Archive | Art

Bay Area Flamenco presents 7th Annual Bay Area Flamenco Festival Festival Flamenco Gitano USA September 24-30, 2012

The 7th Annual Bay Area Flamenco Festival: Festival Flamenco Gitano USA will feature world-class artists from Spain, including performances at San Francisco’s Palace of Fine Arts featuring the West Coast premier of superstar Jose Mercé, the world premier of Fiesta Jerez: Gypsy Flamenco All-Stars and the anticipated U.S. premier of El Carpeta -14-year-old prodigy of the legendary Farruco Family who will appear with clan matriarch, La Farruca. Opening night will feature a concert by Gypsy guitarist Diego del Morao at Yoshi’s Oakland. There will also be a series of workshops and master classes, and for the first time this year, the Festival will present “Flamenco on Film,” at Landmark Embarcadero Cinema featuring the S.F. premier of Spanish director Carlos Saura’s latest production.

THE BAY AREA FLAMENCO FESTIVAL is recognized as one of the most vibrant flamenco festivals in the United States, featuring authentic, world-renowned flamenco talent from Spain. Founded in 2005, the Festival has grown into a popular and vital annual Bay Area cultural event drawing over 3000 world music and dance enthusiasts.


Diego del Morao: Gypsy Flamenco Guitar of the 21st Century Wednesday, September 26. Yoshi’s Oakland One of the most sought-after guitarists on today’s scene, he is known for his work with Spain’s top flamenco artists such as Diego el Cigala and José Mercé. Paco de Lucía made a cameo appearance on del Morao’s solo release “Orate” (2010 Cigala Music). He is the son of guitarist “Moraíto,” one of the most important flamenco artists of our time, who along with his uncle Manuel Morao, developed the signature sound of traditional Jerez-style flamenco guitar. Diego del Morao takes that legacy into the 21st century. In the words of veteran guitar legend Manolo Sanlúcar: “This is the vanguard, and at the same time our essence: past, present and future: he is a visionary”. “Del Morao is special. [...] …tenacious and extravagant”. - The New York Times

¡Fiesta Jerez! Gypsy Flamenco All-Stars Thursday, September 27, 7pm; Palace of Fine Arts, San Francisco This concert, celebrating the roots, joy and soul of flamenco, feels less like a stage production and more like an invitation to a Gypsy family gathering in Jerez de la Frontera. From the heart of Andalusia’s wine country, this 12-member ensemble features singer/dancer Juana la del Pipa, singer Enrique el Zambo, singer/dancer Kina Mendez, and dancer Gema Moneo, a rising star in flamenco.

José Mercé Friday, September 28, 8pm; Palace of Fine Arts, San Francisco West Coast premier of Spanish superstar, José Mercé, one of the world’s greatest flamenco artists. His 1998 recording “Del Amanecer” (Virgen) garnered worldwide recognition with his contemporary arrangements aimed at a younger audience. With multiple Latin Grammy nominations and more than 600,000 albums sold in the last 15 years, he has made an indelible mark on flamenco. His latest CD will be released on Blue Note in the fall of 2012. “[...] energetic to the max, with [a] unique, magnificent voice.”

Farruco Family: El Carpeta y La Farruca Sunday, September 30, 7pm; Palace of Fine Arts, San Francisco The U.S. debut of the 14-year-old prodigy El Carpeta, and return of matriarch La Farruca—both of the legendary Los Farruco dynasty, the first family of Gypsy flamenco dance. As La Farruca is acclaimed for her elegance, her son El Carpeta, youngest brother of superstar Farruquito, is becoming known as the most extraordinary flamenco dancer of his generation and torchbearer for the family legacy. “… you feel in La Farruca …the accumulated wisdom of decades, the calm mastery that holds an audience in thrall and never lets it go.” –New York Times

FLAMENCO ON FILM: September 24-26  Landmark Embarcadero Cinema, San Francisco

Carlos Saura’s “Flamenco, Flamenco” (130 min. Eng subtitles, 2010) 14 years after the release of his 1996 film “Flamenco,” Carlos Saura returns, bringing a new perspective to the lively and dynamic world of flamenco and creating “a visual banquet” that, exclaims film critic Kathleen Murphy, “serves up so much cinematic artfulness and beauty, your faith in the power of movies is reborn”. Photographed by master cinematographer Vittorio Storaro (The Last Emperor, The Sheltering Sky), the film features performances by more than 21 flamenco artists such as Eva la Yerbabuena, Sara Baras, Niña Pastori, Rocío Molina, Israel Galván, El Carpeta and José Mercé.

“MORAO: Good Flamenco Singing Hurts” (55 min. Eng subtitles, 2011) A journey into the art of flamenco as a way of life, through the figure of legendary guitarist ‘Moraíto Chico’ who passed away last year at the age of 55. Together with his uncle Manuel Morao and his son Diego del Morao, he forms the heart of the Morao Gypsy dynasty of Jerez de la Frontera, a hotbed of flamenco. Moraíto created an unparalleled style, a reflection of his great personality and humor that ignited everything and everyone around him.




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CENTER REP PRESENTS Lucky Stiff — A Musical Murder Mystery Farce!

Center REPertory Company kicks off its 46th subscription season with Ahrens and Flaherty’s Lucky Stiff, a musical murder mystery farce, August 31 – October 7. Award-winning director Robert Barry Fleming returns to helm this production at Center REP, where he previously staged celebrated productions of, SMOKEY JOE’S CAFÉ, BLUES IN THE NIGHT, SHE LOVES ME, ALL SHOOK UP, and AIN’T MISBEHAVIN’.

“I’ve been wanting to produce Lucky Stiff for a few years now,” says Center REP Artistic Director Michael Butler. “In many ways, it’s the perfect REP show – funny, smart, unique, and literate. It’s Ahrens and Flaherty’s breakout show and it has their exuberance and playful theatricality all over it.  They went on to write Ragtime and Once on This Island, among others, and it’s so fun to see the show that announced the presence of a major new talent in the American musical theatre.”

“I defy anyone to resist the plot of Lucky Stiff,” continues Butler, “with its tale of intersecting characters all vying for the same six million bucks and all falling in love with their rivals for the loot.” Based on the novel The Man Who Broke the Bank at Monte Carlo by Michael ButterworthLucky Stiff is a zany, offbeat and very funny murder mystery farce complete with slamming doors, mistaken identities, six million bucks in diamonds and a corpse in a wheelchair.

The story revolves around an unassuming English shoe salesman who is forced to take the embalmed body of his recently murdered Atlantic City uncle on a vacation to Monte Carlo. Should he succeed in passing Uncle off as alive, Harry Witherspoon stands to inherit six million dollars. If not, the money goes to the Universal Dog Home of Brooklyn, or else to the gun-toting wife of the casino owner! First produced off-Broadway at Playwrights Horizons (Richard Rodgers Award) the show later went on to win Washington’s Helen Hayes Award for Best Musical.

“The songs are delightful, and you can understand why people were so excited about this new writing team when you discover this music yourself for the first time,” says Butler. “And a film is being made of it as we speak. This is the perfect time for us to be doing it!” Jason Alexander, Nikki M. James, Dominic Marsh and Jayne Houdyshell have been cast in a feature film version set for a 2013 release.

“What do I like about it best?” Butler muses. “In addition to all of the above, I like its joie de vivre.  It’s so smart and playful and unafraid to be romantic.”



Robert Barry Fleming (Director/Choreographer) directing and choreography credits include: SMOKEY JOE’S CAFÉ (Center REP), BLUES IN THE NIGHT (Center REP), SHE LOVES ME (Center REP), ALL SHOOK UP (Center REP – SF Bay Area Theatre Critics Circle Award for Best Direction of a Musical), THE LITTLE DOG LAUGHED (The Diversionary), AIN’T MISBEHAVIN’ (Center REP – Shellie Award for Best Direction of a Musical ), THE GAME OF LOVE AND CHANCE (San Jose Rep), THUNDER KNOCKIN’ ON THE DOOR (ACT- Seattle), TWELFTH NIGHT (Alabama Shakespeare Festival), and Erik Ehn’s THE SAINT PLAYS including ASSENT/IRISH LOVE RAY (world premiere – University of San Diego), MARAT/SADE (University of San Diego MFA/BA joint production). He has served as dialect and vocal coach at The La Jolla Playhouse for projects as diverse as BONNIE AND CLYDE directed by Jeff Calhoun, THE ADDING MACHINE directed by Daniel Aukin, MOST WANTED directed by Michael Grief and THE WIZ directed by Des MacAnuff. He served as dialect consultant for the Arthur Miller rotating-rep productions of A VIEW FROM THE BRIDGE and DEATH OF A SALESMAN at the Arena Stage and SIGHT UNSEEN and Duncan Sheik’s WHISPER HOUSE at the Old Globe.  His professional acting credits include RAGTIME and STAND-UP TRAGEDY (Broadway), INSURRECTION: HOLDING HISTORY (The Public/NYSF), GOOD BOYS (Mo’olelo Performing Arts Company) and productions at the Old Globe, The Mark Taper Forum, and the Guthrie. Film/TV credits include L.A. CONFIDENTIAL, TWILIGHT OF THE GOLDS, a series regular on the Disney Channel’s ADVENTURES IN WONDERLAND, and numerous guest spots. Robert won a 2008 Craig Noel Award for Outstanding Featured Performance by a Male in a Musical for his performance in AIN’T MISBEHAVIN’ at the San Diego Rep.

Brandon Adams (Musical Director) most recently worked on Center REP’s XANADU at the end of last season. He has MD’ed three Bay Area premieres: Jason Robert Brown’s LAST FIVE YEARS at Playhouse West, David Henry Hwang’s revised version of FLOWER DRUM SONG at Woodminster Summer Musicals, and MUSICAL OF MUSICALS, THE MUSICAL! (BATTC award) at Center REP. Favorite credits include: FUNNY GIRL, GIRL CRAZY, ME AND MY GIRL, TOO MANY GIRLS, and SOMETHING FOR THE BOYS. Recently, he has worked on SHE LOVES ME at Center REP (Shellie and BATTC awards) and OH KAY! at 42nd Street Moon.


Tony Award winners Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty (Ragtime, Once On This Island) exploded on the musical theatre scene in 1988 with this Off Broadway hit – a zany, offbeat and very funny romantic murder mystery farce complete with slamming doors, mistaken identities, six million bucks in diamonds and a corpse in a wheelchair.

WHERE:   Center REPertory Company 1601 Civic Drive in downtown Walnut Creek.

DATES / Friday, August 31st at 8pm. through Sunday, October 7th at 2:30PM.

Press opening is Tuesday, September 4th at 7:30 PM.


Prices range from $38-$47.  For more information go to or call 925.943.SHOW (7469).  You can also visit the LCA Ticket Office at 1601 Civic Drive or the Ticket Office Outlets at Barnes & Noble in Walnut Creek and the Downtown Walnut Creek Library.



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Fierce Love: Stories From Black Gay Life by Pomo Afro Homos

The New Conservatory Theatre Center is proud to present Fierce Love: Stories of Black Gay Life by Pomo Afro Homos, in association with AfroSolo. The show will run October 17, 2012 – October 28, 2012. The show will take place at the New Conservatory Theatre Center (Decker Theatre); Wednesday- Saturday at 8pm, Sundays at 2pm.

Opening Night will take place on Friday October 20, 2012 at 8pm.

Special after-performance discussions will take place on October 18, 21, 25 and 27.

About the Play:
This return of the 1991 hit show examines the vital issues of race, sexuality, identity, and the struggles of black, gay men in America. During the early 90s, Pomo Afro Homos toured the country with Fierce Love to enlighten the masses of the complexities and diversity that exist within the black gay community.  Through music, imagery and dance the group continues bring intense issues to the stage with this deeply moving piece.

Pomo Afro Homos is short for Post Modern African American Homosexuals.   This African-American gay theater troupe was founded in San Francisco by choreographer-dancer Djola Bernard Branner, with actors Brian Freemanand Eric Gupton. Marvin K. White joined the group later. Pomo Afro Homos is dedicated to bringing the black gay male experience to the stage by way of music, theatre and dance

AfroSolo’s mission is to nurture, promote, and present African American and African Diaspora art and culture through solo performances and the visual arts. Since 1993, AfroSolo has provided a forum to give an authentic voice to the diverse experiences of Black people in the Americas. Through art, AfroSolo brings people of different ethnicities together to explore and share the human spirit that binds us all.

New Conservatory Theatre Center has been in operation for 31 years in San Francisco under the direction of founding Artistic Director Ed Decker. The theatre’s mission is to champion innovative, high quality productions and educational theatre experiences for youth, artists, and the queer and allied communities to affect personal and societal growth, enlightenment, and change. New Conservatory Theatre Center is known for its gay-positive productions, its foundational anti-bullying work with youth, and its welcoming environment for new and emerging local artists.

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THE MARSH San Francisco Extends Alison Whittaker’s VITAL SIGNS The Pulse of an American Nurse Through September 16, 2012

An up-close-and-personal look at life on the neurology ward of a large urban hospital.

Due to popular acclaim, The Marsh San Francisco is delighted to extend Alison Whittaker’s VITAL SIGNS through September 16, 2012. This will be the final extension of this extraordinarily popular and acclaimed show. Whittaker, a registered nurse at a major American hospital, takes you behind the scenes for an intimate look at the nurses, patients and the patients’ families, all of whom must cope with the blood- and-guts of real life on the wards. From gossip in the nurse’s break room to diaper changes, catheters, despair, hope and humanity, this is a frank, shocking, absurd and heart-warming glimpse of real-life in the hospital. For Whittaker, who started her budding solo-performance career by taking classes at The Marsh, the success of her first solo show on its stage is a dream come true.

Through September 16, 2012.

(Final Extension)

Saturdays at 8:30 pm through August 25 Sundays at 7:00 pm from September 2 – 16, 2012 *****Note change of day and time******

The Marsh San Francisco, Studio Theater, 1062 Valencia Street at 22nd Street

Parking: New Mission Bartlett Garage (21st St. between Mission & Valencia) The nearest Bart Station is 24th & Mission.

$15-35 Sliding Scale. Reserved Seats: $50 For tickets, visit or call 415-282-3055(Mon – Fri 1:00 – 4:00 pm.)

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San Francisco Opera Opens 90th Season with Verdi’s Rigoletto Conducted by Music Director Nicola Luisotti September 7-30, War Memorial Opera House

Performances Feature Two Distinct International Casts Including

Željko Lučić, Marco Vratogna, Aleksandra Kurzak, Albina Shagimuratova, Francesco Demuro and David Lomelí

San Francisco Opera’s 2012–13 Season opens on September 7 with Verdi’s Rigoletto, the vivid and compelling story of a vengeful court jester desperately attempting to protect his daughter from disaster. Conductor Nicola Luisotti leads the San Francisco Opera Orchestra and Chorus, together with an international cast of singers including acclaimed Serbian baritone and Verdi specialist Željko Lučić in the title role, and the Company debuts of Polish soprano Aleksandra Kurzak as Gilda and Italian tenor Francesco Demuro as the Duke of Mantua. On Saturday, September 8, San Francisco Opera opens Rigoletto with a second renowned cast featuring Marco Vratogna, Albina Shagimuratova and David Lomelí. Rigoletto runs for 12 performances through September 30, alternating between the two casts of principals.

Serbian baritone Željko Lučić returns to San Francisco as Rigoletto, a role he has previously performed in Paris, Cologne, Madrid and Dresden; he will also perform the role this season at Milan’s La Scala and the Metropolitan Opera. Lučić made his San Francisco Opera debut as Giorgio Germont in 2004’s La Traviata and returned in 2005 as Don Carlo in La Forza del Destino under the baton of Nicola Luisotti. Italian baritone Marco Vratogna, who also sings the title role, returns to San Francisco Opera after recent successful appearances as Iago in 2009’s Otello and in 2010 as Amonasro in Aida. Other recent engagements include Scarpia in Tosca at Milan’s La Scala, the Vienna State Opera, and in Valencia; Iago in Frankfurt; and Renato in Un Ballo in Maschera in Dresden. These performances mark Vratogna’s role debut as Rigoletto.

Polish soprano Aleksandra Kurzak makes her San Francisco Opera debut as Gilda, a role she has performed at the Metropolitan Opera, Milan’s La Scala, and in Parma, Hamburg, Helsinki, and Toulouse. Later this season, she will reprise the role at Polish National Opera and at Zurich Opera. Recent operatic appearances include Juliette in Roméo et Juliette at the Arena di Verona, Violetta in La Traviata at Polish National Opera and Mimì in La Bohème in Naples. Russian soprano Albina Shagimuratova, who also appears as Gilda, first appeared at San Francisco Opera as the Queen of the Night in 2012’s The Magic Flute. She returns to the Company in a role she has previously performed at Houston Grand Opera and Palm Beach Opera; she also sings the role at Lyric Opera of Chicago later this season. Other recent appearances include the title role of Lucia di Lammermoor with Deutsche Oper Berlin, Violetta in La Traviata with Houston Grand Opera and Donna Anna in Don Giovanni at The Glyndebourne Festival.

A native of Sardinia, tenor Francesco Demuro makes his San Francisco Opera debut as the lecherous Duke of Mantua. Demuro has previously performed this role in Hong Kong, Parma, Turin, Vienna, Beijing, and Dresden. Career highlights include Nemorino in L’Elisir d’Amore at Milan’s La Scala and the Vienna State Opera; Rodolfo in La Bohème at the Vienna State Opera and in Detroit; and Alfredo Germont in La Traviata with Seattle Opera and in Dresden, Verona, and Santiago, Chile. He returns to San Francisco Opera in 2013 as Ferrando in Così fan tutte, a role he has previously performed in Tokyo. Mexican tenor David Lomelí is a former Adler Fellow who also appears as the Duke. Lomelí made his San Francisco Opera debut in 2009 as Alfredo Germont in La Traviata and returned as Rinuccio in Gianni Schicchi. He has previously appeared as the Duke of Mantua in Toronto, Karlsruhe and most recently at the Hollywood Bowl with the Los Angeles Philharmonic. In 2013 Lomelí will sing the role again at Deutsche Oper Berlin.

San Francisco Opera Music Director Nicola Luisotti conducts the San Francisco Opera Orchestra and Chorus in this production. At San Francisco Opera, Luisotti most recently conducted Verdi’s Attila, in a new production he also premiered at Milan’s La Scala. Other recent appearances include the rarely performed I Masnadieri with Teatro di San Carlo in Naples, where he is also music director; Tosca at Teatro alla Scala; and concerts with the Cleveland and Philadelphia Orchestras and the Orquesta Nacional de España. This season at San Francisco Opera, Nicola Luisotti will also conduct Puccini’s Tosca, Wagner’s Lohengrin and Mozart’s Cosí fan tutte. Opera and theater director Harry Silverstein returns to direct this San Francisco Opera production with sets designed by Michael Yeargan. The final two performances will be conducted by Resident Conductor Giuseppe Finzi.


Webcor Builders Presents Opera at the Ballpark / Saturday, September 15
Also in celebration of the new season, San Francisco Opera partners with Webcor Builders and the San Francisco Giants to present the Company’s seventh free live simulcast at AT&T Park on Saturday, September 15, 2012 at 8 p.m. Verdi’s Rigoletto, featuring a celebrated cast of singers and conducted by Nicola Luisotti, will be simulcast live from the War Memorial Opera House to AT&T Park’s high-definition scoreboard. A unique opportunity for fans to enjoy the sights and sounds of San Francisco Opera in one of the nation’s foremost ballparks, the Company’s simulcasts at AT&T Park have drawn more than 165,000 people, many experiencing opera for the first time. Webcor Builders Presents Opera at the Ballpark is made possible through the extraordinary technology of the Koret-Taube Media Suite. This event marks the tenth free simulcast presented by San Francisco Opera under David Gockley’s leadership.

Sung in Italian with English supertitles, the twelve performances of Rigoletto are scheduled for September 7 (8 p.m.), September 8 (8 p.m.), September 11 (8 p.m.), September 12 (7:30 p.m.), September 15 (8 p.m.), September 16 (2 p.m.), September 18 (8 p.m.), September 19 (7:30 p.m.), September 21 (8 p.m.), September 23 (2 p.m.), September 25 (7:30 p.m.) and September 30 (2 p.m.) 2012.

Tickets for performances of Verdi’s Rigoletto at the War Memorial Opera House are priced from $22 to $340 and may be purchased at or through the San Francisco Opera Box Office [301 Van Ness Avenue (at Grove Street), or by phone at (415) 864-3330]. Standing Room tickets go on sale at 10 a.m. on the day of each performance; tickets are $10 each, cash only.

The War Memorial Opera House is located at 301 Van Ness Avenue at Grove Street. Patrons are encouraged to use public transportation to attend San Francisco Opera performances. The War Memorial Opera House is within walking distance of the Civic Center BART station and near numerous bus lines, including 5, 21, 47, 49 and the F Market Street. For more public transportation information, visit and

Casting, programs, schedules and ticket prices are subject to change. For further information about Rigoletto and San Francisco Opera’s 2012–13 season, please visit

The September 15 Webcor Builders Presents Opera at the Ballpark simulcast at AT&T Park is free and open to the public; advance online registration assures early entrance into the ballpark for preferred seating and entry into a special prize drawing. Visit to register.

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Concerts open with West Coast premiere of Samuel Carl Adams’ Drift and Providence, co-commissioned by the San Francisco Symphony

Music Director Michael Tilson Thomas(MTT) leads the San Francisco Symphony(SFS) in Mahler’s Symphony No. 5 and the West Coast premiere of Samuel Carl Adams’ Drift and Providence September 27 at the Robert and Margrit Mondavi Center for Performing Arts at UC Davis and September 28-30 at Davies Symphony Hall in San Francisco. Samuel Carl Adams will perform his work with the Orchestra.

Bay Area native Samuel Carl Adams(b. 1985) is a composer of acoustic and electroacoustic music and the son of frequent SFS collaborator composer John Adams. Based in Brooklyn, Adams draws on his experiences with jazz, noise, programming, and phonography. He is an active collaborator and performer in San Francisco and New York; his previous commissions include works for Oakland’s Paul Dresher Ensemble Electroacoustic Band, ACJW, and MATA(Music at the Anthology). In spring 2012 Adams was a resident artist at the Baryshnikov Arts Center, and he regularly performs as a bassist with FOUNDRY, a post-classical ensemble based in New York.

Samuel Adams’ Drift and Providence was co-commissioned by the San Francisco Symphony and the New World Symphony. MTT conducted its world premiere with the New World Symphony in April 2012. Written from the point of view of a West Coast native living elsewhere and as a composer exploring new ways to use tonality, Adams says, “Drift and Providence is looking at my home, the west, from within and from afar; Drift and Providence explores what it means to embark from and arrive at the acoustically familiar.” The score for the work includes live electronic processing which will be performed by Adams and controlled by a CNTRL-Rm, Analog Experience Factory and MacBook Pro.

Michael Tilson Thomas and the San Francisco Symphony recorded Mahler’s Symphony No. 5 as part of their Grammy-winning Mahler recording project for in-house label SFS Media and will perform it on tour in Asia in November 2012. Live concert footage of the work was included in SFS Media’s PBS television series Keeping Score: Mahler, now available on DVD and Blu-ray. An excerpt of their performance of the Adagietto movement of Symphony No. 5 is available for viewing on the SF Symphony’s YouTube Channel.

SAN FRANCISCO SYMPHONY Thurs., September 27 at 8 pm (Mondavi Center, UC Davis)
Davies Symphony Hall Fri., September 28 at 8 pm (Davies Symphony Hall)
Sat., September 29 at 8 pm (Davies Symphony Hall)
Sun., September 30 at 2 pm (Davies Symphony Hall)

Michael Tilson Thomas conductor
Samuel Carl Adams, electronica
San Francisco Symphony

Samuel Carl Adams Drift and Providence (SFS co-commission with New World Symphony; West Coast Premiere)
Mahler Symphony No. 5 in C-sharp minor

PRE-CONCERT TALK: Peter Grunberg and Samuel Carl Adams will give an “Inside Music” talk from the stage one hour prior to each concert. Free to all concert ticket holders; doors open 15 minutes before.

AUDIO PROGRAM A free audio podcast about Mahler’s Symphony No. 5 will be downloadable
NOTES: from and from the iTunes store.

BROADCAST: These concerts will be broadcast on Classical 89.9/90.3/104.9 KDFC and at a later date to be announced.

TICKETS: September 28-30 $15-$150. Tickets are available at, by phone at 415-864-6000, and at the Davies Symphony Hall Box Office, on Grove Street between Van Ness Avenue and Franklin Street in San Francisco.

Tickets for the September 27 concert at Robert and Margrit Mondavi Center for the Performing Arts are $25-99 and available at, and by calling 866 -754-2787.

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American Conservatory Theater Announces One-Night-Only Staged Reading of Dustin Lance Black’s Play “8″

A.C.T. joins nationwide productions of the landmark marriage equality play by the

Academy Award-winning screenwriter of Milk, Sunday, October 7, 2012.

American Conservatory Theater(A.C.T.), in association with the American Foundation for Equal Rights (AFER) and Broadway Impact, is proud to announce a one-night-only staged reading of  “8,” the landmark play chronicling the historic trial in the federal constitutional challenge to California’s Proposition 8.  The play was written by Academy Award–winning screenwriter and AFER Founding Board Member Dustin Lance Black.

The reading will take place on Sunday, October 7, 2012, at 7 p.m. at the American Conservatory Theater (415 Geary Street, San Francisco). Proceeds from the reading benefit AFER and LGBTQ youth participating in A.C.T.’s ArtReach program, which offers free student matinee tickets and theater-based pre- and post-show workshops at no cost to 23 public high schools in the Bay Area (including all 18 San Francisco public high schools) with large populations of underserved, low-income students who otherwise would have little exposure to the arts. Casting for the A.C.T. production of “8” will be announced at a later date.  Tickets range in price from $50 to $100. A limited number of $250 seats are available and include premium seating and access to a post-performance reception with the cast. Tickets are on sale now and may be purchased online at or by calling 415.749.2228.

“8” is an unprecedented account of the federal district court trial Perry v. Schwarzenegger (now Perry v. Brown), the case filed by AFER to overturn Proposition 8. Black, who penned the Academy Award–winning feature film Milk and the critically acclaimed film J. Edgar, based “8” on the actual trial transcripts, firsthand observations of what went on in the courtroom, and interviews with the plaintiffs and their families.

Says A.C.T. Artistic Director Carey Perloff: “There’s nothing more thrilling than a well-argued trial about a hugely important issue. We are honored to present “8” at the same time as The Normal Heart, two theater pieces that wrestle with discrimination and compassion in such visceral and palpable ways.”

“From the moment we knew our trial would not be broadcast publicly, we were determined to find a way to address the public’s appetite for the facts in our case, as argued before a court of law,” said AFER Executive Director Adam Umhoefer. “‘8’ does exactly that, and more, shedding light on the discriminatory arguments anti-marriage proponents did not want the American court of public opinion to witness, and clearly demonstrating why our fight for fairness and justice will continue to prevail.”

“I was lucky enough to watch the initial closing arguments of Perry v. Schwarzenegger in San Francisco,” says Broadway Impact cofounder Rory O’Malley (Tony nominee for The Book of Mormon). “We knew then and there that audiences needed to see and hear this story live, as we had done. ‘8’ builds on a successful tradition of documentary theater—plays likeThe Laramie Project and The Vagina Monologues, which inspire us with their combination of art and activism.  We are thrilled to partner with AFER to bring this story to a national audience.”

The plot of “8” is framed by the trial’s historic closing arguments in June 2010 and features the strongest arguments and testimony from both sides. Scenes include flashbacks to some of the more jaw-dropping moments of the trial, such as the admission by the Proposition 8 supporters’ star witness, David Blankenhorn, that “we would be more American on the day we permitted same-sex marriage than we were on the day before.”

“People need to witness what happened in the Proposition 8 trial, if for no other reason than to see inequality and discrimination unequivocally rejected in a court of law where truth and facts matter,” says Black. “I’ve built my career around exposing and uncovering ‘the real story.’  The goal of ‘8’ is to show the world that marriage equality is a basic constitutional right and that those who would deny this basic freedom from loving, committed couples have only vitriol and baseless hyperbole to fall back on. The facts are on our side and truth always finds the light. We are doing all we can to help speed that process along.”

“8” had its heralded world premiere on Broadway on September 19, 2011, at the sold-out Eugene O’Neill Theater in New York City. The production brought in over one million dollars to support AFER’s efforts to achieve full federal marriage equality. “8” recently had its West Coast premiere at the Wilshire Ebell Theatre in Los Angeles, where it featured an all-star cast, including George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Martin Sheen, John C. Reilly, and Kevin Bacon.

Proposition 8 was struck down by a federal district court in August 2010. That decision was appealed to the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit by the anti-marriage proponents of Proposition 8. AFER’s legal team was at the Ninth Circuit in December 2011 for a hearing to urge the court to unseal the trial video—a request that was denied.   In February 2012, the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit issued a ruling upholding the historic August 2010 decision of the federal district court that found Proposition 8 unconstitutional.

To purchase tickets, visit or call 415.749.2228. For additional information on “8”, visit:


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All Performances at the Beautifully Renovated Bruns Amphitheater

Tickets on Sale Now; Call 510.548.9666 or Visit


Berkeley, CA – California Shakespeare Theater continues its 2012 season with Noël Coward’s Blithe Spirit, directed by A.C.T. Associate Artistic Director and Cal Shakes Associate Artist Mark Rucker, through September 2.

The production features A.C.T. core company member and 2011 Ten Chimneys Foundation Lunt-Fontanne Fellow René Augesen as Ruth Condomine. A.C.T. core member Anthony Fusco appears as her husband, the writer Charles Condomine; Mr. Fusco was last seen at Cal Shakes in 2011’s critically-acclaimed Candida. Other members of the company include Cal Shakes Associate Artist Domenique Lozano as Madame Arcati, A.C.T. MFA graduate Jessica Kitchens as Charles’ ghostly first wife, Elvira; Kevin Rolston (MTC’s A Steady Rain, A.C.T.’s Once in a Lifetime and ‘Tis Pity She’s a Whore) as Dr. Bradman; A.C.T. Conservatory Director Melissa Smith (Berkeley Rep’s Continental Divide, A.C.T.’s Celebration) as Mrs. Bradman; and A.C.T. MFA student Rebekah Brockman as Edith. Ms. Augesen, Ms. Kitchens, Mr. Rolston, Ms. Smith, and Ms. Brockman are all making their Cal Shakes debuts with this production.

Successful novelist Charles Condomine wants to learn about the occult for an upcoming book and gets more than he bargained for when he arranges for a visiting “happy medium,” Madame Arcati, to hold a séance at his house. The eccentric Arcati inadvertently summons the ghost of Charles’s late first wife, Elvira. Elvira’s sudden reappearance creates mayhem between Charles and his second wife, Ruth, as Elvira makes continued and increasingly desperate efforts to disrupt their marriage. Personalities clash, Ruth is accidentally killed, “passes over”, and joins Elvira so the two “blithe spirits” may haunt the hapless Charles forever.

The design team responsible for creating the classic middle-class English country estate where the play takes place are set designer Annie Smart, whose previous designs for Cal Shakes include Candida, Man and Superman, and John Steinbeck’s The Pastures of Heaven, and numerous productions around the US and UK; costume designer Katherine Roth, who created the stylish fashions for Cal Shakes’ Private Lives, The Importance of Being Earnest and As You Like It, as well as the Broadway and touring productions of Twyla Tharp’s Come Fly With me; lighting designer York Kennedy, whose lights have graced such Cal Shakes’ productions as Spunk, Candida, Uncle VanyaThe Pastures of Heaven, and Mrs. Warren’s Profession; and sound designer Will McCandless, creator of soundscapes for numerous Bay Area productions including Cal Shakes’ Candida.

Mark Rucker (Director, Associate Artist) is the Associate Artistic Director of American Conservatory Theater. His Cal Shakes credits include Private Lives (2009), Twelfth Night (2008), Richard III (2007), and Romeo and Juliet (2001). Other Bay Area credits include The Beard of Avon by Amy Freed and The Rainmaker at A.C.T., Culture Clash’s The Birds at Berkeley Rep, and Luminescence Dating by Carey Perloff at Magic Theatre/A.C.T. Other theaters include Yale Rep (eight productions), La Jolla Playhouse, Arena Stage, Indiana Rep, Taper Too, Intiman Playhouse, Old Globe, Syracuse Stage, Asolo Rep, and Ford’s Theater. Mark is an Associate Artist at South Coast Repertory Theater, where he staged over 20 productions including world premieres by Richard Greenberg, John Glore, Culture Clash, Annie Weisman, and Christopher Shinn. His feature film debut Die Mommie Die! won a special jury prize at the Sundance Film Festival. Mark is a graduate of UCLA and the Yale School of Drama.

Single tickets for Blithe Spirit range from $35 to $71, with discounts available for seniors, students, persons age 30 and under, and groups. Prices, dates, titles, and artists are subject to change. For information or to charge tickets by phone with VISA, MasterCard, or American Express, call the Cal Shakes Box Office at 510.548.9666. Additional information and online ticketing are available at

California Shakespeare Theater’s 2012 season is supported in part by the generosity of The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, the Dean & Margaret Lesher Foundation, The Bernard Osher Foundation and The Shubert Foundation, Inc. Corporate partners supporting this production include BART, City National Bank, Lafayette Park Hotel & Spa, McRoskey Mattress Company, Meyer Sound, Peet’s Coffee & Tea, and San Francisco Magazine.



Founded in 1974, now under the leadership of Artistic Director Jonathan Moscone and Managing Director Susie Falk, Cal Shakes is an award-winning regional theater, acclaimed as “one of the most beautiful outdoor performing spaces in America” by the Wall Street Journal. The recently renovated, architecturally stunning grounds surrounding the classic Bruns Amphitheater, are nestled in the Siesta Valley of the East Bay Hills between Berkeley and Orinda on a protected watershed. The grounds open two hours before curtain for picnicking in the lush eucalyptus and oak groves; the on-site café in the new, environmentally-sustainable Sharon Simpson Center offers gourmet meals on-site, or patrons may bring their own to enjoy. The Theater offers free shuttle service from the Orinda BART station, beginning ninety minutes before the performance, and plentiful free parking onsite.  Picnicking audiences enjoy stunning works of California sculpture and can listen to enlightening pre-show talks by our resident dramaturgs before every performance. For more information on the entirety of Cal Shakes work on stage, in schools and in communities, go to us.

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Ballet Tribute to Kristin Long

A Tribute to Kristin Long
Principal Dancer Kristin Long retired this year, following an illustrious 23-year career with San Francisco Ballet. Since joining SF Ballet as an apprentice in 1989, Long has performed numerous lead roles in full-length productions such as Tomasson’s Giselle, Swan Lake, Romeo & Juliet, and The Sleeping Beauty, and Tomasson/Possokhov’s Don Quixote. In addition, she created roles in works by acclaimed choreographers including Julia Adam, David Bintley, Yuri Possokhov, Alexei Ratmansky, and Stanton Welch, among others. Long’s diverse repertory includes ballets by Sir Frederick Ashton, George Balanchine, Val Caniparoli, Agnes de Mille, William Forsythe, James Kudelka, Lar Lubovitch, and Antony Tudor.

Click here <>  to view a video tribute to this dynamic and beloved artist of the Company.

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Asian Art Museum kicks off 10th anniversary in Civic Center with epic exhibition

The Asian Art Museum kicks off its 10th anniversary in San Francisco’s Civic Center with an exhibition from one of the greatest archaeological discoveries in modern time. China’s Terracotta Warriors: The First Emperor’s Legacy will be on view February 22 – May 27, 2013.

The exhibition features 120 rare objects from the great tomb complex of China’s First Emperor (259-210 BCE), including 10 life-size terracotta figures—the maximum number of figures permitted outside China in a single exhibition.

Captivating the world since its discovery in 1974, the First Emperor’s tomb complex is one of the largest burial sites ever constructed. Estimated at nearly 250,000 square feet—or more than four American football fields—it includes a scale replica of the emperor’s imperial palace, complete with stables, offices, an armory and even a zoo. Ancient historians also described “flowing rivers” of mercury, of which trace amounts have recently been confirmed by scientists.

Perhaps most impressive are the estimated 8,000 terracotta figures excavated to date, including warriors of all ranks (all individually constructed, no two faces are alike), acrobats, musicians and horses. The tomb complex took 700,000 laborers nearly 40 years to build.

In 1994, the museum, then located in Golden Gate Park, was among the first to present the terracotta warriors to a U.S. audience. The 2013 exhibition offers a new generation of visitors the rare chance to view the clay figures up close. Visitors will also discover new secrets from the tomb, with more information than ever before on the First Emperor, his reign, and his quest for immortality.

“Celebrating 10 years in our Civic Center home calls for something extraordinary,” said Jay Xu, executive director, Asian Art Museum. “In China, history is being unearthed. Bringing a chapter of this epic story to San Francisco—with 10 life-size sculptures from one of the most significant discoveries of our time—is a great way to commemorate this occasion.”

The exhibition was organized by the Asian Art Museum in partnership with the Minneapolis Institute of Arts, the Shaanxi Provincial Cultural Relics Bureau and Shaanxi Cultural Heritage Promotion Centre, People’s Republic of China.

Advance tickets go on sale October 16, 2012

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SAN FRANCISCO, CA (August 8, 2012) – Vocalist and songwriter Natalie Cole performs a Christmas concert with the San Francisco Symphony  Thursday, December 20 at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are on sale now at , 415-864-6000, and at the Davies Symphony Hall box office on Grove Street between Franklin Street and Van Ness Avenue. Actor John Lithgow, originally scheduled to narrate the SF Symphony Youth Orchestra’s December 8 performances of Prokofiev’s Peter and the Wolf, has withdrawn due to a scheduling conflict.

Natalie Cole’s repertoire spans pop, r&b, jazz, and standards. Her most recent album, Still Unforgettable, won two Grammy® awards, and her inspirational story, which she relates in her new book “Love Brought Me Back,” chronicles her journey from loss and recovery, to joy and success following her 2009 kidney transplant. Cole rocketed to stardom in 1975 with her debut album, Inseparable, earning her a #1 single, “This Will Be (An Everlasting Love)” and two Grammy awards for Best New Artist, as well as Best Female R&B Vocal Performance. Her 1991 album Unforgettable…With Love included the sensational title track duet with her late father, the jazz and pop vocalist Nat King Cole.

Concerts by Wilson Phillips and Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings, and holiday concerts with Pink Martini, Chris Botti, Judy Collins, and The Count Basie Orchestra are other highlights of the 2012-13 November and December schedule at Davies Symphony Hall, presented by the San Francisco Symphony. The holiday concert lineup also includes the annual Colors of Christmas shows with Peabo Bryson, Marilyn McCoo and Billy Davis, Jr., James Ingram, and Stephanie Mills; Handel’s Messiah with the Orchestra and SFS Chorus; Mariachi Sol de México de Jóse Hernández; screenings of The Snowman animated film with live orchestra accompaniment; ‘Twas the Night and Deck the Hall concerts; and the 2012 New Year’s Eve Masquerade Ball.

Tickets are on sale now for all special and holiday concerts presented by the San Francisco Symphony at  , by phone at 415-864-6000, and at the Davies Symphony Hall box office on Grove Street between Franklin Street and Van Ness Avenue. A complete 2012 calendar of the Symphony’s special and holiday concerts is available at


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Joanna Haigood’s Zaccho Dance Theatre Acclaimed Sailing Away Returns

 Inspired by San Francisco’s early African American settlers

Performances are free and open to the public on Market Street

It is sometimes referred to as the “San Francisco Exodus of 1858” a little-known part of the City’s history in which hundreds of African Americans fled discrimination and the threat of slavery for the safety of a Canadian exile. Choreographer Joanna Haigood and her Zaccho Dance Theatre ( are marking the iconic event with free public performances of her powerful work Sailing Away. Performances will be given in three continuous cycles, September 13, 14, 15, and 16 at 12noon, 1:30pm and 3pm daily starting at Market Street and Powell.

Market Street will provide the backdrop as performers interpret historical narratives through a series of vignettes and activities incorporating sites and monuments located between Powell and Battery streets. Important city monuments in the piece include: Mechanics Monument and Admission Day Monument.

“It’s ironic that a City now celebrated for its diversity once saw hundreds of its citizens flee in fear for their lives,” says Haigood, a celebrated local choreographer known for her unique and powerful site-specific works.

In the mid 19th century, San Francisco’s main thoroughfare, Market Street, was home to a burgeoning black middle class. However, Governor Peter Hardeman Burnett, California’s first governor (1849-51), pushed for the exclusion of free Negroes from the entire state. Although a black exclusion bill never passed in California, it reflected strong public opinion within the state, which eventually led to the passage of other discriminatory bills against blacks as well as Chinese, Mexicans and Native Americans.These bills restricted education, homesteading, voting, intermarriage and the right of testimony, which barred blacks from testifying against whites on their own behalf in court. By 1858, because of increasing discrimination, some 800 African Americans sailed for British Columbia aboard the steamer Commodore to escape growing hostility.

While some people may know the names of people such as early enterprenuer Mary Ellen Pleasant (AKA “Mammy” Pleasant), or Mifflin Wistar Gibbs, a participant in the Underground Railroad and friend of Frederick Douglas, they may not have heard of figures like Grafton Tyler Brown, Archie Lee or Peter Lester. Produced and presented in partnership with the California Historical Society, Sailing Away features eight such prominent African Americans who lived and worked near Market Street during the mid-nineteenth century and evokes their participation in the 1858 exodus.

During each performance and event, newspapers containing historical information that is referenced in the work (maps, biographies and significant events) will be distributed to the public. Through character interactions, audience members will get a feel for the 19th-century in a 21st-century commercial life on the city’s most important thoroughfare.

“While creating this work, it was important to acknowledge the invisibility and loss of African American history and the current out-migration,” notes Haigood. “Since 1858, there have been two notable waves of black ‘out migration.’ The first occurred during the redevelopment of the Fillmore district in the 1950s and ‘60s. The second is currently underway.”

The African American population in San Francisco has declined by 40.8 percent since 1990. Some stated causes of this new out migration are the lack of adequate housing, discouraging achievement gaps in education, and the disproportionate incidents of violence in the changing, de-integrating neighborhoods. The study implies that African Americans live in an environment that habitually dismisses palpable challenges to full participation in the health and commerce of San Francisco.

In addition to the performances, the details for the public forums will include:

School Assembly with performance at Bayview Opera House On Tuesday, September 11, Joanna Haigood and Cast Members will host a lecture and performance excerpt for local Bayview Schools moderated by Susheel Bibbs, an award-winning expert on early African American out-migration and author.

Panel Discussion at California Historical Society

On Thursday, September 13 at 5:00pm, California Historical Society and Museum of the African Diaspora will co-host a panel discussion with scholars, historians, and local community leaders to discuss the past and current timeline of African American out-migration from San Francisco.

The panel discussion and performances are free and open to the public on a first-come, first serve basis.

Funding for the performances is provided by the Walter and Elise Haas Fund, William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, Grants for the Arts/San Francisco Hotel Tax Fund, Wells Fargo Foundation, Bayview Community Fund of the Tides Foundation and California Historical Society and Bayview Opera House.

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SAN FRANCISCO SYMPHONY OPENING GALA featuring Music Director Michael Tilson Thomas and violinist Joshua Bell in his only 2012-13 Bay Area appearance Wednesday, September 19

Michael Tilson Thomas leads the San Francisco Symphony in a
free concert in Justin Herman Plaza Friday, September 21 at 5 pm
The San Francisco Symphony (SFS) and Michael Tilson Thomas (MTT) celebrate the start of the Orchestra’s second century with a week of celebratory concerts and community performances, beginning with the Opening Gala Concert on Wednesday, September 19 at 8pm, which honors the philanthropic support and leadership of Marcia & John Goldman.  On Thursday, September 20 at 8pm, the annual All-San Francisco Concert celebrates more than 100 social service and non-profit organizations that serve San Francisco and the Bay Area. MTT and the SFS perform the first of the season’s free concerts at Justin Herman Plaza on Friday, September 21 at 5pm (a new time).
The Gala concert program—featuring Music Director Michael Tilson Thomas, the San Francisco Symphony and special guest violinist Joshua Bell—includes selections from Berlioz’s Roméo et Juliette, Chausson’sPoème and Saint-Saëns’s Introduction and Rondo capriccioso, both with Bell and the Orchestra, and Ravel’s Boléro. Proceeds from the Centennial Gala benefit the Orchestra’s myriad artistic, community, and education programs, which provide music education to more than 75,000 Bay Area school children each year. This year’s event honors Marcia Goldman and SFS President John Goldman.
The Gala celebrations begin at 5pm with a cocktail reception in Davies Symphony Hall for Patrons’ Dinner guests, and a cocktail reception in City Hall for Symphony Supper and Symphonix attendees. The Patrons’ Dinner begins at 6pm in the Louise M. Davies Tent Pavilion.  The Symphony Supper and Symphonix Dinner will be held in City Hall’s Grand Rotunda and North Light Court, respectively, at 6pm. All dinners are catered by McCall Associates and designed by Blueprint Studios.
All concert ticket holders are invited to the complimentary Champagne Promenade beginning at 7pm in the Davies Symphony Hall lobby. Following the Davies Symphony Hall Gala concert, all guests are invited to enjoy an after-party in the Davies Symphony Hall Tent Pavilion and on the Grove Street Promenade, with live entertainment and dancing.
The 2012 Opening Gala is chaired by Christine Lamond. Pamala Deikel serves at the Patrons’ Dinner Chair, and the Symphony Supper is chaired by Sharon Seto. Maggie Hezelrig and Phil Spiegel co-chair the Symphonix Dinner, and the Gala After-party is co-chaired by Liz Curtis and Annie Wong.
Wells Fargo is the Presenting Sponsor of the 2012 Gala.
Joshua Bell made his San Francisco Symphony debut in 1991 at the age of 23. He began his career in performance with Riccardo Muti and the Philadelphia Orchestra at the age of 14. Since then, he has performed with top orchestras and chamber musicians across the world in addition to recording more than 40 CDs, including the soundtrack to the film The Red Violin, by John Corigliano.  Bell has received the Avery Fisher Prize, and was named by Musical America as the 2010 Instrumentalist of the Year.  In 2013 Bell will appear in a US tour with the Cleveland Orchestra and a European tour with the New York Philharmonic as well as performances with the Tucson, Pittsburgh, San Diego and Nashville Symphony Orchestras.
On Thursday, September 20 at 8pm, MTT leads the San Francisco Symphony in a special Davies Symphony Hall concert for San Francisco social service and neighborhood organizations, as thanks for the work these groups do to enrich the lives of and serve the citizens of San Francisco. Volunteers and employees from such organizations as Huckleberry Youth Program, La Casa de las Madres, and Boys and Girls Club, among others, will enjoy selections from Berlioz’s Romeo and Juliet, Chausson’s Poème and Saint-Saëns’s Introduction and Rondo capriccioso—both featuring violinist Alina Pogostkina—and Ravel’s Boléro.
Organized through the Orchestra’s Volunteer Council, the annual All-San Francisco Concert has been underwritten by Wells Fargo for over 30 years.
Winner of the 2005 Sibelius Competition, violinist Alina Pogostkina’s recent concert tours have seen her perform at some of the world’s most renowned festivals and concert venues. Pogostkina has collaborated with conductors such as Mikhail Pletnev, Gennadi Roshdestvensky, Sir Roger Norrington, Sir Mark Elder, Sakari Oramo, Jukka-Pekka Saraste, Mikko Franck, Paavo Järvi, Andris Nelsons, Andrey Boreyko and Thomas Hengelbrock. In 2010, Alina Pogostkina embarked on a tour of Japan with the NHK Symphony Orchestra and Jonathan Nott. Highlights of her 2011-12 season included performances with the Philharmonia Orchestra and Vladimir Ashkenazy, the Orchestra of the Estonian Opera under the baton of Arvo Volmer, the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra with Gustavo Dudamel, Radio-Sinfonieorchester Stuttgart des SWR with Stéphane Denève, and a tour with the Bamberger Symphoniker and Jonathan Nott to Muscat.
On Friday, September 21 at 5pm, Michael Tilson Thomas and the San Francisco Symphony will perform the 2012-2013 season’s first free outdoor concert at Justin Herman Plaza at the Embarcadero Center. Downtown workers, shoppers, and music lovers are all invited to relax and enjoy an array of popular works at the waterfront plaza after work.  The SFS’s annual downtown free concert is sponsored by Pacific Gas and Electric Company and is part of the Orchestra’s many activities aimed at making music accessible to everyone in the community.
Davies Symphony Hall
201 Van Ness Avenue, San Francisco
Joshua Bell, violin (only Bay Area appearance in 2012-13 season)
Berlioz Selections from Roméo et Juliette, Opus 17: Introduction | Love Scene | Festivity at the Capulets’
Chausson Poème for Violin and Orchestra, Opus 25
Saint-Saëns Introduction and Rondo capriccioso, Opus 28 for Violin and Orchestra
Ravel Boléro
5:00pm             Cocktail Reception for Patrons’ Dinner, Davies Symphony Hall
5:00pm             Cocktail Reception for Symphony Supper and Symphonix Dinner, City Hall
6:00pm             Patrons’ Dinner, Louise M. Davies Tent Pavilion
6:00pm             Symphony Supper, Grand Rotunda - City Hall
6:00pm             Symphonix Dinner, North Light Court – City Hall
7:00pm             Pre-concert Champagne Promenade for all concert guests, Davies Symphony Hall
8:00pm             Gala Concert, Davies Symphony Hall
10:00pm           After-Party for all concert guests, Louise M. Davies Tent Pavilion and Grove Street Promenade
Concert tickets, which include access to the pre-concert Champagne Promenade and the Gala After-Party, are priced at $150 and $295 per person. Please contact the SFS Box Office at (415) 864-6000 or for more information. Special Gala dinner and concert packages are priced from $395 per person.  For more information and to order dinner packages, please call the San Francisco Symphony Volunteer Council at (415) 503-5500.
Thursday, September 20 at 8pm
Davies Symphony Hall
201 Van Ness Avenue, San Francisco
Berlioz Selections from Roméo et Juliette, Opus 17: Introduction | Love Scene | Festivity at the Capulets’
Chausson Poème for Violin and Orchestra, Opus 25
Saint-Saëns Introduction and Rondo capriccioso, Opus 28 for Violin and Orchestra
Ravel Boléro
Tickets to this concert are not available for general purchase. Community groups that would like to be considered for tickets to this year’s concert should email
Justin Herman Plaza, at Embarcadero Center
Steuart Street between Market and Mission Streets (across from the Ferry Building)
Program TBD
This concert is free, no tickets are required.
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Singer-Actor Alfie Boe Appears in San Francisco in October at the Palace of Fine Arts


Singer-actor Alfie Boe, who won a joint Tony Award for his work in the Broadway revival of La Bohème, will play at the Palace of Fine Arts on October 9.

The concert will feature material from his second album “Alfie” as well as selections from his debut recording “Bring Him Home,”

“Alfie,” which was released in June on Decca, “is a collection of timeless pop songs and musical theatre favorites from such classics as Phantom of the Opera, Ragtime, West Side Story and Les Miserables, to name a few,” according to press notes.

The recent self-titled album debuted at No. 1 on Billboard’s Classical Crossover Chart and features special guests Robert Plant and Nick Jonas.

Boe, who was seen on Broadway as Rodolfo in Baz Luhrmann’s La Bohème, played the role of Jean Valjean in Les Miserables at The Queens Theatre in London and was also seen in Cameron Mackintosh’s 25th Anniversary celebration of the show at London’s 02 Arena. He is a regular performer with London’s English National Opera, where he has played Nadir in The Pearl Fishers, and was seen at the Royal Opera House in Gounod’s Roméo et Juliette.

For more information, visit

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“Diner” is officially off the menu for SHN’s Broadway series this fall.

As widely rumored Thursday, the show’s producers have scrapped plans for an out of town tryout in San Francisco in October. Based on the ’80s cult classic movie starring Kevin Bacon and Mickey Rourke, the musical had been slated to make its world premiere at the Curran Theatre Oct. 23- Nov. 18.

SHN officials say the producers have decided to retool the show for a more intimate Broadway venue than initially planned. They plan to use the time for a four week fully-staged workshop in New York so that the creative team can make necessary artistic revisions.

The good news is that the production is still on track to make its Broadway bow in spring 2013 and producers are still investigating the possibility of bringing the show to San Francisco before it heads to the Great White Way.

This highly anticipated project is the latest in a long series of musicals based on movies. This time the inspiration is Barry Levinson’s 1982 coming-of-age tale. “Diner” traces a posse of six buddies in ’50s Baltimore who reunite for a wedding a few years after high school graduation. The movie catapulted the careers of Bacon, Rourke, Tim Daly, Daniel Stern, Ellen Barkin, Paul Reiser and Steve Guttenberg.

Directed by Tony Award winner Kathleen Marshall (“Nice Work If You Can Get It,” “Anything Goes”) the “Diner” musical will feature a book by Barry Levinson, who directed and wrote the screenplay for the original 1982 flick, and music and lyrics by Grammy winner Sheryl Crow.

(From the Bay Area Newsgroup)

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42nd St. Moon Individual tickets on Sale August 15 for 2012-2013 20th Anniversary Season

Greg MacKellan and Stephanie Rhoads, artistic and producing directors of 42nd Street Moon, today announced details for the company’s 20th Anniversary Season of uncommon musical theater: Moon Goes Platinum! It will be celebrated with five diverse comedies – all first-time productions for the organization, including a political comedy, romantic comedy, singing satire, a comedy-drama and a no-holds-barred farce.

The five musicals for the 2012-13 Season are OF THEE I SING, CARMELINA, PAL JOEY, CARNIVAL and LITTLE ME. 42nd Street Moon also continues with its special series of Salon Evenings at the Alcazar Theatre, this time with a special January salute to composer/lyricist Frank Loesser: Baby, It’s Cold Outside!

“The twentieth is the modern platinum anniversary, but we’re going with five solid-gold comedies to celebrate,” MacKellan said. “We’ve revisited a few of our past shows in the last three or four years, so to make our 20th anniversary extra-special, Stephanie and I chose musicals that are all first-time productions for Moon.”

“We’re particularly excited to have such an outstanding group of playwrights and songwriters represented – George and Ira Gershwin, George S. Kaufman, Morrie Ryskind, Alan Jay Lerner, Burton Lane, Joseph Stein, Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart, John O’Hara, Frank Loesser, Bob Merrill, Michael Stewart, Neil Simon, Cy Coleman and Carolyn Leigh. The shows we’re doing this year feature some of their finest work. We have two genuine classics in Of Thee I Sing and Pal Joey, two rarely seen gems in Carnival! and Little Me, and a real surprise with the West Coast Premiere of Lerner, Lane and Stein’s Carmelina. Additionally, we have the brilliant comic actor Jason Graae as our guest star for our closing show of the season, Little Me.“

Of Thee I Sing (1931)     The season opens in style with George and Ira Gershwin’s OF THEE I SING. With the book by George S. Kaufman and Morrie Ryskind, this was the first musical to win the Pulitzer Prize for Drama. Congress, the U.S. Supreme Court, the Presidency, and the democratic process itself are all targets in this timeless farce. John P. Wintergreen’s party runs on a “love platform,” promising that he will marry the partner chosen for him at an Atlantic City beauty pageant. Instead, he falls for a White House secretary and the trouble begins. The superb Gershwin score includes Who Cares?, Love is Sweeping the Country, Of Thee I Sing, Baby, Trumpeter Blow Your Golden Horn. Greg MacKellan directs, with Dave Dobrusky musical directing. Dates: Previews Oct. 3 – 5, Opening Oct. 6 through Oct. 21

CARMELINA (1979)  The season continues with the West Coast Premiere of CARMELINA, with lyrics by Alan Jay Lerner, music by Burton Lane, and the book by Lerner and Joseph Stein. Carmelina is the musical version of the film Buona Sera, Mrs. Campbell, which is also the source of the story in the hit Broadway musical, Mamma Mia! Carmelina played briefly on Broadway in 1979 and had two staged concerts at the York Theatre. In 1962, Carmelina Campbell, Italian “widow” of a non-existent soldier, is faced with the return of three American soldiers who liberated San Forino in WWII. One of them is the father of her daughter, Gia … but she’s not sure which! The great score by team that did Royal Wedding and On a Clear Day You Can See Forever includes two standards, One More Walk Around the Garden and It’s Time for a Love Song, as well as Why Him?, Someone in April, I’m a Woman and Love Before Breakfast. Dates: Previews: Oct. 31, Nov. 1 & 2, Opening Nov. 3 through Nov. 18

PAL JOEY (1940) For the holiday season, 42nd Street Moon offers the timeless Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart masterpiece, PAL JOEY. Joey Evans – the charming “heel” with big plans – is back to take Chicago for a wild ride as he schemes to get to the top of the nightclub business. Songs include such Rodgers and Hart classics as I Could Write a Book, Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered, You Mustn’t Kick it Around, Zip, and In Our Little Den of Iniquity. Zack Thomas Wilde directs, with Dave Dobrusky musical directing. Dates: Previews – Nov 28 – 30 Opening Dec. 1 through Dec. 16

CARNIVAL (1961) This magical and beguiling musical of the beloved film Lili brings the world of Lili Daurier, puppeteer Paul Berthalet, roguish magician Marco and all of their circus friends to the stage. By turn bright and colorful and dark and intimate as it explores the milieu of the Cirque de Paris, CARNIVAL sings with a glorious Bob Merrill score: Love Makes the World Go Round, Her Face, She’s My Love, Grand Imperial Cirque de Paris and Mira. Greg MacKellan directs, with Dave Dobrusky musical directing. Dates: Previews – April 3 – 5, Opening April 6 through April 21

LITTLE ME (1962) Jason Graae stars in the final show of the season LITTLE ME, the outrageously funny musical that NY critic Walter Kerr called “a blockbuster so genial it looks like a breeze.” A bright and effervescent Cy Coleman – Carolyn Leigh score highlights Patrick Dennis’ rags-‐ to-‐ riches tale of Belle Poitrine, who moves from the wrong side of the tracks in Venezuela, Illinois, to Hollywood fame and Southampton luxury. The hit songs include Real Live Girl, I’ve Got Your Number, On the Other Side of the Tracks, To Be a Performer. Sharon Rietkerk is featured opposite Graae as Belle Poitrine. Willows Theatre Artistic Director Eric Inman will direct LITTLE ME, with Brandon Adams musical directing. Dates: Previews – May 1 – 3, Opening May 4 through May 19

Salon Evening at the Alcazar Theatre: BABY, IT’S COLD OUTSIDE! THE FRANK LOESSER SALON January 31, 2013 42nd Street Moon celebrates one of Broadway, Hollywood and Tin Pan Alley’s greatest songwriters in a special one-night-only event: The Frank Loesser Salon. During his thirty year career, Loesser wrote great standards – Baby, It’s Cold Outside, Let’s Get Lost, Luck Be a Lady, Heart and Soul, On a Slow Boat to China, If I Were a Bell, Once in Love With Amy, I Believe in You, Standing on the Corner, Dolores, Big D, Inch Worm, Can’t Get Out of This Mood, They’re Either Too Young or Too Old and scores for musical comedies Guys and Dolls, How to Succeed in Business without Really Trying, Where’s Charley? and The Most Happy Fella.

Subscriptions for the 2012-13 Season at the Eureka Theatre, ranging from $95 – $235 with discounts for seniors and students and for those under 30-years-of-age, are available through the 42nd Street Moon Box Office at 415/255-8207 (Tues. – Fri. from noon to 5 pm), or through the website (no order fees) A special Family Matinee Subscription Series is also available for a 1 pm performance on the second Saturday of each production. The Frank Loesser Salon tickets are priced at $50 for subscribers and $70 for non-subscribers.

Current season subscribers are urged to renew by July 1, in order to guarantee the same seats for each performance. (Note: Early Bird deadline is March 25). Single tickets will go on sale August 1 to subscribers, and on August 15 to the general public. The five mainstage performances are presented at San Francisco’s intimate Eureka Theatre, 215 Jackson Street. The Salon evenings are presented at San Francisco’s historic Alcazar Theatre, 650 Geary Street.

42nd Street Moon celebrates and preserves the art and spirit of the American Musical Theatre, contributing to its evolution and continuing vitality by presenting intimate productions of “Uncommon Musicals” — classic and rarely performed shows by the great 20th century composers and lyricists. Through productions, educational programs, and community outreach, the company is committed to increasing the awareness and appreciation of the rich heritage and cultural perspective of the musical theatre and its vast influence on the world stage.

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Pinchas Zukerman performs
Bruch’s Violin Concert with the Orchestra September 5-8

Semyon Bychkov

SAN FRANCISCO, August 2, 2012 — Guest conductor Semyon Bychkov leads the San Francisco Symphony in the first two weeks of concerts of its 2012-13 season for performances of Bruch’s Violin Concerto No. 1 featuring Pinchas Zukerman, Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 5 and Wagner’s Overture to Tannhäuser September 5-8, and Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 11 September 12-15 at Davies Symphony Hall in San Francisco.

Following these two concert weeks, Michael Tilson Thomas leads the San Francisco Symphony in Gala week festivities including the 101st season Gala concert with guest soloist Joshua Bell in honor of Marcia and John Goldman on Wednesday, September 19, its All-San Francisco concert for community groups on Thursday, September 20 at 8pm and Free Outdoor Concert in Justin Herman Plaza across from the Ferry Building at 5pm on Friday, September 21.

Semyon Bychkov has been a frequent guest of the San Francisco Symphony since 1989 last conducting the Orchestra in works by R. Strauss and Schumann in November 2011. Since leaving St Petersburg in the mid 70’s, Semyon Bychkov has been a guest on the podiums of the world’s finest orchestras. With his time carefully balanced between operatic and symphonic repertoire, he has recently appeared in Europe with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, the Gewandhausorchester Leipzig, the Chamber Orchestra of Europe, the Vienna, Berlin and Munich Philharmonics, the London Symphony Orchestra and the BBC Symphony Orchestra, as well as the opera houses of Paris, Vienna, Madrid, Milan and London, where he conducted Elektra (2003), The Queen of Spades (2006), Lohengrin (2009), Don Carlos (2009), Tannhäuser (2010) and La bohème (2012). In the United States, he regularly conducts the Cleveland and Philadelphia Orchestras, the Chicago, Los Angeles and New York Philharmonic Orchestras, and will shortly be returning to the Metropolitan Opera for performances of Otello which will be broadcast across the world Live in HD.
Violinist Pinchas Zukerman is currently in his fourteenth season as Music Director of the National Arts Centre Orchestra in Ottawa, where he has announced he will depart at the conclusion of the 2014-15 season. Zukerman has led the National Arts Centre Orchestra on numerous successful tours, and champions the work of contemporary Canadian composers. Zukerman is also in his fourth season as Principal Guest Conductor of the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra in London, and this year will lead them on a tour of the Switzerland, Russia and the United Kingdom. In the 2012-13 season he will perform numerous guest appearances as soloist and conductor with orchestras including the Boston Symphony Orchestra, the Maarinsky State Theatre Orchestra and the Israel Philharmonic and in recital in Salzburg, Prague, Philadelphia and beyond. In July of 2012 he marked his 100th performance with the New York Philharmonic. His chamber ensemble, the Zukerman Chamber Players, appears at the Ravinia and Toronto summer music festivals this year. He also chairs the Pinchas Zukerman Performance Program at the Manhattan School of Music. Interviews with Zukerman are featured in Orchestra of Exiles, a new documentary film about the genesis of the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra and its founder Bronislaw Huberman. Pinchas Zukerman first appeared with the San Francisco Symphony in 1969.


Davies Symphony Hall

Wednesday, September 5 at 10 am (Open Rehearsal)

Wednesday, September 5 at 8pm

Thursday, September 6 at 8 pm

Friday, September 7 at 8 pm

Saturday, Sept 8 at 8 pm

  • Semyon Bychkov conductor
Pinchas Zukerman violin
  • San Francisco Symphony

Wagner Overture to Tannhäuser [Dresden version]

Bruch Violin Concerto No. 1 in G minor, Opus 26

Tchaikovsky Symphony No. 5 in E minor, Opus 64



Davies Symphony Hall

Wednesday, September 12 at 8 pm

Thursday, September 13 at 2 pm

Friday, September 14 at 8 pm

Saturday, September 15 at 8 pm

Semyon Bychkov conductor
  • San Francisco Symphony

Shostakovich Symphony No. 11 in G minor, Opus 105, The Year 1905

Additional work to be confirmed


Susan Key will give an “Inside Music” talk from the stage one hour prior to each concert. Free to all concert ticket holders; doors open 15 minutes before.

TICKETS: Open Rehearsal: $22 general, $40 reserved. Concerts: $15-$150. Available at , 415-864-6000, or the Davies Symphony Hall Box Office on Grove Street between Van Ness Avenue and Franklin Street in San Francisco.

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American Conservatory Theater Announces One-Night-Only Staged Reading of Dustin Lance Black’s Play “8”

A.C.T. joins nationwide productions of the landmark marriage equality play by the Academy Award–winning screenwriter of Milk


SAN FRANCISCO (July 31, 2012) – American Conservatory Theater (A.C.T.), in association with the American Foundation for Equal Rights (AFER) and Broadway Impact, is proud to announce a one-night-only staged reading of “8,” the landmark play chronicling the historic trial in the federal constitutional challenge to California’s Proposition 8. The play was written by Academy Award–winning screenwriter and AFER Founding Board Member Dustin Lance Black. The reading will take place on Sunday, October 7, 2012, at 7 p.m. at the American Conservatory Theater (415 Geary Street, San Francisco). Proceeds from the reading benefit AFER and LGBTQ youth participating in A.C.T.’s ArtReach program, which offers free student matinee tickets and theater-based pre- and post-show workshops at no cost to 23 public high schools in the Bay Area (including all 18 San Francisco public high schools) with large populations of underserved, low-income students who otherwise would have little exposure to the arts. Casting for the A.C.T. production of “8” will be announced at a later date. Tickets range in price from $50 to $100. A limited number of $250 seats are available and include premium seating and access to a post-performance reception with the cast. Tickets are on sale now and may be purchased online at act-sf.orgor by calling 415.749.2228.

“8” is an unprecedented account of the federal district court trial Perry v. Schwarzenegger (now Perry v. Brown), the case filed by AFER to overturn Proposition 8. Black, who penned the Academy Award–winning feature film Milk and the critically acclaimed film J. Edgar, based “8” on the actual trial transcripts, firsthand observations of what went on in the courtroom, and interviews with the plaintiffs and their families.

Says A.C.T. Artistic Director Carey Perloff: “There’s nothing more thrilling than a well-argued trial about a hugely important issue. We are honored to present “8” at the same time as The Normal Heart, two theater pieces that wrestle with discrimination and compassion in such visceral and palpable ways.”

“From the moment we knew our trial would not be broadcast publicly, we were determined to find a way to address the public’s appetite for the facts in our case, as argued before a court of law,” said AFER Executive Director Adam Umhoefer. “‘8’ does exactly that, and more, shedding light on the discriminatory arguments anti-marriage proponents did not want the American court of public opinion to witness, and clearly demonstrating why our fight for fairness and justice will continue to prevail.”

“I was lucky enough to watch the initial closing arguments of Perry v. Schwarzenegger in San Francisco,” says Broadway Impact cofounder Rory O’Malley (Tony nominee for The Book of Mormon). “We knew then and there that audiences needed to see and hear this story live, as we had done. ‘8’ builds on a successful tradition of documentary theater—plays like The Laramie Project and The Vagina Monologues, which inspire us with their combination of art and activism. We are thrilled to partner with AFER to bring this story to a national audience.”

The plot of “8”is framed by the trial’s historic closing arguments in June 2010 and features the strongest arguments and testimony from both sides. Scenes include flashbacks to some of the more jaw-dropping moments of the trial, such as the admission by the Proposition 8 supporters’ star witness, David Blankenhorn, that “we would be more American on the day we permitted same-sex marriage than we were on the day before.”

“People need to witness what happened in the Proposition 8 trial, if for no other reason than to see inequality and discrimination unequivocally rejected in a court of law where truth and facts matter,” says Black. “I’ve built my career around exposing and uncovering ‘the real story.’ The goal of ‘8’ is to show the world that marriage equality is a basic constitutional right and that those who would deny this basic freedom from loving, committed couples have only vitriol and baseless hyperbole to fall back on. The facts are on our side and truth always finds the light. We are doing all we can to help speed that process along.”

“8” had its heralded world premiere on Broadway on September 19, 2011, at the sold-out Eugene O’Neill Theater in New York City. The production brought in over one million dollars to support AFER’s efforts to achieve full federal marriage equality. “8” recently had its West Coast premiere at the Wilshire Ebell Theatre in Los Angeles, where it featured an all-star cast, including George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Martin Sheen, John C. Reilly, and Kevin Bacon.

Proposition 8 was struck down by a federal district court in August 2010. That decision was appealed to the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit by the anti-marriage proponents of Proposition 8. AFER’s legal team was at the Ninth Circuit in December 2011 for a hearing to urge the court to unseal the trial video—a request that was denied. In February 2012, the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit issued a ruling upholding the historic August 2010 decision of the federal district court that found Proposition 8 unconstitutional.

To purchase tickets, visit act-sf.orgor call 415.749.2228. For additional information on “8”, visit:

Follow “8” on Twitter at @8theplayor on Facebook at


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The Most Comprehensive U.S. Exhibition of the Groundbreaking Artist in Nearly 15 Years

Exhibition through October 08, 2012


Through October 8, 2012, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA) will host the sole West Coast presentation of Cindy Sherman, a traveling retrospective of one of the most significant contemporary artists and arguably the most influential one working exclusively with photography. Known for photographing herself in a range of guises and personas that are by turns amusing and disturbing, distasteful and affecting, Sherman has built an international reputation for an extraordinary body of work. Tracing her career from the mid-1970s to present, the exhibition is the first major U.S. retrospective of the artist in nearly 15 years, introducing Sherman to a new generation of audiences.

Organized by Eva Respini of The Museum of Modern Art in New York (MoMA), Cindy Sherman brings together more than 150 photographs from both public and private collections, including key works from SFMOMA’s own holdings. The presentation at SFMOMA is overseen by Erin O’Toole, assistant curator of photography, and is the first major exhibition of Sherman’s work ever mounted in San Francisco.

Throughout her career, Sherman has presented a sustained, eloquent, and provocative exploration of the construction of contemporary identity, the nature of representation, and the artifice of photography. Her works resonate deeply with our visual culture, drawing from the unlimited supply of images from movies, television, magazines, the Internet, and art history. Today Sherman’s work is the unchallenged cornerstone of postmodern photography.

Masquerading as myriad characters in front of her camera, Sherman has served as her own model for more than 30 years, constructing invented personas and tableaus. To create her photographs, she works unassisted in her studio, and assumes multiple roles as photographer, model, art director, makeup artist, hairdresser, and stylist. Through her skillful guises, she has created an astonishing and continually intriguing variety of culturally resonant characters, from sexy starlet to clown to aging socialite.

“Sherman’s work is particularly relevant to today’s image-saturated culture because she reminds us to be critical consumers of what we see,” says O’Toole. “She holds a mirror up to contemporary society, calling attention to the strangeness of things we tend to see as normal, like fashion, makeup, and plastic surgery.”

Exhibition Overview

Born in 1954 in Glen Ridge, New Jersey, Sherman received her BA from Buffalo State College and moved to New York City in 1977, where she has resided ever since. The exhibition showcases the remarkable range of Sherman’s photography, from her early experiments as a student in Buffalo to her recent large-scale photographic murals, which are customized to fit each installation site. The presentation examines some of the dominant themes prevalent throughout Sherman’s work, such as artifice and fiction, cinema and performance, horror and the grotesque, myth and fairy tale, and gender and class identity.

A selection of ambitious and celebrated works will be highlighted, including a complete set of the seminal Untitled Film Stills (1977–80)—70 black-and-white photographs that feature the artist in stereotypical female roles inspired by 1950s and 1960s Hollywood, film noir, and European art-house films—and all twelve of her centerfolds (1981), in addition to selections from her significant series of works: fairy tale/mythology (1985); history portraits (1988–90); sex pictures (1992); headshots (2000); clowns (2002–04); fashion (1983–84, 1993–94, 2007–08); and society portraits (2008).

The exhibition also premieres, in the U.S., a recently created photographic mural (2010–11) that represents the artist’s first foray into transforming space through site-specific fictive environments. In the mural, Sherman transforms her face digitally, exaggerating her features through Photoshop by elongating her nose, narrowing her eyes, or creating smaller lips. The characters, who sport an odd mix of costumes and are taken from daily life, are elevated to larger-than-life status and tower over the viewer. Set against a decorative toile backdrop, her characters seem like protagonists from their own carnivalesque worlds, where fantasy and reality merge. The new work included in the retrospective offers an opportunity for reassessment in light of the latest developments in Sherman’s oeuvre.

Catalogue and Exhibition Tour

A fully illustrated publication accompanies the exhibition, with essays by exhibition curator Eva Respini and art historian Johann Burton, as well as a new interview with Sherman conducted by filmmaker and artist John Waters.

Cindy Sherman premiered at MoMA in New York (February 26–June 11, 2012), and following SFMOMA’s presentation, it will travel to the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis (November 10, 2012–February 17, 2013), and Dallas Museum of Art (March 17–June 9, 2013).

Cindy Sherman is organized by The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Major support for the San Francisco presentation is provided by the Fisher family, J.P. Morgan, and The Bernard Osher Foundation. Generous support is provided by Carla Emil and Rich Silverstein, Nion McEvoy, and the Bernard and Barbro Osher Exhibition Fund. The St. Regis San Francisco is the official hotel of this exhibition. Media sponsor: San Francisco Chronicle



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September 13–October 7, 2012

SAN FRANCISCO (July 24, 2012)—American Conservatory Theater (A.C.T.) Artistic Director Carey Perloff announced today the casting for the West Coast premiere of The Normal Heart, Larry Kramer’s landmark play focusing on the early years of the AIDS crisis in New York City in the 1980s. Directed by five-time Tony Award winner George C. Wolfe, The Normal Heart unfolds like a real-life political thriller as a tight-knit group of friends refuse to let doctors, politicians, and the press bury the truth about an epidemic ravaging the gay community behind a wall of silence. The Normal Heart performs a limited run September 13–October 7, 2012, at the American Conservatory Theater (415 Geary Street, San Francisco.

The Normal Heart is presented in association with Arena Stage at the Mead Center for American Theater in Washington, D.C., by special arrangement with Daryl Roth.

The Normal Heart will feature original Broadway cast member Patrick Breen in the role of Ned Weeks, the fiery writer and activist at the center of the play. He is joined by noted film and television actress (and fellow original Broadway cast member) Jordan Baker as Dr. Emma Brookner, a passionate physician determined to stop the spread of the mysterious disease. The production also features Tom Berklund (Broadway’s The Addams Family) as Craig Donner/Grady, Matt McGrath (Broadway’s Cabaret, A.C.T.’s The Black Rider) as Felix Turner, Tony Award nominee Michael Berresse (Broadway’s Kiss Me, Kate, A Chorus Line, and The Light in the Piazza) as Mickey Marcus, Sean Dugan (NBC’s Smash) as Tommy Boatwright, Jon Levenson (Broadway’s The Normal Heart) as Hiram Keebler/Examining Doctor, Nick Mennell (Broadway’s A Free Man of Color) as Bruce Niles, and Bruce Altman (HBO’s Game Change) as Ben Weeks.

Says A.C.T. Artistic Director Carey Perloff: “The company that we’ve assembled for this San Francisco outing of The Normal Heart is extraordinary in every way—we’re thrilled to welcome our old friend Matt McGrath back to A.C.T. after his triumph in The Black Rider, and to welcome Patrick Breen and these other remarkable talents to our stage for the first time. We know these wonderful actors will deliver the vivid emotional truth of the play, and we can’t wait to share their work with our audience.”

Fueled by love, anger, hope, and pride, The Normal Heart centers around a circle of friends struggling to contain the mysterious disease ravaging New York’s gay community. First produced in 1985 by Joseph Papp at New York’s Public Theater, the show immediately became a critical sensation and a seminal moment in theater history. Kramer’s unapologetic tackling of the AIDS epidemic, gay marriage, and our national healthcare system casts theatrical light on issues that are as present in today’s national discourse as they were when the play first premiered a quarter of a century ago.

Wolfe’s 2011 Broadway staging received universal acclaim and was the recipient of three Tony Awards, three Drama Desk Awards, and the Outer Circle Critics Circle Award, all naming it Best Revival of a Play. The show was also awarded the Special Citation from the New York Drama Critics Circle.

The Normal Heart reunites members of the Broadway revival’s design team, including scenic designer David Rockwell, costume designer Martin Pakledinaz, lighting designer David Weiner, sound designer and original music composer David Van Tieghem, and projection designer Batwin & Robin. Joining the team is restaging director Leah C. Gardiner.

Tickets for the limited engagement of The Normal Heart are now available online at <>  and by phone at 415.749.2228. Subscribers to A.C.T.’s 2012–13 season will receive priority seating to this highly anticipated production. To order a subscription, visit or call 415.749.2250


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The Hula Show — 5 PERFORMANCES ONLY at the Palace of Fine Arts Theatre

Patrick Makuakāne and his award-winning dance troupe, Nā Lei Hulu I Ka Wēkiu, return to the Palace of Fine Arts Theatre in San Francisco for The Hula Show 2012, with 15 world premieres featuring traditional hula and Makuakāne’s renowned hula mua, which brings the ancient Hawaiian dance form into the modern realm by setting traditional hula movements to non-Hawaiian music.

Performances of The Hula Show 2012 are Saturday, October 20 at 8 p.m., Sunday, October 21 at 3 p.m., Friday, October 26 at 8 p.m., Saturday, October 27 at 8 p.m. and Sunday, October 28 at 3 p.m. A special children’s matinee will take place on Sunday, October 28 at 12 p.m.  Tickets are on sale now through City Box Office at 415-392-4400, on the web at and at all locations.

The opening suite of dances was inspired by King Kalakaua’s jubilee in 1886, celebrating his 50th birthday. King Kalākaua reigned from 1874 to 1891 and is credited for the revitalization of hula in Hawaii. Makuakāne created the suite of dances from a collection of chants commemorating the jubilee. The tribute to King Kalākaua will also feature historic photos from the jubilee.

The show will include the world premiere of “The Little Black Dress Hula,” a smoldering, jazzy hula suite derived from a collection of songs that range from jazzy, contemporary Hawaiian to bluesy, swampy, soul. Other dances honor one of the most famous beaches in the world – Waikiki.

“There is a freedom in hula mua that allows me to fuse not only the past and future, but also traditional hula movements with contemporary music,” says Makuakāne. “We are excited to present The Hula Show 2012 to fans throughout the San Francisco Bay Area.”

Tickets for the opening night performance on Saturday, October 20 will be followed by a champagne reception. Tickets may also be purchased for the Gala Benefit on Saturday, October 27 at 5:30 p.m., featuring a pre-performance Lū‘au, with food from favorite San Francisco restaurants, live Hawaiian music and VIP seating to the 8 p.m. performance. A special children’s matinee (one-hour performance) will take place on Sunday, October 28 at 12 p.m. Tickets are on sale now through City Box Office at 415-392-4400, on the web at and at all locations.

About the Nā Lei Hulu I Ka Wēkiu

Founded in 1985, Nā Lei Hulu I Ka Wēkiu (“the many feathered wreaths at the summit, held in high esteem”) is committed to the preservation and education of the Hawaiian culture through hula.  It has a performance group of nearly 40 dancers and offers classes to students in the beginning and intermediate levels.  The organization holds educational workshops throughout the year in Hawaiian language, history, and arts and crafts.

For further information on Nā Lei Hulu I Ka Wēkiu, call 415-647-3040 or visit


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American Conservatory Theater (A.C.T.) Young Conservatory Director Craig Slaight is proud to present After Juliet, a play that explores what happened after the deaths of Romeo and Juliet.  Written by Sharman Macdonald, After Juliet is based on an original idea by MacDonald’s daughter, Keira Knightley, who asked “What happened after they died?” after seeing a production of Romeo and Juliet at the age of 13. Presented in stunning blank verse, After Juliet follows the friends of the famous star-crossed lovers as they grapple with love and loss. After Juliet performs July 20–August 4, 2012, at Hastings Studio Theater, located at 77 Geary Street, Sixth Floor, San Francisco.  Tickets are $15 and are available by calling the A.C.T. Box Office at 415.749.2228 or online at

When After Juliet opens, the Montagues and Capulets— saddened by the tragedy that has befallen their children—declare peace between the families, but the feud simmers as Rosaline plots to avenge her beloved Romeo’s death and several characters stand on trial for their involvement in the horrific events.  Inventively mixing the classical with the modern, After Juliet presents a fresh look at characters from Shakespeare’s famous work.

Says Slaight: “I’ve always felt that Romeo and Juliet, along with Sophocles’ Antigone (which we produced in the fall), is one of the all-time great teen dramas. Here Macdonald, who has previously written for the A.C.T. Young Conservatory (Broken Hallelujah), extends the drama’s complexities as the friends must grapple with untimely death and lingering feelings that still divide the two families. The rich, heightened language pushes our young actors to stretch their techniques, and the bracing muscular tension among the characters rings true to our contemporary world, reminding us that the egregious acts of senseless adults are reflected in the actions of the youth.”

Featuring direction by Domenique Lozano, this provocative play features a talented young cast from across the Bay Area. The cast includes Bonnie Castleman (Livia), Michael Dinardo (Lorenzo), Diyar Eyuboglu (Alice), Dori Goldberg (Gianni), Alexandra Hearn (Juliet), Ethan Haslam (Valentine), Marc Hills (Benvolio), Owen Keith (Petruchio), Alexandra Lee (Bianca), Isabel Schroedel (Rosaline), Amy Shapiro (Angelica), and Janie Weaver (Helena).

Craig Slaight is a resident artist and the director of the Young Conservatory at American Conservatory Theater. Slaight assumed the leadership of the Young Conservatory in 1988. During his time at A.C.T., he has taught in all of the conservatory programs and served as a director on A.C.T. mainstage productions and as a member of the artistic team of the company. Slaight began the Young Conservatory’s New Plays Program in 1989 with the mission to develop plays by outstanding professional playwrights that view the world through the eyes of the young. To date 37 new plays by leading American and British playwrights have been developed and produced. With A.C.T.’s Jack Sharrar, Slaight has edited numerous anthologies of scenes and monologues for actors and is the editor of five volumes of New Plays from A.C.T.’s Young Conservatory. Before coming to A.C.T., Slaight was an award-winning professional director in Los Angeles. He has also directed in England at the National Theatre and Theatre Royal Bath.

Domenique Lozano has directed A Christmas Carol on the A.C.T. mainstage for the past five years.  A resident artist at A.C.T., Lozano teaches in numerous programs and has directed many projects with the Young Conservatory and M.F.A. Program. Her Young Conservatory projects include the world premiere of the new musical Homefront; the American premiere of After Juliet; the world premieres of Sarah Daniel’s Dust and Constance Congdon’s Nightingales; a coproduction with the Hochschule für Musik und Theater in Zürich of Paul Steinmann’s Only Victory; and the West Coast premieres of Jeffrey Hatcher’s Korczak’s Children and Wendy MacLeod’s School Girl Figure. Her directing work with the M.F.A. Program includes Caught with Her Pants Down, Richard III, and numerous graduating class showcases and Will on Wheels touring Shakespeare productions, as well as the M.F.A. Program/Young Conservatory coproduction of Amy Herzog’s The Wendy Play. Other directing credits include The Countess with Center REPertory Company; Two for the Seesaw with Marin Theatre Company; Inspecting Carol and the West Coast premiere of Jane Martin’s Anton in Show Business with San Jose Stage Company; and The Norman Conquests, Holiday, The Real Thing, and She Loves Me with Napa Valley Repertory Theatre, of which she was a founding member and associate artistic director. Acting credits include work with such theaters as California Shakespeare Theater, where she is an artistic associate, A.C.T., Berkeley Repertory Theatre, San Jose Repertory Theatre, San Jose Stage Company, and the Oregon Shakespeare Festival. Lozano has also taught throughout the Bay Area at such institutions as Saint Mary’s College, UC Davis, California Shakespeare Theater, and Berkeley Repertory Theatre.

The A.C.T. Young Conservatory offers a broad range of theater training for young people aged 8 to 19. The ten sessions of classes and eight public productions offered throughout the year are designed to develop talent and creativity, as well as communication and cooperation skills, for young people with all levels of theater background. Working professional actors and directors lead students in a spectrum of classes, including acting, directing, voice and speech, musical theater, audition, and improvisation. Call 415.439.2444 or visit applications and information.

After Juliet is made possible by a generous grant from The Bernard Osher Foundation and donors to A.C.T.’s season gala.
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Program updates for 2012-13 season announced

The San Francisco Symphonyannounced today that tickets for individual concerts in the 2012-2013 season, which begins September 5, will go on sale Monday, July 23. Tickets will be on sale at, 415-864-6000, and at the Davies Symphony Hall box office for all of the Symphony’s concerts that have been available so far only by subscription package.

The Orchestra’s first season in its second century combines a commitment to new and rarely heard music with in-depth explorations of core classical repertoire and composers. The San Francisco Symphony’s 101st season opens Wednesday, September 5, when Russian guest conductor Semyon Bychkov joins the Orchestra for two concert weeks. Pinchas Zukerman performs Bruch’s Violin Concerto No. 1 with the Orchestra, and Bychkov leads the musicians in Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 5. During the second week of concerts, the Orchestra performs Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 11, The Year 1905 with Bychkov.

Michael Tilson Thomas

On Wednesday, September 19, Music Director Michael Tilson Thomas and the Orchestra perform the annual Opening Gala, joined by guest violinist Joshua Bell in works by Saint-Saëns and Chausson. Other highlights of the San Francisco Symphony’s fall concert season include Tilson Thomas and the Orchestra in Mahler’s Symphony No. 5 and a new work by Samuel Carl Adams; András Schiff performing Bach masterworks in the first concerts of a two-year residency; conducting debuts by Vladimir Jurowski and Jaap van Zweden; and visits by Yuja Wang and Lang Lang to perform with MTT and the Orchestra. In October, Wang performs Rachmaninoff’s Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini and Prokofiev’s Piano Concerto No. 2, in advance of her Asian tour with the Orchestra.

Among the major highlights of the 2012-13 season are Tilson Thomas and the Orchestra’s explorations of music by Stravinsky and Beethoven. The programs trace the composers’ early musical influences and ideas, from rarely performed pieces forward through their later, well-known works. MTT, now in his 18th season with the Orchestra, also will create an original video installation for Beethoven’s Missa solemnis and a new staged concert production of Peer Gynt, featuring music by Grieg, Alfred Schnittke, and Robin Holloway. MTT will lead the first-ever concert performances by an orchestra of Leonard Bernstein’s complete music for West Side Story.

The Orchestra premieres new work by contemporary composers, including performances with MTT of a new SFS commission by Robin Holloway with soprano Renée Fleming, a re-imagining for orchestra of Debussy’s Ariettes oubliées, based on Paul Verlaine’s poems. SFS Assistant Concertmaster Mark Volkert premieres his new work Pandora with MTT and the Orchestra in December.

Baritone Matthias Goerne will perform Wagner’s Wotan’s Farewell from Die Walküre and “Die Frist ist um” from The Flying Dutchman with conductor Christoph Eschenbach and the Orchestra, in place of Detlev Glanert’s orchestrations of Brahms’s Four Preludes and Serious Songs. For Yefim Bronfman’s performances with the Orchestra in December, Beethoven’s Emperor Concerto replaces the SFS co-commissioned Jörg Widmann piano concerto, which will be premiered in a later season.

The Orchestra also announced the musicians and programs for its chamber music concerts at Davies Symphony Hall and at the Palace of the Legion of Honor. In June 2013, the Orchestra and Chorus perform a tribute concert to SF Symphony President John D. Goldman. Also announced today and on sale July 23 is a concert with Gipsy Kings at Davies Symphony Hall on March 29. (Editors, please note: The SF Symphony is not performing on this concert).

Tickets are available for all SF Symphony concerts in the 2012-13 season beginning at 8 a.m. Monday, July 23 at the Davies Symphony Hall Box Office (on Grove Street between Van Ness and Franklin) and at 10 a.m. online at www.sfsymphony.organd by phone at 415-864-6000.

Click hereto view the complete, revised San Francisco Symphony 2012-2013 Season concert calendar, including all current program updates. For more information, please contact the San Francisco Symphony Public Relations Department at publicrelations@sfsymphony.orgor (415) 503-5474, or visit the website at

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Lulu by the Bay: Louise Brooks is legend in Pandora’s Box

FROM SF GATE BLOG BY THOMAS GLADYSZ —  On Saturday July 14th, the San Francisco Silent Film Festival will show Pandora’s Box. Today, it is considered one of the great films of all time, largely in part because of the stunning performance given by Louise Brooks in the role of Lulu. Saturday’s event marks the second time in the Festival’s 17 year history that G.W. Pabst’s 1929 masterpiece has been shown. However, it is the first time that this very special version of the film has been seen anywhere in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Pandora's Box poster
Pandora’s Box screens Saturday

For locals, and for Louise Brooks fans everywhere, this San Francisco screening is a must attend event. That’s because the San Francisco Silent Film Festival is showing a new and true, frame-by-frame, digital restoration of Pandora’s Box. And by all reports, it is gorgeous. Not available on DVD, this restoration has only been shown twice before anywhere in the world. And what’s more, the team responsible for the restoration are local residents Angela Holm, David Ferguson and Vincent Pirozzi. They will be introducing the event at the Castro theater.

Controversial, censored, cut, and critically disregarded when it first debuted, Pandora’s Box is today considered one of great silent films. This restoration, the Festival’s centerpiece event, was funded by silent movie enthusiast and Louise Brooks partisan Hugh Hefner. It may come as close as we will ever get to director Pabst’s original vision – and Brooks’ original luminescence.

This screening is also significant as it marks something of return for the character of Lulu, whose creator was almost born in San Francisco. As most filmgoers know,Pandora’s Box is based on two plays, Earth Spirit (1895) and Pandora’s Box (1904), by the German writer Frank Wedekind (1864 – 1918). Today, he is best known as the author of Spring Awakening (1891), which six years ago was turned into a hugely popular Broadway musical.

What’s little known is that Wedekind’s parents were European immigrants resident in San Francisco in the years following the 1849 Gold Rush. His German father was a physician and progressive democrat whose participation in the Revolutions of 1848 (in the German states) led him to exile in America. Wedekind’s Swiss mother was an attractive singer and actress twenty-three years his junior. This unlikely and unconventional union has led some scholars to speculate that the relationship between Wedekind’s parents could have served as a model for the similar, unconventional relationship between the older and respected Dr. Schon and the much younger showgirl Lulu in Pandora’s Box.


A scene from Pandora's Box


Of course, such things are open to interpretation. However, what we do know is that Friedrich Wedekind and Emilie Kammerer’s second child – the future writer – was conceived in San Francisco, and born in what is now Hanover, Germany. According to Wedekind’s biography, early in the pregnancy the homesick couple risked a return to their homeland, and stayed. And that’s where Benjamin Frank(lin) Wedekind, named for the free-thinking American writer, was born in 1864.

To mark the occasion of the first ever showing of the restored Pandora’s Box in San Francisco, what follows is a brief, discursive history of the film’s reception in the United States and the greater Bay Area.

Pandora’s Box had its world premiere in February of 1929 at the Gloria–Palast theater in Berlin. German reviews of the time were mixed, even dismissive. (See the essay in the Festival program for a fuller account.) Some months later, when Pandora’s Box opened at a single theater in New York City, American newspaper and magazine critics were similarly ambivalent, and even hostile.

In its now infamous review, the New York Times critic stated, “In an introductory title the management sets forth that it has been prevented by the censors from showing the film in its entirety, and it also apologizes for what it termed ‘an added saccharine ending’.” Adding salt to the wound, the Times critic noted, “Miss Brooks is attractive and she moves her head and eyes at the proper moment, but whether she is endeavoring to express joy, woe, anger or satisfaction it is often difficult to decide.” Ouch.

Despite poor reviews, the film drew crowds. The New York Sun reported that Pandora’s Box ” . . . has smashed the Fifty-fifth Street Playhouse’s box office records,” and was held over for another week. With its brief run completed, Pandora’s Box fell into an obscurity from which it barely escaped.

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Things have changed since the late 1920s, and the reputation of Pandora’s Box has continued to grow. The film has been screened numerous times in the last few decades, and perhaps nowhere more often than in the San Francisco Bay Area. Chances are if you are still reading this article you saw an earlier print at the Castro Theater in San Francisco or the Pacific Film Archive in Berkeley, where between those two venues the film has been shown nearly two dozen times since the mid-1970s.

As far as I have been able to document, the first screening of Pandora’s Box in the City of San Francisco took place at the old Surf Theater in January of 1974, as part of a double bill with The Last Laugh. A couple of years earlier, in October of 1972, the Pacific Film Archive had screened it in Berkeley in what could have been one of the film’s earliest East Bay screenings.

One of those early East Bay screenings was likely prompted by film critic Pauline Kael, who was then living in the Bay Area and had a hand in local film exhibition. At that time, Kael was also corresponding with Louise Brooks, who was living in Rochester, New York. On at least one occasion in their exchange of letters, Kael implored Brooks to come to the Bay Area to be present at a screening of Pandora’s Box. But Brooks, who was reclusive, wouldn’t budge.

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Louise Brooks made a rare personal appearance at the American Theater in Oakland while in the Bay Area filming the now lost 1927 comedy, Rolled Stockings.

In all likelihood, the very first screening of Pandora’s Box in the Bay Area took place in 1962, when the Monterey Peninsula College in Monterey screened a print ofPandora’s Box as part of its Peninsula Film Seminar. The event was organized around a visit by Brooks’ early champion and friend James Card, who brought with him a small collection of rare films, including a messy, unrestored version of the Pabst masterpiece.

Card’s print of Pandora’s Box was probably one of the very few prints of the film in the United States. And in all likelihood, Pandora’s Box and the other films shown at the Seminar were works the attendees had only heard of but not seen.

According to newspaper reports of the time, the Peninsula Film Seminar was a big deal in local film circles. And notably, it was attended by Bay Area cognoscenti like Pauline Kael, future San Francisco poet Laureate Jack Hirschman, a few East Bay film promoters involved with the Berkeley Film Guild, and others.

And there, in Monterey, the seeds were first sown for the film’s now large reputation in the Bay Area. Follow this link to see a list of all known screenings of Pandora’s Box in the San Francisco Bay Area. If you know of other early screenings of this historic film, please send an email.

The San Francisco Silent Film Festival takes place July 12 through 15 at the Castro Theater in San Francisco. More info, including a compete program of films, can be found at

Thomas Gladysz is a Bay Area arts journalist and early film buff, and the Director of the Louise Brooks Society, an internet-based archive and international fan club devoted to the silent film star. Gladysz has contributed to books on the actress, organized exhibits, appeared on television and radio, and introduced Brooks’ films around the world. He will be signing copies of his “Louise Brooks edition” of The Diary of a Lost Girl following the screening of Pandora’s Box at this year’s San Francisco Silent Film Festival.

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Asian Art Museum Exhibition Uses Contemporary Lens to

Explore Important Collection of Rare Chinese Masterworks

Chinese calligraphy—long considered the most sublime art form in China—is like a carefully choreographed dance, its steps guided by tradition. By manipulating a brush with varied movements and pressures, calligraphers create sensuous strokes: their ink dances across surfaces of silk, satin, or paper, presenting balance within a character, harmony among words, and rhythm across lines of text. With mind and hand in accord, calligraphers express the strength of their character through their characters.

This fall, the Asian Art Museum presents Out of Character: Decoding Chinese Calligraphy, a compelling new exhibition examining the complexities of this time-honored art form through 40 calligraphies—including 15 noted masterworks, many on public view for the first time—all borrowed from the significant collection of Bay Area entrepreneur Jerry Yang. The calligraphies are supplemented with three major abstract expressionist paintings by Brice Marden, Franz Kline, and Mark Tobey, plus a newly commissioned video installation by acclaimed international contemporary artist Xu Bing. Together, these artworks offer a stimulating exploration of creativity expressed within the constraints of artistic discipline.

The exhibition is accompanied by an extensive catalogue featuring essays by leading calligraphy experts, as well as a multimedia tour—including the perspective of Jerry Yang—and other public programs.

Out of Character is on view at the museum October 5, 2012, through January 13, 2013. The Robert H. N. Ho Family Foundation is the Presenting Sponsor of the exhibition.

After its presentation at the Asian Art Museum, the exhibition is scheduled to tour to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, in 2014.

“Through the centuries, a complex set of rules and conventions evolved in this art form, governing scripts, styles, formats, content, and context, and impacting every aspect of the Chinese calligrapher’s practice,” said Jay Xu, director of the Asian Art Museum. “The unique mix presented in Out of Character—classic calligraphies complemented by modern and new works—offers a framework for understanding that within these constraints, creativity and self-expression remained the goals of the calligrapher.”

The first major exhibition of Chinese calligraphy in the U.S. since 1999, Out of Character is organized by the Asian Art Museum and curated by Dr. Michael Knight, the museum’s senior curator of Chinese art, and Dr. Joseph Chang, senior research fellow at the museum’s Research Institute for Asian Art.

In organizing the exhibition, the curators—with input from several noted scholars from both China and the U. S.—drew upon superb calligraphies from the Guan Yuan Shan Zhuang (The Mountain Villa for Gazing Afar), a significant collection of more than 250 works owned by Yang. Many of the artworks will be on public view for the first time, offering museum visitors a rare opportunity to see such masterworks as Lotus Sutra, a late 13th-to-early-14th-century handscroll by Zhao Mengfu (1254–1322). On view also will be the earliest dated calligraphy outside China by Dong Qichang (1555–1636).

“There aren’t many opportunities for people to experience firsthand the complexity and diversity of Chinese calligraphy,” said Jerry Yang. “For me, understanding and appreciating Chinese calligraphy has been a journey of discovery, inspiration, and fulfillment. I’m proud for the Asian Art Museum—known for its scholarship and pursuit of cultural understanding—to share these works with the broader community, enabling others to more fully appreciate the complex beauty and significance of this art form.”

“There is no question that an essential aspect of Chinese culture is its language and writing,” said Robert Y. C. Ho, Chairman of The Robert H. N. Ho Family Foundation, “Chinese calligraphy is a highly complex, beautiful and sometimes inscrutable system that has evolved over several millennia and is central to China’s political, cultural and social development. It captures and defines virtually every aspect of Chinese history and culture in a way that perhaps no other art form can.”

Viewers will encounter the bold, streamlined presentation of Out of Character in three key sections: first, an introduction provides an overview of tools, materials, and techniques critical to understanding and appreciating Chinese calligraphy. This section features 25 calligraphies illustrating key elements including format, script, styles, content and context; in the second section, 15 featured calligraphies illustrate in depth the elements presented in the introduction; and third, a contemporary response by artist Xu Bing offers a cultural perspective on the nature of calligraphy.



The Asian Art Museum–Chong-Moon Lee Center for Asian Art and Culture is one of San Francisco’s premier arts institutions and home to a world-renowned collection of more than 18,000 Asian art treasures spanning 6,000 years of history. Through rich art experiences, centered on historic and contemporary artworks, the Asian Art Museum unlocks the past for visitors, bringing it to life, while serving as a catalyst for new art, new creativity, and new thinking.


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