Issue:  Vol. 44 / No. 16 / 17 April 2014

The cook, the tramp
& the barihunk

Out There

Barihunk baritone Douglas Williams, as found on the Barihunks website, is coming to Berkeley.
Photo: Kevin McDermott, courtesy of Barihunks
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If you're like Out There, you appreciate male pulchritude, especially when it comes attached to the baritone register. So we present this breathless bulletin from our pal and fellow man-watcher Beantown Bo : "My heartthrob of choice, baritone Douglas Williams, whom I've been savoring vocally here in Boston, is singing Polyphemus in Mark Morris' version of the Handel opera Acis and Galatea, which is opening soon in the East Bay [Mark Morris Dance Group & Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra and Chorale , for Cal Performances, April 25-27]. I've heard 'Doug' sing the role twice with the Boston Early Music Festival, and he is phenomenal. I can't believe that Mr. Morris, who appreciates a good-looking guy as much as the B.A.R. arts editor, will keep him hidden in the pit. But art is art, so what can you do? You might, however, want to alert your opera and dance readers to his personal beauty ahead of time."

Consider it done: check out the mellifluous Mr. Williams in this glamour shot found at There's more where that came from!


The immortal Charlie Chaplin as the Little Tramp in City Lights.

Tramp stamp

As part of its successful new Film Series, the San Francisco Symphony presented City Lights at Davies Symphony Hall last Saturday night, and OT was in the house. Written by, directed by, and starring the immortal Charlie Chaplin, this masterpiece of the Silent Era (1931) was projected on the Silver Screen over the heads of the SFS performing the musical score (also by Chaplin) live under conductor Richard Kaufman. We watched absorbed as the Little Tramp fell head-over-heels in love with a blind flower-girl.

At a pre-concert reception in DHS' Green Room, OT and Plus 1 Pepi joined the William Hill Estate Winery for tastings of their small-lot wines, including an unfiltered Chardonnay and Cabernet Franc. The mild buzz we got complemented the classic film perfectly. Plus, we aced the City Lights trivia quiz, answering questions like, "Chaplin's character takes part in what sport to raise money for the Flower Girl's operation? (Answer: Boxing)" to win a damn fine bottle of Malbec. Erudition has its own rewards.


What's cooking?

Last week, the San Francisco Cooking School (690 Van Ness Ave.) invited Out There to attend a basic cooking class, where we learned some fundamentals as we prepared all the ingredients for a minestrone soup topped with "rustic" pesto. Chef David Groff, whose extensive resume includes a stint at Zuni Cafe under the late great chef Judy Rogers , led us through a tutorial on knife skills, including how to grip and balance a chef's knife, and how not to chop off a finger or thumb, using the defensive "claw" technique. OT, whose cooking these days amounts to broiling a pork chop once a week, appreciated Groff's patient instruction, and was soon doing the chop cut and rock cut with the best of them while we diced, sliced and julienned.

In addition to recreational cooking, the school offers professional culinary, baking and pastry arts, and wine programs. Their new season of spring and summer classes is posted online at


Last words

Finally, word leaked out last week that pop icon Morrissey 's long-awaited new album, enigmatically titled World Peace Is None of Your Business, will be released in July on the Harvest label from Capitol Music Group. The track list, 12 new songs, includes such tantalizing titles as "Neal Cassady Drops Dead," "Smiler with Knife" and "Kick the Bride Down the Aisle." Glad to see the Moz hasn't mellowed much since his last record.


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