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My Tia Loca's Life of Crime

Good Dose of Grit from San Francisco’s Guerrilla Rep

We like classic, elegant theater just as much as the next avid theatergoer, but sometimes we’re in the mood for something a little more…well, gritty. When we checked out the Guerrilla Rep theater company we found just what we were looking for. In their own words Guerrilla Rep’s mission is to “explore class in American society through provocative and entertaining new plays created by artists focused on the evolutionary process …more…

Black Hawk, San Francisco

San Francisco Jazz Landmark Recognized

Though it closed its doors in 1963, a half-dozen classic recordings made at San Francisco’s Blackhawk nightclub have ensured a secure, lasting renown for the club in jazz lore. Along with other, long-gone clubs such as New York’s Royal Roost, Chicago’s Blue Note, and Philly’s Showboat and Peps’, the Blackhawk enjoys a mythic status as a club where all of the great post-war small groups played; Thelonious Monk, Miles Davis, …more…

Bill Irwin stars in Endgame, photo by Mary Ellen Mark

Bill Irwin Amazes San Francisco Audiences in Endgame

Bill Irwin stars in Endgame, photo by Mary Ellen Mark

There are Samuel Beckett fans out there who worship every word the brilliant playwright/author wrote, and there are Bill Irwin fans who have followed his career through the years as he’s intertwined clowning and serious acting with nothing short of pure genius. If you happen to be a fan of both of these fascinating men, you cannot miss the San …more…

Wood Elves House Party

San Francisco Improv Company Leela Offers More Than a Great Show

There’s nothing like improvisational theater to get your heart racing. It’s like watching a group of actors play catch, with a ball that has a wildly unpredictable life of its own. You watch them toss lines back and forth, waiting for just one slip, and then when the slip occurs, it somehow—miraculously—becomes part of the storyline. And when the actors rely on audience members to give them suggestions for different …more…

Christian Cagigal, photo by Julie Mitchell

San Francisco Magician’s Show an Enigma Wrapped in Mystery

Christian Cagigal, photo by Julie Michelle

Christian Cagigal was named ‘Best Magician’ by Best of the Bay for a reason—because he is one of the best magicians working today. He brings magic and the art of performance to new heights with every new show. Now and at the Hour, which premiered in 2009 at New York’s FRIGIDfest, lured the audience in by taking a peek into their innermost thoughts. Cagigal …more…

SFJAZZspring_april

SFJAZZ Spring Season Underway

The Spring season is well underway at SFJAZZ, but there is still plenty to look forward to in April, May, and June. Starting the month on a particularly strong note, the presenting company’s namesake combo, the SFJAZZ Collective, is playing Yoshi’s in Oakland on this weekend, March 31 – April 1. As great as they are, you may want to wait and catch them on Sunday so that you don’t …more…

Actors Joseph Salazar and Caitlyn Louchard, photo by Jay Yamada

Rarely Seen Gem by Tom Stoppard Performed in Berkeley

The 2012 theater season for Shotgun Players in Berkeley, CA is off to a roaring start with The Coast of Utopia: Voyage by Tom Stoppard. Shotgun Players is a theater company which prides itself on 20 years of experience performing little-known works by well-known playwrights, and sometimes this takes a bit of legal legwork on their part to secure the rights to some of these masterpieces. The Coast of Utopia: …more…

Jovino1

Jovino Santos Neto joined Santos at Yoshi’s

The top Bay Area jazz happening of recent weeks was surely John Santos Sextet’s two-night stand at Yoshi’s in Oakland. While Santos is always a notable attraction in these parts, his engagement at the famous East Bay club on March 2 & 3, 2012, was one of those not-to-be-missed events whose auditors were glad they had made the trip. Upon entering the room for the first set on Friday night, it was clear that the evening was going to be a fun and collaborative one. ...more...

Gotchling (Jessica Rudholm) tells a story on New Year’s Eve, 1932, while Paulinka (Megan Briggs) waits her turn. Photo by Jay Yamada

A Bright Room Called Day Dazzles San Francisco

The Gough Street Playhouse in San Francisco is currently performing one of the earlier plays of Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright, Tony Kushner: A Bright Room Called Day. Although the show just opened last week (March 9), it has already been featured in 96 Hours, the San Francisco Chronicle’s “what to do this weekend” section. Kushner is also known for his work in film. The screenplay of Munich, which he co-wrote, was directed and produced by Stephen Spielberg in 2005. But whether he’s writing for the stage or for film, Kushner’s commitment to challenging his audiences, and his habit of introducing innovative juxtapositions of plot, continue to inspire. ...more...

SF Grants for the Arts

SF Grants for the Arts

If you attend a San Francisco concert this month and the administration staff seems frazzled, it it most likely because they are recovering from preparing their annual San Francisco Hotel Tax Fund/Grants for the Arts application, due on February 10th.

The program, which has been around since 1961, was a pioneering model of government funding for the arts, and it remains a reason why San Francisco has a disproportionately high level of arts …more…

AlfredoRodriguez

Top attraction this weekend: Alfredo Rodriguez

Saturday night’s Treasures from the Archives presentation by Mark Cantor of rare, fascinating jazz film clips was, as expected, another memorable occasion. This was no tiny, peripheral jazz society splitting hairs over minutiae and obscure musicians lost to history; Cantor’s presentation was informative, fun, and, above all, well-attended! The screening occurred in Kanbar Hall in The Jewish Community Center of San Francisco with an appreciative audience of probably 300 fans …more…

Don_Cheadle

JAZZ IN FILM NEWS

One of the most intriguing jazz news stories of recent years was revived when Don Cheadle recently confirmed that his plans to make a film about Miles Davis were developing. The proposed project, which Cheadle would both direct and star in, was announced two years ago but had scarcely been mentioned by the Oscar-nominated actor since. Cheadle, of course, has been busy starring in films like Iron Man 2 and …more…

John Santos

GIVE THANKS… FOR JOHN SANTOS

This November many of us carved out time to appreciate the people in our lives and give thanks. We Bay Area jazz fans, in particular, had much to be thankful for. Although the SFJAZZ Festival is still winding down, the past months have been filled with some outstanding shows including those by Esperanza Spaulding, Robert Glasper, and McCoy Tyner. Alongside the established jazz artists were legendary Bollywood playback-singer Asha Bohsle, R&B …more…

SwingTime

Not Abundant but Well Served: Jazz at Music Conference

From November 10-13 music scholars from far and wide descended on the Hyatt Regency Hotel on the Embarcadero in San Francisco for the American Musicological Society‘s 2011 conference. Held in a different American or Canadian metropolis evey year, AMS had not been to the Bay Area since 1990 when Oakland hosted the event. With this year’s preponderance of opera and early music papers, there was comparatively little in the way …more…