8 Bay Area arts and entertainment events to check out this week, July 12-18

[ad_1]

Pianist David Greilsammer Photo: Courtesy SF Performances

The Chronicle’s guide to notable arts and entertainment happenings in the Bay Area.

S.F. Performances unleashes a musical sprint for summer

Talk about making up for lost time. San Francisco Performances has announced a full concert season for 2021-22, but in the meantime the chamber presenter will unleash a compact summer season that packs 12 recitals into just 11 days.

The series starts with the first local recital by the inventive pianist David Greilsammer. His program — a characteristic blend of old and new music — includes a world premiere by composer Ofer Pelz, along with music by Janácek, Mozart and C.P.E. Bach.

David Greilsammer: 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, July 14. $45-$65. Herbst Theatre, 401 Van Ness Ave., San Francisco. 415-392-2545. www.sfperformances.org

— Joshua Kosman

San Francisco Frozen Film Festival celebrates underrepresented filmmakers

The quote “The coldest winter I ever spent was a summer in San Francisco,” often attributed to Mark Twain, has long been used to describe the unique nature of the city. The founders of the San Francisco Frozen Film Festival, whose name derives from that quote, kept that uniqueness in mind when they created a festival for young and independent filmmakers. 

The festival’s 15th edition — set to run Wednesday-Sunday, July 14-18 — gives the spotlight to underrepresented creators, presenting a wide selection of films from domestic and international directors. 

The festival’s lineup, streaming on demand throughout its run, features a collection of films from more than 20 countries in a plethora of genres and mediums, including feature documentaries, science fiction films and even virtual reality films. Many of the films aim to shine a light on important social issues as well. A virtual opening night event is planned for Wednesday, July 14, featuring performances from local artists.

San Francisco Frozen Film Festival: Available to stream on demand starting Wednesday, July 14. Through July 18. $20. frozenfilmfestival.com

— Morayo Ogunbayo

Cellist David Finckel (left) and pianist Wu Han Photo: Lisa Marie Mazzucco

Music@Menlo reopens with a joyous gathering of performers and patrons

After more than a year of distance and silence, performing artists are finally gathering in person again to make music collaboratively. That spirit of togetherness forms the dominant motif for the 2021 season of Music@Menlo, the chamber music festival founded and directed by the husband-and-wife team of cellist David Finckel and pianist Wu Han.

The three-program opening weekend leads off with the world premiere of Patrick Castillo’s “Gather,” which not coincidentally is the title given to the full three-week festival. The rest of the weekend is devoted to music by Brahms, Schubert, Ligeti, Mozart and more.

This year’s festival also inaugurates the Spieker Center for the Arts, a new concert hall within the Menlo School in Atherton. Each concert program will be given twice — once indoors, with a live stream, and then again outside on the school’s lawn.

Music@Menlo: 4 p.m. and 6 p.m. Friday-Sunday, July 16-18. $25-$55. Menlo School, 50 Valparaiso Ave., Atherton. Also available to stream. 650-331-0202. www.musicatmenlo.org

— Joshua Kosman

The cast of Candrice Jones’ “Flex” in Playwrights Foundation’s Bay Area Playwrights Festival. Photo: Vasna Wilson / Bay Area Playwrights Festival 2019

Bay Area Playwrights Festival previews where American theater might go next

One script, Kaela Mei-Shing Garvin’s “Tiger Beat,” is fully immersed in the trucker hat era of early 2000s pop music; a time when it was socially acceptable for a music exec to tell an Asian American singer to wear a trashy kimono.

Another, Johnny G. Lloyd’s “The Problem with Magic, Is,” delights in gnomic paradoxes. “I experience everything at the same time; I am everything; and also I am nothing,” goes an early line uttered in darkness; all before the show teleports to a magic shop in a gentrifying neighborhood.

These plays constitute just two of the inventive readings in this year’s Bay Area Playwrights’ Festival, the storied institution that’s been boosting new writers’ careers since 1976. Many of its alums go on to become legends, but the festival’s real draw is the chance to see where American theater might go next, before other audiences do.

This year’s readings are online, with ticket prices that hail from an earlier era.

Bay Area Playwrights Festival: 5:30 p.m. Friday, July 16; 11:30 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. Saturday-Sunday, July 17-18. Through July 25. $5-$20. 415-626-2176. www.playwrightsfoundation.org

— Lily Janiak

Pianist Sarah Cahill performs the music of Agi Jambor and other women at Old First Church in S.F. Photo: Christine Alicino

A rarely heard wartime sonata anchors Sarah Cahill’s piano recital

Pianist Agi Jambor was born in Budapest, worked for the Resistance during the latter years of World War II, and came to the United States in 1947, where she recorded and concertized with the Philadelphia Orchestra and the Baltimore Symphony. (She also spent a few months as one of the six wives of the actor Claude Rains.)

In 1949, she composed a piano sonata, which she dedicated to the victims of Auschwitz, and which forms the centerpiece of Sarah Cahill’s upcoming solo recital. The program is devoted to little-known music by female composers, including the 18th century composer Anna Bon, Leokadiya Kashperova (best known as Stravinsky’s piano teacher), Hannah Kendall and more.

Sarah Cahill: 8 p.m. Friday, July 16. Live performance, also available to stream. $25. Old First Presbyterian Church, 1751 Sacramento St., San Francisco. 415-474-1608. www.oldfirstconcerts.org

— Joshua Kosman

Actors Naomi Watts (left) and Laura Elena Harring are seen in an undated handout photo from the film “Mulholland Drive,” directed by David Lynch. Photo: AP

‘Mullholland Drive’ plays at the Roxie Theater — one night only

David Lynch’s “Mulholland Drive” remains fresh 20 years after its release, partly because it has never fully revealed its secrets.

Originally planned as a miniseries, the story was truncated into incoherence — but a very arresting, lush-looking incoherence — for its film version. In the end, there really is no way to solve this movie, because it simply does not make sense. Instead, what the movie demands that we ask is “How much sense do we need?” That is, how much sense does a movie need to make?

“Mullholland Drive” makes a strong case for itself by being interesting from beginning to end. Its joys are moment-to-moment. Its meaning is elusive because it’s simply not present. And the surprise is how little that matters.

Screening in 35mm at the Roxie Theater only on Saturday, July 17, the film features a star-making performance by Naomi Watts.

“Mulholland Drive”: 6:30 p.m. Saturday, July 17. $8-$13. The Roxie Theater, 3117 16th St., S.F. 415-863-1087. www.roxie.com

— Mick LaSalle

Brian Bahe Photo: Jordan Ashleigh

Cal Shakes’ ‘Good Medicine’ showcases Native comedians in a spectacular venue

If the classic site for stand-up comedy is a cramped cellar with brick walls and low ceilings, it’d be hard to find a venue farther from that archetype than California Shakespeare Theater’s open-air Bruns Amphitheater, where the Orinda hills loom behind the stage, giving way to the magic light of dusk, twilight and stars.

Now, as part of the company’s Season of Shared Light — where it shares its spectacular venue with other producers — Cal Shakes is hosting “Good Medicine,” an evening of stand-up comedy featuring Native American performers Marc Yaffee, Adrianne Chalepah, Brian Bahe, Kaitlyn Jeffers and Jackie Keliiaa.

Keliiaa, who is based in Oakland, produced the first “Good Medicine” as an online event in May 2020; since then she has raised more than $11,000 for tribes affected by the pandemic. The Cal Shakes show is the series’ first in-person event.

“You won’t find any stoic Hollywood tropes in these sets,” Keliiaa said in a statement. “These Native comedians are using comedy to redefine Native identity in their own words and on their own terms.”

“Good Medicine: A Night of Live Stand-Up”: 8 p.m. Saturday, July 17. $25-$65. California Shakespeare Theater, 100 California Shakespeare Theater Way, Orinda. 510-548-9666. www.calshakes.org

— Lily Janiak

“Queer Visions” at the Haight Street Art Center Photo: Ben Marks

‘Queer Visions’ exhibition explores legacy of queer nightlife venues

A new exhibition by the Haight Street Art Center explores the legacy of San Francisco’s LGBTQ nightlife venues — a timely topic in light of ongoing discussions of how the city can preserve and commemorate its queer landmarks.

“Queer Visions” celebrates the local bars, clubs and other gathering spaces that have provided safe haven to the community since the 1960s. The show is anchored by a display of pinback buttons from the archive of the co-operative Stud Bar, the famed South of Market watering hole that closed last year, and also includes posters made by artist Todd Trexler in the 1970s for underground drag troupe the Cockettes; historic photos of vanished venues; and portraits by Lauren Tabak of the patrons at the Lexington, the last (now closed) lesbian bar in San Francisco.

The exhibit also includes Katie Gilmartin’s “Pulps” print series — a take on vintage film noir posters commemorating queer taverns — and artwork by Amir Khadar, created for Oakland nonprofit Forward Together and the Black Alliance for Just Immigration, which investigates the importance of queer chosen family in immigrant communities.

“Queer Visions”: 12-6 p.m. Thursday, 12-8 p.m. Friday-Sunday. Through Aug. 15. Free. 215 Haight St., S.F. 415-363-6150. haightstreetart.org

— Tony Bravo

For more Datebook Picks and to browse our events calendar, click here.



[ad_2]

Source link

Share via
Copy link
Powered by Social Snap