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Guest host Leah Garchik - AASC: Macbeth - SF Playhouse: Cabaret - Merola Summer Festival

This week on Open Air, KALW’s weekly radio magazine for the Bay Area performing arts, we welcome as new guest host, the recently-retired and beloved San Francisco Chronicle columnist Leah Garchik (pictured, right, with David Latulippe). She will be talking to Adrian Roberts and Leontyne Mbele-Mbong (pic 2), who are the lead actors of the African American Shakespeare Company’s updated, modern-verse version of Macbeth

The adaptation of what AASC’s artistic director L. Peter Callender considers to be the Bard’s ‘most poetic play’, is made by playwright Migdalia Cruz. Her version centers focuses on the plays’ themes of ambition, guilt, hubris, madness, and a complicated marital relationship, but it also features a more potent and alluring trio of witches than usual. 

The AASC presents Macbeth for six performances only, from July 13 - 28, at the Taube Atrium Theater (401 Van Ness, 4th Floor) in San Francisco.

From the San Francisco Playhouse production of the Tony Award-winning musical Cabaret, we meet with local actors Louis Parnell, who plays Herr Schultz, and with Caty Hayman (pic 3), born and raised in Mill Valley, who plays Sally Bowles.  

Directed by Susi Damilano, Cabaret tells the story of American author Cliff Bradshaw, who falls in love with the vivacious Sally Bowles, a singer at the local Kit Kat Klub in pre-WWII Berlin. Cabaret runs through September 14 at SF Playhouse (450 Post St.) in San Francisco. 

Plus, we talk to Argentinian director Jose Maria Condemi (pic 4), who is in town to direct the Schwabacher Summer Concert, as part of the 62nd season of San Francisco’s acclaimed Merola Opera Program

Condemi, himself a 1999/2000 Merola alum, directs Merola’s young artists in scenes from La rondine (Puccini), Lucia di Lammermoor (Donizetti), Die schweigsame Frau (R. Strauss), Faust (Gounod), and Il trovatore (Verdi). Performances are on Thursday, July 11 (7:30pm) and Saturday, July 13 (2pm) at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music (50 Oak St.) in San Francisco. 

The Merola Opera Program is one of the most prestigious and selective opera training programs in the world. This year’s 29 Merola artists were selected from more than 800 international applicants from as far away as Brazil, South Korea, New Zealand, and Colombia, and, of course, the United States. 

The 2019 Merola Summer Festival also includes the world premiere of the opera If I Were You (August 1-6) by Jake Heggie and Gene Scheer, and the Merola Grand Finale concert on August 17.

Open Air with guest host Leah Garchik; heard live on July 11 at 1pm. Listen now or anytime…