The reinvention of the former military installation just South of the Golden Gate continues. Pioneer Hall at the Presidio opens on October 4, 2014, with an exhibit featuring collected photographs, paintings, manuscripts, and other decorative art, from the California Society of Pioneers, an organization whose own history stretches as far back as the early days of San Francisco.
This wicked musical has been a repertory staple even since it debuted in 1979, owing largely to lyrics and music by Stephen Sondheim. In this staging, Silicon Valley Theatreworks updates the time period to World War II, placing the story of the demon barber firmly within the "Keep Calm and Carry On" era.
It's been six years since Christopher Alden produced Handel's Partenope at the English National Opera in London—winning the Olivier Award in the process—and now, the director brings the staging to San Francisco. Setting the story in 1920s Paris, the production is a mix of sexiness, surrealism and comedy, taking the title character (the self-empowered founder of Naples played here by Danielle de Niese, pictured) and throwing her into a thrilling era in history.
The one-woman show that's garnered raves from New York to Toronto now makes its way to San Francisco. Written and completely performed by Tara Grammy, the story follows an 55-year-old Iranian taxi driver, a flamboyantly gay Spaniard and a young 12-year-old Iranian-Canadian girl over the course of an hour, touching on race, immigration, homophobia and the media's treatment of the Middle East.
Party People is based on both the Young Lords and the Black Panther Party, and through hip-hop, spoken word, dance, jazz and poetry, the production by theatre ensemble UNIVERSES shows how both revolutionary groups stood up to police abuses, increased the profile of their underrepresented communities, and directly served their own people. Based on dozens of interviews, 'Party People' should especially resonate in the East Bay, founding home of the Black Panthers, in this production at Berkeley Rep.
The 18th Annual Arab Film Festival opens October 10, 2014 at the Castro Theatre with the Bay Area premiere of May in the Summer. The festival continues through October 23, with screenings throughout the San Francisco Bay Area. The Arab Film Festival has an international standing and is considered one of the most important Arab film festivals outside the Arab world. It strives to present the best contemporary films that provide insight into the beauty, complexity and diversity of the Arab…
The rapper Macklemore might have sculpted himself into Seattle's bullhorn for the gay community, but Mike Hadreas, a.k.a. Perfume Genius, is the Pacific Northwest's current reigning ambassador. His latest album, Too Bright, comes together as a tense, emotional rollercoaster of expertly composed narratives, driven by the churning, sashaying anthem "Queen."
For Toronto's Sloan, their 11th studio release is a bold experiment in band democracy. Typically, each member contributes their own compositions to the mix. On Commonwealth, the four musicians each take charge of a separate side of the double album. What's a "side," you ask, hitting pause on your digital-music player?
Jeff Chang wrote the book on hip-hop—literally. Can’t Stop Won’t Stop: A History of the Hip-Hop Generation remains a definitive chronicle, one that will be read for years to come. Now, the Oakland-based author turns his attention to race with his newest book Who We Be: The Colorization of America. In a free appearance presented by MACLA and KQED, Chang reads from and discusses this highly anticipated new work.
Fresh off booty bouncing while passing out beignets at Outside Lands, Big Freedia is coming back to shake things up again. Guaranteed to slap a smile on your face.
It was a story that was born to go viral: the morning that violin phenomenon Joshua Bell performed in a Washington, D.C., subway station, dressed discreetly as a regular busker, and watched as commuters rushed past, too busy to witness world-class musicianship. The Grammy-Award winner made a whopping $32 in change and small bills tossed into his open violin case. When Bell appears in Santa Rosa with pianist Alessio Bax, expect slightly more recognition when the two perform sonatas for violin and piano by Schubert, Grieg and Prokofiev. Ever the populist, the violinist promises to autograph programs and recordings in the lobby afterward.
"Please put your tray table in the locked, upright position." It's going to be a thrilling and challenging ride. It always is with Ms. Anderson -- usually enigmatic and always fearless. Laurie Anderson bring her show, Language of the Future, to Sonoma State's Green Music Center, fresh off turns in Budapest, Macao, and Columbus, Ohio.
In the 1990s, with partner David Cross, Bob Odenkirk ushered in a new era of surreal comedy with the cult TV favorite Mr. Show. The approach borne from that historic comedic alliance runs through nearly all of his following work, including his most famous role as Saul "Better Call Saul" Goodman in Breaking Bad. Odenkirk's appearance at the JCCSF is sold out, but the venue is live-streaming his conversation with television critic Tim Goodman on their site. At 7pm on Oct. 26, click right here.
Before Barishnykov, the ballet world had its top male star in the unlikely form of a blue-collar baseball-playing kid from Queens. But with George Balanchine's New York City Ballet in the 1960s, and up to forming the Miami City Ballet in 1986, Edward Villella couldn't be slowed. He would eventually dance for four consecutive U.S. presidents. Now retired from dancing, Villella appears here in conversation with Pulitzer-winning dance critic Sarah Kaufman.
These Grammy-winning musicians from Mali have set up camp in Joshua Tree, California, for their latest effort. They'll be performing a par of intimate shows in the Bay Area in October.
The phrase "comedian's comedian" is overused, perhaps, but we take it as shorthand for "really *&%$#! hilarious," which is harder to get printed in major magazines. Bamford fits that bill quite nicely, and while you may have caught her voice work on countless animated comedy shows, or her guest-starring spots on Louie or Sarah Silverman, if you've not seen her standup, you'll definitely want to catch her upcoming show at Cobb's.
Celebrated British puppetry theater group Blind Summit performs its acclaimed 2011 production, The Table, at Stanford’s Bing Concert Hall. The Table, which was a hit at the prestigious Edinburgh Festival Fringe in Scotland, stars a cantankerous two-foot tall cardboard character named Moses. He’s a funny, perhaps easily distracted, philosopher who wants to tell you an epic tale about God and Moses, life, death, and puppetry.
The New York theatre company Elevator Repair Service has adapted the tumultuous trial of Barnes v. Glen Theatre, Inc. to the stage, using the entire oral argument as the verbatim script.
Anyone who's traipsed across the Millennium Bridge from St. Paul's Cathedral knows the giant Tate Modern. And anyone who's been inside knows that it's home to some of the greatest modern photography in the world. Since 2009, Simon Baker has been the Tate Modern's photography curator, navigating the brave new world of ubiquitous smartphones and Instagram feeds with a keen eye to the fine photography worthy of the Tate's gravitas. Ever the explorer, he often finds new artists by scouring self-published books, and makes sound judgements on blending the Tate's photography with its sculpture and other modern art. His free lecture at CCA offers a look into a unique role in one of the world's largest modern museums.
The gospel legend who burst onto the scene with the Staple Singers is currently enjoying a creative and critical renaissance, and her recent recordings produced by Wilco's Jeff Tweedy bring a mix of classic gospel, funk-era covers and new material. Live, she's not slowed down, and brings the crowd from introspection to jubilation and back with ease.
Thirty-seven years of writing, recording and performing haven't slowed Alejandro Escovedo down; the man appears even more rejuvenated each time he steps onto the stage. From his early days in San Francisco with punk band the Nuns to his most recent album for Fantasy Records, Big Station, Escovedo is a treasure. Here, he's joined by Peter Buck from R.E.M. in a co-headlining show that brings thoughtful songwriting to the center stage.
Copenhagen's celebrated punk outfit Iceage return to do what they do best: expunge cacophonous blasts of sound at full throttle while lead singer Elias Bender Rønnenfelt taunts the crowd with an alternating current of frustration and fermented apathy. Or will they? Proving that they can't be pigeonholed, the first single from Iceage's new album is "The Lord's Favorite," a Nick Cave-like rumination on God over clean guitar tones, country basslines and a skiffle-beat rhythm.
This mammoth exhibit encompasses art, music, video and artifacts related to the 1960s protests against PG&E's plans to build a nuclear power plant on the Sonoma Coast, which often included San Francisco Dixieland revivalists and notoriously outspoken neighbors. The first of its kind, the exhibit explores the roots of an environmental movement that coalesced under what’s now viewed as an insane proposal.
Most people only know Johnette Napolitano from "Joey," the hit single from her former band Concrete Blonde. But since, the emotive singer has collaborated with Chicano rockers, written a book, and released a handful of rewarding solo albums. In the intimate Sweetwater, she appears with Flamenco L.A. in a solo show.
Join KQED at the Asian Art Museum the weekend of November 8 and 9, 2014 to view its newest exhibition, Roads of Arabia: Archaeology and History of The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. An enticing look at the ancient past of the Arabian Peninsula, Roads of Arabia features artworks — most of them recently excavated — that trace the impact of historic trade routes and pilgrimage roads. Colossal human statues, Greco-Roman bronzes and pages from early Qur’ans testify to a lively…
Straight out of Charleston, South Carolina, here’s a pair of singer-songwriters whose voices gain power through their partnership. Cary Ann Hearst and Michael Trent are touring with their sophomore collaboration as Shovels & Rope, the excellent Swimmin’ Time.
She's still in her mid-twenties, but Cécile McLorin Salvant approaches singing like a fully experienced old soul, and not just in her choice of material. Instead of singing songs from the outside in, Salvant resides within a song, pulling its bones to the surface and adding her own meat. Nimble, exciting, and conjuring the greats like Sarah Vaughn and Abbey Lincoln, Salvant is the rising jazz vocalist to watch right now.