Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Ultimate Shakespeare

If you never thought ultimate fighting and Shakespeare would appear in the same sentence, then you've never met San Jose Rep's artistic director, Rick Lombardo!

In his inaugural production for the company's 2009/10 season, Lombardo deftly adapts Shakespeare's well-known comedy As You Like It to the modern era, complete, yes, with ultimate fighting. The modern staging of the play - with its impressive sets (notably the high-tech screens that create vivid backdrops), lighting and stage direction - brings to mind the brilliance of director Baz Luhrmann's work in the film Romeo & Juliet.

But back to the stage. While the direction and staging are incredible, that's nothing without good acting, and the cast here certainly delivers. Notable performances come from the large roles of James Carpenter as Jacques and Anna Bullard as Rosalind, while Steve Irish is brilliant as the clownish Touchstone, Sepideh Moafi is utterly charming whenever she's on stage, and Jeanette Penley is hilarious as the rambunctious Phebe.

Think you don't like Shakespeare? Let Rick Lombardi convince you otherwise with this superb staging, and get thee to the Repertory theatre, now!

As You Like It plays at the San Jose Repertory Theatre (101 Paseo de San Antonio) through Sept. 27. For tickets call (408) 367-7255, or go to

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Day Two: Outside Lands Festival -- Portugal. The Man (pics)

Yes, we love this band (see our interview and footage of their Santa Cruz show here). We're fairly certain they will be the most talked-about performance this year... besides, of course, The Mars Volta, which hit the stage in a few hours. Stay tuned for those pics.

Day One: Outside Lands Festival (pics)

For perhaps the first time in history, a sweater was not needed in San Francisco. Maybe it was global warming, maybe it was a heat wave, but most likely it was the scorching music burning up Golden Gate Park on Friday, the first day of the three-day aural orgy.

Highlights for the day included Akron/Family, San Fran's own The Dodos, emo darlings Built to Spill (who heavily influenced Death Cab), Bay Area radio stars Silversun Pickups, The National, and more. Headliners included Incubus and Pearl Jam, whose set was described by one fan as, "It was like church. Everybody was singing along. It was too uncomfortable. We left."

Today (Saturday) is shaping up to be another hot one, both climatically and aurally speaking. Today we'll be checking out Portugal. The Man; Bat For Lashes; TV on the Radio; Conor Oberst & the Mystic Valley Band; Deerhunter; Dave Matthews Band and of course The Mars Volta. Stay tuned...

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Bloody Book Event: Thurs. 27 Aug., 7pm at Books Inc., Palo Alto

With Twilight fever having swept the nation over the past few years, and the ongoing popularity of HBO’s True Blood, the mythical creatures that are vampires have never been more mainstream.

For fans of author Richelle Mead, today is a big day as it’s the day they make their Blood Promise. The fourth book in Mead’s New York Times best-selling Vampire Academy series, Blood Promise arrives in bookstores today. And better yet – the writer will be in town later this week to discuss the series with her fans. Catch Mead at Books Inc. Palo Alto (Town & Country Village, corner Embarcadero and El Camino Real this Thursday, 27 Aug. from 7pm.

For more on the series, go to For more on the author, go to

A bit about Vampire Academy, for those who have been buried too deep in Twilight to investigate other vamp fiction:

Vampire Academy has now over 1.5 million copies in print and has been touted as the series to fill the void for avid Twilight fans. USA Today singled out Vampire Academy as the newest teen series to watch when it asked, “You’ve raced through Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight. Now what?” After the thrilling cliffhanger in Shadow Kiss: Vampire Academy Book Three, readers will be clamoring to pick up Blood Promise to determine whether or not love and loyalty run deeper than blood.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Outside Lands: Pearl Jam, How We Missed You (New Song)

We're getting excited for San Francisco's Outside Lands Festival in a couple of weeks. We're particularly excited to revisit the nostalgia of '90s music when Pearl Jam plays Friday night (Aug. 28). They've got a new album coming out on Sept. 20 called Backspacer, so expect them to play a lot of new stuff, like this track called "The Fixer." Pretty darn good if you ask us. Rock on.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Update: Outside Lands annoucement

We just got word that due to our recent post about a major OSL announcement looming, Another Planet has been inundated with calls. We want to clarify: it will NOT be a major headliner announcement. The line-up for OSL is already set. What we were alluding to is merely a really cool technical addition to the festival this year. So just hold your horses and stay tuned. Thanks!