globe associate artists, including beloved actors Kandis Chappell, George DelHoyo, Deborah May, Jonathan McMurtry and Deborah Taylor; other actors from the Globe and from the Old Globe/USD master’s program; and youth from the recent San Diego Junior Theatre production of “All Shook Up.” Junior Theatre was founded at Noel’s suggestion in 1948.

The birthday cakes were delicious.

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