1. The national tour of the musical “Once,” now at the Curran Theatre in San Francisco until July 13th. A first-rate production with two lovely performances by its leads, Stuart Ward and Dani de Waal.
2. The new Yves Saint Laurent biopic. Two more great performances by Guillaume Gallienne as Pierre Berge and especially Pierre Niney as Saint Laurent, who is my new cultural crush.
3. Mark Abramson looks back with laughter and light in his memoir “For My Brothers,” which is about his coming of age in San Francisco during the darkest days of the AIDS epidemic. It is a remarkable balancing act, one that keeps the narrative equilibrium between anger and empathy and finds the grace that was needed not only to survive those years but now to remember them.
4. The documentary “A Mississippi Love Story” begins streaming on Vimeo on June 27th. It concerns the 11 year love affair between Eddie Outlaw and Justin McPherson, two men who refuse to leave their home state but stay and, with their love, stake their rightful claim to be full citizens.
5. San Francisco Opera‘s summer season has two big hits this summer. The first is “Show Boat” and the second is its production of “Madama Butterfly.” Not everyone is in love with Production Designer Jun Kaneko’s elegantly elemental and cartoonish sets and costumes but I found them fascinating. And the audience rose in a roar of approval for the house’s resident diva Patricia Racette, who in her 24th year with company, is the production’s Cio-Cio-San.