Yasmina Reza's classic comedy, about the price of art and the costs of friendship, won the 1998 Tony Award for Best Play. Now, San Jose's City Lights Theater Company offers a month-long run, starring Jeffrey Bracco, Kit Wilder, and Max Tachis.
Inspired by the writings of Italian writer Italo Calvino, playwright Christopher Chen debuts a new work taking the audience on "an anthropological tour of imagined tribes and their marital customs."
Maya Lin may be best known for her work on the Vietnam Memorial, but she’s prolific, and has done a lot of work here in the Bay Area, and she has a new show about threatened species and environments, including abstract wall sculptures to represent entities like the San Francisco Bay and Tuolumne River.
This encompassing exhibit covers California art history and the state’s social movements by bringing together pieces from SFMOMA and the Oakland Museum of California. The work on view comes from four distinct eras and groups: artists affiliated with Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo in San Francisco in the 1930s; artists associated with the California School of Fine Arts in the postwar era; the faculty and students of UC Davis in the ’60s and ’70s; and the newer artists of the…
Playwright Lauren Gunderson may herself be a bit of a bottle rocket, shooting up to new heights with her latest comedy, Fire Work. TheatreFirst presents a month-long run of this rom-com (with bombs), set "where the conflict between social conformity and individual freedom turns deadly serious." Directed by Mina Morita.
In a massive, site-specific installation, Chinese artist Ai Weiwei makes artistic use of Alcatraz's history as a federal penitentiary, site of Native American protest, and tourist destination. Alcatraz and Weiwei make a natural pairing—detained for nearly three months in 2011, Weiwei has been an outspoken critic of the Chinese government, and is currently prohibited from leaving China. The exhibition is part of the regular Alcatraz tour; tickets are available through the Alcatraz Ferry site up to three months in advance. Special "early bird" tickets are also available.
Laid back yet socially conscious, the venerable Marin County bash smoothly blends character-driven dramas accompanied by glamorous stars with incisive documentaries introduced by the (often local) filmmakers. New Bay Area films with local subjects include Christopher Beaver’s Racing to Zero: In Pursuit of Zero Waste, William Farley’s Plastic Man: The Artful Life of Jerry Barrish and Helen Cohen and Mark Lipman’s States of Grace. Australia sends the acclaimed Aborigine saga Charlie’s Country, while African master Abderrahman Soudais presents his Cannes triumph Timbuktu.
Playwright Samuel D. Hunter was just honored with a MacArthur Genius grant, boosting what was already an award-winning career onto a new stage. Happily for us in the Bay Area, his 2012 play The Whale was already on tap for Marin Theatre Company. Nicholas Pelczar will play Charlie, the obese title character who seems to be eating himself into oblivion after the violent death of his lover.
The massive three-day festival of free live music returns with another stellar lineup sure to attract huge, shoulder-to-shoulder crowds in Golden Gate Park. Along with perennial returnees Emmylou Harris, Ralph Stanley, Buddy Miller, Steve Earle, John Prine and Robert Earl Keen, this year's lineup includes fun curveballs like Sharon Van Etten, Deltron 3030, Yo La Tengo, Social Distortion and Built to Spill, among many, many, many others. The crowds are large and the bottlenecks between stages are many, but the lineup is fantastic—and thanks to late founder Warren Hellman's insistence that the festival be free, you can't beat the price.
Joseph Loughborough spent his formative years exploring the derelict boatyards and creeks of Portsmouth, UK. After graduating from Portsmouth University, he pursued interests in art, philosophy and skateboarding culture, living in London, Paris and currently Berlin. Charcoal is Loughborough's main medium, but lately he has been incorporating gold leaf in his imagery, creating an added tension of the humble and the decadent for this exhibit.
Chandra, who lives in Oakland and teaches at UC Berkeley, is best known for his mammoth, best-selling novel, Sacred Games. But he might well make a name for himself as a nonfiction author with this first work: Geek Sublime: The Beauty of Code, the Code of Beauty. Described as “both an idiosyncratic history of coding and a fascinating meditation on the writer’s art,” the appeal of Geek Sublime in our ever tech-driven world is obvious.
Stanley Kubrick's classic comedy, starring Peter Sellars (in several of his best roles), will be part of a 8-film retrospective featuring the late director's work. Presented in and eye-popping 4K digital, you'll undoubtedly be able to read the serial number on the nuke that Slim Pickens rides into the sunset.
A benefit for Joan Mankin, a true heroine of San Francisco's theater community who is facing a pair of difficult diagnoses, The Queenie Moon Conspiracy will feature a slew of artists showing their love for the embattled Mankin. Bill Irwin, Geoff Hoyle, Marga Gomez, and Lorenzo Pisoni are slated to appear, with more names sure to be added. If you can't make the event, but you've been touched by one of Joan's performances over her 40-year career, you can make a donation via this site.
As San Francisco goes through the drastic changes ushered in by the booming tech economy, here comes The Poetry Deal, a collection of new poems from one of the city’s cultural stalwarts — her first full-length book in decades. A feminist and an early member of the Beats, Diane di Prima reflects on her life in the Bay Area in what her publisher calls an “often elegiac” work. The 80-year-old former San Francisco Poet Laureate notes what has been lost in the city she’s called home since the ‘60s, but also celebrates what endures.
From his magnum musical opus 69 Love Songs to his newest book 101 Two-Letter Words, illustrated by Roz Chast, Stephen Merritt is consistently clever, wry, and smart. The master wordsmith and Magnetic Fields frontman appears at the JCCSF in conversation with the San Francisco Chronicle's Aidin Vaziri.
Inara George, one half of the duo the Bird and the Bee, grew up as the daughter of the late Lowell George—the heart and soul of the L.A. band Little Feat. After her father died, the producer and songwriter Van Dyke Parks remained a family friend, and in 2008, George and Parks teamed up for a collaborative album titled An Invitation. In a two-night stand at Z Space, the two perform songs from that album accompanied by the Awesöme Orchestra, a group of fun-loving musicians who drink beer at rehearsals and perform "everything from Berlioz to Björk," and aerial choreography by Lexi Pearl. The shows, which benefit the orchestra, should prove stimulating and unpredictable under the creative direction of founder and conductor David Möschler.
With the Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra, guest cellist Steven Isserlis performs Boccherini's deceptively light "Concerto for Violoncello No. 7 in G major" and C.P.E. Bach's propulsive "Concerto for Violoncello in A major" under the baton of conductor Nicholas McGegan. Two symphonies from Haydn's middle period, Symphony No. 67 in F major and Symphony No. 57 in D major, are in the program as well.
One of the 75 galleries exhibiting at the upcoming Art SV/SF fair seems to have hit the viral lottery (in a good way). Catherine Edelman, a Chicago curator, will be presenting selections from "Sandro Miller: Malkovich, Malkovich, Malkovich: Homage to Photographic Masters," which recently blew up the social web for a significant portion of the adult population.
As part of their artist-in-residency at the San Francisco Film Society, Zeresenay Berhane Mehari and Mehret Mandefro present their acclaimed film based on the real-life practice in rural Ethiopia of kidnapping young girls and forcing them into marriage.
Taylor McFerrin is accomplished electronic musician from a talented bloodline—his dad is a capella maestro Bobby McFerrin. Plugged into L.A.'s Brainfeeder collective, he creates cerebral, head-nodding beats.
A concert film chronicling the iconoclastic singer's dizzingly creative Biophilia tour, featuring an Icelandic choir, a bevy of homemade instruments and the narration of David Attenborough.
Now in its 15th year, San Francisco's massive festival of all things lit returns with another excellent lineup. Among the fiction authors, comic artists, travel writers, poets, New Yorker illustrators and more, there are appearances by Marc Maron (pictured), Rebecca Solnit, Piper Kerman, Boots Riley and many, many others.
Jazz’s favorite ex-Scientologist continues his reign as the genre’s best living electric bassist, and those who decry the amplified instrument will note that he often pulls out the good ol’ wooden upright as well. Since his time with Return to Forever and the chart-topping success of School Days, Clarke has settled into an explorative sphere that’s got both legs in jazz and only a passing glance at pop. Having the dazzling Japanese-born virtuoso Hiromi on piano only adds to the riches in this group.
Born in Jamaica, author Marlon James roared out of the gate with his debut novel John Crow's Devil, about a religious battle in his home country. His latest, A Brief History of Seven Killings, tumbles through three decades in Jamaica and New York in a fictional story of drug dealers, assassins and other shady characters.