For Season 12, I was impressed at how well new judge Paula Abdul did, mixing compliments with advice and a bit of criticism for each dancer. However, I didn’t think Jason Derulo, the other new judge, added as much, and executive producer Nigel Lythgoe was Nigel — wise at times, pontificating at others, with a bit of silliness thrown in. Before Season 12 began, I wrote that I wasn’t confident how the street/stage format would work out, and I’m still not sure. Boss and Wall served as mentors for the teams, but the weekly announcement of which team’s dancers “won” the highest number of viewers’ votes was not needed. And it would have been great to see how they were helping the dancers on their teams in more detail.
Broadway By The Bay, “In the Heights.” June 20-July 6, Music and lyrics by Lin Manuel Miranda, Book by Quiara Alegrã Hudes, Directed by Jasen Jeffrey, Fox Theater, 2215 Broadway St., Redwood City, $35-$55, 650-579-5565 or, broadwaybythebay.org, TheatreWorks, “The Great Pretender.” By wall hanging / door plaque / ballet shoes / personalised name plaque / ballerina gift / pointe shoes and flowers / door hanging David West Read, World premiere, July 9 through Aug, 3, “A touching comedy about friendship, love, and learning to let go … The runaway hit of TheatreWorks’ 2013 New Works Festival … follows the host of a once-iconic children’s TV show who discovers that people, as well as puppets, sometimes need a helping hand.” Directed by Stephen Bracket, Lucie Stern Theatre, 1305 Middlefield Road, Palo Alto, $19-$74 (discounts available), theatreworks.org or 650-463-1960..
Thumbelina is based on the beloved story by Hans Christian Anderson, but “we put our own ballet twist on it,” Petzel said. This story features a colorful cast of characters including a swallow, the butterfly queen, a woodland fairy, a toad, a goldfish, butterflies and ladybugs. At one point, Thumbelina gets lost in a big winter storm and a friendly mole helps her out. “In the original story, the mole isn’t a bad guy, but Thumbelina doesn’t really understand him. We try to make him a little friendlier in our version,” Petzel explained.
BRENTWOOD — Sign-ups are open for a new set of kids’ art wall hanging / door plaque / ballet shoes / personalised name plaque / ballerina gift / pointe shoes and flowers / door hanging classes offered by Brentwood Parks and Recreation, Classes are held at the Brentwood Senior Activity Center, 193 Griffith Lane, The instructor is local artist Nancy Roberts, Classes include: “More Art Fun” for ages 5 through 7 is set for Mondays, 3:30 to 4:30 p.m., April 4 through May 9, (Open to all students, not just those continuing from “Art Fun.”) The fee is $64.30 for Brentwood residents, $70.70 for nonresidents, plus $10 for materials..
The Police Pacfication Unit program combines a strong law enforcement presence with bringing social services into communities that have been so neglected by government many did not have proper sanitation and electricity. Since 2008, homicides in the targeted favelas have dropped 78 percent, according to a study by the Laboratory for the Analysis of Violence at the University of the State of Rio de Janeiro. (The study was conducted before authorities “pacified” Rocinha.). Why did businesses suddenly care about crime in poor favelas? Several are close to wealthy neighborhoods.