Horoscope for Friday, 1/19/18 by Christopher Renstrom
ARIES. (March 20 - April 18): Many people are eager to advise you so listen to what they have to say. Entertaining diverse ideas confirms your strongest hunches.
‘Forever My Girl’ is a forgettable romance
Like so many of the best country songs, “Forever My Girl” doesn’t leave much up to interpretation. It takes place in a small Southern town called Saint that always seems to be bathed in a yellow saintly glow, including over the small movie theater, also called the Saint. (Saints live here, people!) Good intentions go a long way with the family-friendly romance, about a country music star who leaves his fiancee at the altar, then comes back into her life. It’s not always a bad movie. But it’s a poorly made film, with rough edits, distracting staging and plot contrivances that can be predicted to the moment.
A fine double bill including the work of Rimsky-Korsakov at Island City Opera
Unless you’re a world expert in Russian opera, you’re unlikely to have stumbled across either of the one-act operas by Rimsky-Korsakov that make up the fine double bill on offer from Island City Opera, the plucky little fledgling company that makes its home in Alameda. But nobody involved in this effort is relying on novelty alone. The company has assembled a cast of strong singers; brought in an excellent conductor, Lidiya Yankovskaya of the Chicago Opera Theater, to oversee the musical proceedings; and staged the two pieces — the terse two-hander “Mozart and Salieri” and the exotic fairy tale “Kashchey the Immortal” — with just enough theatrical dexterity to put both works across.
A ‘Birthday Party’ to celebrate at ACT
Harold Pinter’s “The Birthday Party,” one of his so-called comedies of menace, is often associated with a feeling particular to a time and place: the fear of postwar Europeans who, still reeling from bombings and the Gestapo, knew that terror can strike capriciously, raining down at random, leaving no one, ever, completely safe. Yet nothing feels period about American Conservatory Theater’s production of the 1957 play, which opened Wednesday, Jan. 17, at the Geary Theater as the last production Carey Perloff will direct for the company while still its artistic director. A longtime Pinter interpreter, she makes clear that Europe’s postwar dread has only become the dread we must all share.
Which movies to watch this weekend, Jan. 19
The Commuter: This follows the usual Liam Neeson pattern of a decent, downtrodden guy who finds redemption and glory while facing great odds, but this transcends formula, with genuine thrills and a complicated and interesting story. It all takes place on a train. Rated PG-13. 104 minutes. — Mick LaSalle Lady Bird: Greta Gerwig’s debut as a solo writer-director is this unconventional coming-of-age tale about an extroverted high school senior (Saoirse Ronan), clashing with her mother and wanting to leave her native Sacramento. This is a warm, good-hearted, intuitive movie that could be the start of an exceptional filmmaking career.