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The Boy from Oz ~ Requiem Mass: A Queer Divine Rite ~ Violinist Karen Gomyo ~ Robinson reviews

David Wilson
(From left to right) : Carol Ann Walker as Liza Minnelli, Justin Genna as Peter Allen and Leandra Ramm as Judy Garland in ‘The Boy from Oz’, directed by John Fisher; a Theatre Rhinoceros Production at The Gateway Theatre through November 17... ";s:

This week on Open Air, KALW’s radio magazine for the Bay Area performing arts, host David Latulippe talks with actor and dancer Justin Genna about his lead role in the musical The Boy From Oz, in which he portrays the most famous gay man from Australia: entertainer, singer/songwriter, Peter Allen (1944-1992). Performances are through November 17 at The Gateway Theatre (215 Jackson Street) in San Francisco. 

The Boy From Oz, directed by John Fisher for Theatre Rhinoceros, begins an Australian bush town in the 50s, where Allen grew up. The story follows his rise to international fame, opening for Judy Garland and becoming Liza Minelli’s first husband, until his passing from AIDS related illness.  

We talk to American composer, singer and performance artist Holcombe Waller about the San Francisco premiere of his Requiem Mass: A Queer Divine Rite,  an evening-length choral work honoring those who have suffered persecution due to their sexual orientation or gender expression. Performances, in partnership with Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, are at Grace Cathedral Episcopal Church (1100 California St.) atop Nob Hill, on November 16 and 17 (7:30pm). 

We talk to violinist Karen Gomyo, who will be performing Shostakovich’s Violin Concerto No. 1 with the San Francisco Symphony, led by Czech conductor Jakub Hrůša, in a program that also includes the Symphony No. 2  by Alexander Borodin, and the Suite from The Miraculous Mandarin  by Béla Bartók. Concerts are on November 8, 9 and 10 (8pm) at Davies Symphony Hall in San Francisco. 

Plus, Open Air’s regular contributor and critic at large, Peter Robinson, reviews two series that are streaming online: on Netflix, the BBC police drama  Bodyguard, hailed by some as England’s most popular BBC drama since Downton Abbey; and on Amazon Prime,  The Romanoffs, from Mad Men creator Matthew Weiner. Also on Peter’s review list is the movie Can You Ever Forgive Me?,  starring Melissa McCarthy as the best-selling celebrity biographer Lee Israel, in movie theaters around the Bay Area. 

Open Air with host David Latulippe, heard live on Thursday, November 8, at 1pm. Listen now or anytime…