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Corona Radio Theater: SF Playhouse & Aaron Loeb’s ‘Panopticon’ – Chordless – In Praise of Walking

Scott Strazzante, The Chronicle

This week on Open Air, KALW’s radio magazine for the Bay Area Performing Arts in Times of Corona, with host David Latulippe, we welcome back onto the virtual stage of the Corona Radio Theater, actors Susi Damilano and Bill English of San Francisco Playhouse (pictured during their first CRT performance on May 7) and their world premiere performance of the short play Panopticon by California playwright Aaron Loeb

In Panopticon, we find a bored and unhappy couple at breakfast, in a dark conversation that takes several absurd turns. Playwright Aaron Loeb, who has a parallel career as a video game executive, wrote this short play for Playground, San Francisco’s playwright incubator and theatre community hub, adding that he would “love to hear Bill and Susi do this.” 

Brought to you exclusively by Open Air’s Corona Radio Theater. 

Also on the show are pianist Allegra Chapman and soprano Sara LeMesh. They are longtime musical collaborators, who recently founded Chordless, a soprano-piano duo. 

LeMesh and Chapman are passionate about exploring overlooked composers and contemporary music, creating innovative experiences for audiences to discover new music. They seek to expand the canon of vocal/piano music to include works that deserve to be heard and loved.

They are launching their biggest project to date on Friday, May 29 at 8 pm EST: a music video to George Crumb's The Night in Silence Under Many a Star, filmed in Marin before the pandemic broke. The music video debuts as one part of a free, virtual, one-hour event that's designed to unite musicians around the country. 

Plus, Open Air regular contributor and critic at large, Peter Robinson, discusses two movies: Belgravia, from the creators of Downton Abbey; and the police thriller Line of Duty; and he also reviews the book In Praise of Walking by Shane O’Mara. 

Open Air with host David Latulippe will be broadcast on Thursday, May 28 at 1pm. Audio will be available right here afterwards.