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Centerplate and Teamsters Reach Agreement for Employees at AT&T Park, Other SF Venues: New Pressure on Local 2 UNITE HERE to Bargain in Good Faith

San Francisco—Centerplate, one of the largest hospitality and concession companies in North America, and San Francisco’s Teamsters Local 853 recently announced the ratification of a collective bargaining agreement for 200 retail and food service employees working at AT&T Park, Candlestick, and the Cow Palace. The agreement, which extends through March 31, 2016, includes an immediate wage increase, a signing bonus and excellent health and welfare benefits.

The announcement comes as Local 2 Unite Here refuses to respond to Centerplate’s proposals for a wage increase and bonus for food service workers at AT&T Park and Candlestick. Rather than negotiating a fair deal with Centerplate, Local 2′s Union boss, Mike Casey, has stated for months he will not agree to Centerplate’s economic proposal while at the same time refusing to provide a counter proposal.

“Centerplate would like to thank the Teamsters for working with us to achieve a deal for our employees and provide our team with the wages and benefits they deserve,” said Sam Singer, spokesperson for Centerplate. “It is bizarre to us that we can come to terms with the Teamsters in a matter of hours for an agreement that provides for improved wages, while Local 2 continues to focus on irrelevant issues. We invite Local 2 to return to the table with a renewed sense of urgency to accept our proposal that immediately puts money in the pockets of our employees—their members,” said Singer.

The agreement reached between Centerplate and the Teamsters took a total of 6 hours and includes the following terms:

1)      An immediate $1.50 per hour increase and a minimum of a $.40 per hour increase in years 2 and 3 of the contract for Food Service workers;

2)      A $500 signing bonus for Food Service workers who worked at least 40 events last year;

3)      An immediate $1.40 per hour increase and a $.30 per hour increase for years 2 and 3 of the contract for Merchandise workers;

4)      A $100 signing bonus for Merchandise workers who worked at least 40 events last year; and

5)      A $5,000 increase in pension contributions per year, raising Centerplate’s annual pension contribution to $20,000 per year.

Last month, Local 2 union leaders walked out on contract negotiations with Centerplate and a Federal Mediator, once again failing to make an economic counter proposal, thereby denying, for the time being, Centerplate’s employees at AT&T Park and Candlestick the economic benefits that would flow from a new contract.

“We hope this sends a clear message to Unite Here’s labor boss, Mike Casey, that it’s possible that we can reach a fair and reasonable deal, but that doing so requires both parties to focus on the best outcome for Centerplate’s employees, not on third parties,” said Singer. “These past few months, Mike Casey has spent almost as much time picketing and demonstrating as he has sitting at the negotiation table where a fair deal awaits Centerplate employees. Ultimately, it’s the employees who are paying the price. Centerplate’s deal with the Teamsters demonstrates again that we are willing to deliver bonuses, salary increases, and the health and welfare security that our employees deserve,” said Singer.

Under Union boss Casey, Local 2 continues to make non-economic demands outside of the concessionaire’s control and has threatened years of potential labor strife and demonstrations. In May, Local 2 was sued by Centerplate for attempting to illegally force the San Francisco Giants into signing a “successor addendum” that would bind the baseball team, and any future concessionaire at AT&T Park, to the same terms Local 2 negotiates with Centerplate. This action is illegal under federal labor law, Centerplate officials said, because the foodservice employees at AT&T Park are employed by Centerplate and not the San Francisco Giants, who are being unfairly dragged into a fight that is not theirs to have.

As a seasonal, part-time labor force, Centerplate’s employees currently earn the highest wages in the nation, making an average of approximately $15 to $20 per hour. These part-time employees also receive some of the best benefits, with fully paid healthcare individually and for their families. Most of these workers do not work enough hours to qualify for health benefits under Obamacare, but Centerplate has provided it to them all along.

To ensure seamless exceptional service for fans, Centerplate has made an offer than includes:

  • A ratification bonus of approximately 4.5 percent—$500—for those who worked more than 40 games in 2012;
  • A 1.7 percent annual wage increase on top of what already is the best compensation package in the industry;
  • Increased contribution of 9.2 percent to the Unite Here benefit plans; and
  • Employer paid health care for employees and their families.

For months, Centerplate has been in negotiations over a new contract. Local 2 delayed requesting negotiations for nearly two years and, even after it first offered to bargain, Local 2 dragged its feet and delayed negotiations. Throughout this time, Centerplate has been encouraging Local 2 to move quickly to find a solution.

“Nothing is more important to Centerplate than our employee partners and the customer service experience we provide guests. Local 2’s actions and demands are an attack on our guests and the community groups we partner with at AT&T Park and Candlestick. It is time for Local 2 to come back to the table and focus on a realistic agreement,” Singer said.

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VIDEO GAMES LIVE! COMES TO SAN FRANCISCO FOR TWO NEW SHOWS JULY 25 AND 26 WITH THE SAN FRANCISCO SYMPHONY AND CHORUS AT DAVIES SYMPHONY HALL

Pre-concert costume contest and Guitar Hero competition; Guitar Hero winner plays with  San Francisco Symphony on stage

Open, free meet and greet with game luminaries follows concert experience

VIDEO GAMES LIVE, a complete celebration and multimedia concert experience featuring music and scenes from the most popular video games of all time, comes to San Francisco for two new shows with the San Francisco Symphony and Chorus July 25 and 26 at 7:30 at Davies Symphony Hall. The Orchestra performs music to scenes from games including Final Fantasy, Skyrim, Chrono Cross, Shadow of the Colossus, Super Mario Brothers, a special 25th anniversary Zelda celebration, and more.

VIDEO GAMES LIVE features the best music and exclusive synchronized video clips from the best-loved games, from the beginning of video gaming to the present. The show combines exclusive video footage and music arrangements with synchronized lighting, solo performers, stage show production, special FX, electronic percussionists, and unique interactive segments. The power and emotion of a symphony orchestra is mixed with the excitement and energy of a rock concert and the technology, fun, and interactivity of a video game, all synchronized into an amazing cutting-edge audience experience.

The show has scenes and music from the more recent blockbuster games as well as a segment dedicated to the old retro arcade classics, with both modern music and older, memorable pieces never heard played live. Legendary video game composer and industry icon Tommy Tallarico created and produces the show, and he will be on stage for each performance as emcee and guitarist. The live show features special interactive segments where audience members come up and compete, while the Orchestra plays the game music in perfect synchronization with the visuals on screen.

All ticket holders are invited to participate in a Guitar Hero competition beginning one hour prior to the concert, a pre-concert costume contest. The winner of the Guitar Hero competition will play a song on stage with the Orchestra, and the winner of the costume contest will be selected from the stage just prior to the show. Other prizes will also be given away. Post-show activities open to all ticket holders include a meet and greet with game industry luminaries. Tickets for an “Ultimate Gamer” VIP experience at Davies Symphony Hall prior to the concert are sold separately through Video Games Live!

Tickets for VIDEO GAMES LIVE are on sale now at www.sfsymphony.org or 415-864-6000, and at the Davies Symphony Hall Box Office, on Grove Street between Van Ness Avenue and Franklin Street in San Francisco.

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Playwrights Foundation 36th Annual Bay Area Playwrights Festival


SIX NEW WORKS IGNITE THE 2013 BAY AREA PLAYWRIGHTS FESTIVAL (BAPF) NEW PLAYS BY


LAURA SCHELLHARDT, PRINCE GOMOLVILAS,
JIEHAE PARK, ERIN BREGMAN, KIMBER LEE, AND JOAN HOLDEN

July 19-21, 26-28

Thick House Theater
1695 18th Street, SF

The Playwrights Foundation’s 36th Annual Bay Area Playwrights Festival (BAPF) will take place July 19-28, 2013 at the Thick House Theater in San Francisco. BAPF 2013 is a diverse and eclectic cycle of work that builds on the past three plus decades of new plays at BAPF, highlighting a range of voices that span cultures and generations, from emerging playwrights to honored veterans. The six selected plays are by playwrights Laura Schellhardt, Prince Gomolvilas, Jiehae Park, Erin Bregman, Kimber Lee, and Joan Holden. The plays range from the mysterious to the metaphysical; from wittily deconstructing the current political crisis on the Korean Peninsula to a play celebrating the 50th Anniversary of the Free Speech Movement.

”The creative capacity and artistic range of this group of writers is extraordinary. And, they are asking very important questions about our world – abandoning conventions of time and space, utilizing language, rhythm and theatrical device in excitingly innovative ways.” remarks Amy Mueller, Playwrights Foundation’s Artistic Director. “These writers span decades – from exceptional young voices, just breaking into the field, to proven veterans exploring new territory – this year is a choose-your-own-experience kind of festival.”

BAPF 2013′s six full-length works, chosen from over 500 submissions explore the American experience both historically and today. Laura Schellhardt’s The Comparables is a ballsy satire between three women at the top of their game; The Brothers Paranormal by Prince Gomolvilas real and imagined Ghosts, in a Thai style sci-fi mystery; Hannah and the Dread Gazebo by emerging playwright Jiehae Park – North vs South Korea can’t stop the wild beasts of the DMZ; Erin Bregman’s play Before & After grapples with memory, afterlife, a metaphysical journey; brownsville song (b-side for tray) by recent PONY Award winner Kimber Lee- Poetic, dreamlike, tragic – the cost of inner city violence; FSM by legendary, Bay Area playwright Joan Holden, is a musical about the Free Speech Movement at UC Berkeley. A producing partnership with Oakland’s Stagebridge Theatre.

All 2013 Bay Area Playwrights Festival performances take place at the Thick House Theater,1695 18th Street. .In addition to readings BAPF includes the New Play Institute playwriting classes, interactive dialogue with playwrights and directors, a Playwrights Panel, and the annual Symposium.
For tickets and more information, visit www.playwrightsfoundation.org.

Bay Area Playwrights Festival – Recent Plays Go National & International
Playwrights Foundation’s Summer 2012 BAPF featured The Hundred Flowers Project by Christopher Chen, recent winner of the 2012 Glickman Award. Grounded by George Brandt, (2012 BAP) is a recipient of a NNPN 3-City Rolling World Premiere beginning at the SF Playhouse in September 2013, to play 5 additional cities in the US and UK. In May of 2012 Playwrights Foundation in partnership with the French Consulate General of San Francisco launched the wildly successful Des Voix… Found in Translation Festival which celebrated and translated the work of three contemporary French playwrights. As well as a collaborative French and American playwriting/dance event, a “Bal Littéraire” at Z Space, which has resulted in multiple production commitments in the US. Residencies and co-productions are bearing fruit as in our collaboration with Resident Playwright Chris Chen on the Glickman award-winning The Hundred Flowers Project with San Francisco’s risk taking Crowded Fire Theater Company, and the most recent with StageBridge on The FSM Project (Free Speech Movement) by treasured playwright Joan Holden.

Bay Area Playwrights Festival was founded by legendary director Robert Woodruff and for more than three decades has identified young playwrights who have gone on to shape the landscape of American theater and win every award in the theater world. Based in San Francisco, BAPF is a program of Playwrights Foundation, now recognized as one of the top tier of new play development centers in the country, the only one of its size and scope on the West Coast. Among the most recent of the hundreds of writers and plays that BAPF has supported over the last 37 years are: Katori Hall (The Mountaintop BAPF 08’); Marcus Gardley (…and Jesus Moonwalks the Mississippi ’04; every tongue confess BAPF 08’ among others); Sheila Callaghan (Port Out, Starboard Home BAPF ’10), Lascivious Something, BAPF ‘06); Rajiv Joseph (Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo, ‘05); Sam Hunter (I Am Montana ’06; A Bright New Boise ‘07); Annie Baker (Body Awareness BAPF ‘07). Clarence Coo ‘s play Beautiful Province, which was worked on BAPF 2011, was picked out of a 1000 plays to win 2012 Yale Drama Series Award, in large part, because of the work he did on it at the BAPF, according to the playwright. Lauren Yee’s Samsara, which was worked on at the most recent BAPF 2012, was just selected for the Eugene O’Neil Theater Center’s 2013 National Playwrights Conference; Aaron Loeb’s Ideation (BAPF 2012) will premiere at SF Playhouse next season; and Aditi Brennan Kapil’s Brahman/I (BAPF 2012) opens next month in Minneapolis at Mixed Blood Theater. The annual Bay Area Playwrights Festival is the place to experience exceptional plays as they are being created. PF has won two Horty Glickman Producer Awards for Best New Play (2005 & 2012).

The BAPF 2013 Plays-
Laura Schellhardt – The Comparables, Three women vie for power in the cutthroat world of high-end real estate Who, if anyone, will survive the ordeal, and to what lengths will they go to ensure success? A neo-feminist satire that begs the question: for women in the competitive world, is there more than one way to do business?

Prince Gomolvilas – The Brothers Paranormal, Two Thai-American brothers launch a ghost-hunting business in order to capitalize on the nationwide increase in sightings of Asian-looking ghosts. When the siblings end up investigating the home of a couple that claims to be haunted by one very terrifying spirit, everyone’s notions of reality, fantasy, and sanity clash against the shocking truth.

Jiehae Park – Hannah and the Dread Gazebo, Inside the FedEx box are two things: a 100% bona-fide-heart’s-desire-level wish and a suicide note. Hannah tracks the package back to Seoul, where her grandmother recently jumped from the roof of her retirement home onto the wrong side of the Demilitarized Zone. They’ll need North Korea’s permission to retrieve the body, but Kim Jong Il just kicked the bucket, and things in the DMZ are even stranger than they seem.

Erin Bregman – Before & After, An experiment in form, the play follows the journey of a single soul who grapples with a metaphysical dilemma: shift forward to a new phase of life and forget what was before or, remember, and remain in the ever-after. Without memory, what remains of your life after you’ve lived?

Kimber Lee – brownsville song (b-side for tray), In a Brooklyn neighborhood housing project, time moves in scattered rhythms, pivoting unpredictably between before and after. As members of Tray’s family struggle with his untimely death, they stumble through loss, find each other, and fight their way toward hope.

Joan Holden – FSM, Half a century ago, thousands of the best and brightest students in California rose up in a mass nonviolent protest that put Berkeley on the world map. They resisted weeks of divide-and-conquer tactics, performed miracles of self-organization, closed down the campus with a strike, and won. Formally, they demanded freedom for political speech; just under the surface, they were demanding it for themselves, from the grey-flannel life that was being prepared for them by authority, parents’ expectations, the hypocrisy and rigidity of the 1950’s.

Playwrights:
Laura Schellhardt’s original works include THE COMPARABLES, UPRIGHT GRAND, AIR GUITAR HIGH, AUCTIONING THE AINSLEYS, HOW TO REMOVE BLOOD FROM A CARPET, THE K OF D, COURTING VAMPIRES, and SHAPESHIFTER. Adaptations include THE PHANTOM TOLLBOOTH, THE MYSTERIES OF HARRIS BURDICK and THE OUTFIT. She is also the author of Screenwriting for Dummies. Laura is a recipient of the TCG National Playwriting Residency, the Jerome Fellowship, ACT’s New Play Award, an AATE Distinguished Play Award, and a Dramatist Guild Playwriting Fellowship. She has participated in the SoHo Rep. Writer/Director Lab, the Women Playwrights Festival at SRT, The Kennedy Center New Voices/New Vision Festival, The Bonderman Symposium, and the O’Neill National Playwrights Festival. Laura received her MFA in playwriting from Brown under the direction of Paula Vogel. She currently directs the undergraduate playwriting program at Northwestern University.

Prince Gomolvilas’ plays include Big Hunk o’ Burnin’ Love, The Theory of Everything, and the stage adaptation of the Scott Heim novel, Mysterious Skin, which have been produced around United States, in the U.K., and in Singapore. He received the PEN Center USA Literary Award for Drama; Julie Harris/Janet and Maxwell Salter Playwright Award; International Herald Tribune/SRT Playwriting Award; East West Players’ Made in America Award for Outstanding Artistic Achievement for the Asian Pacific Islander Community; and grants from the National Endowment for the Arts and Wallace Alexander Gerbode Foundation. He is the Associate Director of the Master of Professional Writing Program at the University of Southern California, where he also teaches writing for stage and screen. He received his MFA in Playwriting from San Francisco State University.

Jiehae Park is a playwright and actor in NYC. Her second full-length, HANNAH AND THE DREAD GAZEBO, won the 2013 Leah Ryan Prize for Emerging Women Writers and will be developed at the Bay Area Playwrights Festival and Ojai Playwrights Conference this summer. The script was also a finalist for the O’Neill Playwrights Conference and Abingdon’s Chris Wolk Award, as well as a semifinalist for the Premiere Stages Festival. She is a proud member of the Ma-Yi Writers Lab and served two years as co-artistic director of title3(LA). As an actor: NYTW, La Jolla Playhouse, Collection of Shiny Objects, Studio Theatre(DC), REDCAT(LA), STEP UP, AMATEURS(2013). MFA (acting), UCSD/LJP; BA (general theater shenanigans), Amherst College.

Erin Bregman has been a finalist for the Princess Grace Award, the Jerome Fellowship, Aurora’s Global Age Project, and the Bay Area Playwrights Festival. Erin has had work produced or developed with Just Theatre, The Lark, the Playwrights Foundation, FuryFactory, Actors Theatre of Santa Cruz, UCSB New Plays Festival, and PlayGround, and has received commissions from the Magic Theatre/Sloan Foundation (2006), Just Theater (2008), and PlayGround (2009, 2010). Her short work has been published in Best of Playground 2009 & 2010, Spectrum Literary Journal, and Muse(d) Magazine. During the day she works as a teaching artist for the San Francisco Opera, and runs Little Opera, an all-kids opera company.

Kimber Lee’s plays include fight, different words for the same thing, and brownsville song (b-side for tray), and her work has been produced and developed by Page 73 Productions (Page 2 Workshop), Hedgebrook Women Playwrights Festival, Seven Devils Playwrights Conference, Dramatists Guild Fellows Program, Represent Playwrights Festival at ACT/Seattle, Playwrights’ Center Core Apprentice Program, Theatre of the 1st Amendment/1st Light Program, Great Plains Theatre Conference (Mainstage), Southern Rep, and Mo`olelo Performing Arts Company. Her play fight received the 2010 Holland New Voices Award, and she has been a Finalist for the O’Neill National Playwrights Conference, the Ruby Prize, Soho Rep Writer/Director Lab, and Premiere Stages Play Festival. Kimber is currently a 2012-2013 Playwrights’ Workshop Fellow at the Lark Play Development Center, a member of the Ma-Yi Writers Lab, and she is honored to be the 2013-2014 recipient of the PoNY Fellowship. MFA: UT Austin.

Joan Holden As playwright for the Tony Award-winning San Francisco Mime Troupe, l970-2000, Joan wrote or co-wrote many of the company’s best-remembered plays, including THE INDEPENDENT FEMALE, THE DRAGON LADY’S REVENGE; FALSE PROMISES; THE HOTEL UNIVERSE; FACTWINO; RIPPED VAN WINKLE; STEELTOWN, SEEING DOUBLE, OFFSHORE and CITY FOR SALE. She has translated and adapted works of Beaumarchais, Fo, Jonson and Moliere for ACT, Berkeley Rep and others, and participated in many international collaborations. Holden is best-known nationally as for the widely produced stage adaptation of Barbara Ehrenreich’s NICKEL AND DIMED. She will with composers/lyricists Bruce Barthol and Daniel Savio on the final version of FSM to be co-produced by Stagebridge and Playwrights Foundation in the fall of 2014.

Bay Area Playwrights Festival – The Play Development Process at BAPF
The annual BAPF brings together a select group of playwrights and professional directors, dramaturgs, the Bay Area’s top actors, and new this year, designers, to engage in an in-depth development process of six new plays over three weeks, including a three-day artists retreat outside the city, and two weeks of rehearsals during which artistic teams support the playwright’s dramaturgical investigations. The work leads to two public staged readings of each play, with a week for rehearsal and rewriting in between the readings. We value the studio work as much as we value the public presentations. Audiences provide playwrights with important feedback as these works develop into finished scripts, while gaining an insider’s experience of new work as it is created.

Playwrights Foundation is dedicated to discovering and supporting local and national American playwrights across a broad spectrum of artistic and career positions, in the inception and development of new plays that speak to and from an increasingly diverse society. Founded on a deeply held belief that the relevance and vitality of American theater depends upon a continual infusion of new work, Playwrights Foundation sustains a commitment to the playwright, who we regard as the creative wellspring of theater.

Thick House – Art Space Development Corporation (ArtsDeco) presents contemporary new theater that reflects and engages the San Francisco Bay Area’s racially and culturally diverse audience community. We believe that when art is relevant and accessible it can transform the world, so our work rises naturally out of connecting to our local community, to popular culture, and to events of the day. To that end, we operate our venue, the Thick House, as a performing arts/community center ‐‐ presenting world‐class professional theater, hosting neighborhood events, collaborating on community projects, and partnering with local businesses.

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America’s Cup Shocker in San Francisco: Louis Vuitton Wants its Money Back for Race Sponsorship

One of the most prestigious and longest running sponsors of the America’s Cup wants some of its money back, according to the San Francisco Business Times.

Louis Vuitton, the posh French retailer that has been a primary financial backer of the competition, wants $3 million refunded because so few teams have entered.

Louis Vuitton’s initial sponsorship was for $10 million, according to an America’s Cup source. Its contract was based on at least eight teams taking part in the Louis Vuitton Cup, a round-robin playoff to determine which team will ultimately sail against Oracle Team USA in the America’s Cup championship.

There are three teams entered in the Louis Vuitton Cup: Italy’s Luna Rossa, Sweden’s Artemis Racing and Emirates Team New Zealand.

Since the 1980s, there have been anywhere from 7 to 13 teams taking part in the competition. Several potential challengers — from Korea, France, Australia, Spain and Italy — pulled out of the America’s Cup, many citing the financial burden of competing at sailing’s highest level.

Louis Vuitton can get a $1 million rebate for each team less than six that participate, the Cup source said. That would mean the company is entitled to get $3 million back.

Should any of the remaining teams pull out of the competition — which they have hinted they might do — Louis Vuitton would be entitled to even more money back.

A spokesman for the America’s Cup, which began this week and runs until September, was not immediately available for comment.

A Louis Vuitton spokesman was not immediately available for comment. But a Louis Vuitton representative told a New Zealand newspaper that the company was “not happy” with the Louis Vuitton Cup so far.

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Audubon Society Accused of Fraudulent Land Grab By Ranchers: How Audubon Society Used “White Out” To Change Boundries

MAYACAMAS MOUNTAINS, Calif. — A group of California families are accusing the National Audubon Society of whiting out parts of maps to swindle them out of their best land. This is property that in some cases has been in the families’ hands since the 1920s.

The Cervieres brothers, immigrants from France, came to California in 1895. By 1924 they had money to buy beautiful plots of land high up in the Mayacamas Mountains, towering over Sonoma wine country in northern California.

They wanted a place of retreat and refuge for what they hoped would someday be a large and extended family of Cervieres. Their descendants became five families who bought even more land in the Pine Flat area of these mountains.

And they did form a tradition across the decades of enjoying almost every major family occasion, summers and holidays in this mountain paradise. They built five homes they collectively dubbed “the ranch.”

“The ranch was like the lifeblood, the glue that held the family together,” said Lea Raynal, now one of the extended family’s matriarchs.

But a fire swept through in 2004 and burned down three of the houses.

“Torched this whole thing,” Lea’s son Mike Raynal said, looking up at a bare chimney that’s all that’s left of one home.  “We lost everything.”

Family members felt horrible but fanned hope by deciding to rebuild as quickly as possible.

Another Blow

Then came another devastating blow from a surprising source. A neighbor had bequeathed thousands of acres next door to the National Audubon Society, best known for its love of birds and conservation.

To rebuild, the families would need to upgrade the roads leading across Audubon land to accommodate their heavy construction equipment.

But after decades of everyone sharing these roads, Audubon said no and then hit the families with yet another bombshell: It said it had proof their very best acres, the flat ones where their houses had been, were actually Audubon land.

“It was like being hit in the stomach, the wind knocked out of you,” Lea recalled.

Audubon representatives showed the family survey maps that appeared to bolster Audubon’s claim, maps that years later family members would find had parts whited out by Audubon.

According to the family’s lawyer Peter Prows, the reps gave them an ultimatum:  “We’re not going to let you rebuild your homes unless you agree to the boundary as we’re claiming it to be on our drawings.”

Mike’s brother, Phil Raynal, said that would have pushed family members’ new houses “approximately 300 yards up the hill, way up in an upper meadow – virtually impossible to build on.”

“This is the only flat area,” he said, pointing to the area around him where their houses had been.

Prows said Audubon then informed the families, “If you don’t agree, we’re going to go out and build a fence on that line, and if you try to interfere, we’re going to call the police.”

Legal Battle Begins

In court documents later, Audubon insisted it believed its claim that it truly owned the best acres of its next-door neighbors.

And since it was legally bound to preserve the wilderness acres bequeathed it, the company said it couldn’t just hand those acres back to the families if it really owned them.

Audubon said it held meetings and bent over backwards to work out a deal with the families.

But here’s what Phil heard from an Audubon representative at one of those meetings: “This property has never, ever been yours. Get over it.”

“That haunts me. I tell you what, that haunts me every day,” he said.

Phil and his family accuse Audubon of simply coveting their land.

“It really bothers me that they’d come up here and try to take something that’s ours,” Phil’s young son Ryan said.

So the families decided to fight, with Mike and Phil Raynal leading the way. They threw themselves into a years-long effort to prove the ancient boundaries were correct and their land was indeed theirs, not Audubon’s.

A Costly Fight

Their efforts cost them and their families hundreds of thousands of dollars across several years, and much more than just money but “thousands and thousands and countless hours,” Phil said, shaking his head.

The brothers for years cut their way through rugged brush to find the original surveyors’ landmarks, facing rattlesnakes, ticks, poison ivy, and exhaustion.

They both already had full-time jobs. This fight became another one. Mike’s daughter Danielle feels it cost her her father.

“I’ve lost a father pretty much,” she said. “Me and my dad were very close, and it’s been hard. We’ve all drifted apart.”

Some family members were not only spending every spare hour fighting to prove Audubon wrong. But while all this was working its way through the legal system, the families couldn’t rebuild and were cut off from their piece of paradise and all those family gatherings like they’d had for decades.

“You have family reunions. You’re always having holidays,” Danielle remembered as she recalled how the five families would spend months of each year together on the ranch.

“And then it’s just an abrupt stop,” she said.

“Everybody getting together. It was just absolutely amazing,” Danielle’s mother Carin Raynal recalled. “And this whole debacle has just torn all of it apart.”

Another family member, Bruce Young, testified in a sworn declaration.

“There’s no doubt in my mind whatsoever that the emotional stress and aggravation to which Audubon subjected me is the cause and underlying reason for the three strokes I have suffered and survived,” he said.

‘White Out’ Gate

Then another stunning surprise in 2010 after years of legal wrangling: Audubon caved and said it would accept the original property lines and let the families use the roads unimpeded.

“They completely capitulated,” Prows stated.

No one outside of Audubon knows why this capitulation, but one more shock was ahead. In 2012, the families’ lawyers discovered with a subpoena that at the start of all this, Audubon had held back from family members some of the surveying maps it had commissioned.

They had also altered the maps they presented to prove Audubon’s claim.

“Audubon had actually doctored the drawings that it showed to our clients,” Prows said. “It took white out, and we have emails from Audubon’s very top people talking about putting white-out on the maps – removing the lines that its surveyors had put on the maps that Audubon didn’t like, showing that the boundary really was in the right place all along.”

This screamed lies and coverup to the families.

“We actually call it ‘White Out Gate’ now,” Phil said.

He still gets mad thinking of those thousands of hours he and Mike spent researching, gathering documents, combing through the thick brush on their land.

“Really what sunk in was all those years – seven, eight years of hard work when they knew from day one this was never their property. Ever! They knew it,” Phil fumed.

“I couldn’t believe anybody would do that,” Mike Raynal said. “I wouldn’t do that to another human being, period.”

A Bid for Restitution

Now the families are suing for fraud. Audubon admitted in court documents it didn’t give them all the surveyor’s maps but said that was because not all were relevant. It said it did white out lines on the maps but only lines it said were extraneous.

Audubon calls this lawsuit frivolous, demanding the families pay its legal bills.

Family members refuse to give an inch because all these years of legal war have certainly cost them.

“It’s affected everybody mentally, physically, emotionally,” Carin Raynal said.

When CBN News asked repeatedly for an interview or written comments, Audubon suggested researching the court documents and would only give the following mission statement:

“Audubon is fully committed to its mission as a non-profit organization dedicated to faithful care of the earth. We believe that every person on earth is a steward of land, air, water and wildlife. We believe that safeguarding America’s great natural heritage builds a better world for future generations, preserves our shared quality of life, and fosters a healthier environment for all of us.”

Lea Raynal summed up her family’s feelings about Audubon: “They came in and stirred up all this mess, and we’re left with nothing.”

From a CBN News Report

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San Francisco Symphony Performs Annual Free Outdoor Concerts
At The Stern Grove Festival July 7 And Dolores Park July 21

The annual San Francisco Symphony free outdoor concerts return to the Stern Grove Festival July 7 and Dolores Park July 21 as part of the Orchestra’s Summer & the Symphony concert series. These annual free community concerts are a perfect opportunity to bring a picnic lunch and spend a Sunday afternoon listening to the San Francisco Symphony with friends and family, enjoying great music in the beautiful settings of two of San Francisco’s most treasured outdoor spaces.

On Sunday, July 7 at 2 pm, the Orchestra returns to the 76th Anniversary Stern Grove Festival for its annual free concert in the Sigmund Stern Grove, a beautiful outdoor amphitheater located at 19th Avenue and Sloat Boulevard in San Francisco. Conductor Edwin Outwater leads acclaimed Canadian soprano Measha Brueggergosman and the Orchestra in songs by Gershwin and Duparc, and the SFS performs Gershwin’s An American in Paris, Bizet’s Suite No. 1 from Carmen, and Herold’s Zampa Overture.

On Sunday, July 21 at 2 pm, conductor Teddy Abrams leads the SF Symphony in its tenth free outdoor concert in San Francisco’s Dolores Park, in the heart of the Mission District. The afternoon of music includes classical favorites including Tchaikovsky’s Romeo and Juliet Fantasy-Overture and Waltz from The Sleeping Beauty; Copland’s Fanfare for the Common Man and Rodeo; and the Overture of John Williams’ The Cowboys. The concert opens with the Overture to Beethoven’s Egmont.

The Dolores Park concert is sponsored by McKesson and supported by the San Francisco Arts Commission. Both concerts will feature an instrument “petting zoo,” with SF Symphony musicians giving kids and their families the opportunity to see, hear, touch, and try their hand at playing orchestral instruments; food and beverage vendors; and a San Francisco Symphony tent where concertgoers can pick up give-away goodies and spin the big prize wheel for a chance to win concert tickets.

Measha Brueggergosman first performed with the SF Symphony in 2005 in Janáček’s Glagolitic Mass with Music Director Michael Tilson Thomas conducting. Highlights of her 2012-13 season include appearances with the Berlin Philharmonic, the WDR Symphonieorchester on a European tour, the Camerata Salzburg for Wagner’s Wesendonck Lieder, the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, and the Montreal Symphony Orchestra. Brueggergosman has performed in notable events including the opening ceremonies of the 16th International AIDS Conference in Toronto sharing the stage with Bill Gates and President Bill Clinton, the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, and a Royal Command Performance for Queen Elizabeth II. She has sung for the Prince of Wales, Queen Margrethe II of Denmark, Queen Sonja of Norway, President Tarja Halonen of Finland, as well as for Nelson Mandela and Kofi Annan. Brueggergosman also lends her voice, passion, and energy to social and environmental causes as a Canadian good-will ambassador for three international organizations: African Medical and Research Foundation (AMREF); Learning Through the Arts; and the World Wildlife Fund (WWF). Her first recording for Deutsche Grammophon in 2007, Surprise, garnered a Juno Award for Classical Album of the Year. She also has numerous other recordings on both the DG and CBC Records labels.

Teddy Abrams was appointed Assistant Conductor of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra in 2012. From 2008 to 2011, he was the Conducting Fellow and Assistant Conductor of the New World Symphony (NWS). This season’s engagements include debuts with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Detroit Symphony, the MAV Symphony, the ProMusica Chamber Orchestra (Columbus) and the Hilton Head Symphony as well as return engagements with the Florida Orchestra, the Jacksonville Symphony, New World Symphony and the Young Musicians Foundation Debut Orchestra in Los Angeles. Abrams, an alumnus of the SF Symphony Youth Orchestra, studied conducting with Michael Tilson Thomas, Otto-Werner Mueller at the Curtis Institute of Music, and with David Zinman at the Aspen Music Festival; he was the youngest conducting student ever accepted at both institutions.

Edwin Outwater is Music Director of Ontario’s Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony (KWS) and regularly guest conducts the Chicago and New World Symphonies. In the 2012-13 season, he leads the Tokyo Symphony’s season-opening event, returns to the Chicago Symphony, the New World Symphony, the New York City Ballet, the National Arts Centre Orchestra, the Phoenix Symphony, and many others. Outwater was Resident Conductor of the San Francisco Symphony from 2001-2006.

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Michael Tilson Thomas conducts Cheyenne Jackson, Alexandra Silber and the SF Symphony and Chorus in first ever complete concert performances of West Side Story June 27-30 & July 2, 2013

Music Director Michael Tilson Thomas (MTT) and the San Francisco Symphony (SFS) will be the first orchestra to perform Leonard Bernstein’s complete music for the musical West Side Story live in concert in five performances June 27-30 and July 2 at Davies Symphony Hall. These complete concert performances include all of the music from the original Broadway musical. Making his San Francisco Symphony and San Francisco Bay Area debut in these performances will be Cheyenne Jackson (Glee, 30 Rock) singing the role of Tony. The cast includes a variety of exciting new talent all making their San Francisco Symphony debuts in these performances: Alexandra Silber will sing the role of Maria, Jessica Vosk as Anita, Kevin Vortmann as Riff, and Justin Keyes as Action. Additional vocalists will be announced at a later date. These concerts will be recorded for release on the orchestra’s in-house label SFS Media in 2014. MTT and the SFS are the first musical entity to have received permission from all four West Side Story rights-holders to perform it in its entirety in a concert setting.

Tilson Thomas first met Leonard Bernstein several years after the West Side Story premiere and has conducted the iconic composer/conductor’s music frequently at the SFS. Highlights include semi-staged performances of On the Town in 1996 and, in 2008, Carnegie Hall’s opening night all-Bernstein gala concert, celebrating the 90th anniversary of Bernstein’s birth. The Carnegie concert was broadcast on PBS Great Performances and is available on DVD by SFS Media.

In 1957, Leonard Bernstein’s collaboration with choreographer Jerome Robbins, writer Arthur Laurents, and lyricist Stephen Sondheim led to one of the most beloved musicals in American theater. West Side Story was inspired by William Shakespeare’s play Romeo and Juliet. The play is set in a blue-collar neighborhood on the West Side of New York City during the 1950’s. The story explores the rivalry between two teenage street-gangs, the Sharks from Puerto Rico are taunted by the Jets, a Polish-American working-class group. The young protagonist, Tony, one of the Jets, falls in love with Maria, the sister of Bernardo, the leader of the Sharks. The dark theme and sophisticated music reflected the social issues of the time and marked a major turning point in American musical theater. Bernstein’s score for the musical includes the songs “Something’s Coming,” “Maria,” “America,” “Somewhere,” “Tonight,” “Jet Song,” “I Feel Pretty,” “A Boy Like That,” “One Hand, One Heart,” “Gee, Officer Krupke” and “Cool”.

HISTORY OF WEST SIDE STORY ON RECORDING

Many singers and musicians have performed the songs and Symphonic Dances from West Side Story. The first recording was of the 1957 original Broadway cast, with Carol Lawrence as Maria, Larry Kert as Tony and Chita Rivera as Anita. The 1961 movie soundtrack recording, with Marni Nixon singing Maria’s role (played in the film by Natalie Wood) and Tony sung by Jimmy Bryant (played in the film by Richard Beymer) won the Grammy Award for Best Sound Track Album or Recording of Original Cast from Motion Picture or Television. In 1984, Bernstein recorded the score from the musical. It featured Kiri Te Kanawa as Maria, José Carreras as Tony, Tatiana Troyanos as Anita, Kurt Ollmann as Riff, and Marilyn Horne as the offstage voice who sings “Somewhere.” The recording won a Grammy Award for Best Musical Show Album in 1985 and the recording process was filmed as a documentary. Bernstein recorded the Symphonic Dances suite with the New York Philharmonic in 1961, and with the Los Angeles Philharmonic in 1983. The Symphonic Dances have entered the repertoire of many major world orchestras, and been recorded by many including the San Francisco Symphony under the direction of Seiji Ozawa. The 2009 new Broadway cast album, with Josefina Scaglione as Maria, Matt Cavenaugh as Tony and Karen Olivo as Anita won the 2009 Grammy Award for Best Musical Show Album.

MTT AND BERNSTEIN

Michael Tilson Thomas’s commitment to the music of Leonard Bernstein runs deep, for he and Bernstein worked together closely and remained friends and colleagues until Bernstein’s death in 1990. Besides their impassioned championing of Mahler and their work as music educators, attention first focused on each of these artists in similar ways. In November 1943, Leonard Bernstein was an assistant conductor with the New York Philharmonic when Bruno Walter took ill and was unable to lead a concert. Bernstein stepped in, conducting brilliantly in a performance that was broadcast nationally. He was twenty-five, and an American in a field dominated by Europeans. In October 1969, Michael Tilson Thomas, then a 24 year-old assistant conductor with the Boston Symphony Orchestra, stepped in for the ailing William Steinberg in a New York concert. While many revere Leonard Bernstein primarily as a conductor, MTT has long believed Bernstein will be remembered for his music. “It’s a very authentic voice,” Tilson Thomas says, a voice that expresses “the cares and concerns and hopes of a whole generation of American society.”

SOLOISTS

Cheyenne Jackson (Tony) is an actor, singer, and songwriter currently working with SONY/ATV on an album of original music scheduled for 2013 release. In the fall of 2012, he starred on Broadway opposite Henry Winkler, Ari Graynor, and Alicia Silverstone in David West Read’s play The Performers. He recently completed filming Steven Soderbergh’s movie Behind The Candelabra, a Liberace biopic, with Michael Douglas and Matt Damon as well as the NBC TV pilot Mockingbird Lane. In September 2012, Cheyenne appeared in the PBS concert special From Dust To Dreams. He has appeared in films including the 2006 Academy Award nominated United 93, as Mark Bingham; The Green, opposite Julia Ormond and Ileana Douglas; Price Check with Parker Posey, and Lola Versus. On and Off Broadway, Jackson has starred in 8, Finian’s Rainbow (Drama Desk nomination), Damn Yankees, Xanadu (Drama League and Drama Desk nominations) The Agony & the Agony, All Shook Up (Theater World Award, Drama League, Outer Critics Circle nominations) the premiere cast of Altar Boyz, Aida, Thoroughly Modern Millie, On the 20th Century, and The 24 Hour Plays. On television he can be seen on NBC’s 30 Rock portraying series regular Danny Baker, and recently he portrayed Dustin Goolsby, the new coach of Vocal Adrenaline on the TV series Glee. Other television credits include Family Practice, Life on Mars, Ugly Betty, It Takes a Village, Curb Your Enthusiasm, and Local Talent. In concert, he has sold out Carnegie Hall twice, in “The Power of Two” in 2010 with Michael Feinstein followed by his solo debut concert with the New York Pops, in “Music of the Mad Men Era” in 2011. Jackson plays an active role in a variety of charities and social issues, including LGBT rights, marriage equality, animal welfare, and HIV/AIDS research. He is an international ambassador for The Foundation for AIDS Research (amfAR) and he serves as the national ambassador and spokesperson for The Hetrick-Martin Institute and the Harvey Milk High School. Cheyenne Jackson was recently named Out Magazine’s “Entertainer of the Year.” For his upcoming album he is collaborating with Sia, Stevie Aiello, and Charlotte Sometimes. In 2012 he released his first three singles, “Drive,” the Top 40 hit “Before You,” and “Don’t Wanna Know,” all produced by Thomas “Tawgs” Salter. Cheyenne Jackson will be the grand marshal of San Francisco’s Gay Pride Parade on Sunday, June 30 before his 2:00 pm San Francisco Symphony performance in West Side Story that day.

Alexandra Silber (Maria) was born in Los Angeles and grew up outside Detroit. She graduated from Interlochen Center for the Arts with a Young Artist Award and continued her training at The Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama in Glasgow. She garnered the Faculty Student of the Year award just days before her West End debut as Laura Fairlie in Andrew Lloyd Webber’s The Woman in White. Silber made her feature film debut in Stephen King’s 1408, before portraying Hodel in The Sheffield Crucible’s 2007 production of Fiddler on the Roof, and its subsequent West End production. She also appeared in Fiddler on the Roof and as Julie Jordan in Carousel at The Savoy Theatre in London’s West End, for which she received the TMA Award for Best Performance in a Musical. Silber made her American acting debut in a revival of her Ovation-nominated portrayal of Julie Jordan for Reprise Theatre Company in Los Angeles under the artistic directorship of Jason Alexander, and joined Tony Award winner Tyne Daly in Terrence McNally’s Master Class at The Kennedy Center in Washington, DC, directed by Stephen Wadsworth. Silber made her Broadway debut in the same production with Manhattan Theatre Club in the spring of 2011. She made her New York theater debut portraying The Young Wife in the Transport Group’s Revival of Michael John LaChiusa’s Hello Again, for which she was nominated for a Drama League Award. Silber debuted two solo cabaret performances at Feinstein’s in New York, and was part of Barbara Cook’s Spotlight Series at The Kennedy Center in December 2011. She has appeared as a guest on all three franchises of the Law & Order series – SVU, Criminal Intent and the original. In April 2013 she makes her Carnegie Hall debut with the American Symphony Orchestra, followed by an engagement at Caramoor Center for Music and the Arts with The Orchestra of St. Luke’s.

Jessica Vosk (Anita) makes her debut with the San Francisco Symphony in these performances. Her recent credits include Man of La Mancha (TUTS) and New York City Center Encores!’ productions of Merrily We Roll Along and Gentlemen Prefer Blondes. She also performed in Roundabout’s Death Takes a Holiday and She Loves Me. Vosk has performed with the New York Philharmonic in Stephen Sondheim’s Company, and has also had the pleasure of performing in the new musical Kristina by ABBA’s Björn Ulvaeus and Benny Andersson at Carnegie Hall and Royal Albert Hall.

Kevin Vortmann (Riff) makes his San Francisco Symphony debut in West Side Story. Vortmann appeared in the Broadway revival of A Little Night Music starring Catherine Zeta Jones and Angela Lansbury. His other New York City theater credits include On the Town, Applause, Face the Music (including the Original Cast Recording), Lost in the Stars, Fiorello!, Stairway to Paradise and Juno with New York City Center’s critically acclaimed Encores! series and the Off-Broadway productions of Death Takes a Holiday and For Lovers Only. He performed at Carnegie Hall, and at the Kennedy Center with the Baltimore Symphony, in performances of Leonard Bernstein’s Mass (“Non Credo” soloist), the recording of which received a Grammy nomination for Best Classical Album. He also performed at Carnegie Hall in Showboat and Mother Russia. He appeared in the national tour of Camelot with Robert Goulet, and regionally in Miss Saigon as Chris at Drury Lane Oakbrook and The Arvada Center, in Guys and Dolls as Sky Masterson at North Shore Music Theatre, Next to Normal as Dan at Milwaukee Repertory Theatre, Les Misérables as Enjolras at Pioneer Theatre Company, She Loves Me as Steven Kodaly at Alpine Theatre Project, and Glory Denied as Young Thompson at UrbanArias. Vortmann was soloist with the Omaha Symphony in their annual Christmas with the Symphony concert and is the recipient of the Colorado Theatre Guild’s Henry Award and the Detroit’s Oscar Wilde Award. He holds a Bachelor of Music in Vocal Performance from Northwestern University.

Justin Keyes (Action) makes his San Francisco Symphony debut in West Side Story. Keyes was born and raised in San Jose, and these performances mark his first in the Bay Area. Keyes’ Broadway credits include How To Succeed In Business Without Really Trying and The Apple Tree. He has performed on national tours of Mary Poppins and the 25thAnnual Putman County Spelling Bee as Chip. Keyes’ regional theater credits include performing at the Dallas Theatre Center, Kansas City Starlight, the Great Lakes Theatre Festival, The Muny in St. Louis, and Pittsburgh CLO. Keyes appeared on television in Gossip Girl.

THE SAN FRANCISCO SYMPHONY CHORUS

The 150-member San Francisco Symphony Chorus is prized for its precision, power, and versatility. Highlights of recent seasons include the world premiere of Mason Bates’s Mass Transmission in 2012 as part of the San Francisco Symphony’s American Mavericks Festival, the first SFS performances of Ligeti’s Requiem, and performances of Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 with Music Director Michael Tilson Thomas and the SFS, which were recorded and recently released on SFS Media. Led by Chorus Director Ragnar Bohlin, the Chorus performs more than twenty concerts each season and is comprised of 30 professional and 120 volunteer members. Recordings featuring the SFS Chorus have won a total of eight Grammy awards, including three for Best Choral Performance. They were featured on the SFS Media’s recording of Mahler’s Symphony No. 8 with MTT and the SFS, which won three 2010 Grammys, including the award for Best Choral Performance, under the direction of Ragnar Bohlin. Previous Grammys awarded to the SFS Chorus include Best Choral Performance for Brahms’s Ein deutsches Requiem in 1995, Best Choral Performance for Orff’s Carmina burana in 1992, Best Classical Album with the SFS for Mahler’s Symphony No. 3 and Kindertotenlieder in 2004, and Best Classical Album for their performance of Perséphone as part of a collection of Stravinsky’s music in 2000. More information about the San Francisco Symphony Chorus can be found in their online press kit here.

POST-CONCERT EVENT

Immediately following the concert on Friday, June 28, Squid Inc. performs at Davies After Hours, a post-concert music event taking place in the Second Tier lobby-turned-lounge. Artwork by Jerry Ross Barrish will be on display courtesy of Vessel Gallery, Oakland. Squid Inc. is made up of Bay Area string players Hrabba Atladottir and Jory Fankuchen on violin, Darcy Rindt on viola, and Elizabeth Vandervennet on cello. Fun, fiery, and fully engaging, they play original tunes and unusual arrangements of known songs. Free to June 28 ticketholders.

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Marga Gomez Brings Her Very Gay Stand-Up To The Marsh Berkeley Cabaret

Friday, June 21, 2013 at 8:00 pm
 
One Night Only!
 
Marga Gomez (named “Best Comedian 2012” by The SF Bay Guardian, SF Weekly and the Bay Area Reporter) returns to the intimate Marsh Cabaret in Berkeley with “Marga Gomez: Pride Baby” an adults only night of rip roaring, knee slapping, hilarious rants about gay people, straight people and everyone in between. To celebrate Pride Month Marga’s topics will include lesbian cruises versus Carnival Cruises, growing up as a gay baby, hypothetically dating Jodie Foster, rainbow fever and public nudity on Castro Street.
 
Marga tours nationally as one of the first openly gay comedians in America. She has appeared on LOGO’s “One Night Stand-Up,” HBO’s “Comic Relief,” Showtime’s “Latino Laugh Festival,” Comedy Central’s “Out There” and the PBS series “In the Life.” Marga is the winner of a GLAAD Media Award . For more Information visit  www.margagomez.com

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Michael Tilson Thomas Leads The SF Symphony And Chorus, Jean-Yves Thibaudet, Gil Shaham, Lisa Vroman, And Special Guests In Tribute To SFS Immediate Past President John Goldman Monday, June 17 At 8 Pm At Davies Symphony Hall

Michael Tilson Thomas leads a star-studded program with pianist Jean-Yves Thibaudet, violinist Gil Shaham, soprano Lisa Vroman, and the San Francisco Symphony (SFS) and Chorus in a tribute to immediate past SFS President John Goldman. The SFS Chorus opens the concert with Lux aeterna, Ligeti’s transcendent piece made famous by 2001: A Space Odyssey. Ravel’s Piano Concerto in G major is infused with cool jazzy sounds brought to life by Jean-Yves Thibaudet, and Gil Shaham performs the finale from Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto. The fourth movement of Rachmaninoff’s Symphony No. 2 and Lisa Vroman singing excerpts from South Pacific begin the second half of the program, followed by special surprise guests on stage to celebrate John Goldman’s eleven-year tenure as SFS President. The Martini Brothers will entertain guests in the lobby prior to the concert and at intermission.

John D. Goldman was elected President of the SF Symphony in December 2001 and has been a member of the SFS’s Board of Governors since 1996. He completed his tenure as President in December 2012, and continues to serve on the board. Goldman’s many accomplishments include the launch and completion of the Symphony’s Second Century campaign to support the Orchestra’s artistic, education, and community programs. The funds raised ensure the organization’s continued commitment to artistic and musical excellence, develop new audiences, fund artist and composer residencies and commissioned works, and support the organization’s financial stability. Goldman was at the helm during the planning and celebration of the Orchestra’s Centennial season in 2011-12, highlighted by the return of the groundbreaking American Mavericks Festival, the visits of six leading American orchestras for two-concert residencies, and the expansion of education and community programs.

Also during his tenure, the Orchestra launched and successfully completed the globally-acclaimed, decade-long Gustav Mahler recording project on SFS Media, which encompassed the recordings of all of the composer’s symphonies and works for voice, chorus, and orchestra, a cycle that won seven Grammy Awards. With Goldman as President, the SFS conceived and created the $25 million Keeping Score project, producing a national television and radio series, and websites designed to make classical music more widely accessible for all. The Symphony’s media and technology endeavors significantly expanded during Goldman’s leadership as President, further establishing the SFS as an innovator in reaching audiences far beyond the concert experience at Davies Symphony Hall.

Jean-Yves Thibaudet’s 2012-2013 season includes a tour of Europe with Kammerorchester Basel, engagements at Carnegie Hall, with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Chicago Symphony, the Philadelphia Orchestra, the Boston Symphony Orchestra, the New York Philharmonic, the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, and a tour of Spain with the German Symphony Orchestra. Thibaudet has released more than 40 albums with Decca, which have won the Schallplattenpreis, the Diapason d’Or, Choc du Monde de la Musique, a Gramophone Award, two Echo awards and the Edison Prize. He was the featured pianist on the Oscar and Golden Globe award-winning soundtrack to Atonement and the Oscar-nominated Pride and Prejudice, and recorded the soundtrack of the 2012 film, Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close, composed by Alexandre Desplat.

Violinist Gil Shaham has been a frequent guest of the San Francisco Symphony since his debut in 1990. He most recently performed at Davies Symphony Hall in recital in March, and will also perform Stravinsky’s Violin Concerto with MTT and the SFS June 19 and 20. This season, Shaham continues his long-term exploration of “Violin Concertos of the 1930s,” a project he started in 2010. Last fall he released a recording tied to the project on his label, Canary Classics, which included the Barber, Stravinsky and Berg Violin Concertos with three leading orchestras under the baton of David Robertson. Shaham plays the 1699 “Countess Polignac” Stradivarius. He lives in New York City with his wife, violinist Adele Anthony, and their three children.

Lisa Vroman has performed with the SFS numerous times, including singing the roles of Johanna in the San Francisco Symphony’s Emmy award-winning Sweeney Todd in Concert in 2001 and Mary Turner in Gershwin’s Of Thee I Sing/ Let ‘Em Eat Cake in concert with Michael Tilson Thomas, the SFS and the SFS Chorus. She starred for several years on Broadway as Christine Daaé in The Phantom of the Opera, garnering Theatre Critic’s awards for the role in a record-breaking run in San Francisco, and did a return engagement at the Ahmanson Theatre in Los Angeles. In addition to roles in many stage and opera productions this season, Vroman made her Carnegie Hall debut with the New York Pops. She made her Broadway debut in 1990 in Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Aspects of Love, and she is the first to play both Fantine and Cosette in Les Miserables. She starred as Laurey in Oklahoma, which was filmed live in concert for the BBC’s PROMS festival at The Royal Albert Hall. Vroman sang at the Profiles in Courage Award dinner in Boston at the JFK Library as a guest of the Kennedy family, and has sung on separate occasions for Queen Elizabeth, former President Bill Clinton, and former Vice President Al Gore.

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Two Productions from Bay Area Playwrights Festival Receive Productions Nationally and in the UK

Playwrights Foundation is happy to announce that two productions that were part of the Foundation’s Bay Area Playwrights Festival (BAPF) 2012 have received awards and multiple productions in the 2013-14 season. Christopher Chen received the Glickman Award for the The Hundred Flowers Project, a co-production of Crowded Fire Theater and the Playwrights Foundation. The Hundred Flowers Project will be mounted by Chicago‘s Silk Road Rising in the 2013-14 season.  George Brant’s Grounded will receive three productions through the The NATIONAL NEW PLAY NETWORK (NNPN) Continued Life of New Plays Fund in the 2013/14 season, as well as productions in 5 other cities including two in the UK.* see list below

The process of the Bay Area Playwrights Festival gives writers a multi-faceted approach over three weeks – starting with an artists retreat without actors, followed by rehearsals, and two public readings separated by another week of rehearsals. This naturally leads to the exploration of new ideas — playwrights are at the center of the process

“The BAPF experience was truly magical and gave the script the final push it needed…this script has had many angels along the way, and you were certainly one of them.” playwright George Brant  (Grounded)

“What we do for the development of new plays during the Bay Area Playwrights Festival has proven over and over to be of tremendous value. George Brant is a hugely talented writer. And he still needed a lot of time to hone down on his script by hearing it in rehearsal — without the added focus on all the production elements. It’s amazing to watch a really exceptional actor, and playwright interacting in the room. And, then to note that the work, the audience interaction, the nights talking through each line was all worth it.” Amy Muller artistic director Playwrights Foundation.

 

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THE CREATIVE PROCESS: An IVF Living Art Piece

In A Second Public Performance At
PUSH Fitness Saturday, June 8th, 8pm
2162 Polk, SF  94109 (between Broadway & Vallejo).

On Saturday, June 8th, 8pm Marilee Talkington’s  THE CREATIVE PROCESS: An IVF Living Art Piece will be performed at at PUSH Fitness in a second public performance.  

This curated evening of performances celebrating “Femininity and ability to create” will also be live-streamed on USTREAM and will include aerial dancing, live music, beat poetry, martial arts, and Marilee performing a 10 character monologue about best practices to get pregnant. Performers featured are Keirsten Wingo (Aerial Chains), Ariel  Mihic (acroyoga), Ali Wahl (Trapeze/hoop), True Medusa (long form improv), Kevin Clarke (Drag), Marilee Talkington (performance art & multimedia)) and others This show is open to the public and Pay what you can. http://thecreativeprocess8.eventbrite.com/

Talkington will inject herself throughout the city; June 5th at Exploratorium 8/8:3; June 7th at deYoung 8/8:30.  She injected herself at the MOMA (6/1 6:30 pm). All of which will /have been be live-streamed.  “I’m injecting myself in these public places as part social statement, part community outreach.  But mostly because these places inspire me. I can’t predict if this IVF process will work and I’ll become pregnant.  But I can control what I’m doing while trying. These museums and public places are filled with exquisite art that move me to my core.  I want to express my own creative ability while steeping myself in the profound creations of others.”
For more locations please watch twitter account/web site calendar  www.marileetalkington.com   to check exact times and locations

Marilee Talkington, the award-winning interdisciplinary artist and performer,  latest work THE CREATIVE PROCESS: An IVF Living Art Piece began on May 30th at SOMArts in San Francisco. In this ongoing courageous real-time Performance Art work Marilee brings forward an empowering, and radical exploration into the issues of conceiving life. In publicly performing the still taboo, deeply personal and subrosa process of In Vitro Fertilization (IVF), THE CREATIVE PROCESS breaks ground in the realm of performance and social dialogue about IVF, and redefines the meaning of “Life as Art”.

Encouraging transparency and demystification through baring her body and fertility journey, Marilee will become LIVING ART by literally taking her IVF hormone injections to the streets. This piece will take place over a 14 day period where every IVF injection will be visually accessible to the public and Live Streamed across the country on USTREAM.  “There is so much isolation in this process.  Even after 35 years of IVF procedures, people still have no idea what it truly involves and the intense highs and lows that women and couples go through. It’s about time to break this silence and taking ownership over this process inherently filled with uncertainty.”

On May 30th, 8 pm Marilee performed her first public injection at SOMArts as part of one of two full evening performance art pieces. During this performance, she unveiled  her art installation inspired by a 1920’s broken down hospital room, which is open to viewers for the duration of the two weeks From May 30th-June 12th as the hormone injections begin to affect Marilee’s body, she will externalize her internal physical changes by transforming the old and distressed hospital installation into a vibrant and lush garden.

As part of this potentially paradigm shifting work, Marilee is extending a standing invitation to any other woman going through IVF injections to come meet her, either at the SOMArts installation,  out in public, or online to do choreographed injections together. All information about where Marilee will be at what times each day will be available on her website, www.marileetalkington.com  “I’m hoping to create an in person community of support and recognition for IVF patients. A community that feels fierce and fantastic!”

Curious what IVF involves? IVF requires women to do 10+ days of self-administered hormone injections 2-3 times per day. During these injections the eggs in the woman’s ovaries ripen very quickly, and after 10 or so days the eggs are then retrieved in an intensely delicate procedure, fertilized with sperm, and implanted back into the woman’s womb. With much luck, the woman will become pregnant.  As women grow older, the chances of conceiving, even through IVF, drop dramatically (13% chance of conceiving for women over 40).  So the tremendous emotional, physical and financial investment can result in either great joy or terrible sadness.

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Cynthia Lee Wong Selected as Second Annual New Voices Composer

Michael Tilson Thomas, Boosey & Hawkes, New World Symphony, and the San Francisco Symphony Continue Initiative with Emerging Composers

Conductor Michael Tilson Thomas, Boosey & Hawkes, the New World Symphony, and the San Francisco Symphony today announced that New York-based composer Cynthia Lee Wong has been selected as the second annual New Voices composer. A recipient of accolades including three ASCAP Foundation Morton Gould Young Composer Awards and several prizes from The Juilliard School, City University of New York, and Columbia University, Ms. Wong has been recognized by numerous organizations for her artistic accomplishments and creative output. She has studied composition with David Del Tredici, Samuel Adler, Milton Babbitt, David Olan, and Larry Thomas Bell, as well as piano with Tatyana Dudochkin, Frank Levy, and Martin Canin. Ms. Wong is currently on the faculty at CUNY’s Baruch College.

Commenting on both New Voices composers selected since the initiative’s inauguration in 2012, Michael Tilson Thomas said, “I have been very pleased with the first commissions for the New Voices program. Zosha Di Castri’s piece is expressively powerful and wonderfully written for the orchestra. Having heard and seen some pieces by Cynthia Lee Wong, I am impressed with her original and expert approach to orchestra writing and look very much forward to the piece of hers we will be doing next year.”

New Voices, a partnership between Boosey & Hawkes, the New World Symphony, and the San Francisco Symphony, aims to develop the professional careers of emerging composers in the Americas. Each year, one composer is chosen from a selection of invited applicants to participate in a multi-organizational residency that covers areas in career development including, but not limited to, working with a publisher, workshopping new compositions, and premiering their works on both coasts with the New World Symphony and San Francisco Symphony in orchestral and chamber settings. Ms. Wong was selected by a panel of judges consisting of conductor Michael Tilson Thomas and composers John Adams, Steven Mackey, and Mason Bates. Canadian composer Zosha Di Castri is the New Voices composer in the project’s inaugural year. Her new work for percussion quartet, Manif, premiered at the New World Symphony in March, and her new work for orchestra, Lineage, premiered at NWS in April. Michael Tilson Thomas and the San Francisco Symphony will give the West Coast premieres of both works next season.

After receiving hands-on experience at the New York offices of Boosey & Hawkes, Ms. Wong will collaborate with the New World Symphony in the workshopping, rehearsal, and performance of two new works in the 2013–14 season—commissions that make up the performance-related aspect of New Voices. These New Voices commissions consist of one work for chamber ensemble and one work for orchestra, to be premiered by the New World Symphony in November 2013 and April 2014, respectively. The works will then receive their West Coast premieres by the San Francisco Symphony during the 2014–15 season.

“I am especially honored to be chosen as this year’s New Voices composer and to have the opportunity to work with such extraordinary musicians as Michael Tilson Thomas, the San Francisco Symphony, and the New World Symphony,” says Wong. “Compositionally, I look forward to exploring the dramatic potential and timbral variety of mixed chamber ensemble and full symphony orchestra. This is all very inspiring to me, and I hope to contribute meaningfully to the rich tradition of American classical music.”

Boosey & Hawkes, a leading international figure in music publishing, offers the selected composer first-hand experience in all aspects of publishing, from material preparation to promotion of the music through a comprehensive residency in New York. Boosey & Hawkes provides support and guidance towards best practices for high-quality score preparation, focusing on the preparation of materials for a premiere, which is paramount to the composer’s professional training and development. In addition, the New Voices composer learns about industry practices, including commission contract preparation, copyright registration and licensing procedures, and how to promote the music through publicity and marketing strategies.

At the New World Symphony, America’s Orchestral Academy (NWS) co-founded by Michael Tilson Thomas (MTT), the New Voices composer works extensively with MTT, NWS Fellows, guest coaches, and others to workshop the new compositions and prepare them for their world premieres at the Academy. MTT will conduct the premiere of Ms. Wong’s new work for orchestra in April 2014 at the New World Center.

At the San Francisco Symphony, Music Director Michael Tilson Thomas and members of the Orchestra work with the New Voices composer for two full weeks after the works have been workshopped and premiered in Miami. MTT will lead the Orchestra in the West Coast premiere of the newly commissioned orchestral work in a subscription concert at Davies Symphony Hall, and, in a second week with MTT and the SFS, the composer will work with members of the Orchestra who will perform the new chamber commission as part of their regular chamber music series. These two works will be performed in San Francisco during the 2014–15 season.

About Cynthia Lee Wong

Born in New York, Cynthia Lee Wong has attracted international acclaim for her “impressive energy and drive” (The Boston Globe), “extravagant variety of sound” (Süddeutsche Zeitung), and “unsettling…dark, eerie…highly individual sound universe” (The San Diego Union-Tribune). Her creative output encompasses a range of genres, including works for orchestra, chamber ensemble, dance, voice, narrator, musical theatre, and piano improvisation.

Past commissions include Memoriam (2011) for Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, Three Portraits (2005) and On Baldness and Other Songs (2007) for the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, Piano Quartet (2010) for the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival and La Jolla Music Society, and String Quartet No. 1 (2009) for Tanglewood Music Center. She has also worked with the Tokyo String Quartet, the Orchestra del Teatro Olimpico in Vicenza, Italy, New Juilliard Ensemble, the Juilliard Orchestra, and the Cincinnati College-Conservatory Orchestra.

Current commissions include compositions for the League of Composers / International Society of Contemporary Music and the New York State Music Teachers Association. She is also collaborating with librettist Richard Aellen on two musicals: Nemo, an adaptation based on Jules Verne’s Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea, and No Guarantees, a romantic comedy set in the future where a secret attempt to use an android as an understudy has unexpected consequences.

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The Marsh San Francisco Presents Don Reed’s “Can You Dig It? Back Down East 14th – the 60’s and Beyond”

The Marsh San Francisco is delighted to present the prequel of Don Reed’s autobiographical journey, CAN YOU DIG IT? Back Down East 14th—the 60’s and Beyond.

The show plays Saturday at 8:30 pm and Sunday at 7:00 pm from June 15 through August 25, 2013  on the MainStage at The Marsh San Francisco, 1062 Valencia Street at 22nd Street. The public may visit www.themarsh.org or call 415-282-3055

The first installment in his hilarious coming-of-age story, East 14th, traced Reed’s irregular teen years through the 70’s (his stepfather forced him to be in that religion that rhymes with “Tehovah’s Sitnesses” and his real father was a pimp!). East 14th turned out to be one of the longest running Bay Area solo shows, and also ran Off-Broadway. The second installment, The Kipling Hotel, followed his collegiate years at UCLA through the 80’s, struggling to supplement his partial scholarship (partial scholarship means not enough money!) by working as a live-in waiter at an unforgettable retirement hotel.

This next installment CAN YOU DIG IT? Back Down East 14th rewinds to the 60’s—a prequel-plus—that goes back to young Reed’s formative “Stand By Me” years in Oakland grammar school when the family was “whole.” Before his father became a pimp—before his mother reluctantly became a Jehovah’s Witness—a lot of wild, wonderful, scary, amazing, unnecessary, cool, moving, unbelievably  true stories unfolded. From the Beatles to the Black Panthers, James Brown to the Jerk, MLK to JFK to the KKK – come and see the 60’s through the blinking eyes of an awkward kid who’s just trying to fit in.  Whether you love the characters from East 14th or are just meeting them for the first time—these stories, all new, stand alone and will not only take you back—but span forward through many misadventures leading up to the very present.

Don Reed, a San Francisco Bay Area Theatre Critics Circle Nominee and NAACP Double Nominee for Best Actor & Best Playwright, has performed, written and directed for film, television and theater. His work on an HBO Partners and Crime Special of up-and-coming comedians years ago caught the attention of the right people and led to many recurring and guest starring roles on television. He has performed all over the country and opened for Tony Award winner Tommy Tune. You may have heard his voice on Spiderman, The Flintstones, ER, Frasier, Friends, Scrubs, Will & Grace, Law & Order or SNL. Reed has written promos for The Golden Globes, The Academy Awards and the Olympics. Additionally, he has written and developed screenplays for Spike Lee’s 40 Acres and a Mule and Maverick Filmworks. Reed is currently the opening act/warm-up comedian for The Tonight Show with Jay Leno and is a board member of the thriving  51Oakland foundation keeping music and the arts alive in Oakland Public Schools.

 

 

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Dancers’ Group presents a new, site-specific performance by 
Amara Tabor-Smith  

Dancers’ Group is pleased to present He Moved Swiftly But Gently Down the Not Too Crowded Street: Ed Mock and Other True Tales in a City That Once Was…,a site-specific performance conceived by Amara Tabor-Smith that reflects the life and spirit of beloved dancer, teacher and choreographer Ed Mock.

Traveling through multiple locations in San Francisco, Tabor-Smith in collaboration with the performers creates a “moving séance” that conjures the spirit of Ed Mock: an African-American, gay artist who influenced a generation of future artists with his combination of tap, jazz, Afro-Haitian, Afro-Cuban, modern dance and mime-an artist who had a passion for performing and for teaching, and an artist whose untimely death from AIDS in 1986 left a lasting impression on Tabor-Smith and many of the region’s artists.

Together with a cast of over 30 local artists, Tabor-Smith tackles questions of legacy, lineage and collective memory. He Moved Swiftly…is conceived by Tabor-Smith in collaboration with Ellen Sebastian Chang (Co-Director), Dr. Anthony Brown (Music Director), Marvin K. White (Poet), and David Szlasa (Video Artist).

Tabor-Smith-who began her career in the Bay Area as a member of The Ed Mock Dance Company, and whose work tackles complex issues surrounding race, discrimination, culture and social change-writes, “Ed Mock is the reason why I dance and why I became a choreographer, and paying homage to him through my work is something I have wanted to do for a long time. Ed un-self-consciously owned the complexity of his identity. The question of how my choreographic work can express the complexity of my identity, especially my queer identity, remains unanswered.”

He Moved Swiftly… begins at 3:30pm in front of 32 Page Street, the original site of the Ed Mock Studio. The work will travel through the streets and through some of the quintessential San Francisco sites where Mock performed and frequented. Attendees will be guided from site to site on foot and may stay for the entire five hours or for a portion of the performance. All performances are free of charge.

Schedule:
Saturday, June 15, Friday – Sunday, June 21, 22 & 23

3:30pm
The Séance Begins
32 Page Street

4:00pm
Window Seat
Zuni Café (1658 Market Street @ Rose Alley)

4:15pm
A Room Full of Black Men
Salle Pianos (1632C Market Street)

4:55pm
Ghost dance
Sparrow Alley (off Valencia Street between 15th & 16th Streets)

5:20pm
When They Die We Eat Chicken
In front of Picaro Café (3120 16th Street @ Valencia)

5:40pm
Intermission: Parade of spirits
Valencia (btwn. 17th & 21st. sts.)

6:15pm
Tell My Story/Ride My Horse
The corner of 21st and Valencia Streets

6:50pm
in the Silent Space
Joanna’s Score (June 21, 22 only)
After You’ve Gone
Abadá-Capoeira (3221 22nd Street between Mission & Valencia formerly Footwork’s studio)

7:30pm
Second Line
(22nd and Mission to 17th and Shotwell)

7:50pm
Mighty Real: The Night Before the Epidemic
ODC Theater, 3153 17th Street (@ Shotwell)

8:25pm
He Walked Swiftly: Ed is Everywhere
Shotwell Street outside ODC Theater (between 17th and 18th Streets)

He Moved Swiftly…is presented as part of Dancers’ Group’s ONSITE Series. Through the ONSITE series, Dancers’ Group presents large-scale public projects that allow the organization to engage new audiences and to increase the visibility of local dance and dance artists. Previous ONSITE projects have included The Shifting Cornerstone by Joanna Haigood and Zaccho Dance Theater in August 2008; Spirit of Place at Stern Grove, by Anna Halprin in May 2009; Hit & Run Hula by Patrick Makuākane and company, Nā Lei Hulu I Ka Wēkiu in August 2009; Love Everywhere by the Erika Chong Shuch Performance Project in February 2010; Intimate Visibility by LEVYdance in March 2010; We Don’t Belong Here by Katie Faulkner in 2011; and Niagara Falling by Jo Kreiter in 2012.

About Amara Tabor-Smith
San Francisco born, Oakland based, Amara Tabor-Smith began her career in the Bay Area as a member of The Ed Mock Dance Company and has worked with other choreographers and companies such as Anne Bluethenthal, Priscilla Regalado, Pearl Ubungen, Jacinta Vlach/Liberation Dance Theater, Ronald K. Brown/Evidence, Ase Dance Theater Collective and Joanna Haigood/ Zaccho Dance Theater. Amara is the former Associate Artistic Director and dancer with The Urban Bush Women Dance Company of New York City (1996-2006). She is the artistic director of Deep Waters Dance Theater and co artistic director of Headmistress along with movement artist Sherwood Chen. She is currently a Lecturer at UC Berkeley in the Department of Theater, Dance and Performance Studies.

Dancers’ Group promotes the visibility and viability of dance. Founded in 1982, we serve San Francisco Bay Area artists, the dance community and audiences through programs and services that are as collaborative and innovative as the creative process. As the primary dance service organization in the Bay Area, we support the second largest dance community in the nation by providing many programs and resources that help artists produce work, build audiences, and connect with their peers and community.

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Cal Performances Presents OJAI NORTH! The World Premiere Of Mark Morris’s The Rite Of Spring Along With Eight Other Concerts, Including Two Free Outdoor Events, Film Screenings, And Pre-Concert Talks Are Offered.

WORKS BY LOU HARRISON, JOHN CAGE, HENRY COWELL, CHARLES IVES, AND

JOHN LUTHER ADAMS WITH THE BAD

PLUS, COLIN FOWLER, RED FISH BLUE FISH, AND THE AMERICAN STRING QUARTET

ON WEDNESDAY–SATURDAY, JUNE 12–15

Cal Performances’ third annual Ojai North!, a multi-year partnership with the esteemed Ojai Music Festival, opens with a double bill on Wednesday, June 12, at 6:00 p.m. John Luther Adams’s Strange and Sacred Noise with red fish blue fish will be performed at the Faculty Glade in a free and open to the public concert. The festival then moves indoors to Hertz Hall where the world premiere of new choreography to Igor Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring by the 2013 Ojai Music Director and choreographer Mark Morris will be given at 8:00 p.m. Set to The Bad Plus’s re-scoring of the explosive masterpiece for piano, bass, and drums, The Rite of Spring will be performed by the jazz trio and the Mark Morris Dance Group (MMDG). Highlighted by works that Morris champions, the festival programming also includes compositions by Lou Harrison, John Cage, Henry Cowell, and Charles Ives. In addition to The Bad Plus, recognized by Rolling Stone magazine as “about as badass as highbrow can get,” joining Morris will be his MMDG Music Ensemble, pianist/organist Colin Fowler, the American String Quartet, percussion ensemble red fish blue fish, and Gamelan Sari Raras from the University of California, Berkeley. All performances will be at Hertz Hall unless otherwise noted.

A series of Discover, Engage! education and community events to compliment Ojai North! Programming has been planned. Two free and open to the public concerts of works by John Luther Adams and performed by percussion ensemble red fish blue fish will be held at the Faculty Glade. In addition to Strange and Sacred Noise kicking off Ojai North!, Adams’s Songbirdsongs will be performed on Friday, June 14, at 10:00 p.m. Cultural critic Wendy Lesser leads a series of pre-concert conversations with Mark Morris and composer John Luther Adams. On Thursday, June 13, at 6:30 p.m. and on Saturday, June 15, at 6:00 p.m., Lesser speaks with Morris; on Friday, June 14, at 6:30 p.m. she interviews Adams. Two films will be offered at Wheeler Auditorium. Salomé (1923; Director Charles Bryant), a silent film starring Russian actress Alla Nazimove, will be screened on Thursday, June 13, at 10:00 p.m. The film is an adaptation of Oscar Wilde’s play and will be accompanied live by The Bad Plus. On Saturday, June 16, at 4:00 p.m., film director Eva Solte will introduce her 2012 documentary Lou Harrison: A World of Music.

Each summer the Ojai Music Festival (June 6-9, 2013), explores the musical interests of its Music Director, a position that is held for the first time this year by a choreographer. “The Bay Area understands the genius of Mark Morris and his talents as a dancer, choreographer and musician, perhaps better than anywhere else in the world,” said Cal Performances’ Director Matías Tarnopolsky. “We are proud to support Mark as Music Director of Ojai North! and introduce his fans here to this new endeavor.” Morris, who considers Cal Performances his West Coast home, has partnered with the institution since 1987, presenting numerous World, United States, and West Coast premieres.

The Ojai Music Festival continue in Berkeley at the end of every annual music festival in Ojai Valley. This collaborative effort makes possible annual reprises of Ojai concerts in Berkeley, as well as co-commissions and co-productions. More than just a sharing of resources, Ojai North! represents a joining of artistic ideals and aspirations. The combined efforts of Ojai’s legacy of artistic innovation and Cal Performances’ tradition of groundbreaking productions create a joint force that allows artists to achieve more than would be possible by each organization separately.

THE PROGRAM

Ojai North! kicks off on Wednesday, June 12, at 6:00 p.m., with John Luther Adams’s Strange and Sacred Noise with red fish blue fish; this free and open-to-the-public event will be held on the Faculty Glade. At 8:00 p.m., the Festival moves to Hertz Hall for the world premiere of Mark Morris’s newest work choreographed to The Rite of Spring, Stravinsky’s masterwork, reinterpreted and performed by The Bad Plus and danced by MMDG. His company will also dance Mosaic and United set to Henry Cowell’s Quartets Nos. 3 and 4, performed by the American String Quartet. The work is choreographed for a quintet of dancers wearing sumptuous Chinese silk pajamas by Isaac Mizrahi; the world premiere in 1993 included cellist Yo-Yo Ma and Mikhail Baryshnikov.

On Thursday, June 13, at 6:30 p.m. Wendy Lesser will interview Mark Morris. At 8:00 p.m., there will be an encore performance of The Rite of Spring and Mosaic and United (see June 12). Closing out the day is a screening of Salomé, a silent film starring Alla Nazimova at 10:00 p.m. This is an adaptation of the Oscar Wilde play of the same name and features The Bad Plus playing live with the film. This event is free and open-to-the-public.

Two concerts on Friday, June 14, at 5:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m. showcase Lou Harrison’s work and those inspired by the legendary American maverick composer. At 5:00 p.m., Gamelan Sari Raras from UC Berkeley performs Lou Harrison’s Music for Gamelan and solo instruments. That evening at 8:00 p.m. members of the MMDG Music Ensemble will perform Harrison’s Suite for Symphonic Strings under the baton of Joshua Gersen, conducting assistant to Michael Tilson Thomas at the New World Symphony. The American String Quartet along with pianists Colin Fowler and Yegor Shevtsov will counter with John Luther Adams’s haunting work For Lou Harrison. Between the concerts, Wendy Lesser will interview composer John Luther Adams at 6:30 p.m. Day two concludes at 10:00 p.m. with a second John Luther Adams work titled Songbirdsongs performed on the Faculty Glade by red fish blue fish; this concert is free and open-to-the-public.

Saturday, June 15, is a full day of adventurous repertoire starting at 12:00 p.m. with John Cage’s Four Walls performed by pianist Ethan Iverson and soprano Yulia Van Doren. At 2:00 p.m., the American String Quartet will offer Charles Ives’s String Quartet No. 2, followed by a selection of songs by Henry Cowell and Charles Ives with Doren, Jamie Van Eyck, mezzo-soprano, and Douglas Williams, baritone, performing. The audience joins in with the performers for the final work, Carl Ruggles’s great hymn, Exaltation, conducted by Mark Morris. The festivities continue at 4:00 p.m. in Wheeler Auditorium when filmmaker Eva Soltes introduces and screens her documentary film Lou Harrison: A World of Music; this event is free and open-to-the-public.

At 6:00 p.m., Wendy Lesser will have her final conversation with Mark Morris. At 7:30 p.m., Joshua Gersen conducts Lou Harrison’s Concerto for Organ and Percussion with Colin Fowler and red fish blue fish. The program also includes Sowerby’s Pageant; Bolcom’s  La Cathedrale engloutie (Rock of Ages); Persichetti’s Sonatine; and Ives’s Variations on America.

The final concert of Ojai North! begins at 9:00 p.m. with a pair of works by Henry Cowell performed by MMDG Music Ensemble: Heroic Dance, written for Martha Graham, and his cantata Atlantis with vocalists Doren, Van Eyck, and Williams. The short Fugue for Percussion by Lou Harrison, one of his most fiendishly difficult pieces, and his Concerto for Piano and Gamelan with Colin Fowler and Gamelan Sari Raras round out the concert.

MARK MORRIS

Mark Morris was born on August 29, 1956, in Seattle, Washington, where he studied with Verla Flowers and Perry Brunson.  In the early years of his career, he performed with the Koleda Balkan Dance Ensemble and later the dance companies of Lar Lubovitch, Hannah Kahn, Laura Dean, and Eliot Feld.  He formed the Mark Morris Dance Group in 1980 and has since created more than 130 works for the company. From 1988 to 1991, Morris was Director of Dance at the Théâtre Royal de la Monnaie in Brussels, the national opera house of Belgium. Among the works created during his time there were three evening-length dances: L’Allegro, il Penseroso ed il Moderato; Dido and Aeneas; and The Hard Nut. In 1990, he founded the White Oak Dance Project with Mikhail Baryshnikov. Morris is also a ballet choreographer and has created eight works for the San Francisco Ballet since 1994 and received commissions from many others.

Morris is noted for his musicality and has been described as “undeviating in his devotion to music.” He has conducted performances for the MMDG since 2006. He has worked extensively in opera, directing and choreographing productions for the Metropolitan Opera, New York City Opera, Gotham Chamber Opera, English National Opera, and The Royal Opera and Covent Garden.  In 1991, he was named a Fellow of the MacArthur Foundation.  He has received eleven honorary doctorates to date.  In 2006, Morris received the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs Mayor’s Award for Arts & Culture and a WQXR Gramophone Special Recognition Award “for being an American ambassador for classical music at home and abroad.”  He is the subject of a biography, Mark Morris, by Joan Acocella (Farrar, Straus & Giroux), and Marlowe & Company published a volume of photographs and critical essays entitled Mark Morris’ L’Allegro, il Penseroso ed il Moderato:A Celebration. Morris is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the American Philosophical Society.  In recent years, he has received the Samuel H. Scripps/American Dance Festival Award for Lifetime Achievement (2007), the Leonard Bernstein Lifetime Achievement Award for the Elevation of Music in Society (2010), the Benjamin Franklin Laureate Prize for Creativity (2012), and Cal Performances Award of Distinction in the Performing Arts (2012).

For bios of other artists go to ojaifestival.org.

OJAI MUSIC FESTIVAL

The Ojai Music Festival is an annual four-day immersion experience of concerts, symposia and auxiliary events set in the picturesque Ojai Valley, just north of Los Angeles.  Founded in 1947 by John Bauer, the Festival receives a constant stream of innovative programming and fresh ideas as the Music Director changes each year.  Now in his tenth year as Artistic Director, Thomas W. Morris has invited pianist Jeremy Denk to serve as the Festival’s 2014 Music Director. Acclaimed conductors, composers and artists who have led the Festival in the past include Aaron Copland, Igor Stravinsky, Ingolf Dahl, Pierre Boulez, Robert Craft, Michael Tilson Thomas, Dawn Upshaw, Calvin Simmons, Kent Nagano, and John Adams, among many others. For further information go to ojaifestival.org.

TICKET INFORMATION

Tickets for Ojai North!, Wednesday-Saturday, June 12-15, at Zellerbach Playhouse range from $20.00-$110.00 and are subject to change; single tickets will go on sale February 1, 2013. Tickets are available through the Cal Performances’ Ticket Office at Zellerbach Hall; at (510) 642-9988; at www.calperformances.org; and at the door.  Half-price tickets are available for purchase by UC Berkeley students. UC faculty and staff, senior citizens, other students and UC Alumni Association members receive a $5.00 discount (Special Events excluded). For select performances, Cal Performances offers UCB student, faculty and staff, senior, and community rush tickets.  Rush tickets are announced three hours prior to a performance on Cal Performances’ Facebook page and at 510-642-9988 and are available in person only at the Ticket Office beginning one hour before the performance; one ticket per person; all sales are cash only. For more information, call Cal Performances at (510) 642-9988, or visit www.calperformances.org.

 

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Crowded Fire Theater Continues The 2013 Season With The World Premiere Of A Contemporary Chinese American Fairy Tale

Crowded Fire Theater (CFT) presents the World Premiere of Frances Ya-Chu Cowhig’s 410[GONE], opening Monday June 10 running through June 29. In 410[GONE] Cowhig creates a buoyant underworld landscape run by punk operatic Chinese gods and goddesses soaring with energy, humor, tricks, and avatars Winner of the Yale Drama Series Award, Cowhig has established herself as a fearless, fiercely intellectual writer. “Cowhig’s voice pulses with raw, heartbreaking honesty as she examines the loving and fractured relationship between a dead brother and a sister who reunite in the underworld.” states Artistic Director Marissa Wolf. In 410[GONE] a brother and sister are suspended in the interstitial spaces between their American culture and Chinese heritage as they wrestle within the lines of life and death.

Where do we go when we die? In Frances Ya-Chu Cowhig’s dark and dazzling play 410[Gone], that all depends on how you play the game - the stakes are high. Under Taishan, a sacred mountain in China, the powerful Goddess of Mercy, Guan Yin, patiently awaits the arrival of the souls of the dead, freeing them from the pain of memory and releasing them into their next life. Told in richly poetic language, 410[GONE] looks at the bonds of love between siblings when a sister searches for her lost brother in the Land of the Dead. In this underworld brother and sister must face the ultimate question: if there is no love without pain, what does it mean to love?

Evren Odcikin directs this World Premiere of Frances Ya-Chu Cowhig’s 410[GONE], featuring Cindy Im as Twenty-One, Chris Cortez as Seventeen, Charisse Loriaux as the Goddess of Mercy, Alexander Lydon as the Monkey King, and Michael Uy Kelly as the Ox Headed God. Lead video designer, Wesley Cabral, creates the landscape of the underworld in 410[Gone], he has worked with CFT on The Hundred Flowers Project, Invasion, and Wreckage.

Frances Ya-Chu Cowhig, Playwright
Frances Ya-Chu Cowhig’s play Lidless received the Yale Drama Series Award, an Edinburgh Fringe First Award, the Keene Prize for Literature, and the David Calicchio Emerging American Playwright Prize. In 2011 she was awarded the Wasserstein Prize by the Educational Foundation of America. She has been a finalist for the Blackburn Prize, received residencies at Yaddo, MacDowell, Ragdale, and the Santa Fe Art Institute, and is under commission from South Coast Rep and Seattle Rep. Her plays have been produced by Trafalgar Studios 2 on the West End, Page 73 Productions in New York, Interact Theatre in Philadelphia, and the Contemporary American Theatre Festival in West Virginia. They have been developed at the Hedgebrook Women Playwrights Festival, Seattle Rep, PlayPenn, the Alley Theatre, Marin Theatre Company, Ojai Conference, the Playwright’s Foundation and Yale Rep.  Frances received an MFA in Writing from the James A. Michener Center for Writers at UT Austin, a BA in Sociology from Brown University, and a certificate in Ensemble Created Physical Theatre from the Dell’Arte International School of Physical Theatre. Her work has been published by Glimmer Train, Methuen Drama, and Yale University Press. Frances was born in Philadelphia, and raised in Northern Virginia, Okinawa, Taipei and Beijing.

Evren Odcikin, Director
Evren Odcikin serves as the literary artistic associate with Golden Thread Productions. For the company, he directed the West Coast premiere of Yussef El Guindi’s Language Rooms in San Francisco and Los Angeles (Los Angeles Times Critic’s Pick) and produces the new plays reading series New Threads. His other Bay Area directing credits include The Oldest Profession (Two BATCC nominations including best ensemble) and Machinal (Three BATCC Award nominations including best director and best production) for Brava Theater; The Play About the Naked Guy for Impact Theatre (“2010 Honorable Mention” from Bay Area Reporter); and RHINO for Boxcar Theatre (“Most Inventive Staging of 2010″ from SF Weekly, “Best Play of 2010″ from SF Bay Times). He has directed readings and workshops for Magic Theatre, Aurora Theatre Company, American Conservatory Theater, Bay Area Playwrights Festival, Cutting Ball and PlayGround. Born and raised in Turkey and a graduate of Princeton University, Evren was selected as an Emerging Theatre Leader in 2012 by Theatre Communications Group.

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Conductor Roberto Abbado Leads The SF Symphony
 And Pianist Jonathan Biss In Works By Schumann, Ivan Fedele, And Schubert
 June 13-15 At Davies Symphony Hall



Concerts include the U.S. premiere of Fedele’s Scena

Conductor Roberto Abbado and pianist Jonathan Biss make return appearances with the SF Symphony in performances June 13-15 at Davies Symphony Hall. The program includes Schumann’s Overture to Genoveva and Piano Concerto in A minor (performed by Biss), the U.S. premiere of Ivan Fedele’s Scena, and Schubert’s Symphony No. 3 in D major.

Born in 1953, Italian composer Ivan Fedele has an expansive list of compositions for film, orchestra, chorus and chamber ensembles. Scena was commissioned by the Orchestra Filarmonica della Scala, founded in 1982 by Claudio Abbado, and premiered at the La Scala theater in 1998. As the title implies, Scena can be thought of as an operatic scene performed entirely by the musicians of the orchestra (without text, singing or stage movement), with references to Italian theater and La Scala in particular.

Jonathan Biss made his SFS debut at age 21 in 2002, performing Mendelssohn’s Piano Concerto No. 2 in D minor with Conductor Laureate Herbert Blomstedt, and has returned five more times since, including most recently in 2011 performing Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 5 in E-flat major with conductor Peter Oundjian. His current season includes performances with the National Symphony, the Philadelphia Orchestra, the Seattle Symphony, the Rotterdam Philharmonic, the Swedish Radio Symphony, the Prague Philharmonic, and the Danish National Symphony. Biss’s chamber music series entitled Schumann: Under the Influence, with tenor Mark Padmore, soprano Miah Persson, violist Kim Kashkashian, and the Elias Quartet, was performed in San Francisco at the Herbst Theater in March, and includes performances at Wigmore Hall in London and Amsterdam’s Concertgebouw. Biss made his Carnegie Hall recital debut in 2011 and will present his second recital there in January 2014.

In 2012, Onyx Classics released the first CD in a nine-year, nine-disc recording cycle of Biss performing Beethoven’s complete sonatas. He wrote about this project in Beethoven’s Shadow, an essay that was published electronically by Rosetta Books as a Kindle Single. He is also the author of the Kindle Single A Pianist Under the Influence. His previous recordings include an album of Schubert and Kurtág for the Wigmore Hall Live label, an all-Schumann recital album for EMI Classics which won a Diapason d’Or de l’année award, and a recital album of Beethoven piano sonatas for EMI Classics which received an Edison Award. Biss has been recognized with numerous awards, including the Schleswig-Holstein Festival’s Leonard Bernstein Award, Lincoln Center’s Martin E. Segal Award, an Avery Fisher Career Grant, the 2003 Borletti-Buitoni Trust Award, and the 2002 Gilmore Young Artist Award. He was an artist-in-residence on American Public Media’s Performance Today and was the first American chosen to participate in the BBC’s New Generation Artist program.

Roberto Abbado made his San Francisco Symphony debut in 1999, and appeared most recently in 2007 leading the Orchestra in Saint-Saëns’ Symphony No. 3 Organ with Jonathan Dimmock, and Chopin’s Piano Concerto No. 2 with pianist Ingrid Fliter. He was Chief Conductor of the Munich Radio Orchestra from 1991-1998, and is currently an Artistic Partner with the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, where he appears regularly. In 2009, Abbado was honored with the Franco Abbiati Award of the National Association of Italian Music Critics as Conductor of the Year. In 2012-13, he leads Mozart’s Don Giovanni at Bari’s Teatro Petruzzelli, Ponchielli’s La Gioconda at Rome’s Teatro dell’Opera, and a celebration of the centenary of Verdi’s birth with a production of Macbeth at Teatro Comunale in Bologna. He also appears with the orchestras of Cincinnati and Atlanta and continues his collaboration with the Orchestra Sinfonica della RAI in Torino and the Orchestra del Teatro Comunale di Bologna.

Abbado has made several recordings for BMG (RCA Red Seal) including award-winning recordings of Bellini’s I Capuleti e i Montecchi and Rossini’s Tancredi, as well as discs of Donizetti’s Don Pasquale, Puccini’s Turandot, ballet music from Verdi operas, the two Liszt piano concertos with Gerhard Oppitz, a collection of arias with tenor Ben Heppner, and a CD of opera scenes with soprano Carol Vaness. For Decca, he has recorded aria albums with soprano Mirella Freni and tenor Juan Diego Flórez. His other recordings include Bel Canto with mezzo-soprano Elīna Garanča on Deutsche Grammophon and the world premiere recordings of two works by Luca Francesconi for the Stradivarius Label. On DVD, Abbado can be seen leading Giordani’s Fedora for Deutsche Grammophon, Rossini’s Ermione for Dynamic, and on Hardy Classic Video, the 2008 New Year Concert from the Teatro La Fenice in Venice.

Schumann’s Overture to Genoveva saw its SFS debut in 1919 at the Curran Theater under Music Director Alfred Hertz, and Hertz also conducted the SFS premiere of Schumann’s Piano Concerto in A minor in 1922 at the Columbia Theater (now the American Conservatory Theater); Conductor Kirill Karabits and pianist Hélène Grimaud performed the most recent SFS performances in 2011. The Orchestra last performed Schubert’s Symphony No. 3 in 2006 with Herbert Blomstedt conducting.

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Strike by Concession Workers at AT&T Park Will Not Impact Fans, Centerplate Says of Unite Here Local 2 One Day Strike at San Francisco Giants Game

San Francisco—AT&T Park concessionaire Centerplate said a strike at today’s baseball game by Local 2 Unite Here will not interrupt service to fans at the ballpark.

“Centerplate is prepared with senior managers and additional staff to ensure fans enjoy today’s baseball game and can get hotdogs, garlic fries, beer, soft drinks and other foods as they normally would,” said Centerplate spokesman Sam Singer.

Centerplate believes “this labor action by Local 2 is unnecessary, unfortunate and illegal.  The timing of the strike, coming as it does on Memorial Day Weekend, continues a disturbing pattern of disrespect for the military, veterans and servicemen and servicewomen by the UNITE HERE leaders.  Remember this is the same union whose President previously made derogatory remarks against veterans and veteran’s organizations during negotiations,” Singer said.

“Centerplate values our employees. That is why they are already the highest paid staff in the concession business, earning between $15 and $20 an hour, receiving full healthcare and other benefits for their part time work,” he added.

Centerplate has bargained in good faith and offered union members:

  • A 4.5 percent ratification bonus for those who worked more than 40 games in 2012
  • A 1.7 percent annual wage increase on top of the best compensation package in the industry
  • Increased contribution of 9.2 percent to the Unite Here benefit plans
  • Employer paid health care for employees and their families

Centerplate this week filed a lawsuit against Local 2 Unite Here for attempting to illegally mandate the signing of a “successor addendum” that would bind any future concessionaire at AT&T Park to the same terms Local 2 negotiates with Centerplate. This action is illegal under the federal labor laws, Centerplate officials said.

The lawsuit says Local 2 President Michael Casey seeks to end Centerplate’s relationship with nonprofit organizations, forcing out such groups as St. Teresa Music and Arts, Leukemia Lymphoma Society, Athletes Committed to Academics, Berkeley Youth Alternatives, the United States Navy, and other nonprofits, from working at the stadium to raise money for their charitable works.

“Local 2’s President scoffed at the value of the (nonprofit) program, stating that the U.S. Navy did not need to work a stand at the ballpark to pay for prosthetic limbs for wounded Veterans,” the lawsuit states. “Casey also quipped about the Marines, “‘Why don’t you have them man a boat and they can sell hot dogs on the water,’” according the Centerplate lawsuit against Local 2.

The nonprofits make hundreds of thousands of dollars a year through partnering with Centerplate at baseball games by staffing concession stands and earning commissions based upon sales for their charitable work. Local 2 is now demanding Centerplate pay a penalty of $200 for each volunteer used for charitable work, which would eliminate Centerplate’s ability to partner with nonprofits.

“Local 2 has overstepped the bounds of the law and of humanity,” said spokesman Singer. This past week, Local 2 union leaders walked out on contract negotiations with Centerplate and a Federal Mediator, refusing to accept or to even make an economic counter proposal and thereby denying, for the time being, Centerplate’s employees at AT&T Park the economic benefits that would flow from a new contract.

Centerplate, which manages concessions at 300 ballparks and arenas, said its current contract as well as its new offer keeps AT&T Park employees the highest paid in the concession business.

Local 2 Unite Here publically acknowledged that Centerplate’s employees are already the highest paid workers in the concession industry. In a YouTube video posted on May 12, the union spokesperson is quoted saying, “so what if they’re (the employees) the best paid…that doesn’t mean anything.”

Centerplate said it wanted to make clear that this strike is a dispute between Local 2 Unite Here and Centerplate and not the San Francisco Giants.

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Rufus Wainwright Performs Solo Concert, Sunday June 9, 8 pm

 

Acclaimed vocalist and songwriter Rufus Wainwright returns to Davies Symphony Hall Sunday, June 9 at 8 pm, accompanying himself on piano and guitar. Affectionately referred to by Elton John as “the greatest songwriter on the planet” and praised by The New York Times for his “genuine originality,” Grammy nominee Wainwright has established himself as one of the great male vocalists and songwriters of his generation. The son of folk singers Loudon Wainwright III and Kate McGarrigle and brother of Martha Wainwright, Wainwright has achieved his success by carving out his own singular sound in the worlds of rock, opera, theater, dance and film.

A frequent performer in Bay Area venues including Davies Symphony Hall throughout his career, Wainwright performed with the SF Symphony in 2010 under conductor Michael Francis, premiering Five Shakespeare Sonnets, his own large scale orchestrations of five of the eleven songs he composed for a theatrical adaptation of Shakespeare’s Sonnets with director Robert Wilson. Following several significant and dramatic events in his life—the birth of his daughter, Viva, the death of his mother, and his engagement to partner Jorn Weisbrodt—his seventh studio album, Out of the Game, was released in 2012 with the input of a new collaborator, celebrated producer Mark Ronson. The results are the loosest, most accessible music of Wainwright’s career, retaining his distinctive narrative sense and wry wit while adding classic pop pleasures.

“What I wanted was a warmth and a depth in terms of quality of sound, and a certain clarity that’s still easy on the ears,” Wainwright says. “I’ve done that whole ponderous, pseudo-genius thing, so it was fun to get in there and work really fast and do something that was more about the songs.”

Wainwright’s catalog includes eight albums and two DVDs, and he has appeared on numerous soundtracks and compilations, as well as collaborating with artists like Elton John, David Byrne, Rosanne Cash and Keane. His album All Days Are Nights: Songs For Lulu was released in 2010 with People Magazine noting, “[Wainwright] brings the album to a beautifully intimate level with just voice, piano and some deeply personal lyrics. Bravo.” Billboard Magazine said Wainwright’s “solo piano accompaniment highlights his extremely adaptable voice…a single piano is all that’s needed to show off his immense vocal talent.” Two live recordings (Milwaukee At Last!!! and Rufus Does Judy at Carnegie Hall) were nominated for Grammy awards and released concurrently with a live DVD, Rufus! Rufus! Rufus! Does Judy! Judy! Judy!  The disc captured his celebrated Judy Garland tribute performance at the London Palladium in 2007. His album Release the Stars went gold in Canada and the U.K. A career-spanning box set, House of Rufus, was released in 2011. Wainwright received Juno Awards for Best Alternative Album in 1999 and 2002 for Rufus Wainwright and Poses, respectively, and nominations for his albums Want Two (2005) and Release the Stars (2008). He was nominated for the Juno Award for Songwriter of the Year in 2008 for Release the Stars.

Wainwright’s first opera, Prima Donna, premiered at the Manchester International Festival in 2009, made its London debut at Sadler’s Wells, and its North American debut in Toronto at the Luminato Festival in 2010. Excerpts have been performed with the Oregon Symphony for The Portland Institute for Contemporary Art’s Time-Based Art Festival and at the Royal Opera House in London. The work received a 2011 Dora Award for Outstanding New Musical/Opera and made its U.S. debut in 2012 at the Brooklyn Academy of Music’s Howard Gilman Opera House.

In addition to Wainwright’s musical pursuits, he has also made his mark onscreen. He has acted in Academy Award-winning director Deny Arcand’s film, L’Age des Tenebres (2007), the Merchan-Ivory film Heights (2005), and the major blockbuster The Aviator (2004), directed by Martin Scorsese.

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Kirill Karabits Leads The San Francisco Symphony, Concertmaster Alexander Barantschik, And Principal Viola Jonathan Vinocour In Performances Of Britten, Sibelius And Honegger

JUNE 6-9 AT DAVIES SYMPHONY HALL

Ukranian conductor Kirill Karabits leads the San Francisco Symphony (SFS) and soloists Concertmaster Alexander Barantschik and Principal Viola Jonathan Vinocour in performances of Benjamin Britten’s Double Concerto June 6-9 at Davies Symphony Hall. The Orchestra also performs Jean Sibelius’ Symphony No. 2 in D major and Arthur Honegger’s Pacific 231.

Barantschik was the violinist for the SFS premiere of Britten’s Double Concerto in 2004 with then-Principal Viola Geraldine Walther and conductor Yan Pascal Tortelier. Concertmaster of the SFS since 2001, he is a frequently featured soloist. He led the Orchestra and was featured along with Catherine Payne and Jonathan Fischer in performances of Vivaldi, Bach and Mozart in January. He is the former concertmaster of the London Symphony Orchestra (LSO) and Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra and an active soloist and chamber musician in the United States and throughout Europe.

Kirill Karabits first performed with the SFS in 2011. He is in his fourth season as Principal Conductor of the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, and this season they tour Germany with percussionist Martin Grubinger. He and the Bournemouth have numerous recordings, including Schchedrin and Khachaturian albums, Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 2 and Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition. In 2012, Karabits conducted the finale of the BBC Young Musician of the Year Award at The Sage Gateshead, broadcast nationwide on BBC Television. This season he conducts the Münich Radio Orchestra, Konzerthausorchester Berlin, Orchestre de Chambre de Lausanne, The Cleveland Orchestra at the Blossom Festival and makes his Canadian debut with Ottawa’s NAC Orchestra. Next season, Karabits conducts Der fliegende Holländer at the Wagner Geneva Festival and returns to Den Norske Opera.

Jonathan Vinocour has been Principal Viola of the San Francisco Symphony since 2009, and has been a featured soloist numerous times, most prominently in a 2011 SFS premiere of Morton Feldman’s Rothko Chapel with MTT and the Orchestra. He previously served as Principal Viola of the Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra and guest Principal Viola of the Gewandhaus Orchestra of Leipzig and the Orchestra Ensemble Kanazawa in Japan. While principal of the Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra, he performed as soloist with conductors Nicholas McGegan and Hans Graf. Vinocour is also an active solo and chamber performer. He received first prize in the Holland America Music Society Competition, has been a regular participant at the Marlboro Music Festival and has toured extensively with Musicians from Marlboro. Other festival credits include the Steans Institute at the Ravinia Festival, Open Chamber Music at Prussia Cove, the Aspen Music Festival and the Tanglewood Music Center where he was awarded the Henri Kohn Memorial Prize.

Sibelius’ Symphony No. 2 saw its SFS premiere in 1939 at War Memorial Opera House under Music Director Pierre Monteux, and was last played by the Orchestra in 2011 under Conductor Laureate Herbert Blomstedt. Vladimir Shavitch conducted the SFS premiere of Honegger’s Pacific 231 in 1927 at the Exposition Auditorium (now the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium). Performed several times on education concert programs, this is the first time the Orchestra will perform Pacific 231 in a regular season concert.

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Local 2 UNITE HERE Union Leader Mike Casey Denigrates Navy, Marines, Disabled Veterans: Sued by Centerplate For Violation of Federal Labor Law, Attempt to Eliminate Nonprofits In San Francisco AT&T Park Labor Dispute

 Local 2 UNITE HERE President Mike Casey: No Need for Military Veterans to Have Prosthetic Limbs

San Francisco– Centerplate, the concessionaire at AT&T Park today filed a dynamic lawsuit against Local 2 Unite Here union for violations of national labor laws and for attempting to block charity groups and nonprofits from raising money at the ballpark.

Centerplate said Local 2 is attempting to illegally force the San Francisco Giants into signing a “successor addendum” that would bind the baseball team, and any future concessionaire at AT&T Park, to the same terms Local 2 negotiates with Centerplate. This action is illegal under the federal labor laws, Centerplate officials said.

Normally, the legal charges as Centerplate made today are filed with the National Labor Relations Board, but Centerplate said immediate action is necessary by the legal system to protect the Giants, Centerplate and nonprofits from Local 2’s illegal activities, which could harm all the parties. The lawsuit was filed in U.S. District Court in San Francisco and seeks damages and declaratory relief.

Furthermore, the lawsuit says Local 2 President Michael Casey seeks to end Centerplate’s relationship with nonprofit organizations, forcing out such groups as St. Teresa Music and Arts, Leukemia Lymphoma Society, Athletes Committed to Academics, Berkeley Youth Alternatives, the United States Navy, and others nonprofits, from working at the stadium to raise money for their charitable works.

“Local 2’s President scoffed at the value of the (nonprofit) program at one point stating that the U.S. Navy did not need to work a stand at the ballpark to pay for prosthetic limbs for wounded Veterans,” the lawsuit states. “Casey also quipped about the Marines, “Why don’t you have them man a boat and they can sell hot dogs on the water,” according the lawsuit against Local 2.

The nonprofits make hundreds of thousands of dollars a year through partnering with Centerplate at Giants games by staffing concession stands and earning commissions based upon sales for their charitable work. Local 2 is now demanding Centerplate pay a penalty of $200 for each volunteer used for charitable work, which would eliminate Centerplate’s ability to partner with nonprofits.

“Local 2 has overstepped the bounds of the law and of humanity,” said a spokesman for Centerplate.  “They are illegally attempting to force the Giants into a labor dispute between Centerplate and the union and wrongly trying to harm the many nonprofits that rely upon income from their charitable work at AT&T Park. We are going to fight to win this battle for Centerplate, our employees, our customers and the charitable causes which we support.”

This past week, Local 2 union leaders walked out on contract negotiations with Centerplate and a Federal Mediator, refusing to accept or to even make an economic counter proposal and thereby denying, for the time being, Centerplate’s employees at AT&T Park the economic benefits that would flow from a new contract.

Local 2 Unite Here publically acknowledged that Centerplate’s employees are already the highest paid workers in the concession industry. In a YouTube video posted on May 12, the union spokesperson is quoted saying “so what if they’re (the employees) the best paid…that doesn’t mean anything.”

As a seasonal, part-time labor force, Centerplate’s employees currently earn the highest wages in the nation, making an average of approximately $15 to $20 per hour. These part time employees also receive some of the best benefits, with fully paid healthcare individually and for their families. To ensure seamless exceptional service for fans, Centerplate has made an offer than includes:

  • A 4.5 percent ratification bonus for those who worked more than 40 games in 2012
  • A 1.7 percent annual wage increase on top of the best compensation package in the industry
  • Increased contribution of 9.2 percent to the Unite Here benefit plans
  • Employer paid health care for employees and their families

Since early this year, Centerplate has been in negotiations over a new contract. The previous one expired in 2010 but was continued from year to year when Unite Here failed to request new negotiations. Even after it sought to make changes to the existing agreement, Local 2 dragged its feet and delayed negotiations for months. Throughout this time, Centerplate has been encouraging Local 2 to move quickly to find a solution.

“Nothing is more important to Centerplate than our employee partners and the customer service experience we provide guests. Local 2’s threats are an attack against our guests and the community groups we partner with at AT&T Park. It is time for Local 2 to come back to the table and focus on a realistic agreement,” spokesman Sam Singer said.

Centerplate said in the unfortunate event of a strike by Local 2 that “protecting the guest experience at AT&T Park is paramount and it will not be disrupted as the company has contingency plans in place in the event of a labor action.”

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“FELA!” Three-Time Tony Award-Winning Musical Comes to the Bay Area

R&B Recording Star Michelle Williams Stars as “Sandra Isadore” and

Adesola Osakalumi Stars as “Fela Kuti”

June 4 – 9, 2013, Paramount Theatre

Following overwhelming success and critical acclaim from coast to coast, the smash Broadway hit and 3-Time Tony Award-Winning musical, Fela! returns to the Bay Area. The recent engagement in San Francisco at The Curran Theatre was celebrated by critics. Robert Hurwitt of the San Francisco Chronicle proclaimed Fela! the “embodiment of exhilaration” while Karen D’Souza of The Mercury News/Bay Area News Group raved “Fela! sets the mind and the pulse racing” and “prepare to surrender to the beat.” So, due to intense popular demand, producers Jay-Z, Will Smith, Jada Pinkett-Smith and Stephen & Ruth Hendel have announced the musical’s return to the Bay Area on June 4-9, 2013 for an Exclusive Engagement at The Paramount Theatre, 2025 Broadway, Oakland, CA 94612.

The national touring production of the hit Award winning Broadway musical features Adesola Osakalumi in the starring role of “Fela Kuti” and International R&B superstar Michelle Williams of Destiny’s Child fame will star in the role of “Sandra Isadore,” activist and love interest of Fela Kuti when it returns to the Bay Area.

Other principals featured are Duain Richmond, who also stars as “Fela Kuti” in select performances, Melanie Marshall as “Funmilayo,” Fela Kuti’s mother, Ismael Kouyate as “Ismael” and Gelan Lambert as “J.K. Braimah/Tap Dancer/Egungun”. Also included in the cast are Oneika Phillips, Shakira Marshall, Jill Marie Vallery, Daniel Soto, Kafi Pierre, Ade Chike Torbert, Justin Prescott, Jason Herbert, Maliayka Reid, Talu Green, Shawn Alynda Fisher, Lauren De Veaux, India McGee, Tricia Taitt and Uyoata Udi.

A multi-award winning international singer, songwriter, record producer, and actress, Michelle Williams is best known as a member of the record-breaking R&B and Pop sensation, Destiny’s Child, one of the world’s best-selling female groups of all time. Born and raised in the small Chicago suburb of Rockford, Illinois, Michelle always dreamed of a life on stage.

In between recordings and concert tours, Michelle conquered yet another challenging mountain as an actress. First, she took the reins of Broadway’s Aida in 2003 to critical acclaim and audience raves. Then, in 2006, she took to the television screen for a hotly touted, ground-breaking multi-episode run in the popular UPN sitcom “Half & Half,” where she played the role of Naomi, a record company executive that was HIV-positive. In 2007, Michelle took on her greatest acting challenge when she joined the cast of the Broadway smash, The Color Purple for its national tour. She dazzled in the role of Shug Avery. In 2009, Michelle joined the London West End production of Chicago where she made history as being the first African American woman to play the lead role ofRoxie Hart. She reprised her role in February 2010 on Broadway for a limited engagement. In 2011, Michelle starred in the acclaimed touring stage play What My Husband Doesn’t Know which is now showing on BET.

Michelle is currently in the recording studio working on new material for her pop inspirational album due in 2013. She is also spokesperson for TERI (Training Education & Research Institute) a non-profit dedicated to improving the quality of life for children and adults with developmental and learning disabilities and works with the American Heart Association as an ambassador for the American Stroke Association. Most recently she became a spokesperson for NVEEE (National Voices for Equality, Education and Enlightenment), an organization focused on preventing bullying, violence and suicide among young people.

A triumphant and inspirational tale of courage, passion and love, Fela! Is the true story of Kuti, who created a type of music, Afrobeat, and mixed these pounding eclectic rhythms (a blend of jazz, funk and African rhythm and harmonies) with rousing lyrics that openly attacked the corrupt and oppressive military dictatorships that ruled Nigeria and much of Africa. Featuring many of Fela Kuti’s most captivating songs and Bill T. Jones’s visionary staging, the global phenomenon that is Fela! reveals Kuti’s controversial life as an artist and political activist, while at the same time celebrating his pioneering music and commitment to the cause of universal human dignity.

Fela! is directed and choreographed by Tony Award-winner Bill T. Jones, with a book by Jim Lewis and Bill T. Jones. It was conceived by Bill T. Jones, Jim Lewis and Stephen Hendel. Fela! received three 2010 Tony Awards, including Best Choreography.

Fela! had its world premiere Off-Broadway in the summer of 2008, and opened on Broadway at the Eugene O’Neil Theater to rapturous reviews a year later where it played 34 previews and 463 regular performances. Numerous celebrities and dignitaries caught the groundbreaking musical, including First Lady Michelle Obama, Bruce Springsteen, Madonna, Kanye West, Oprah Winfrey and Hugh Jackman, among others. Prior to its closing on Broadway, London’s Royal National Theatre presented the production as part of its season in the fall of 2010, marking the first time ever that the National Theatre had presented a show that was simultaneously running on Broadway. There, too, the show received rave reviews and numerous awards and accolades. The show went on to tour internationally, selling out theaters in Nigeria, Amsterdam, a return stint in London then a successful tour across the United States, culminating in an acclaimed encore four-week engagement on Broadway during the summer of 2012.

Tickets range from $37.50 – $77.50, plus applicable taxes and fees. Tickets can be purchased online at ticketmaster.com, by calling 800-745-3000 and at The Paramount Theatre Box Office (Tues – Fri 11 AM – 5:30 PM and Sat 11 AM – 3 PM). Summer Hours (after May 20) -Wednesday 11 AM-5:30 PM and Thursday, Friday and Saturday 11 AM-3 PM. Call (510) 465-6400 for the Ticket Office and call (510) 893-2300 for Administration.

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Marilee Talkington Becomes Living Art By Carrying Out Her In Vitro Fertilization Injections Publicly In Her World Premiere Performance Art Work

Marilee Talkington, the award-winning interdisciplinary artist and performer, launches her latest work THE CREATIVE PROCESS: An IVF Living Art Piece on May 30th 8 pm 2013 at SOMArts in San Francisco. In this courageous real-time Performance Art work Marilee brings forward an empowering, and radical exploration into the issues of conceiving life. In publicly performing the still taboo, deeply personal and subrosa process of In Vitro Fertilization (IVF), THE CREATIVE PROCESS breaks ground in the realm of performance and social dialogue about IVF, and redefines the meaning of “Life as Art”.

Encouraging transparency and demystification through baring her body and fertility journey, Marilee will become LIVING ART by literally taking her IVF hormone injections to the streets. This piece will take place over a 14 day period where every IVF injection will be visually accessible to the public and Live Streamed across the country on USTREAM.  “There is so much isolation in this process.  Even after 35 years of IVF procedures, people still have no idea what it truly involves and the intense highs and lows that women and couples go through. It’s about time to break this silence and taking ownership over this process inherently filled with uncertainty.”

On May 30th, 8 pm Marilee will do her first public injection at SOMArts as part of one of two full evening performance art pieces. During this performance, she will be unveiling her art installation inspired by a 1920’s broken down hospital room, which will be open to viewers for the duration of the two weeks. From May 30th-June 12th as the hormone injections begin to affect Marilee’s body, she will externalize her internal physical changes by transforming the old and distressed hospital installation into a vibrant and lush garden.

Curious what IVF involves? IVF requires women to do 10+ days of self-administered hormone injections 2-3 times per day. During these injections the eggs in the woman’s ovaries ripen very quickly, and after 10 or so days the eggs are then retrieved in an intensely delicate procedure, fertilized with sperm, and implanted back into the woman’s womb. With much luck, the woman will become pregnant.  As women grow older, the chances of conceiving, even through IVF, drop dramatically (13% chance of conceiving for women over 40).  So the tremendous emotional, physical and financial investment can result in either great joy or terrible sadness.

As part of this potentially paradigm shifting work, Marilee is extending a standing invitation to any other woman going through IVF injections to come meet her, either at the SOMArts installation,  out in public, or online to do choreographed injections together. All information about where Marilee will be at what times each day will be available on her website, www.marileetalkinton.com.  “I’m hoping to create an in person community of support and recognition for IVF patients. A community that feels fierce and fantastic!”

Talkington will also be injecting herself throughout the city.  She has scheduled herself to inject at the MOMA, deYOUNG, Exploratorium and other San Francisco treasures. All of which will be live-streamed.  “I’m injecting myself in these public places as part social statement, part community outreach.  But mostly because these places inspire me. I can’t predict if this IVF process will work and I’ll become pregnant.  But I can control what I’m doing while trying. These museums and public places are filled with exquisite art that move me to my core.  I want to express my own creative ability while steeping myself in the profound creations of others.”

On Saturday, June 8th, there will be a second public performance at PUSH Fitness.  This curated evening of performances celebrating “Femininity and ability to create” will also be live-streamed on USTREAM and will include aerial dancing, live music, beat poetry, martial arts, and Marilee performing a 10 character monologue about best practices to get pregnant. This show is free and open to the public.

 


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San Francisco Symphony Announces Summer & The Symphony Concert Lineup — Updated

 

Jessye Norman Performs The American Songbook July 31

SF Symphony And Warren Haynes Commemorate Jerry Garcia’s Birthday With Two Special Symphonic Celebration Concerts Aug. 1-2

Johnny Mathis, Rufus Wainwright, Bernadette Peters, Michael Feinstein, The Matrix Film, Disney In Concert With Video, Two Concerts Of Video Games Live!, Battleship Potemkin Film, And Classical Concerts Are Highlights Of Summer and The Symphony With San Francisco Symphony

Orchestra performs free concerts at Stern Grove Festival and in Dolores Park and presents annual Fourth of July concert with fireworks at Shoreline Amphitheatre; Orchestra to perform at America’s Cup Pavilion in SF and at Green Music Center, Sonoma State University

The San Francisco Symphony’s annual Summer & the Symphony concerts, announced today, include iconic soprano Jessye Norman singing standards from the American songbook July 31 and two concerts in celebration of Jerry Garcia’s birthday with vocalist and guitarist Warren Haynes (Allman Brothers, Gov’t Mule) and the Orchestra performing Garcia’s music August 1 and 2. The Orchestra also presents and performs in a variety of film and video game music programs. On July 28, the Symphony performs a concert of music from classic Disney films, including Aladdin, The Lion King, The Little Mermaid, and Beauty and the Beast, with video and original storyboard art. The classic sci-fi film The Matrix is screened while the Orchestra plays live accompaniment July 27, and the SFS plays music from popular video games Halo, Final Fantasy, and others in this new incarnation of Video Games Live™, created especially for the San Francisco Symphony, in two concerts July 25 and 26. The classic Eisenstein film Battleship Potemkin will be screened, with Cameron Carpenter playing the Ruffatti organ, on July 28.

The Orchestra’s summer season includes three classical concerts conducted by SFS Youth Orchestra alumnus and Detroit Symphony Orchestra Assistant Conductor Teddy Abrams, with music by Beethoven, Tchaikovsky, and American composers, and two free outdoor classical concerts. Soloists at Davies Symphony Hall include pianists Valentina Lisitsa and Benjamin Grosvenor. The Orchestra also performs an all-Tchaikovsky concert led by Abrams with violinist Nicola Benedetti at the new America’s Cup Pavilion on the San Francisco waterfront July 20. At the Stern Grove Festival, conductor Edwin Outwater leads soprano Measha Brueggergosman and the Orchestra in Ravel and Gershwin in a free concert July 7. The Orchestra also plays its annual free concert in Dolores Park July 21. Outwater leads a performance of Orff’s Carmina burana at Davies Symphony Hall July 30. On the Fourth of July, the Orchestra performs its annual Shoreline Amphitheatre Independence Day concert followed by a fireworks extravaganza. On August 4, in its final concert of the summer, the Orchestra performs a late afternoon concert of film music led by Sarah Hicks in Weill Hall at the Green Music Center at Sonoma State University.

On August 1 and 2, the Orchestra celebrates the birthday of native son Jerry Garcia with a new symphonic project highlighting the American musical icon’s legacy. This ground-breaking orchestral adventure features Garcia’s storied original compositions as well as classic interpretations of timeless standards that were hallmarks of Garcia’s shows. Renowned vocalist/guitarist Warren Haynes (Allman Brothers, Gov’t Mule) collaborates with the Symphony, lending his soul-soaked, introspective blend of rock, blues, R&B and jazz to Garcia’s masterworks. Sarah Hicks conducts.

Jessye Norman performs a rare recital of American Masters July 31, including compositions by Ellington, Gershwin, Harold Arlen, Kurt Weill, and Rodgers & Hammerstein. Johnny Mathis returns to Davies Symphony Hall July 5 and 6 to perform two concerts with the SFS of his classic hits and fan favorites, with John Scott Lavender and Edwin Outwater leading the Orchestra. Vocalist and pianist Michael Feinstein performs his The Gershwins and Me show with his big band on July 12, Broadway star vocalist Bernadette Peters performs July 23, and Rufus Wainwright performs solo June 9, accompanying himself on piano and guitar.

Tickets are on sale now for Summer & the Symphony concerts through www.sfsymphony.org/summer, SFS Patron Services at (415) 864-6000, and at the Davies Symphony Hall box office on Grove Street between Van Ness Avenue and Franklin Street. Tickets are priced from $15-125, with tickets for concertgoers 17 and under half-price for selected concerts.

Tickets for the San Francisco Symphony Fourth of July Celebration at Shoreline Amphitheatre go on sale through LiveNation.com on May 3 at 10 am. Tickets for the SF Symphony concert at America’s Cup Pavilion go on sale through LiveNation.com on May 17.  Tickets for the SF Symphony concert at Green Music Center August 4 go on sale May 13 at 8 am at gmc.sonoma.edu, or over the phone with the Sonoma State University Box Office at 866-955-6040.

 

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Marga Gomez Brings Her Very Gay Stand-Up To The Marsh Berkeley Cabaret

Friday, June 21, 2013 at 8:00 pm 

One Night Only!

 

Marga Gomez (named “Best Comedian 2012” by The SF Bay Guardian, SF Weekly and the Bay Area Reporter) returns to the intimate Marsh Cabaret in Berkeley with “Marga Gomez: Pride Baby” an adults only night of rip roaring, knee slapping, hilarious rants about gay people, straight people and everyone in between. To celebrate Pride Month Marga’s topics will include lesbian cruises versus Carnival Cruises, growing up as a gay baby, hypothetically dating Jodie Foster, rainbow fever and public nudity on Castro Street.

Marga tours nationally as one of the first openly gay comedians in America. She has appeared on LOGO’s “One Night Stand-Up,” HBO’s “Comic Relief,” Showtime’s “Latino Laugh Festival,” Comedy Central’s “Out There” and the PBS series “In the Life.” Marga is the winner of a GLAAD Media Award . For more Information visit  www.margagomez.com

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