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Pamela Feinsilber
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Pamela Feinsilber is a San Francisco Bay Area book editor and writer with an avid interest in the arts. Formerly senior editor at San Francisco magazine, she edits both fiction and nonfiction, coaches new writers, and can help them self-publish. She’s been immersed in the Bay Area arts scene for years: attending events, writing reviews, essays, and interviews. Plus, she knows tons of people who work onstage or behind the scenes. Feel free to contact her at

Entries by Pamela Feinsilber

The Lighthouse: Opera Parallèle's Chamber Opera Considers a Scottish Mystery in San Francisco

(0) Comments | Posted May 19, 2016 | 8:04 PM


After seeing Champion, Opera Parallèle's inventive commissioned "jazz opera," by Grammy-winning trumpeter and composer Terence Blanchard, at SFJazz a few months ago, who could fail to be interested in seeing whatever this imaginative company produced next? That...

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Goodbye and Hello: As three stars depart San Francisco Ballet, another may be in the wings

(0) Comments | Posted April 25, 2016 | 12:02 PM


Three of San Francisco Ballet's most popular principal dancers are retiring after this season, and I'm going to miss all of them--Gennadi Nedvigin (with the company since 1997), Joan Boada (1999), and Pascal Molat (2002)--though...

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Fortunate to See the Unfortunates: Highly Original Musical in a Revamped Movie House

(4) Comments | Posted March 21, 2016 | 7:53 PM

In the San Francisco of some hundred years ago, the stretch of Market Street between roughly Van Ness Avenue and the bay contained a dozen theaters, many of which entertained audiences with both a vaudeville show and a "moving picture." Some were lavish affairs, such as the almost 5,000-seat Fox...

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A Home Tour Like None Other: Artist David Ireland's House at 500 Capp Street, San Francisco

(2) Comments | Posted March 9, 2016 | 6:26 PM


Back in 1975, when artist David Ireland bought an 1886 Edwardian-Italianate row house in San Francisco's Mission District from an accordion maker named P. Greub, the place was a mess. Greub, clearly a hoarder of sorts, left behind old brooms and...

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A Bloody Good Macbeth at Berkeley Repertory Theatre

(0) Comments | Posted March 1, 2016 | 4:31 PM


Here in the Bay Area, we get lots of Shakespeare during the summer months, from the excellent California Shakespeare Theatre, in the East Bay, to assorted offerings in San Francisco and Marin County. Since it's barely March, it's wonderful to have a chance...

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Terence Blanchard's Champion: An Opera in Jazz -- a Unanimous Winner in San Francisco

(0) Comments | Posted February 23, 2016 | 12:48 PM


It's just past mid-February, and yet it seems safer than safe to claim that one of the year's most exciting musical productions just opened at the SFJazz Center. The name alone, Champion: An Opera in Jazz, tells you how...

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Louis Armstrong Lives Again, in San Francisco, in "Satchmo at the Waldorf"

(0) Comments | Posted January 30, 2016 | 3:12 PM


When a solo artist performs as another artist--from Hal Holbrook as Mark Twain and Julie Harris as Emily Dickinson to Robert Morse as Truman Capote to, much more recently, John Douglas Thompson as Louis Armstrong in Satchmo at the...

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Another Gem From Marin Theatre Company in August Wilson's Gem of the Ocean

(3) Comments | Posted January 21, 2016 | 6:58 PM


In the 10 years that Jasson Minadakis has been artistic director of Marin Theatre Company, in Mill Valley, Bay Area playgoers have been the fortunate recipients of his efforts to 1) bring us exciting works by up-and-coming playwrights and...

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Another Don't-Miss Play in Berkeley: Ayad Akhtar's Disgraced

(0) Comments | Posted December 22, 2015 | 2:14 PM


It was exciting to hear, after a performance of Disgraced at Berkeley Repertory Theatre, that this 2013 Pulitzer Prize-winning work by playwright Ayad Akhtar is being developed for HBO. Not just because it's a play well worth...

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The Monster-Builder: Masterly Work By a Wicked Smart Playwright in Berkeley

(1) Comments | Posted December 15, 2015 | 12:16 PM


Let me just say that the twice-extended production of Amy Freed's terrific The Monster-Builder at the Aurora Theatre Company, in Berkeley, comes to an end after just six more performances. Tickets for the next four...

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Lulu, Live at the Met and in Your Local Movie Theater

(0) Comments | Posted December 4, 2015 | 12:15 PM


You have to consider yourself fortunate, on these cold nights when it's dark by six o'clock, that you can see a performance from the Metropolitan Opera in a movie house close to home. That would be Live at the...

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San Francisco Opera's Magical Magic Flute, With Cool Animals, in English

(0) Comments | Posted October 28, 2015 | 3:54 PM


Any opera (novel, movie, play) with the word magic in the title sets you up to expect just that in the story or staging. Those expectations are certainly met in the production of The Magic Flute, Mozart's final opera, currently at...

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Celebrating 50 Years of Dancemaking, Twyla Tharp Returns to Berkeley

(1) Comments | Posted October 13, 2015 | 7:11 PM


With Paul Taylor and Mark Morris, Twyla Tharp is without doubt one of the top three living American choreographers. Taylor has been around longer, and Morris brings his troupe to the Bay Area more often; but Tharp's...

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Song Over Story (But That's OK): San Francisco Opera's Luisa Miller and Lucia di Lammermoor

(0) Comments | Posted October 2, 2015 | 12:58 PM


Watching her first performance of Guiseppe Verdi's Luisa Miller, a person could easily have two concurrent thoughts: 1) "This is such a beautiful opera" and 2) "This is such a lame opera." The seeming discrepancy would have to do...

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San Francisco Opera's Meaty and Delicious Sweeney Todd

(0) Comments | Posted September 22, 2015 | 5:04 PM


Last year, San Francisco Opera opened its fall season with Bellini's Norma, starring Sondra Radvanovsky, followed by Carlyle Floyd's Susannah, with Patricia Racette; the previous summer saw a terrific production of Show Boat, by Jerome Kern and...

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Arthur & George: Great Fiction Becomes a Good Enough Miniseries

(0) Comments | Posted September 17, 2015 | 2:47 PM

It is a truth universally acknowledged that a good or even mediocre novel can become a good, even great film, while it's almost impossible to transform a great novel into a great movie. The few exceptions prove that point--which has shown true once again with the recent three-part dramatization of...

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Who Needs "Likable" Characters? Not Jonathan Franzen, or Me

(0) Comments | Posted September 2, 2015 | 5:14 PM

Last night my writer friend Tom Barbash (his most recent work is the excellent story collection Stay Up With Me) interviewed Jonathan Franzen (The Corrections, Freedom, and other novels and nonfiction) at my local bookstore, Book Passage. Perhaps because it was the...

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Plastic Man: A Documentary Look at the Art and Films of San Francisco's Jerry Ross Barrish

(0) Comments | Posted August 19, 2015 | 4:03 PM

Toward the end of the documentary Plastic Man: The Artful Life of Jerry Ross Barrish, we see Barrish, San Francisco's most famous bail bondsman, at his fiftieth high school reunion. He lets us know how shocked he was to find most of his Lincoln High classmates...

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A Harem of Translators: Isaac Bashevis Singer at the San Francisco Jewish Film Festival

(2) Comments | Posted July 31, 2015 | 3:32 PM

A couple of months ago, I remembered a movie I enjoyed very much when it came out, in 1989, and hadn't seen since. So I Netflixed Enemies, A Love Story, based on the 1972 novel by the marvelous Yiddish writer Isaac Bashevis Singer and directed by...

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Summertime With the Gershwins in Larkspur, CA

(2) Comments | Posted July 24, 2015 | 3:21 PM

I live in Larkspur, California, population 12,000 or so, about ten minutes walk from a historic downtown that's only four blocks long. And yet in my little town I've seen acclaimed opera productions, Tony-winning plays, great local musicians, singers and actors -- all in a beautifully restored 1936...

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