Ann Taylor

SF Station Writer

Ann Taylor's Articles
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A Refreshing Perspective
By Ann Taylor (Jun 24, 2009)
At the mention of the word “samurai", the mind immediately fills with romantic images of a warrior willing to die rather than betray his honor, of men bravely riding into battle on horseback, swiftly cutting down all before them, and perhaps even of secret trysts with exotic princesses under softly falling cherry blossoms. Most of us have likely gleaned what little knowledge we have of the samurai from popular culture -- [b]The Last Samurai[/b], [b]The Seven Samurai[/b], "Heroes", and various other portrayals of this mysterious brotherhood of warriors. More »
He-Man Hits Hard
By Ann Taylor (Jun 04, 2009)
“By the power of Grayskull… I am He-Man!!” It has probably been quite some time since most of you have heard these words. Around twenty-five years, most likely. But He-Man is back, along with many of his co-stars, in Double Punch Gallery’s “I Have the Power” show. With over thirty artists, this show packs a nostalgic punch. More »
Outstanding Art of the Afterlife
By Ann Taylor (May 26, 2009)
The treasures of ancient Egypt have fascinated the modern imagination ever since the rash of excavations in the 19th century. A rich culture that lasted for thousands of years, the kingdom of ancient Egypt pre-dated the Greeks and lasted about three times as long as the Roman Empire. However, over the course of the past five thousand years, many of the treasures of Egypt have been looted and stolen, scattered all over the world in private collections and public museums. More »
Arresting Americana and Expressionism
By Ann Taylor (Apr 22, 2009)
I often long for the comforting images of childhood: the red vinyl chairs of the donut shop, the blue and green psychedelic curtains in my parent’s bedroom, the grey, mournful face of our sweet-tempered Golden Retriever, Penny. They are reminders of innocence and contentment, days when all I had to worry about was homework and swim practice. Douglas Schneider’s paintings in "Suburban Birthday Party" (his first showing at the Dolby Chadwick Gallery) are just such images, images that evoke nostalgia for days past while at the same time casting them in a surreal light. More »
Reality TV’s True Inspiration
By Ann Taylor (Apr 15, 2009)
Like all the best (or perhaps worst) episodes of Jerry Springer, Euripides’ [i]Ion[/i] has it all: a mother forced to abandon her child, questionable paternity, attempted murder, and funny glasses. The ancient Greeks truly did form the foundation of Western society. Boxcar Theatre’s production of [i]Ion[/i] pares down the original story for the sake of an outdoor production, but maintains the utterly dysfunctional family dynamic loved by audiences everywhere. More »
The True King of Pop
By Ann Taylor (Apr 01, 2009)
Campbell’s soup cans and Brillo boxes are perhaps the most common images associated with Andy Warhol, along with his four-panel, boldly colored portraits of the stars. However, his fascination with (and substantial creation of) popular culture led his artistic experimentation into numerous other realms, including music, film, TV, and the printed word. [i]Warhol Live[/i], at the De Young until May 17th, is a sprawling exhibition of Warhol’s forays into these pockets of pop culture, exposing the true extent of his fascination and involvement with all manner of media. More »
Shocking Shenanigans
By Ann Taylor (Mar 17, 2009)
Hot. Cold. Hot. Cold. Hot. Cold. Like the waters of the ancient Roman baths, Thrillpeddlers’"Audacious Artefacts" douses its audience in alternating splashes of horror and sex, shocking the system. From 1897 until 1962, the Theatre du Grand Guignol in Paris confronted its audiences with horror plays designed to terrify interspersed with sex farces that provided comic relief from said terror. Thrillpeddlers brings to stage four short plays of the Parisian Grand Guignol that probe the depths of human depravity and sexuality, culminating in a downright dirty (yet hysterical) sex romp. More »
A Brave Attempt, But Not Quite There
By Ann Taylor (Mar 03, 2009)
Honor. Glory. Bloodshed. These are the words that come to mind at the mention of Homer’s [i]Iliad[/i], the famous epic poem about the wrath of Achilles during the last year of the Trojan War. While the poem itself is rather long and tedious in places, the tensions between the characters as well as Homer’s descriptions of the battles would seem rich fodder for a theatrical production. Yet, American Conservatory Theatre’s production of "War Music", a stage adaption of Christopher Logue’s book by the same name, provides none of the spectacle, excitement, and tension one might expect from a modern remake of Homer’s classic tale of war. More »
Dostoevsky Distilled
By Ann Taylor (Feb 19, 2009)
Three actors, two chairs, a table, and a bed: this is what Berkeley Rep’s production of Dostoevsky’s [b]Crime and Punishment[/b] has reduced the story to, yet the ultimate power of the novel remains, concentrated into these carefully chosen fragments. To take on the challenge of adapting Dostoevsky’s enormously complex and voluminous novel into a stage play takes incredible will, and not only do playwrights Marilyn Campbell and Curt Columbus turn the story into a captivating psychological journey but they also successfully distill the main themes of Dostoevsky’s work into a 90-minute production. More »
Heartbreakingly Hilarious
By Ann Taylor (Feb 06, 2009)
The city of San Francisco has a long and captivating history, from the building of Spanish missions to the 1906 earthquake to the bust of the dotcom industry. Throughout that history, San Francisco has become one of the most wonderful, and most tragic, cities in the world. John Bisceglie’s SF Follies surveys the beauty and the horror of living in San Francisco through the lens of absurdity, giving residents and visitors alike a humorous second look at life in the Bay Area. More »
Ann Taylor's Articles
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