For its summer season, New Village Arts Theatre has produced two musical comedies with somewhat deeper stories than one might expect. Avenue Q used puppets to explore themes about adulthood, and Legally Blonde starting off as a modern romantic comedy, turns into a plot about self-improvement.
Even if the classical music community were not observing Leonard Bernstein’s centennial year, Nina Bernstein Simmons’ program “Late Night with Leonard Bernstein” for La Jolla SummerFest would have provided a well-spent evening.
After Friday’s uplifting, beautifully crafted opening night SummerFest concert, I was shocked to experience such a tasteless, aggressive musical assault attending SummerFest’s second concert on the following night, August 4, in UC San Diego’s Conrad Prebys Concert Hall.
If you are going to produce a rarely staged G. F. Handel opera, it is a good thing to have a few Handel operas under your belt. Opera NEO’s vibrant, superbly sung “Partenope” this past weekend (August 3 & 5) revealed how confidently this company has succeeded in making these Baroque operas as dramatically engaging as the popular verismo warhorses.
The imaginary romantics of Neil Simon’s early smash hit return to the stage of the Old Globe Theatre to remind us that, among other things, Broadway comedies have changed a lot in 50 years.
This season of La Jolla Music Society’s SummerFest brings down the curtain on Music Director Cho-Liang Lin’s superb 18-year tenure with the festival. Friday’s opening concert offered sublime chamber works by Bartók and Villa-Lobos, as well as wit and charm in Saint-Saëns’ “Carnival of the Animals.”