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Black Voices Performance Series

AfroSolo Arts Festival 19 in collaboration with the African American Art and Culture Complex, present its seminal performance series Black Voices featuring Byb Chanel Bibene, Edris Cooper-Anifowoshe, and Jovelyn Richards.

Byb Chanel Bibene performs Skin Talk Skin Mood. When Bibene left Africa (The Congo), en route to Europe, U.S.  and Asia, events and people began to demonstrate that there was a problem with the color of his skin. Skin Talk Skin Mood speaks of his identity adventures, where his skin color has played an important role in all the societies that he has visited and in which he has lived. As  artistic director/choreographer of the acclaimed Kiandanda Dance Theater,  Bibene has performed nationally and internationally.

Edris Cooper-Anifowoshe performs performs Black Gold, an excerpt from, Traveling While Black, the second part of her Adventures Of A Black Girl trilogy. Black Gold places the west African deity, Mami Wata and the enslaved explorer, Estavanico in a politically and erotically charged confrontation as it explores the tense conflagration between  oil, water, slavery, colonialism and empire. Cooper-Anifowoshe is an award winning director, actor and writer who has worked in the Bay Area for more than 20 years. Cooper-Anifowoshe is one of the original supporters of AfroSolo and an alumni festival performer.  Photo by Steve Savage.

Jovelyn Richards performs Strippin’ Down to Story.  Set in 1865, a formerly enslaved woman named Maw Maw ponders freedom for herself and her only remaining child, Sweet Baby. After three days of sleeping in a bean field, listening to the last of gunfire and chaos, she heads to the river. At the river, she asks the spirits to help her survive. So begins the journey of a black woman walking into this new world called free. Richards is an award-winning writer and storyteller who works with live musicians. Richards has been performing for the past 10 years.  Photo by S. Savage.

Special Festival Guest 

Friday, September 7th @ 7:30 pm

Commedian Donald Lacy kicks off the night with a hilarious performance focused on RACE.

Donald E. Lacy Jr. is a talented actor, comedian, writer, director, and radio talk show host. He has been seen on BET’s Comic View and on HBO’s Def Comedy Jam.   In 2007, his one man show  Color Struck was a runaway hit at the National Black Theater Festival in Winston-Salem,  North Carolina. Color Struck, by invitation from Congresswoman Barbara Lee, was also performed at the  Congressional Black Caucus in September, 2011.  Lacy’s new one man show, SEXPHOBIAS, was performed at the National Black Theater Festival in 2011.

 

AfroSolo Arts Festival 19

Black Voices Performance Series

When: September 7th and *8th@ 7:30 pm and September 9th @3 pm

Where: African American Art & Culture Complex (762 Fulton Street, SF)

Admission: $25 – General each performance

For tickets go to: http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/265289

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Joanna Haigood’s Zaccho Dance Theatre Acclaimed Sailing Away Returns September 13 – 16

A site-specific work inspired by San Francisco’s early African American settlers

Performances are free and open to the public on San Franciscos Market Street

 Performances coincide with California Historical Society and Bayview Opera House public forums that mark San Francisco Exodus

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

School Assembly with performance at Bayview Opera House, 4705 Third Street, San Francisco

Tuesday, September 11, 10:30am

The artists from Sailing Away will perform excerpts, joined by a lively discussion, and a performance from Dr. Susheel Bibbs’ one woman performance portraying 19th Century civil rights activist, Mary Ellen Pleasant.

Panel Discussion at California Historical Society

678 Mission Street (at 3rd Street), san Francisco.

Thursday, September 13 at 5pm; post event reception, 6pm.

The California Historical Society and Museum of the African Diaspora will co-host a panel discussion with scholars, historians, and local community leaders to discuss the past and current timeline of African American out-migration from San Francisco. The panel discussion and performances are free and open to the public on a first-come, first serve basis. Meet the director, Joanna Haigood after the panel discussion. Light refreshments will be served, hosted by Zaccho Dance Theatre’s Board of Directors and the California Historical Society.

In collaboration with artists: Wayne Campbell (Scenic Designer), Kim Euell (Writer), Callie Floor (Costume Designer), Bibene Byb Chanel, Antoine Hunter, Robert Henry Johnson, Jetta Martin, Shakiri, Raissa Simpson, Amara Tabor Smith, Travis Santell Rowland, and Matthew Wickett

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

 

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21st Annual San Francisco Fringe Festival, Sept 5-16, Spotlights Performances That Surprise and Delight

Over 200 performances of 42 shows in 12 days at the EXIT Theatreplex,

plus performances at a bar and on a bus

 The San Francisco Fringe Festival turns 21, yet refuses to mature and play it safe.  The 2012 version promises another 40+ shows full of wit and vinegar, bringing theatre performances often raw and raucous, but nearly always remarkable.

Puppeteers from San Diego perform The Collector, a mixture of toy theatre, table-top puppets, object theatre, stop motion animation and film.  A solo artist from Madrid, Spain creates an enchanting dance piece in L’extimite.  An ensemble of improvisors takes its audience on a bus ride through San Francisco for a theatrical journey with Sugar High: A Brechtian b*tch slap.  And the simple love story, Jesus Do You Like Me? Please Mark Yes or No tangos with Catholicism, romance, family, and the city of Cincinnati.

The 21st Annual San Francisco Fringe Festival will run for twelve days, September 5-16, 2012, in downtown San Francisco.  Forty of the shows, numbering over 250 performances, will be at the EXIT Theatreplex, 156 Eddy Street and around the corner at 277 Taylor Street, all in downtown San Francisco.  Two others will be presented in “Non-Traditional Fringe Venues” – that bus cruising San Francisco and the blues musical Tyrone “Shortleg” Johnson and Some White Boys at the 50 Mason Social House, around the corner from EXIT Theatre.

Here’s a sampling of what’s on tap for the 2012 SF Fringe, with performers from the Bay Area, all over the U.S., and from Canada and Spain.

Legacy of the Tiger Mother (Las Vegas, NV) is a musical journey with Lily, a first generation Chinese immigrant, and her daughter Mei as they endure the trials and tribulations of old school parenting in a new country.  East meets west in this funny, irreverent and moving story about a mother, a daughter, a piano, and tough love, Asian style.

Lynn Craig & Satomi Hofman singing “Lazy White Childten” from The Legacy of Tiger Mother by Angela Chan, part of the 2012 San Francisco Fringe Festival. Photo: Lee Wexler/Images for Innovation

Weightless (SF) is two parts rock concert, one part Greek tragedy. San Francisco-based soul band Kate Kilbane & the Cellar Doors re-envision Ovid’s tale of Procne and Philomela – two sisters bound by love and separated from one another by a jealous king – in this vibrant, genre-bending rock musical.

Calling America: Don’t Hang Up! (Los Angeles) is one of several Fringe show this year with a heavy political bent.  R. Sky Palkowitz, “The Delusional Diva,” shows what happens when a pot-smoking Jewish lesbian punk-rocker clown from New York goes to work for one of the most conservative think tanks in the nation.

R. SKY Palkowitz, The Delusional Diva in CALLING AMERICA: DON’T HANG UP! in the 2012 San Francisco Fringe Festival. Photo Credit: Jason Jenn

In The Revolution Will Not Be Circumcised (Vancouver, B.C.), Glen Callender, creator of the notorious Foreskin Awareness Booth (“Astounding… hilarious and informative” — SFWeekly) returns with a mind-blowing educational-comedy show that explains why he loves his…well…you know.

The Wounded Stag & other Cloven-Footed Tales of Enchantment (SF) pairs Dan Carbone & Andrew Goldfarb in otherworldly songs and stories about demon children, demon blackbirds, demon frogs, demon Eskimos, demon deer, demon priests, demon kittens and most of other popular demon-speil beloved by all the people. Billed as “The only exhibition of its type in North America.”  Having seen Carbone perform in the past, we have no doubt.

Pi: The Physical Comedy Troupe (SF) return to the Fringe with The Good, The Bad, and The Stupid, with incredible acrobatics, high speed horse races, and duels to the [overly dramatic] death.

Bruce Glaseroff, Andrew P Quick, Leah Gardner, Tyler Parks, and Jon Deline in Pi: The Physical Comedy Troupe’s show The Good, The Bad, and The Stupid, part of the 2012 San Francisco Fringe Festival. Photo: Eric Gillet

 Other shows include magic with Micheal Belitsos, little-known details of history (Whatever Happened to Sarah Jane? – about the woman who tried to assassinate President Ford outside the St. Francis Hotel), and a provocative dance piece from New York called Stalking Christopher Walken.  And dozens more that define the idea of theater on the fringe.

Tickets to all Fringe shows are $10 or less, cash only, at the door and advance sales for most are $12.99 on line.  A ten-show Frequent Fringer pass is $75 and a five-show pass is $40. The EXIT venues are all within walking distance of Union Square and the Powell Street BART station.  For complete listings of venues, shows, and times, go to www.sffringe.org.  Or call the fringe hotline at (415) 673-3847.



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Celebrate with your community the magic of fall and discover unique works of art in the redwood grove of Old Mill Park!

 The 56th Mill Valley Fall Arts Festival on Sept. 15 and 16 will showcase over 140 fine artists and offer live musical entertainment children’s activities and great eats. The juried works include prints, jewelry, paintings, woodwork, photography and sculpture. The festival, held in the Redwood grove of Old Mill Park in down town Mill Valley, is rated one of the top 10 fine arts and crafts shows in the Northwest.

Artists are coming to Mill Valley from all over the country – festival goers will meet artists from Santa Fe to New Orleans.  On display will be Art for your home, Art for your garden and Art for your body. Looking to dress up your home? Visit Peter Zajda of Santa Cruz CA who will bring his beautiful stained glass or check out first time exhibitors Scott and Ann Lundquist of Emmett Idaho who will be showing their coffee tables and cupboards designed using vintage ceiling tin plus reclaimed and salvaged architectural items.  Find some art for your garden.  Leslie Codina of Onterio CA creates tall whimsical garden sculpture and Steve Davis of Eugene OR builds beautiful copper fountains.

There will be a wonderful selection of Art for your body from over 15 artist selling wearable art, hats, leather goods and shoes.  Newcomer Selma Karaca of Brooklyn NY creates unique and sensuous designs for women. She was international finalist in the Avant-Garde category of the Gen Art Styles Fashion and Awards Show. Veteran exhibitor of 20 years Lori O’Neill of Santa Rosa will show her latest silk & linen handbags, jackets and coats.  Jewelry of all price ranges and styles from twenty fine artisans will be showcased under the redwoods.

Visits the festival website for list of all exhibiting artists.

Entertainment:

This year’s musical performers cover many genres from Gypsy Jazz to Celtic and Americana.  The beautiful outdoor stage of Old Mill Park will play host to young up and coming Marin musicians  taking center stage on Saturday with singer/songwriter Sofi Rox, the Matt Jaffe Band plus Caroline de Lone who will pair up with her father Austin de Lone. Austin has collaborated with many big names in the industry including Elvis Costello.  His performance with Caroline: “Like Father, Like Daughter” is not to be missed.

Sunday has another great line up including Chris Rowan of the Rowan Brothers opening and Kathyrn Claire closing the show.  Since joining the David Grisman Quintet in 1989, SF Bay Area flutist Matt Eakle has been blowing crowds out of their chairs and onto their feet.  Check out his band Sunday at 1:00.

 See full music schedule below. 

 Each year the children’s entertainment draws hundreds of youngster to the fairy ring in the lower park during the festival. Kids have it “made in the shade” with magic, marionettes, music and more!  Face painting and hands on crafts will bring out the artist in the  youngsters.  See full schedule below.

 

Food:

Enjoy good food and drink benefiting local non-profits. Pick from Stefano’s Pizza and baked goods provided by Kiddo! Or BooKoo Asian Street Cuisine benefiting PATH: Patrons of the Arts at Tam. There will be Caesar salad and Roast Chicken benefiting Mill Valley Association of Volunteer Fire Fighters.  Check the event program for full menus.

About the Festival:

The Mill Valley Fall Arts Festival is unique in that it is by a volunteer committee of local artists! These committed volunteers have given the Bay Area community a spectacular festival to enjoy for 56 years.  Any surplus funds from this non-profit festival go right back to the community for park improvements.  The festival also supports young artists.  Since 2010 they have awarded Tam High art students funds for art education through their Emerging Artist Awards.  The 2012 recipients are: 1st place: Riley Sykes, 2nd place: Rowan Walton and 3rd place: Emily Low Schwenk. This year the festival added the Michael Osborne Graphic Design Scholarship awarded to senior Lucas Waldburger.

 

Ride to the Festival in style! MV Transport will be providing the FREE bus transport service for the Mill Valley Fall Arts Festival this year. Park at Tam High and ride in style. This is a major upgrade from the old school buses used in the past. These state of the art shuttles are plush, roomy and easy turning.  – Check the route and stops on the festival website.

 

Best of all is the setting itself: a fragrant redwood forest at the close of summer, shaded by its mountain.

 

2012 Festival Performers

 

Musical Stage

Saturday, September 15

Noon Sofi Rox – Singer/Songwriter

1:00 Caroline & Austin deLone – Singer/Songwriter

2:00 Emily Bonn & the Vivants – Americana

3:00 Matt Jaffe Band – Rock

4:00 Claudia Russell & Bruce Kaplan

 

Sunday, September 16

Noon Chris Rowan – Americana

1:00 Matt Eakle Band – Flute/Jazz

2:00 Beso Negro – Gypsy Jazz

3:00 Laura & Anton of Foxtails Brigade – Chamber/Pop

4:00 Kathryn Claire Band – Celtic

 

Children’s Grove

 Saturday, September 15

 Emcee: Naomi Caspe

10:30 -12:00 Hands- On Craft Time with the Girl Scouts

12:30 Fratello Marionettes

1:05  Brian Scott Magic

1:45 Stories with Georgia

2:20 Nick Barone’s Puppets

3:00  Blake Maxam’s Enchantments

3:40 Kids from Marin: Performing Arts Academy Sings & Dances

 

Sunday, September 16

Emcee: The Blue Fairy

10:30 -12:00 Hands- On Craft Time with the Girl Scouts

12:30 Fratello Marionettes

1:05 Dan Chan Magic

1:45 Sing with Dave Fromer

2:20  Tinker’s Coin Productions Puppetry

3:00 The Gnome Puppet Show

3:40 Kids from Marin: Singers Marin

 

The 411:

What: Mill Valley Fall Arts Festival

When: Sat & Sun September 15 and 16 – 10am to 5:00pm

Where: Old Mill Park, 320 Throckmorton Ave., Mill Valley CA 94941

info: mvfaf.org or call (415) 381-8090

email: mvfafartists@gmail.com

Tickets $10, $5 seniors and students and free for Kids 12 and under

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The 2012 FOG Rally Benefits Blue Planet Network: September 13-15 San Francisco to Los Angeles

The 2012 FOG Rally is comprised of 50 Ferraris departing from The Fairmont San Francisco atop Nob Hill, Friday September 14, at 8:30am on a media intensive charity road rally to Los Angeles. The rally will showcase Ferraris of all models and years and provide enthusiasts several opportunities for up close and personal encounters with the cars and their drivers.  This event will bring together the largest number of Ferraris that have ever been assembled in one public place in San Francisco!   To register for the Rally go to; http://fogrally.com/register/

For 2012 the FOG Rally is supporting Blue Planet Network, an award-winning nonprofit headquartered in the Bay Area.  Blue Planet Network’s mission is to exponentially increase the impact of safe drinking water programs for people around the world. Founded in 2002, Blue Planet Network and its 94 member organizations have helped more than 993,000 people in 25 countries with safe drinking water and sanitation. Visit Blue Planet Network for more information.

Ferrari Owners Group (FOG) Inc. is a membership organization of motorsports enthusiasts. While members enjoy the freedom of the open road and the spirit of California’s rich road rally history, the FOG Rally is an event that calls together charitable people from within and without the FOG community for the common purpose of supporting a worthy cause.  Drivers compete to raise the most funds for the benefiting charity.  Last year an impressive $60,000 was raised for Opportunity Impact during the inaugural FOG rally. An award will be given to the top three fundraisers at the closing banquet dinner, auction, and award ceremony held at the Hyatt Century Plaza in L.A., sponsored by Novitec Rosso, Saturday, September 15. This year organizers hope to raise $100,000 for Blue Planet Network.

“The Ferrari Owners Charitable Foundation values the opportunity to support the work of Blue Planet Network because it enables us to affect change simultaneously in our three areas of focus – public health, education, and youth-at-risk. Two of the features of Blue Planet Network that we find attractive are its dedicated oversight and its transparent implementation of water projects.”  – Joe Keon, Founder & President, Ferrari Owners Charitable Foundation, Marin   County CA

The Launch Party, held at The Fairmont San Francisco hotel on Thursday September 13th at 6:00pm, will kick off the long weekend event.  Participants will enjoy fine wine tasting, sumptuous hors d’oeuvres and live musical entertainment set amid the hotel’s stunning Gold Room.  Wine will be poured by Andretti Winery, founded by retired world champion race car driver Mario Andretti, as well as Grgich Hills Estate, one of the few truly bio-dynamic wineries in California.

The Keith Crossan Big Band will get the party swinging and will then offer the stage to Gabriel Angelo, San Francisco’s up-and-coming 12 year old trumpet player, who was recently featured on “The Ellen DeGeneres Show.”  Gabriel, who dresses quite dapper in Brooks Bother suits and tap dances while he plays, says his inspiration is Fred Astaire.

Robin Woolard Precious Jewels in The Fairmont Hotel is inviting launch party guests to a champagne reception and will be giving away a Dior cosmetics gift bag to each female guest.

The Launch Party is open to the public.  Tickets are only $125 and  must be purchased in advanced:  Launch Party Tickets

The Rally of 50 Ferraris departs from The Fairmont San Francisco at 8:30am Friday, September 14, 2012.  Mason Street will be closed to traffic so the public can safely view the cars before they take off.  The rally continues to Santa Barbara for the night, and arrives in LA on Saturday afternoon.

For more information please visit the FOG Rally website: FOG Rally

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Photo credit: Michelle Geer

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CAL PERFORMANCES PRESENTS THE NATIONAL CIRCUS OF THE PEOPLE’S REPUBLIC OF CHINA SATURDAY- SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 15-16

The world-renowned National Circus of the People’s Republic of China comes to Zellerbach Hall for two performances on Saturday-Sunday, September 15-16 at 8:00 p.m. and 3:00 p.m. respectively. Their newest production Cirque Chinois features a 45–member ensemble, exploring traditional Chinese culture including Buddhism and martial arts. Founded in 1953, the National Circus is one of the longest-running and most distinguished circus troupes in China with many international award-winners among them. Under the direction of Mei Yuezhou and Ai Bing, the circus brings sumptuous costumes, beautiful lighting and a variety of circus arts including trapeze, gymnastics, contortion, juggling and dance, the circus gives a performance that simultaneously hearkens back to China’s ancient circus heritage and brings the art form into a modern setting.

Since the 1970s, the National Circus has travelled to 80 countries worldwide, including France, Germany, Switzerland, Spain, Belgium, the Netherlands, Canada and the United States. During the 1980s, the company began pioneering the concept of animal-free circuses, advising the famed Cirque du Soleil on non-animal acts. In 1997, the company’s trapeze troupe was invited to perform with Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus. The company has received more than twenty gold and silver medals at international circus festivals, including the Monte Carlo International Circus Festival, Cirque de Demain, Wuqiao International Circus Festival, Wuhan International Circus Festival and China National Acrobatic Competition.

 

TICKET INFORMATION Tickets for the National Circus of the People’s Republic of China on Saturday,

September 15 at 8:00 p.m. and Sunday, September 16 at 3:00 p.m. in Zellerbach Hall range from $22.00 to $52.00, and are subject to change. They 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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Bay Area Flamenco presents 7th Annual Bay Area Flamenco Festival Festival Flamenco Gitano USA September 24-30, 2012

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

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

2012 SCHEDULE OF EVENTS 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Tickets: 
http://www.BayAreaFlamencoFestival.org

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

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

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

DESCRIPTION:

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

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

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

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

TICKET INFORMATION:

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

 

 


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THE MARSH Berkeley Cabaret Presents Happy Hour With Magician David Hirata

Fridays at 6:00 pm

September 7 – September 28, 2012

Free And Open to All With A Full Bar & Food!

Magician David Hirata will be entertaining the Friday Happy Hour crowd at The Marsh Berkeley during September, with live music by wonderful pianist Larisa Migachyov. Hirata, one of The Marsh’s favorite entertainers, will baffle the audience with spellbinding sleight-of-hand in the intimate setting of the bar and cabaret.  Imagine David and Larisa weaving music, movement, and storytelling together, add the theatrical surrealism of stage magic, and this is a not-to-miss, free, TGIF entertainment!

A full bar offers festive happy-hour discounts including $5 cocktails, $4 Ginger Margaritas and handpicked wine and beer. There is also great bar food—Portobello Panini’s, Mango Guacamole Salsa and fresh-baked cookies. Everyone is welcome; including those getting an early start for our 8 pm performances.

David Hirata has performed award-winning magic for over twenty years. He’s been called “a master of deceit” (Henry Tenenbaum, KRON TV), performing “classic magic with classy style” (Gerry Griffin, California Magic Dinner Theater). Classically trained Larisa Migachyov switched to ragtime after immigrating to the United States. She performs around the country and has composed 36 rags—more than any other woman in the ragtime world. In her other life, Larisa is a patent attorney in private practice.


 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

Through September 16, 2012.

(Final Extension)

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

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

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

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

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MAYOR LEE ANNOUNCES SECOND ANNUAL CHINATOWN SUNDAY STREETS & PING PONG TOURNAMENT

New Route Along Grant Avenue to Embarcadero with

Citywide Ping Pong Tournament to Increase Fitness & Health for Residents in Car-Free Environment

Mayor Edwin M. Lee today announced the second annual Chinatown Sunday Streets and Chinatown Ping Pong Tournament this Sunday, August 26th. The event is the second Sunday Streets along Grant Avenue, and a reprise of portions of the inaugural Sunday Streets route in 2008 that connected Chinatown to the Embarcadero along Washington Street.

“San Francisco is proud to have Sunday Streets back in Chinatown showcasing our City’s commitment to sustainability, innovation and the health of our residents,” said Mayor Lee. “I’m excited to take part in the annual Ping Pong Tournament as we continue this creative initiative that transforms public space and brings our communities together.”

“San Francisco residents, merchants and visitors have enthusiastically embraced Sunday Streets and are consistently asking us for more of these kinds of programs,” said SFMTA Director of Transportation Edward D. Reiskin. “These events are a great way to explore areas of the city by foot, bike and transit.”

Community leaders are organizing the second annual Chinatown Ping Pong Tournament to celebrate this iconic sport and provide opportunities for Sunday Streets visitors to watch champions compete and participate in free play following the tournament in Portsmouth Square.

“Community Youth Center is excited to have the opportunity to be involved with the Second Annual Chinatown Ping Pong Tournament,” said Community Youth Center Executive Director Sarah Wan. “Our participation last year was a highlight for our youth volunteers who were able to see ping pong players compete and demonstrate their skills. It was also a chance for the youth to show pride in a sport that is deeply rooted in their culture and history, and to see how San Francisco and the world has embraced it as a sport as well.”

In a departure from last year’s “Walking Street” version of Sunday Streets, bicycles and people-powered wheels of all kinds are welcomed and encouraged. The route travels east from Grant Avenue along historic Jackson Street and Washington Avenue to reach the Embarcadero where participants can access the Embarcadero bikeway along the picturesque San Francisco Bay to reach the northern waterfront where the America’s Cup World Series Final races will be concluding.

The August 26th Chinatown event is the eighth of ten planned Sunday Street events in the 2012 season. Event hours are 11AM to 4PM. The Ping Pong Tournament at Portsmouth Square starts at 8AM and will conclude by 12:30PM, when free play in Portsmouth Square will be open until 2PM for anyone that would like to play.

Other activities along the route:
· Ping Pong tournament by Chinatown Community Development Center and Chinatown Youth Center
· Tai Chi Classes by Chinese Shaolin Center
· Children’s activities by Kai Ming Head Start, Chinatown YMCA and St. Mary’s Chinese Day School
· Art activities, face painting and sidewalk chalk by Nexus ArtReach Art Collective and Girls on the Run
· Children’s bike safety rodeo presented by Wheel Kids
· Project Vega Soccer
· Live music by Rin Tin Tiger and Against Leo
· Circus Center
· Kids Cooking For Life
· “Freedom From Training Wheels” by the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition
· An Exploratorium interactive display previewing their 2013 grand opening at Pier 15
· Free bicycle rentals from ParkWide LLC
· Zumba dance workout

Sunday Streets is a program of Livable City and presented by the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency. The 2012 season is co-presented by Bank of America. Additional support is provided by AT&T, Bay Area Air Quality Management District, Blue Shield of California, Kaiser Permanente, Mike’s Bikes, Recology, REI, Shape Up SF, Sports Basement, United Healthcare Workers West and the University of California at San Francisco.

Major resources and support for Sunday Streets comes from the City & County of San Francisco, the Mayor’s Office, the San Francisco Police Department, the Department of Public Works, the Department of Public Health, the Recreation and Parks Department, the American Red Cross Bay Area Chapter and City CarShare. Free bike rentals are provided by Parkwide LLC and Recology waste management services. Media sponsors include the San Francisco Examiner and Clear Channel Radio. The San Francisco Bicycle Coalition manages Sunday Streets’ volunteer program.

Final Sunday Streets events of the 2012 season will include the Western Addition/N. Panhandle/Alamo Square on September 9th and the Outer Mission/Excelsior, a new neighborhood and route, on October 21st.

For more information on this signature San Francisco event which draws thousands into the streets for car-free recreation, go to www.SundayStreetsSF.com. To volunteer, go to www.SundayStreetsSF/volunteer.com. For information on Muni routes and vehicle access, call 311 or go to www.sfgov.org/311.

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

Performances Feature Two Distinct International Casts Including

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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MICHAEL TILSON THOMAS LEADS THE SAN FRANCISCO SYMPHONY IN MAHLER’S SYMPHONY NO. 5 SEPTEMBER 27 AT THE MONDAVI CENTER AT UC DAVIS AND SEPTEMBER 28-30 AT DAVIES SYMPHONY HALL

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

To purchase tickets, visit act-sf.org or call 415.749.2228. For additional information on “8”, visit: www.8theplay.com.

 

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In Conversation with David Perry

How Do You Do That?

David Perry, founder/CEO of David Perry & Associates, Inc. (www.davidperry.com),  will be interviewed at San Francisco’s Commonwealth Club on Thursday, August 23.

Perry has been entrusted to manage public, media and community relations for signature events on behalf of the City and County of San Francisco, ranging from the 2008 Olympic Torch Relay to the 2011 Fleet Week to the current America’s Cup Races. How does he juggle thousands of moving parts to consistently deliver consistently excellent results, and how can you, too, get a job traveling the world and meeting fascinating people? Come find out!

Location: The Commonwealth Club of California 595 Market Street, 2nd Floor, Gold Room San Francisco Time: 5:30 p.m. networking reception, 6 p.m. program Cost: $20 standard, $8 members, $7 students (with valid ID) Program Organizer/Moderator Julian Chang

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CALIFORNIA SHAKESPEARE THEATER CONTINUES ITS 39th SEASON WITH NOËL COWARD’S BLITHE SPIRIT, DIRECTED BY MARK RUCKER, THROUGHSEPTEMBER 2

 

All Performances at the Beautifully Renovated Bruns Amphitheater

Tickets on Sale Now; Call 510.548.9666 or Visit calshakes.org

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

ABOUT CAL SHAKES

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

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Ballet Tribute to Kristin Long



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

Click here <http://youtu.be/T_IeNXBxsWg>  to view a video tribute to this dynamic and beloved artist of the Company.

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CHINA’S TERRACOTTA WARRIORS: THE FIRST EMPEROR’S LEGACY

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

EXHIBITION TICKETS: $8-$22
Advance tickets go on sale October 16, 2012

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On Scene with Bill Wilson Ocean Avenue Fire gets City Response

San Francisco, CA—Mayor Edwin M. Lee met Tuesday August 14 with business and property owners affected by the August 7th fire on the 1500 block of Ocean Avenue to highlight the City’s comprehensive effort to assist in their recovery. The four-alarm fire, which injured two firefighters, affected nine businesses across three buildings and consumed much of the block. The City’s response builds on the work of improving the Ocean Avenue commercial district and the Mayor’s launch of the Invest in Neighborhoods initiative, a renewed effort to marshal City and private sector resources and services to help revitalize the City’s neighborhood commercial corridors, support neighborhood small businesses and boost neighborhood job creation.

“A week ago today, disaster struck these San Francisco businesses, and I want them to know that the City stands with them and will assist in their recovery,” said Mayor Lee. “From keeping the area clean and safe to accelerating permitting to providing individual business assistance, I have directed City departments to work as a team to respond quickly so that these small businesses can re-open as soon as possible.”

The City’s recovery package for Ocean Avenue will include expedited permitting through various City departments, cleaning and hauling services from the Department of Public Works, targeted legal and relocation assistance, marketing, and increased police patrols. The Mayor explained that the City’s response to the fire exemplifies the approach of his new Invest in Neighborhoods program, an interagency initiative that will deploy a set of customized services to 25 neighborhood commercial districts across the City. The recently-approved budget shored up resources for Invest in Neighborhoods, more than doubling the City’s investment in neighborhood economic development.

Mayor Lee directed the Office of Economic and Workforce Development (OEWD) to lead the City’s response and recovery effort for Ocean Avenue. OEWD has already been actively involved in improving the Ocean Avenue commercial district in recent years, assisting with the establishment of their Community Benefit District, the Ocean Avenue Association, and with the recruitment of two grocery stores, a Michelin-recommended restaurant and a full-service bank. Whole Foods at 1150 Ocean Avenue and the Chase Bank branch at 1649 Ocean Avenue are both set to open later this month. Ocean Avenue has not had a full-service grocery store and bank branch since the mid 1990’s.

“The day of the fire we had staff on the street meeting with affected business owners to understand their needs, share information, and develop a business response and recovery strategy,” said OEWD Director Todd Rufo. “While the next few months are going to be tough for the affected businesses, I am confident that this is just a temporary setback and that, with the City’s help, Ocean Avenue will bounce back. The imminent openings of the new Whole Foods and Chase Bank could not have come at a better time.”

“We thank Mayor Lee and City staff for their attentiveness to the businesses and property owners on Ocean Avenue,” said Ocean Avenue Association Interim Director Dan Weaver. “We believe that working hand in hand we can speed the recovery of this block and continue the work of making Ocean Avenue a thriving shopping and eating destination for the nearby neighborhoods and the City as a whole.”

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Russian River Brewing Company Honors Toronado with 25th Anniversary Ale

  • Russian River Brewing Company Honors Toronado with 25th Anniversary Ale

Photo: Russian River Brewing Company

Toronado, the staple Lower Haight dive bar with an acclaimed beer selection and a reputation forsurly bartenders, turned 25 on Saturday with a day-long bash featuring the debut of Russian River Brewing Company’sToronado 25th Anniversary Ale. The brew is made up of six component beers that were brewed separately with distinctly different processes, the final blend of which was chosen by Toronado owners, Vinnie and Dave Keene. Vinnie describes the blend as a “sour barrel-aged disproportionate blend of 6 different beers.”

As Haighteration reports, a line wrapped around the bar at 10:15 a.m. on Saturday morning, over an hour before the bar was set to open. Toronado’s Twitter feed notes that the famous Tamale Lady made an appearance at the party and that on Sunday morning the bar “[w]oke up in bed” with its neighbor, Molotov’s: “What the holy hell happened last night?”

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MAYOR LEE SIGNS LEGISLATION TO FUND WAR MEMORIAL SEISMIC UPGRADES & IMPROVEMENTS PROJECT


Plan Will Create Jobs, Make Historic San Francisco Building Seismically Safe & Accessible

 Mayor Edwin M. Lee today signed legislation to fund War Memorial Veterans Building infrastructure improvements after the Board of Supervisors unanimously approved it on July 31, 2012. Funding will allow the City to invest in infrastructure and creates jobs for residents.
“The War Memorial Veterans Building is one of our most treasured historic buildings and we can now continue to tell the stories of our nation’s heroes and the people of our City for generations to come,” said Mayor Lee. “This legislation makes seismic upgrades, increased safety and greater accessibility possible while fulfilling my top priority of putting San Franciscans back to work.”

The project includes seismic upgrades and earthquake damage repair, improvements to preserve building facilities, accessibility upgrades and energy efficiency upgrades. The Department of Public Works will manage the project, including providing architectural services.

“I’m proud to have co-sponsored this legislation which protects a valuable San Francisco landmark and treasure,” said Board of Supervisors President David Chiu. “Now, we can move forward on these improvements to make this important building safer and more accessible to everyone.”

The ordinance fully funds the project by appropriating $155 million of the total $170 million cost of the project through Certificates of Participation and is anticipated to generate more than 600 jobs.

“This legislation is great news for this cornerstone of our historic Civic Center and for all San Franciscans,” said President of the War Memorial Board of Trustees Charlotte Mailliard Shultz. “In addition to its longstanding tradition of paying tribute to our nation’s veterans and its significance as the place where the United Nations Charter was signed, the War Memorial Veterans Building is host to some of San Francisco’s most esteemed performances, concerts and celebrations, and I’m thrilled this legacy will be preserved and continued.”

Completed in 1932, the Veterans Building is a City Landmark and a California State Historical Landmark. The site houses more than 450 meetings and 500 performances and events annually in addition to housing offices of the Department of the War Memorial, the San Francisco Posts of the American Legion, the City’s Law Library and the City’s Arts Commission.

The project will be complete in mid-2015.

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Communications Workers of America in California Question CWA Union Leadership Over Failure to Sign Contract with AT&T

 

There is growing dissent among California Communications Workers of America against their union leaders’ intransigence and failure to approve a new contract with AT&T.

While every single CWA District and Local in the United States, with the exception of Connecticut and California, has signed a new contract deal with pay increases and generous health care benefits, California AT&T workers are starting to strike back at their own union and demand settlement.

Just this week, more than 20,000 AT&T workers in California, Nevada and Connecticut started two-day strikes Tuesday to protest what the union called harassment by the company. But a number of union members opposed the two day strike and question their union leadership’s action, which cost them two days of pay.

The phone company is negotiating new contracts with the Communications Workers of America. The company is restricting standard bargaining-support activities such as wearing union stickers and buttons, said Libby Sayre, president of the CWA district covering California and Nevada.

The contracts expired in April, and negotiations have been going on since February.

Dallas-based AT&T Inc. is the country’s largest employer of unionized workers. About 140,000 of its 256,000 employees are union members.

California AT&T workers are quietly saying they don’t care about the ‘sticker issue’ raised by CWA District 9 President Libby Sayre and are pushing back at union leadership and demanding an immediate conclusion to contract negotiations with AT&T.

“We are at odds with our own union leadership, not with AT&T,” one worker, requesting anonymity, said.  “The deal that was accepted by AT&T workers in other states is a good one and we want it here, too.”

The growing dissent by CWA workers against their leadership was visible in northern California this week as a number of members protested the two day strike and instead held signs protesting against CWA’s leadership, holding signs that read: “Our Union Has Us Striking Over a Stupid Sticker!” and “We Just Lost 2 Days Pay: Thanks CWA.”

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NATALIE COLE PERFORMS SPECIAL HOLIDAY CONCERT DECEMBER 20 WITH SAN FRANCISCO SYMPHONY

JOHN LITHGOW WITHDRAWS FROM DECEMBER 8 YOUTH ORCHESTRA

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

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

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

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


 

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Joanna Haigood’s Zaccho Dance Theatre Acclaimed Sailing Away Returns

 Inspired by San Francisco’s early African American settlers

Performances are free and open to the public on Market Street

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Panel Discussion at California Historical Society

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

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

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

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