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FEBRUARY 2012 I Your Guide to the Best Theatre, Music, Dance and More in the Bay Area!

[THE ARTISTS]

DELLA REESE JUSTIN BOND DAVE HOLLAND ANA MOURA [THE SHOWS]

HIGHER COUNTER ATTACK BECOMING BRITNEY SAM SHEPARD IN REPERTORY

+

BATSHEVA DANCE COMPANY’S MAX

[THE COVER]

LEGALLY BLONDE

Bailey Hanks Returns to the Elle Word

ALSO: DAILY EVENTS + MUSIC & COMEDY CLUB LISTINGS + VENUE DIRECTORIES + MORE


February 2 - 4

February 3 - 5

the rrazz room comeDy club SerieS continueS with ...

MARY STALLINGS

aShy larry From the chappelle Show

legenDary bay area giantS oF Jazz concert SerieS

DONNELL RAWLINGS

February 12 - 14

FREDDY COLE QUARTET Special Valentine’S Day perFormance

February 24 & 25 an intimate eVening with

VONDA ShEPARD

& hER TRIO

February 16 - 18

rrazz Special concert eVent legenDary Singer anD actreSS...

February 7 - 11

CON FUNk ShUN Featuring michael cooper

February 21 - 23

ZAPP BAND & ShIRLEY MURDOCk

DELLA REESE

an olD School Double bill night to remember!

February 25 - 27

February 28 & 29

DICk GREGORY & WILL DURST

NELLIE MCkAY “i want to liVe!”

hiStoric comeDy Double bill

222 Mason Street, San Francisco, CA 94102

Grand Piano courtesy of Baldwin

800-380-3095 • www.TheRrazzRoom.com


editor ROBERT SOKOL editor@baystages.com publisher RON WILLIS publisher@baystages.com design VIA MEDIA design@viamedia.net

DEE DEE BRIDGEWATER February 24 to 25 Yoshi’s 510 Embarcadero West Oakland $25-$30 | 510.238.9200 yoshis.com

contributing writers GRIER COOPER ANDREW GILBERT ML HEATH MARGOT MANBURG CHRIS RENÉ ROBERT SOKOL KEVIN THOMAS JIM VAN BUSKIRK ELIZABETH WARNIMONT Writers may submit resumes and samples to editor@baystages.com for consideration.

contributing photographer STEVEN UNDERHILL cover image BAILEY HANKS

image: ben krantz photography

THE STAGES REPERTORY | Sam Shepard in Repertory..................................... 7 DRAMA | Higher............................................................................... 9 SENIOR | Counter Attack...............................................................11 MUSICAL | Legally Blonde: The Musical.....................................13 DANCE | Dance As A Weapon.......................................................15 MUSICAL | Becoming Britney......................................................17 NIGHTCLUB | Della Reese.............................................................19 MUSIC | Ana Moura.......................................................................21

image: courtesy photo (dee dee bridgewater)

DANCE | Max...................................................................................23 MUSIC | Justin Vivian Bond..........................................................25 JAZZ | Dave Holland Overtone Quartet.......................................27 BACK I Behind the Scenes with

...............................28

All other photos are provided by the artists or venues and credits are noted where provided.

advertising sales RON WILLIS 415.552.8040 advertise@baystages.com If you need additional copies or would like to become a distribution point for BAYSTAGES please call our office. PDF copies of individual articles are available upon request. Press releases and promotional materials may be sent to:

thisjustin@baystages.com or mailed to:

BAYSTAGES 780 sutter street SF, ca 94109 p: 415.552.8040 f: 415.869.3700

Copyright © 2010-2012 by Caselli Partners LLC. All rights reserved. Printed in California. Reproduction in whole or in part in any form without written permission is prohibited. BAYSTAGES is published monthly by VIA MEDIA, a division of Caselli Partners LLC. All content not attributed to an author is compiled by BAYSTAGES staff from press releases and other sources. No guarantee is given for the validity of this data. Information is subject to change without notice.

FEBRUARY 2012 |

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REVOLVING

Jim Brickman makes his debut at the Napa Valley Opera House. (2/28)

MUSIC VENUES

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COMEDY & IMPROV BATS IMPROV Marina, SF improv.org | 415.474.6776

BIG CITY IMPROV Union Square, SF sheltontheater.com | 415.433.1227 BLUE BLANKET IMPROV Half Moon Bay blueblanketimprov.com | 650.726.0770 BUNJO’S COMEDY LOUNGE Dublin bunjoscomedy.com | 925.264.4413 COBB’S COMEDY CLUB North Beach, SF cobbscomedyclub.com | 415.928.4320 COMEDY OFF BROADWAY Oakland coboak.com | 510.214.2626 COMEDYSportz San Jose comedysportzsanjose.com DARK ROOM Mission, SF darkroomsf.com | 415.401.7987 ENDGAMES IMPROV Union Square, SF endgamesimprov.com ENSO Half Moon Bay ensohmb.com | 650.726.1409 HARVEY’S FUNNY TUESDAYS Castro, SF harveyssf.com | 415.431.4278 IMPROV San Jose improv.com | 408.280.7475 MADE UP THEATRE Fremont madeuptheatre.com | 510.573.3633 PUNCHLINE Embarcadero, SF punchlinecomedyclub.com | 415.397.7573 ROOSTER T. FEATHERS Sunnyvale roostertfeathers.com | 408.736.0921 SECRET IMPROV SOCIETY Union Square, SF improvsociety.com STONE SOUP IMPROV Oakland stonesoupimprov.com | 510.380.6808

.............................................. These venues book a frequently changing roster of artists. Call or check the websites for the latest performance information including minimums and age limits (if any). Contact daily@baystages.com with additions or corrections.

image: courtesy photos (jim brickman)

BIMBO’S 365 CLUB North Beach, SF bimbos365club.com | 415.474.0365 BISCUITS & BLUES Union Square, SF biscuitsandblues.com | 415.292.2583 BLANK CLUB San Jose theblankclub.com | 408.292.5265 BLISS BAR Noe Valley, SF blissbarsf.com | 415.826.6200 Bottom of the Hill Potrero Hill, SF bottomofthehill.com | 415.621.4455 Café du Nord Upper Market, SF cafedunord.com | 415.861.5016 club fox Redwood City clubfoxrwc.com | 650.369.7770 ELBO ROOM Mission, SF elbo.com | 415.552.7788 EL RIO Mission, SF elriosf.com | 415.282.3325 FILLMORE Fillmore, SF thefillmore.com | 415.346.6000 Freight & Salvage Berkeley freightandsalvage.org | 510.644.2020 George’s NIGHTCLUB San Rafael georgesnightclub.com | 415.226.0262 Great American Music Hall Tenderloin, SF gamh.com | 888.233.0449 Hemlock Tavern Polk Gulch, SF hemlocktavern.com | No Calls HOTEL UTAH SALOON SOMA, SF hotelutah.com | 415.546.6300

Independent Alamo Square, SF theindependentsf.com | 415.771.1421 Johnny Foley’s Union Square, SF johnnyfoleys.com | 415.954.0777 MEZZANINE SOMA, SF mezzaninesf.com | 415.625.8880 napa valley opera house Napa nvoh.com | 707.226.7372 NEW PARISH Oakland thenewparish.com | 510.444.7474 Rancho Nicasio Marin ranchonicasio.com | 415.662.2219 Regency Ballroom Civic Center, SF theregencyballroom.com | 800.745.3000 Rickshaw Stop Civic Center, SF rickshawstop.com | 415.861.2012 ROCKIT ROOM Richmond, SF rock-it-room.com | 415.387.6343 RRAZZ ROOM Union Square, SF therrazzroom.com | 415. 394.1189 SAVANNAH JAZZ Mission, SF savannajazz.com | 415.624.4549 SHATTUCK DOWN LOW Berkeley shattuckdownlow.com | 510.455.4735 SILO’S Napa silosnapa.com | 707.251.5833 Slim’s SOMA, SF slims-sf.com | No Calls STARRY PLOUGH Berkeley starryploughpub.com | 510.841.1424 THEE PARKSIDE Potrero Hill, SF theeparkside.com | 415.252.1330 UPTOWN THEATRE Napa uptowntheatrenapa.com | 707.259.0123 WARFIELD Downtown, SF thewarfieldtheatre.com | 800.745.3000 YOSHI’S Oakland + Fillmore, SF yoshis.com | 510-238-9200 + 415.655.5600


view from the editor The first year of BAYSTAGES kept me close to home - chained to the computer was the operative phrase - so I was delighted to make a sojourn to Manhattan last month for a Broadway banquet, with a side order of Off-Broadway and nightclubbing. Broadway is not Mae West. When it’s good, the Great White Way is great, but when it’s bad it’s not better. I saw some great shows and visited friends working in them. I also saw a serious misfire with major talent involved, and any number of shows seen here in the Bay Area would have bested it in entertainment value and not spent millions of dollars to do so. Another part of the trip was visiting the annual convention for APAP, the Association of Performing Arts Presenters. I’ll put tongue in cheek and call it Cabaret Costco. You flash your membership card and load up your performing arts center season cart with singers, jazz bands, comedians and more. Happy to report the Bay Area was well represented both behind the counter and in the check-out lane. Back at home, the holiday lull - yes, I said lull! - gave way to a flurry of openings and new performance projects. It’s as if our creative community had grown restive and needed to flex its muscles.

At BAYSTAGES we celebrate all forms of live performance, but I’ll admit it: I love theatre. One of the joys of regular theatre-going is seeing a performer like Joan Mankin present what seems to be an infinite number of faces to her audience over the course of a season. She has a new character this month in Counter Attack by playwright Joan Holden, who shares some insights on the show on Page 11. Another joy is watching young talent grow. Samantha Bruce delighted in Broadway By The Bay’s Gypsy last fall and she had a chance to reprise her role in a concert production in January. Sure, the show was the same, but just about everything else was new - the staging, the director, the venue and much of the cast. She also had only five days to put it all together, which she did beautifully. Bruce is a talent to watch - one of many that grace Bay Area stages. Why not buy a ticket to a show this month - they’re cheaper here than in New York! - and start watching some for yourself?

ROBERT SOKOL, editor

image: via media

Tony nominee Christine Andreas played Madame (never Mama) Rose and Samantha Bruce revisited Louise/Gypsy in a concert version of Gypsy presented by Symphony Silicon Valley in San Jose.

FEBRUARY 2012

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SAN FRANCISCO VENUES

DAILY The following listings are compiled from submissions to the baystages.com database and are subject to change without notice. Please be sure to verify performance times and dates when making your ticket purchases. Shows with multiple performances are listed below as of their first public performance, with the final performance date noted in the description. CLOSING SHOWS are listed separately in the sidebar columns with the date of the final scheduled performance noted before the title. ONGOING SHOWS offering regularly scheduled performance throughout the month are also listed separately in the sidebar columns. Closing and ongoing shows are not included in the listings that follow. ABBREVIATIONS: MV-Mill Valley, LF-Lafayette, PA-Palo Alto, RC-Redwood City, SF-San Francisco, SJ-San Jose, SR-Santa Rosa, SU-Sunnvale, WC-Walnut Creek.

Herbert Blomstedt conducts Mozart at Louise M. Davies Hall. (2/2 - 2/4)

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1 | Banner Pilots

Thee Parkside | SF $6 | 415.252.1330 theeparkside.com Banner Pilot, Shotdown

1 | Carolyn Wonderland

Yoshi’s | Oakland $16 | 510.238.9200 yoshis.com Austin blues guitarist. 1 | Higher

Children’s Creativity Museum | SF $ | 415.749.2228 act-sf.org Two American architects compete to design a memorial in Israel. (Ends 2/19) 1 | Kinetic Makeover

Garage | SF $10-$20 | 800.838.3006 975howard.com A dance solo by Milka Djordjevich. Perpetual motion in order to transform. 1 | Romantic Comedy

Bayfront Theater | SF $17-$20 | 800.380.3095 improv.org Love & laughs take center stage in this tale set in the ‘30s! (Ends 2/29) 1 | Spirit of Uganda

Wells Fargo Center | Santa Rosa $30-$40 | 707.546.3600 wellsfargocenterarts.org A vibrant cast of performers, aged 8-18, bring on the sounds & moves of Africa. 1 | Super Scene

Bayfront Theater | SF $17-$20 | 800.380.3095 improv.org A fast-paced, and hilarious theater competition featuring six directors creating six unique stories. (Ends 2/28) 1 | The Mandrake Root

Hastings Studio Theatre | SF $15 | 415.749.2228 act-sf.org 16th-century satire of Italian society. A man concocts an elaborate ruse to sleep with a woman. (Ends 2/11)

1 | Top Shelf

Rrazz Room | SF $25-$30 | 800.380.3095 therrazzroom.com “Uptown, Downtown, Motown Madness!” (Ends 7/17) 2 | A Steady Rain

Marin Theatre Company | MV $34-$55 | 415.388.5208 marintheatre.org West Coast premiere of Keith Huff’s taught crime drama. (Ends 2/26) 2 | Blomstedt conducts

Davies Symphony Hall | SF $35-$140 | 415.864.6000 sfsymphony.org Herbert Blomstedt, Conductor Laureate, with the SF Symphony. (Ends 2/4) 2 | Creatures of Impulse

Firehouse Arts Center | Pleasanton $10-$15 | 925.931.4848 firehousearts.org Presented by Creatures of Impulse, Teen Improv Troupe. (Ends 2/4) 2 | Donnell Rawlings

Rrazz Room | SF $25 | 800.380.3095 therrazzroom.com You’ve seen him on Comedy Central’s “Chappelle’s Show.” (Ends 2/4) 2 | Health and Efficiency

Stage Werx 446 | SF $10 | 800.838.3006 ncmentis.com Nigel C. Mentis’ journey through the labyrinth of emotional development.

2 | It’s All Greek To Me!

Lesher Center | Walnut Creek $10-$14.50 | 925.943.7469 lesherartscenter.org Five clever & imaginative one act plays based on Greek mythology. (Ends 2/4) 2 | Kayhan Kalhor

Herbst Theatre | SF $25-$35 | 415.392.4400 ciis.edu CIIS presents classical Persian music accompanied by the poetry of Rumi.

image: courtesy photos (herbert blomstedt)

alcove theatre Union Square thealcovetheater.com I 415.383.9600 bill graham auditorium Civic Center apeconcerts.com I No Number Available castro theatre Castro castrotheatre.com I 415.621.6120 exit theatre Tenderloin theexit.org I 415.673.3847 FORT MASON CEnTER Marina fortmason.org I 415.345.7500 herbst theatre Civic Center sfwmpac.org I 415.392.4400 louise m. davies hall Civic Center sfsymphony.org I 415.864.6000 marines’ memorial Union Square marinesmemorialtheatre.org I 415.771.6900 masonic auditorium Nob Hill masonicauditorium.com I 800.745.3000 odc theatre Mission odctheater.org I 415.978.2787 palace of fine arts Marina palaceoffinearts.org I 415.567.6642 shelton theatre Union Square sheltontheater.org I 415.882.9100 stage werx Mission stagewerx.org I No Number Available victoria theatre Mission victoriatheatre.org I 415.863.7576 war memorial opera Civic Center sfwmpac.org I 415.392.4400 yerba buena center SoMa ybca.org I 415.978.2787


2 | Private Parts

SF Playhouse - Stage 2 | SF $20 | 415.677.9596 sfplayhouse.org Hilarious true stories about family dysfunction & escaping. (Ends 2/25) 2 | Watts & Glasper

Yoshi’s | Oakland $25 | 510.238.9200 yoshis.com SF Sketchfest presents this mashup of improvisation, comedy, jazz and hip-hop. 2 | Vigilance

Phoenix Theatre | SF $25-$35 | 800.838.3006 secondwindtheatre.com A newcomer drives his neighbors down a path of mutual destruction. (Ends 2/25) 3 | THE B-52s

142 Throckmorton | MV $85 | 415.383.9600 142throckmortontheatre.org Loud, sexy Rock n’ Roll. 3 | Civil Disobedience

Glaser Center | Santa Rosa $10-$15 | 707.568.5381 thewalkingelephant.blogspot.com Youth actors interviewed and now portray charismatic people. (Ends 2/5) 3 | Counter Attack

Ashby Stage | Berkeley $18-$25 | 800.838.3006 stagebridge.org Breaking stereotypes of aging workers by tapping into personal stories. (Ends 3/4) 3 | King Cole

Garret at A.C.T. | SF $15-$20 | 415.749.2228 act-sf.org A.C.T. Young Conservatory Ensembles perform the music of Cole Porter. (Ends 2/5) 3 | Macklin Kowal

Garage | SF $10-$20 | 800.838.3006 975howard.com Tackles themes of tyranny and the body’s relationship to systems of power. 3 | Marianne Aya Omac

3 | Smuin Ballet

Lesher Center | Walnut Creek $54-$67 | 925.943.7469 smuinballet.org Fall/Winter program includes World Premiere by Amy Seiwert and three works by Michael Smuin. (Ends 2/4) 3 | The Spinners

Yoshi’s | Oakland $35-$40 | 510.238.9200 yoshis.com Legendary R & B group with 12 gold records to their credit. (Ends 2/5) 4 | A Taste of Honey

Thick House | SF $15-$25 | 800.838.3006 viragotheatre.org A masterpiece of black comedy, this was a sensation in 1959. (Ends 2/25) 4 | Buried Child

Boxcar Playhouse | SF $15-$35 | 415.776.1747 boxcartheatre.org Shepard’s gripping drama about family secrets dragged into the light of day. (Ends 4/7) 4 | Eric Bibb

Montalvo Arts Center | Saratoga $30-$35 | 408.961.5858 montalvoarts.org Montalvo presents an evening with blues man Eric Bibb. 4 | February Fusion Fest

NOHspace | SF $20-$40 | 415.621.0507 theatreofyugen.org Food, drink, music and a performance of “Ophelia” benefiting Theatre of Yugen. 4 | Lionize

Thee Parkside | SF $6 | 415.252.1330 theeparkside.com Maylene & the Sons of Disaster, Lionize. 4 | Esterházy Quartet

St. Mark’s Lutheran Church | SF $20-$25 | 800.838.3006 newesterhazy.org Haydn’s orchestral meditations on “The 7 Last Words of Our Savior from the Cross.”

Yoshi’s | SF $25-$30 | 415.655.5600 yoshis.com With a special appearance by Joan Baez, plus Shimshai.

4 | Deep Blue Organ Trio

3 | Mary Stallings

4 | Unauthorized Stones

Rrazz Room | SF $30 | 800.380.3095 therrazzroom.com Greatly influenced by Carmen McRae, Stallings is an SF native. (Ends 2/5)

Yoshi’s | SF $22 | 415.655.5600 yoshis.com Featuring Bobby Broom.

Café Du Nord | SF $20 | 866.468.3399 cafedunord.com With Rudy Colombini and the Ambassadors of Love.

February 10 thru

March 3, 2012 Season Partner

Presenting

Sponsor

For Tickets call

943-SHOW • • •

(925)

7469

www.diablotheatre.org FEBRUARY 2012 |

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BAY AREA VENUES

DAILY 4 | Tom Jonesing

6 | Laura Gibson

5 | American Philharmonic

6 | Maria Volonte

5 | Barbary Coast Burlesque

7 | Celtic Nights

5 | Chamber Music

7 | Chrysalis

50 Mason Social House | SF $7 tomjonesing.com Dean Mermell & Steffanos X, a piano & voice duo, and the music of Tom Jones. Wells Fargo Center | Santa Rosa $20-$30 | 707.546.3600 wellsfargocenterarts.org Featuring works by Berlioz, Mahler, Rachmaninoff, Erickson and Falla. Kronos Quartet is appearing at the Stanford Lively Arts. (2/12)

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Davies Symphony Hall | SF $36 | 415.864.6000 sfsymphony.org Chamber music with members of the San Francisco Symphony. 5 | Fortunate Daughter

Stage Werx 446 | SF $20 | 800.838.3006 facebook.comthao.meanie Thao P. Nguyen’s solo show about a woman struggling to keep her birth and extended families apart. (Ends 4/1) 5 | Joni Morris

Firehouse Arts Center | Pleasanton $25 | 925.931.4848 firehousearts.org A tribute to the music of Patsy Cline. 5 | Lenny Carlson Trio

Old First Church | SF $17 | 415.474.1608 oldfirstconcerts.org Saxophonist Hal Richards, bassist Paul Smith & vocalist Miranda Ferriss Jones. 5 | Thomas Buckner

Herbst Theatre | SF $30-$40 | 415.392.4400 fsarts.org Baritone Buckner presents the program “Music of Living Composers.” 6 | Earplay

Herbst Theatre | SF $20 | 415.392.4400 earplay.org Veteran San Francisco new chamber music ensemble plays the Herbst. 6 | Entrance

Café Du Nord | SF $10-$12 | 866.468.3399 cafedunord.com With Tim Cohen, Hot Lunch, Matt Baldwin and Ready Steady.

Rrazz Room | SF $30 | 800.380.3095 therrazzroom.com Winner of the Gardel Prize and member of the Tango Hall of Fame. Napa Valley Opera House $30-$35 | 707.226.7372 nvoh.org 6 accomplished Irish vocalists share the stage with step dancers and musicians. Garage | SF $10 | 800.838.3006 975howard.com Exploration of grief and growing up. 7 | Con Funk Shun

Rrazz Room | SF $35-$40 | 800.380.3095 therrazzroom.com Electrifying moves & harmonies. (Ends 2/11) 7 | Fresh, Queer Performance

SOMArts Cultural Center | SF $5 | 888.541.9753 somarts.org The News is the place to see what’s new in queer performance.

8 | Blomstedt conducts

Davies Symphony Hall | SF $35-$140 | 415.864.6000 sfsymphony.org Blomstedt and the SF Symphony. (Ends 2/10) 8 | Hydrophonic

Bottom of the Hill | SF $8 | 415.621.4455 bottomofthehill.com With Electric Shepherd & Outlaw. 8 | Los Train Wreck

Yoshi’s | Oakland $12-$15 | 510.238.9200 yoshis.com With special guest Charlie Owen. 8 | Soul Salvation

Napa Valley Opera House $25 | 707.226.7372 nvoh.org Ruthie Foster and Paul Thorn. 9 | Art

Olinder Theatre | San Jose $20 | 408.288.7820 northsidetheatre.com A comedy about friendship. (Ends 3/4)

image: courtesy photo (kronos quartet)

142 Throckmorton Mill Valley 142throckmortontheatre.org I 415.383.9600 CAL PERFORMANCES Berkeley calperfs.berkeley.edu I 510.642.9988 EL CAMPANIL THEATRE Antioch flintcenter.com I 408.864.8816 FIREHOUSE arts center Pleasanton firehousearts.org I 925.931.4848 flint CENTER Cupertino flintcenter.com I 408.864.8816 FOX THEATRE Redwood City foxrwc.com I 650-369-7770 JULIA MORGAN CENTER Berkeley flintcenter.com I 408.864.8816 LESHER CENTER Walnut Creek lesherartscenter.org I 925.943.7469 marin CENTER San Rafael marincenter.org I 415.473.6800 mountain view CENTER Mountain View mvcpa.com I 650.903.6000 PARAMOUNT THEATRE Oakland paramounttheatre.com I 800.745.3000 SAN JOSE CENTER San Jose sanjose.org I 408.792.4111 SPRECKELS ARTS CENTER Rohnert Park spreckelsonline.com I 707.588.3400 STANFORD LIVELY ARTS Palo Alto livelyarts.stanford.edu I 650.725.2787 wells fargo center Santa Rosa wellsfargocenterarts.org I 707.546.3600

Yoshi’s | SF $15-$20 | 415.655.5600 yoshis.com Monthly burlesque show hosted by Bunny Pistol.

Bottom of the Hill | SF $10-$12 | 415.621.4455 bottomofthehill.com Folk singer and songwriter, with Breathe Owl Breathe and Morgan Manifacier.


delving deeply into the master playwright by margot manburg

“Sam Shepard has a great use of language. A lot of poetry, but he also writes naturalistically. It’s very real and honest, yet a little heightened. That combination is as fascinating for an audience to watch as it is for us to play,” says Nick Olivero, Boxcar Theatre’s founding artistic director and company member. Shepard’s iconic, gritty writing so inspired Olivero and his collaborators that they created Sam Shepard in Repertory, a festival celebrating his plays. Shep in Rep, as it’s been short-handed, showcases True West, Fool for Love, Buried Child, and A Lie of the Mind, running in rep through April 26th. Olivero and fellow actor Brian Trybom kick off the festival with an explosive version of True West, their physicality barely contained by the walls of the black box studio. The actors fearlessly alternate the lead roles between them every night. “It’s been intense,” Olivero confides, “Spending time with these characters who have completely different mindsets. But both have this desperation to them, this need to prove something. And we both bring such different levels to each character, which keeps it interesting.”

balance multiple roles across multiple plays. “The readings and workshops give artists the opportunity to demonstrate Sam Shepard’s writing and their own virtuosity while giving audiences a fuller experience. We have the space so why not open the doors,” says Olivero. The festival occupies three separate venues, including Boxcar’s new studio space. “People may have seen these plays before,” Olivero, allows, “but we’re interpreting these characters in new ways, finding material in the text that hasn’t been seen before.”

repertory

SAM SHEPARD IN REPERTORY

SAM SHEPARD IN REPERTORY Through April 26 Boxcar Studios 125A Hyde Street, SF Boxcar Playhouse 505 Natoma Street, SF $15 to $85 | 415.967.2227 boxcartheatre.org

image: peter liu (true west - nick olivero, brian trybom)

In addition to the four full productions, eight other Sam Shepard plays are being given staged readings and workshops throughout the festival. The seventeen actors involved in the festival

FEBRUARY 2012 |

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ONGOING SHOWS

DAILY 9 | Awkward Dinner Party

10 | Becoming Britney

9 | Comedy @ Firehouse

10 | Burying Our Father

9 | Geezer

10 | Catalina Claro

9 | Gimpel the Fool

10 | Civil Disobedience

9 | Leif Ove Andsnes

10 | Counting on Love

9 | Oklahoma!

10 | Down with Love

EXIT Stage Left | SF $20 | 800.838.3006 awkwarddinnerparty.com In this improvised show, a couple invites another couple over for dinner.. (Ends 2/11) Firehouse Arts Center | Pleasanton $15 | 925.931.4848 firehousearts.org Andrew Norelli headlines the first in a series of comedy shows at the Firehouse .

The cast of Becky Shaw at SF Playhouse. Ballet Flamenco

Pena Pachamama | San Francisco $15-$19 | 800.838.3006 pachamamacenter.org Get your heart racing with Carolina Lugo’s & Carolé Acuña’s Ballet Flamenco. Beach BlanKet Babylon

Club Fugazi I SF $25-$130 I 415.421.4222 beachblanketbabylon.com Long-running revue skewering news and culture with songs and big hats. BECKY SHAW

SF Playhouse I SF $30-$50 I 415.677.9596 sfplayhouse.org The play asks what we owe the people we love the most and also the strangers. Beyond Therapy

BODY AWARENESS

Aurora Theatre I Berkeley $34-$55 I 510.843.4822 auroratheatre.org Two women host a male guest artist who specializes in female nude photographs. BUBBLE MAN

The Marsh I Berkeley $8-$11 I 415.282.3055 themarsh.org An enchanting brew of breathtaking bubbles and bubbly music. ELECT TO LAUGH

The Marsh I SF $15-$50 I 415.282.3055 themarsh.org Will Durst in a hysterical hybrid chasing down the presidential election cycle.

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Oshman Family JCC | Palo Alto $20 | 800.838.3006 paloaltojcc.org Theatrical adaptation based upon the story by Nobel Prize laureate I.B.Singer. Herbst Theatre | SF $45-$75 | 415.392.4400 performances.org Acclaimed Norwegian pianist performing Chopin and Debussy.

Evert B. Person Theatre | Rohnert Park $9-$16 | 707.664.2353 sonoma.edu Legendary musical tells the story of pioneering men and women embracing land and love in Oklahoma. (Ends 2/19) 9 | The Features

Cinnabar Theater | Petaluma $15-$20 | 707.763.8920 cinnabartheater.org An outrageous, multimedia mix-up of the story of Abraham. (Ends 2/17) La Peña Cultural Center | Berkeley $15 | 510.849.2568 lapena.org Pianist, composer, multi-instrumentalist, & singer Claro playing her original songs. Russian River Hall | Monte Rio $10-$15 thewalkingelephant.blogspot.com Youth actors interviewed & now portray brilliant, charismatic people. (Ends 2/11) EXIT Theatre | SF $20-$35 | 800.838.3006 brownpapertickets.com 6 new short plays by Rod McFadden and Don Samso. (Ends 2/18) San Rafael Joe’s | San Rafael $69 | 415.251.1027 porchlight.net Take a bite out of love in this musical cabaret dinner show. (Ends 2/14) 10 | Glengarry Glen Ross

Café Du Nord | SF $10 | 866.468.3399 cafedunord.com With Vanaprasta.

Actors Theatre of San Francisco $40 | 800.838.3006 actorstheatresf.org Mamet’s scalding comedy about small-time, cutthroat real estate salesmen. (Ends 3/24)

9 | Tom Jonesing

10 | Jake Shimabukuro

9 | Zeitgeist

10 | Jay Nothington

Martuni’s | SF FREE tomjonesing.com Dean Mermell and Steffanos X playing the music of Tom Jones & more. (Ends 2/16)

Napa Valley Opera House $30-$35 | 707.226.7372 nvoh.org Returning to the Opera House this young ukulele maestro plays jazz, rock & more.

142 Throckmorton | MV $18-$21 | 415.383.9600 142throckmortontheatre.org Kai Eckhardt’s band with music infused with poetry & instrumental passages.

Thee Parkside | SF $6 | 415.252.1330 theeparkside.com Drag the River, Tumbledown.

10 | A Doctor In Spite of Himself

Lesher Center | Walnut Creek $17-$48 | 925.943.7469 diablotheatre.org Based on the hit movie of the same name, a feel good musical comedy. (Ends 3/3)

Berkeley Repertory Theatre $17-$78 | 510.647.2949 berkeleyrep.org Molière’s classic comedy comes to uproarious new life. (Ends 3/25)

10 | Legally Blonde

image: jessica palopoli (brian robert burns, lauren english, lee dolson, liz sklar)

Shelton Theater | SF $20-$40 | 800.838.3006 sheltontheater.org Farce focuses on two New Yorkers seeking stable romantic relations.

Marsh | SF $25-$50 | 415.282.3055 themarsh.org Geoff Hoyle’s fusion of comedy and physicality about aging. (Ends 3/18)

Retro Dome | San Jose $44 | 408.404.7711 theretrodome.com How does a pop sensation wind up bald and trapped in her own musical? (Ends 3/11)


by robert sokol

It’s triple-duty time for Carey Perloff. Not only does she have the responsibility for the day-today operations as Artistic Director of American Conservatory Theater, but her new play Higher is about to open with direction by Mark Rucker, and she herself is directing the regional premiere of Scorched starring Oscar nominee David Straithairn.

image: kevin berne (carey perloff)

“It’s interesting,” says Perloff. “People always ask me how is it possible to write and do this job. What I found over time – and I’ve been running theaters for a long time – is that a big part of being an artistic director is realizing many other people’s aspirations and needs, and looking after all the artists and your audience and your staff. So, there’s something incredibly fulfilling about going into your own space and writing your own work and telling your own story. In a way, it’s the one time that you can just do it for yourself.” Higher is the story of two architects in relationship who are unwittingly competing against each other to design a memorial in Israel. Architecture and its processes have long fascinated Perloff. She sees parallels between that world and the creative worlds of theatre and film.

drama

HIGHER

the building of words

and you have to be amazingly self-confident and ferocious to stand up in front of a group of donors or board members or city officials or clients and say: ‘Here’s my vision for your $300 million building.’ Often it’s just a scrawl on a napkin and you have to tell it. It’s very dramatic.” How would she describe her writing style? “That’s a hard question, she says. “I’m very loquacious in person so I’m probably pretty loquacious on stage as well. I love articulate people and so I’ve done a lot of work on plays with really gorgeous language. Stoppard. Pinter. José Rivera. I love language. I love people who can articulate how they think and feel and I love moments when language fails you and the real silence happens that’s really pregnant.” HIGHER February 1 to 19 The Theater at Children’s Creativity Museum 221 Fourth Street, SF $45 to $65 | 415.749.2228 act-sf.org

“In a funny way, the architectural pitch is not unlike the Hollywood pitch. You start with a little, tiny idea FEBRUARY 2012 |

|9


ONGOING SHOWS

DAILY 10 | Love Bites

10 | Manhattan Transfer

10 | Orchid

10 | Marvelous Wonderettes

Mission Cultural Center | SF $30 | 800.838.3006 brownpapertickets.com Lesbian/Gay Chorus of SF celebrates the awesomeness of the 1980s. (Ends 2/11) Bottom of the Hill | SF $12 | 415.621.4455 bottomofthehill.com With Castle & The Saint James Society. 10 | Pete Escovedo & Sons

Brian Copeland in The Waiting Period at The Marsh - San Francisco. The Kipling Hotel

Marsh I SF $20-$50 I 415.641.0235 themarsh.org Don Reed’s follow-up to his award winning “East 14th.” The Light in the piazza

Willows Theatre I Concord $30-$36 I 800.380.3095 willowstheatre.com A troubled young American woman falls in love with an Italian man. PETER MORRISON

Marrakech Magic Theater I SF $38 I 877.624.4264

sanfranciscomagictheater.com

Morrison demonstrates sleight-of-hand magic and feats of mentalism.  PARTY OF TWO

Shelton Theatre I SF $27-$29 I 800.838.3006 partyof2themusical.com Follow two self-sufficient dynamosfrom their meeting through their relationship.  Secret Improv Society

Shelton Theater I SF $15 I 866.468.3399 sheltontheater.com Creating characters, stories, and songs on the spot from audience suggestions. Shopping! The Musical

THE WAiting period

The Marsh I SF $15-$50 I 415.282.3055 themarsh.org An unrelenting look at the mandatory ten-day wait before getting a gun.

10 |

| FEBRUARY 2012

10 | Petty Theft

Café Du Nord | SF $15 | 866.468.3399 cafedunord.com Tom Petty tribute band, with Pretending, tribute band to The Pretenders. 10 | Pop Fiction

George’s Nightclub | San Rafael $10 | 800.380.3095 georgesnightclub.com From Donna Summer to Journey to Lady Gaga, this party band will have you dancing. 10 | Project Thrust’s Urge

Mel Mello Center | Half Moon Bay $25-$35 | 650.569.3266 coastalrep.com Sings and swings Coastal Repertory Theatre into Gleeful Revelry (Ends 3/3) 10 | The Weight Game

NOHspace | SF $15 | 800.838.3006 sarahabbey.net Sarah Abbey’s one-woman journey through our obsession with weight and self esteem. (Ends 2/18) 10 | Tommy Emmanuel

Palace of Fine Arts Theater | SF $44 | 415.242.4500 omniconcerts.com Two-time Grammy nominee, Australian guitarist.(Ends 2/11) 10 | Willie K.

Montalvo Arts Center | Saratoga $35-$40 | 408.961.5858 montalvoarts.org Hawaiian guitar virtuoso plays Montalvo.

Garage | SF $10-$20 | 800.838.3006 975howard.com Explores psychological states in heterosexual relationships using food as metaphor.

11 | About Face

10 | Proof

11 | Annie Sampson

6th Street Playhouse | Santa Rosa $10-$25 | 707.523.4185 6thstreetplayhouse.com Atroubled young woman discovers a mathematical breakthrough. (Ends 2/26) 10 | Ragtime

Julia Morgan Center | Berkeley $12-$24 | 800.838.3006 ymtcberkeley.org Musical based on E.L. Doctorow’s novel. (Ends 2/18) 10 | Ravi Coltrane

Firehouse Arts Center | Pleasanton $10-$15 | 925.931.4848 firehousearts.org Critically acclaimed, Grammy-nominated saxophonist, bandleader, composer. 10 | The Great Gatsby

YBCA - Novellus Theater | SF $35-$85 | 415.978.2787 ybca.org Ensemble Parallèle presents a chamber version by Jacques Desjardin (Ends 2/12)

George’s Nightclub | San Rafael $10 | 800.380.3095 georgesnightclub.com With special guests Bass Culture. Rancho Nicasio | Nicasio $12-$15 | 415.662.2219 ranchonicasio.com Blues singer returns to the Rancho. 11 | Bring on the Horns!

Wells Fargo Center | Santa Rosa $15-$65 | 707.546.3600 santarosasymphony.com Santa Rosa Symphony with Darby Hinshaw on horn.. (Ends 2/13) 11 | Chinese New Year Concert

Davies Symphony Hall | SF $35-$68 | 415.864.6000 sfsymphony.org SF Symphony’s annual Chinese New Year Concert and Celebration. 11 | Cinderella

Sunnyvale Community Theatre $12-$14 | 800.838.3006 ctcinc.org California Theatre Center presents the beloved children’s classic. (Ends 3/3)

image: courtesy photo (brian copleand)

Shelton Theater I SF $27-$29 I 800.838.3006 sheltontheater.com An original musical revue about everyone’s favorite pastime.

Yoshi’s | SF $24-$30 | 415.655.5600 yoshis.com Featuring Juan & Peter Michael Escovedo. (Ends 2/12)

Yoshi’s | Oakland $35-$45 | 510.238.9200 yoshis.com 10-time Grammy winning jazz-pop vocal group. (Ends 2/12)


image: mitch tobias (counter attack - sarah mitchell, joan mankin)

by jim van buskirk

When Joan Holden was asked to read Counter Culture: The American Coffee Shop Waitress the intention was to adapt Candacy Taylor’s collection of interviews into a musical, akin to Studs Turkel’s Working. The prolific playwright quickly realized “they were all one woman” and synthesized them into the character of Marlene, a waitress in her seventies. Played by veteran actor Joan Mankin, Marlene has to contend with a younger waitress (“All About Eve in a diner”) as well as problems with her jealous adult daughter (shades of Mildred Pierce?) . Counter Attack was a year in development, including two workshops, and boasts twelve cast members portraying nearly sixty separate characters. Holden characterizes the play as “mostly funny” and, although not a musical per se, “there is lots of original music composed by Scrumbly Koldewyn and performed live by Bruce Barthol.” Holden has written over thirty political satires and dramas for the SF Mime Troup’s annual season in the park, as well as Nickel and Dimed and WalMart: The Musical!

senior

COUNTER ATTACK

stagebridge’s service with a style

incredibly skilled, love their work, and are stars of their arena.” Those, that is, who make it, which Holden estimates are “one in fifty.” “Good waitresses exhibit a combination of intellectual and emotional skills and physical stamina.” Holden generalized that “few have a happy family life” resembling other career women in their attempts to balance home and work. To supplement her research, Holden talked to women she knew who had worked as waitresses and recalled her own stint waiting tables. “These women are not wage slaves. They have a lot of autonomy for blue-collar workers, feel lucky, and dread retirement. Sitting still is death. Getting no attention is death.” counter attack February 3 to March 4 Ashby Stage 1901 Ashby Avenue, Berkeley $18 to $25 | 510.444.4755 stagebridge.org

“This play is an homage to a dreadfully undervalued profession,” says Holden. “These women are FEBRUARY 2012 |

| 11


CLOSING SHOWS

DAILY 11 | Cormorant

Thee Parkside | SF $6 | 415.252.1330 theeparkside.com Totimoshi, Bottom, Cormorant 11 | Destry Rides Again

Eureka Theatre | SF $22 | 415.392.4400 sfartsed.org SFArtsED Players presents this 1959 Broadway musical. (Ends 2/26) 11 | Loquat

Corrine Procter in Cabaret for Young Performers Theatre at Fort Mason. 5 | Double Indemnity

San Jose Repertory Theatre $23-$69 | 408.367.7255 sjrep.com From the dingy streets of LA comes a treacherous tale of love and murder. 5 | Food Stories

Z Space | San Francisco $40 | 800.838.3006 zspace.org Stories of food, appetite, and pleasure by T.C. Boyle and Alice McDermott. 11 | Falsettoland

Alcove Theater | SF $25 | 800.838.3006 stirfrytheatre.com Poignant one-act about a family facing the specter of AIDS in the ‘80s. 12 | Marvin’s Room

Dragon Theatre | Palo Alto $16-$30 | 800.838.3006 dragonproductions.net A darkly humorous look at life, death, mental illness by Scott McPherson. 12 | Social Security

Hillbarn Theatre | Foster City $22-$32 | 650.349.6411 hillbarntheatre.org The impact of a mother’s coming to live with her trendy NYC family.

11 | Martha Graham Dance

Jewish Community Center of SF $54-$60 | 415.292.1200 https:jccsf.org Dance is a Weapon: marrying live performances with narration and 1930’s historical dance footage. (Ends 2/12) 11 | Paula West

Herbst Theatre | SF $35-$40 | 415.392.4400 cityboxoffice.com CD release concert by SF’s own sultry jazz star. 11 | Pinkalicious

Freight & Salvage | Berkeley $12-$20 | 510.296.4433 bactheatre.org Upbeat tunes, dancing, and laughs as a girl indulges her love for pink. (Ends 3/4) 11 | Portland Invasion

Café Du Nord | SF $13-$15 | 866.468.3399 cafedunord.com SF Bluegrass & Old-Time Festival featuring Water Tower Bucket Boys. 11 | Spencer Day

Montalvo Arts Center | Saratoga $36-$40 | 408.961.5858 montalvoarts.org Montalvo presents an evening with jazz star Spencer Day.

Mountain View Center $19-$69 | 650.463.1960 theatreworks.org A group of miners who become sensations of the British art world.

11 | The English Beat

13 | A Moon for the Misbegotten

11 | Through the Night

Pear Avenue Theatre | MV $20-$30 | 650.254.1148 thepear.org Eugene O’Neill’s classic vibrates with moonlight, love, betrayal, and truth.

12 |

| FEBRUARY 2012

142 Throckmorton | MV $25-$29 | 415.383.9600 142throckmortontheatre.org Ska beats fill 142.

Brava Theatre | SF $40-$100 | 800.380.3095 brava.org Daniel Beaty’s tale of six interconnected black men ages 10 to 60. Benefit for Community Works.

Napa Valley Opera House $25-$30 | 707.226.7372 nvoh.org For nearly 3 decades, this unique jazz duo has entertained fans worldwide. 11 | Word Becomes Flesh

Laney College Theater | Oakland $15-$25 | 510.849.2568 lapena.org La Peña and Black Choreographer’s Festival present Marc Bamuthi Joseph’s Word Becomes Flesh 12 | Black Choreographers

Laney College Theater | Oakland $10-$25 | 800.838.3006 bcfhereandnow.com Original dance, master classes, lectures, films and spoken word presentations. 12 | Chamber Music

Legion of Honor | SF $49 | 415.864.6000 sfsymphony.org Chamber music with members of the San Francisco Symphony. 12 | Cypress String Quartet

Firehouse Arts Center | Pleasanton $12-$30 | 925.931.4848 firehousearts.org Performing works by Haydn, Beethoven and Ravel. 12 | Diablo Symphony

Lesher Center | Walnut Creek $25 | 925.943.7469 diablosymphony.org Featuring violinist Karen Shinozaki Sor. Works by Theofanidis and Dvorák. 12 | Freddy Cole Quartet

Rrazz Room | SF $35-$40 | 800.380.3095 therrazzroom.com Grammy nominated Cole doesn’t apologize for sounding like brother Nat. 12 | Hugh Masekela

Napa Valley Opera House $30-$35 | 707.226.7372 nvoh.org Legendary South African trumpeter Hugh Masekela makes his Opera House debut. 12 | Jennifer Chung

Café Du Nord | SF $12-$15 | 866.468.3399 cafedunord.com With Nickey Cho and Ji Hern Baek. 12 | Maria Muldaur

142 Throckmorton | MV $24-$34 | 415.383.9600 142throckmortontheatre.org With her jazz quintet, presenting a A Romantic Evening of Music for Lovers.

image: clint graves (cabaret - corrine procter)

12 | The Pitmen Painters

Bottom of the Hill | SF $10-$12 | 415.621.4455 bottomofthehill.com With Doe Eye and Lia Rose.

11 | Tuck & Patti


returning to the elle words

by elizabeth warnimont Broadway actress Bailey Hanks is in Walnut Creek this month to reprise her role as Elle Woods in Diablo Theatre’s production of Legally Blonde, the story of a college co-ed who goes to law school to impress her beau. Hanks landed the Broadway role by beating over a dozen Elle-wannabes in MTV’s competition series, Legally Blonde - The Musical: The Search for Elle Woods.

musical

LEGALLY BLONDE

So what is it like to be doing the show at this theater in the suburbs, after all the excitement of Broadway? “Awesome!” says Hanks in that perky Elle Woods voice that comes so naturally.

image: ben krantz photography (legally blonde - bailey hanls)

It’s a role Hanks dreamed of ever since the movie with Reese Witherspoon was first released. (She was in middle school at the time.) “This role is so near and dear to my heart,” she says. “I watched it so much. I even took the movie on vacation with me. I wanted to be Elle Woods so bad.” Working with Diablo Theatre, Hanks says she is able to contribute more to the role than she could in New York. “On Broadway the show was already set,” she explains, a matter of plugging into an existing vision. “Here, I can create my own version.” Director Gia Solari allows Hanks plenty of creative license, even when it comes to the show’s choreography. Hanks feels strongly about the message that Blonde holds for young girls, who comprise a large part of the show’s target audience. From the beginning, Elle knows she’s not going to win her man by her looks or what she decides to wear. “She realizes what’s on the outside is not getting him back. When she decides to become a law student, she dresses in a suit. It’s very modest and still looks so classy and so beautiful,” she says. “And at the end of the show she ends up with a wonderful guy who has a heart of gold.” That lesson is one Hanks hopes young female audience members will take to heart. “Love yourself for who you are,” she advises. “Then you’ll get a better prize than you even knew you were looking for.” legally blonde February 10 to March 3 Lesher Center for the Arts 1601 Civic Drive, Walnut Creek $17 to $48 | 925.943.7469 diablotheatre.org

FEBRUARY 2012 |

| 13


CLOSING SHOWS 18 | Arcadia

Live Oak Theater | Berkeley $15 | 800.838.3006 aeofberkeley.org Tom Stoppard’s contemporary comic drama set in England. 18 | Finian’s Rainbow

Saratoga Civic Theater $18-$38 | 408.266.4734 southbaymt.com One of the most beloved classics of American musical theatre.

18 | Waiting For Godot

Royce Gallery | SF $32 | 800.838.3006 tidestheatre.org Samuel Beckett’s masterpiece about two thieves waiting in a void. 19 | aphrodisiac

City Lights Theater | San Jose $25-$35 | 408.295.4200 cltc.org Rob Handel’s fast-moving play about a congressman, his family, and sex. 19 | Cabaret

Young Performers Theatre | SF $25-$45 | 800.838.3006 cabaretsf.wordpress.com Independent Cabaret Productions in a new rendition of the classic show. 19 | Crossing Delancey

Theatre on San Pedro Square | SJ $29-$35 | 800.838.3006 tabardtheatre.org A romantic comedy about a young Jewish woman eager to explore. 19 | Fences

DAILY 12 | Mike Lipskin

14 | Epic Romance

12 | Noah Griffin

14 | Helen

Rancho Nicasio | Nicasio FREE | 415.662.2219 ranchonicasio.com With Dinah Lee with a special collection of Valentine songs. Rrazz Room | SF $29.50-$ | 800.380.3095 therrazzroom.com If music is poetry of the senses, Griffin is the bard of ballads. With Desiree Goyette. 12 | Sing-A-Long Oklahoma!

Evert B. Person Theatre | Rohnert Park $9-$16 | 707.664.2353 sonoma.edu Audience can sing-a-long with designated “Oklahoma!” show tunes. 12 | The Tokyo Quartet

Herbst Theatre | SF $39-$49 | 415.392.4400 chambermusicsf.org Japanese string quartet performs Schubert’s String Quintet in C Major. 13 | Craig Jessup

Eureka Theatre | SF $25-$30 | 415.392.4400 sfartsed.org SFArtsEd presents his program of Rodgers, Gershwin and Sondheim. (Ends 2/14) 13 | Matthew Good

Café Du Nord | SF $20 | 866.468.3399 cafedunord.com With Emily Greene.

Bayfront Theater | SF $20-$25 | 800.380.3095 improv.org A special encore performance featuring over half of BATS Main Stage Company. Café Royale | SF FREE | sftheaterpub.wordpress.com Euripedes play is considered by many to be the first dramatic romance. 14 | How We First Met

Marines’ Memorial Theatre | SF $40-$75 | 415.771.6900 howwefirstmet.com Love Improvised! Inspired by real-life tales of love! 14 | Human Creature

Garage | SF $10-$20 | 800.838.3006 975howard.com Edgy dance theatre experience utilizes elements of counterbalance partnering. 14 | Naresh Michael

Campbell Theatre | Martinez $25 | 800.380.3095 willowstheatre.com A Valentine’s cabaret featuring his Tango-influenced repertoire. 14 | Laws and Browne

Yoshi’s | Oakland $20-$25 | 510.238.9200 yoshis.com The return of two jazz-funk legends.

14 | SF Ballet Program 2

14 | 101 Years of Broadway

San Jose Repertory Theatre $29-$57 | 408.367.7255 sjrep.com Direct from the Big Apple, Neil Berg’s show features a dazzling cast. (Ends 2/18)

War Memorial Opera House | SF $20-$285 | 415.865.2000 sfballet.org Featuring “Chroma,” the world premiere of Mark Morris’ “Beaux” plus “Number Nine.” (Ends 2/25)

14 | 52 Man Pickup

14 | Baguette Quartette

Brava Theatre | SF $15-$25 | 800.380.3095 brava.org Desiree Burch presents a salacious evening of storytelling. (Ends 3/3)

Rancho Nicasio | Nicasio $12 | 415.662.2219 ranchonicasio.com French Quartet presents a special Valentine’s Day concert.

Marsh - SF I SF $15-$50 I 415.641.0235 themarsh.org Gomez’s new one woman show Not Getting Any Younger.

14 | Arrival From Sweden

14 | California Honeydrops

Yoshi’s | SF $25-$35 | 415.655.5600 yoshis.com Swedish ABBA tribute band. (Ends 2/15)

Café Du Nord | SF $15 | 866.468.3399 cafedunord.com With The Lonesome Heroes.

26 | The Story of My Life

14 | Chicago Symphony

15 | Buried Child

Altarena Playhouse | Alameda $22 | 510.523.1553 altarena.org August Wilson’s exploration of race relations in 1950s. 19 | Jesus in India

Magic Theatre | San Francisco $20-$80 | 800.380.3095 magictheatre.org A modern parable imagining a wild stretch in the lost years of Christ. 25 | Marga Gomez

New Conservatory Theatre Center | SF $25-$45 | 415.861.8972 nctcsf.org A richly melodic musical tale of lifelong best friends and their choices in life.

14 |

| FEBRUARY 2012

Davies Symphony Hall | SF $41-$120 | 415.864.6000 sfsymphony.org Making its first appearance in San Francisco since 1987, led by Music Director Riccardo Muti.

San Jose Stage Company $20-$40 | 408.283.7142 sjstage.com Sam Shepard’s powerful and brilliant play probes deep into the disintegration of the American Dream. (Ends 3/11)


martha graham dance company by grier cooper

Dance Is a Weapon is a mixed-media montage of archival film, spoken text and dances from the 1920s to the early ‘40s by Martha Graham and her contemporaries (Isadora Duncan, Eve Gentry, Sophie Maslow and Jane Dudley). It revisits a time when artists were finding their voices and raising them in reaction to issues such as economic crisis, racism, riots and the rise of fascism in Europe. Modern dance was part of that chorus, and has since been regarded as a major cultural form. It is only fitting that Dance Is a Weapon returns to the stage at a time when many of the same socio-political issues are echoing across today’s cultural landscape.

Since Graham’s death, the Martha Graham Dance Company continues to showcase her masterpieces alongside contemporary works by choreographers inspired by her enduring technique. Says Crockett, “It is born out of the deepest instincts of the body, the breath in and out, the movement of the pelvis, contraction and release, the emotions, as well as the inner landscape of the mind and heart. In her technique, the movement begins in the core, the center, closest to the bodily systems that are primarily involuntary and cannot be faked. The closer to the center one moves, the closer to the truth one lives and then one can reveal this truth to others. This is the enduring power of Martha Graham’s legacy and work. She shows to us who we are in all our humanness.” dance is a weapon February 11 to 12 Jewish Community Center of San Francisco 3200 California Street, SF $48 to $60 | 415.292.1200 jccsf.org

image: costas (chronicle - jacqueline bulnes, jacquelyn elder, jennifer depalo, atsuko tonohata)

“I was drawn to Martha Graham’s company because the work resonates with absolute unbending passion, purpose, empowerment, strength, beauty and human vulnerability,” says Katherine Crockett. “In my 19 years with the company I am awestruck at how deeply this force continues to resonate in my own life and outward in its unique presence in the world of dance.” Crockett performs The Revolutionary, a solo by Isadora Duncan, her figure costumed in blood-red chiffon, portraying a vision of femininity that is both vulnerable and empowered. “My favorite moment of all is, perhaps the most simple. I look to the heavens and open my hands, seeing the power they hold. Whatever has

been pulling this woman down no longer has power over her she has found her own strength and it is in her own hands.”

dance

dance is a weapon

FEBRUARY 2012 |

| 15


SPOTLIGHT

DAILY 15 | Forever Tango

16 | Mesmeric Revelation

15 | Hump Day Bluegrass

16 | Saint-Saëns’s Organ

15 | Karel

16 | Scorched

Marines’ Memorial Theatre | SF $45-$70 | 415.771.6900 marinesmemorialtheatre.com Renowned cast of dancers and musicians who bring excitement and passion onstage. (Ends 2/19)

Actors Theatre of San Francisco $18-$38 | 415.345.1287 actorstheatresf.org Mamet’s classic set in a real estate boiler room. (Ends 3/17)

Rrazz Room | SF $25 | 800.380.3095 therrazzroom.com “Comedy for the New Depression” is v4.0 of his uncensored look at the news. 15 | Benny Green Trio

Yoshi’s | Oakland $18 | 510.238.9200 yoshis.com Featuring Peter Washington & Kenny Washingto. 16 | Bob James Duo

Yoshi’s | Oakland $22 | 510.238.9200 yoshis.com Featuring Howard Paul.

16 | Brooklyn Rundfunk 4 | A TAste of honey

Thick House | SF $15-$25 | 510.865.6237 viragotheatre.org Jo navigates romance, heartbreak and poverty in a working class slum. (Ends 2/25)

Napa Valley Opera House $30-$35 | 707.226.7372 nvoh.org Instrumental quartet play interpretations of the score from The Sound of Music. 16 | Della Reese

Rrazz Room | SF $65 | 800.380.3095 therrazzroom.com Actress, singer, activist, minister, and everyone’s favorite angel! (Ends 2/18) 16 | Honky-Tonk Showdown

Café Du Nord | SF $13-$15 | 866.468.3399 cafedunord.com SF Bluegrass & Old-Time Festival with Misisipi Mike & The Midnight Gamblers. 16 | Jazz at George’s

9 | ARJ BARKER

Cobb’s Comedy Club | SF $18.50 | 800.745.3000 cobbscomedyclub.com Comic best known as playing Dave in Flight of the Concords. (Ends 2/12)

16 |

| FEBRUARY 2012

George’s Nightclub | San Rafael $12 | 800.380.3095 georgesnightclub.com Featuring Mindy Canter and Fluteus Maximus. 16 | Matt Eakle Band

Osher Marin JCC | San Rafael $20-$25 | 415.444.8000 marinjcc.org The flutist in the David Grisman Quintet since 1989.

Davies Symphony Hall | SF $35-$140 | 415.864.6000 sfsymphony.org Edo de Waart conducts, with Simon Trpčeski on piano. (Ends 2/19)

American Conservatory Theater | SF $10-$85 | 415.749.2228 act-sf.org After their mother’s death, twins are given letters with clues about their family’s mysterious past. (Ends 3/11) 16 | SF Ballet Program 3

War Memorial Opera House | SF $20-$285 | 415.865.2000 sfballet.org Presenting “Le Carnaval des Animaux,” the world premiere of “Francesca da Rimini” plus “Trio.” (Ends 2/26) 16 | Tree City Legends

Intersection for the Arts | SF $20-$25 | 800.838.3006 theintersection.org A melding of post-hip hop aesthetics, urban folklore, live music, legend, and parables. (Ends 3/1) 17 | Company C Ballet

YBCA - Novellus Theater | SF $23-$45 | 415.978.2787 companycballet.org Presenting Proia’s World To Come, Grenke’s Vespers, Anderson’s Akimbo and Anastos’ Footage. (Ends 2/19) 17 | Dave Mathews

George’s Nightclub | San Rafael $16-$20 | 800.380.3095 georgesnightclub.com Ray Charles tribute, with Tony Lindsay, Chris Cain, Glenn Walters and Deszon X. Claiborne. 17 | Don Giovanni

Lucie Stern Theater | Palo Alto $65-$70 | 800.380.3095 wbopera.org West Bay Opera’s production of Mozart’s classic opera. (Ends 2/26) 17 | Enrico Rava Tribe

Herbst Theatre | SF $25-$50 | 866.920.5299 sfjazz.org With the John Abercrombie Trio. SFJazz Spring Season.

images: maxudov (glengarry glen ross - mark bird, christian phillips), craig merrill (a taste of honey - daniel redmond, brigette lundy-paine), all others - courtesy photos (arj barker)

3 | Glengarry glen ross

Café Du Nord | SF $13-$15 | 866.468.3399 cafedunord.com SF Bluegrass & Old-Time Festival with The Trespassers, Windy Hill and more.

Berkeley City Club | Berkeley $14-$25 | 800.838.3006 centralworks.org In the French Revolution, the most learned men in the world gather at the Royal Academy of Sciences. (Ends 3/18)


oops! she does it again by kevin thomas

Usually a spoof or satire makes fun of its subject. Becoming Britney may have started that way, but it has evolved more into a tribute to Britney Spears. “The show has really evolved over the years,” says star/co-creator Molly Bell, who first presented the show five years ago at New York’s Fringe Festival. Bell and the show received a lot of acclaim and Bell won the Best Actor Award. Since then, the show has been revamped and has grown from poking fun at Britney Spears to a show that “gives her a heart,” as it was never Bell’s intention to mock her idol. “The show may start from the time that Britney shaved her head,” Bell says, “but it explores how Britney got to that point to begin with.”

Bell and co-creator Daya Curley are happy to be working with some of the cast from the original production like Keith Pinto. “I’m also excited to be working with some other theatre friends that I’ve met through other productions like Adam Barry,” she says. “Adam has been great as he’s performed at the Retro Dome before and has shared some of the secrets from backstage at the venue.” becoming britney February 10 to March 11 The Retro Dome 1694 Saratoga Avenue, San Jose $33 to $44 | 408.404.7711 theretrodome.com

image: jared lee photography (becoming britney - molly bell, keith pinto)

Still, Becoming Britney remains a comedy and is a full-fledged original musical, not a revue that incorporates the Spears’ songbook. “Three quarters of the show has original songs that should easily appeal to a Rogers & Hammerstein audience,” says Bell. “The other 25% of the songs are pop oriented.”

Bell is excited to bring the show home to the Bay Area. She says that the production at San Jose’s Retro Dome is a larger space than they’ve worked with in the past and are excited to have “a fully-realized stage and costumes that don’t come out of a trunk.”

musical

BECOMING BRITNEY

FEBRUARY 2012 |

| 17


SPOTLIGHT

DAILY 17 | Hold Me Closer...

17 | Tontlawald

17 | In Search of My Father...

17 | Want

17 | Incredible Storybook

18 | Alexander String Quartet

17 | On Grace

18 | Alt-Bluegrass Show

CounterPulse | SF $20 | 888.541.9753 counterpulse.org A Greek comedy rock epic by trixxie carr and directed by Ben Randle. (Ends 2/19) East Bay Center | Richmond $10-$15 | 800.838.3006 walkintalkin.com One-man show recalls W. Allen Taylor’s search for his absent father. (Ends 3/4) 9 | Leif Ove Andsnes

Mountain View Center $8-$10 | 650.903.6000 pytnet.org World premiere play about storybook characters who come to life. (Ends 2/18) Grace Cathedral | SF $50-$150 | 415.392.4400 gracecathedral.org Anna Deavere Smith is artist in residence an premieres a new work featuring Joshua Smith. (Ends 2/18) 17 | Poncho Sanchez

Yoshi’s | Oakland $25-$30 | 510.238.9200 yoshis.com With Terence Blanchard in a tribute to conga drummer/composer Chano Pozo & trumpeter Dizzy Gillespie (Ends 2/19) 10 | Barefoot in the park

Contra Costa Civic Theatre | El Cerrito $11-$20 | 510.524.9132 ccct.org Neil Simon classic about newlyweds in New York in the ‘60s. (Ends 3/4)

17 | RAW: Sol y Sombra

Garage | SF $10-$20 | 800.838.3006 975howard.com Vignettes and interludes exploring the individual’s ability to effect change. 17 | Regina Carter

Napa Valley Opera House $25-$40 | 707.226.7372 nvoh.org Jazz violinist performs African folk tunes from her album Reverse Thread. 17 | Strippin’ Down To Story

East Bay Media Center | Berkeley $12-$15 | 925.922.1672 How does a medical school graduate end up a stripper? (Ends 2/19) 17 | The Real Americans

10 | proof

6th Street Playhouse | Santa Rosa $10-$25 | 707.523.4185 6thstreetplayhouse.com A young woman mourns the death of her mathematician father. (Ends 2/26)

18 |

| FEBRUARY 2012

Marsh | SF $25-$50 | 415.282.3055 themarsh.org Account of an immersive experience w/ America’s polarized politics. (Ends 3/18) 17 | The String Rays

Rancho Nicasio | Nicasio FREE | 415.662.2219 ranchonicasio.com Americana, rock and soul band debuts.

ODC Theater | SF $17-$37 | 415.863.9834 odcdance.org Holly Lynn Johnston and dancers move through a shifting landscape. (Ends 2/19) Herbst Theatre | SF $25-$48 | 415.392.4400 performances.org Featuring Schubert’s String Quartet No. 15 in G Major. Café Du Nord | SF $13-$15 | 866.468.3399 cafedunord.com Featuring The Pine Box Boys, The Jugtown Pirates and more. 18 | Ana Moura

Zellerbach Hall | Berkeley $28-$50 | 510.642.9988 calperformances.org Portuguese fado vocalist Moura, already a star in Europe at age 25. 18 | Bhi Bhiman

Bottom of the Hill | SF $10-$12 | 415.621.4455 bottomofthehill.com With Vandella and Misispi Mike & Cree Rider. 18 | Cece Peniston

Rrazz Room | SF $35-$45 | 800.380.3095 therrazzroom.com Peniston’s first single “Finally” achieved Billboard #1 chart status. (Ends 2/19) 18 | Kenny Lattimore

Yoshi’s | SF $30-$34 | 415.655.5600 yoshis.com Recipient of the NAACP Image Award for Best New Artist. (Ends 2/19) 18 | Mesopotamian Night

Mountain View Center $75-$150 | 650.903.6000 mesopotamian-night.org Assyrian singers in concert, benefitting the Assyrian Aid Society of America. 18 | Naresh Michael

Firehouse Arts Center | Pleasanton $15-$25 | 925.931.4848 firehousearts.org Tango-influenced musician and singer presents his show An Evening in Roma.

images: courtesy photo (leif ove andsnes), ben krantz (barefoot in the park - ginny wehrmeister, joel roster), eric chazankin (proof - dana scott, alan kaplan)

Herbst Theatre | SF $38-$68 | 415.392.2545 sfperformances.org Renowned Norwegian pianist is eighttime Grammy nominee.

EXIT on Taylor | SF $10-$50 | 800.838.3006 theexit.org Retelling of an ancient Estonian tale through movement and song. (Ends 3/11)


by chris rené Probably best known today as Tess, the leader of a trio of guiding spirits in the long-running CBS series Touched By An Angel, Della Reese has been performing for over 60 years and had an active recording and nightclub career long before she became a divine messenger on television. Before even that, Reese was singing gospel, and faith and reliance on her God, coupled with a strong sense of gratitude, have always informed her life and her work. “Believe me there’s no way possible,” she says, “for me to be talking to you from where I’m talking to you without the grace of God. I didn’t have a manager. My mother scrubbed floors and my father poured steel. I only had this gift that God gave me, and somehow, all the time, something came up to push me forward.” She was born Delloreese Patricia Early and raised in Detroit, but she never made the Motown connection. “I started in ‘52 or ‘53. By the time they started I was signed up to Jubilee and then to RCA, and contracts at that time lasted for years.”

song came from other than the grace of God. I didn’t know any writers. Trust me I didn’t know anything about anything. I had been singing gospel and was happy with that.” She likens her current show to a musical fireside chat. “I’ll be telling the story of my life through music. Of what I’ve been through, what has happened to me and some things that people don’t know. Some things people don’t know about Sinatra, about Ed Sullivan, about Mahalia Jackson. Are you coming?” she asks. “Don’t have me come looking for you!”

nightclub

DELLA REESE

touched by faith and gratitude

Della Reese February 16 to 18 The Rrazz Room 222 Mason Street, SF $65 | 800.380.3095 therrazzroom.com

image: cliff lipson - cbs (della reese)

It was at RCA that she recorded her signature song “Don’t You Know?” which took its melody from a song in Puccini’s La Bohème, and again, Reese gives thanks. “I don’t know where that

FEBRUARY 2012 |

| 19


SPOTLIGHT

DAILY 18 | Regina Carter

19 | Secret Fun Club

18 | SF Music Club

20 | Chris Cain

Herbst Theatre | SF $25-$52 | 415.392.4400 performances.org Jazz violinist Carter performing works from her album “Reverse Thread.” George’s Nightclub | San Rafael $15 | 800.380.3095 georgesnightclub.com Release party for new cd “Luv & Freedom.” 10 | MANHATTAN TRANSFER

19 | Artista Celebration

George’s Nightclub | San Rafael $15-$20 | 800.380.3095 georgesnightclub.com .Lansdale Station sharing the stage with Judge & Lauren Murphy 19 | Black Choreographers

Eureka Theatre | SF $15-$22 | 415.392.4400 sfartsed.org Nearly 50 young people, ages 9 to 14, sing and dance the show. (Ends 2/26)

20 | Keith Sweat

19 | Chanticleer

20 | Persephone’s Bees

San Francisco State University | SF FREE | 415.338.2467 creativearts.sfsu.edu SFSU’s Morrison Artists Series presents the Grammy-winning chorus. 19 | Marshall Memorial

Yoshi’s | SF $40 | 415.655.5600 yoshis.com Featuring Bobby McFerrin, Bobby Hutcherson and more.

19 | John Lee Sanders

20 |

| FEBRUARY 2012

20 | Fath Chamber Players

19 | Old-Time Festival Closing

Firehouse Arts Center | Pleasanton $10 | 925.931.4848 firehousearts.org Novelist, poet, playwright, essayist is joined by daughter Tennessee.

Freight & Salvage | Berkeley $17-$20 | 510.296.4433 bactheatre.org Being in the pink isn’t always what it’s cracked up to be! (Ends 3/4)

Herbst Theatre | SF $35-$75 | 866.920.5299 sfjazz.org Cuban pianist and the Afro-Cuban Messengers. SFJazz Spring Season. 142 Throckmorton | MV $20 | 415.383.9600 142throckmortontheatre.org Chamber music by Philip & Josepha Fath with guests Stuart Canin and Marilyn Thompson.

19 | Ishmael Reed

11 | pinkalicious

20 | Chucho Valdés

ODC Theater | SF $10-$25 | 800.838.3006 bcfhereandnow.com Original dance, master classes, lectures, films and spoken word presentations. Café Du Nord | SF $15 | 866.468.3399 cafedunord.com Featuring The Crooked Jades and The Deadly Gentlemen.

11 | Destry rides again

Yoshi’s | Oakland $15-$20 | 510.238.9200 yoshis.com Jazz/blues guitar player and vocalist.

Rancho Nicasio | Nicasio FREE | 415.662.2219 ranchonicasio.com Blues musician/singer returns.

19 | Musica Pacifica

Holy Innocents Church | SF $20 | 415.648.5236 nvcm.org Baroque chamber ensembles presents a program of classical & traditional music from the British Isles.

Yoshi’s | SF $45 | 415.655.5600 yoshis.com Harlem, N.Y born songwriter/record producer/vocalist/actor. (Ends 2/22) Café Du Nord | SF $10 | 866.468.3399 cafedunord.com With Christina Courtin.

20 | Foghorn String Band

Rancho Nicasio | Nicasio $15-$20 | 415.662.2219 ranchonicasio.com The California Bluegrass Association presents and Old Time Mardi Gras night. 21 | Craig Finn

Bottom of the Hill | SF $15 | 415.621.4455 bottomofthehill.com With Mount Moriah, Sad Baby Wolf and Ash Reiter. Noise Pop 2012. 21 | Henry Clement

Yoshi’s | Oakland $15-$18 | 510.238.9200 yoshis.com Mardi Gras party with open dance floor. 21 | Mamma Mia!

Orpheum Theatre | SF $30-$100 | 888.746.1799 shnsf.com The ABBA-liscious juke-box musical is back for two weeks of love and pop songs. (Ends 3/4)

images: courtesy photo (manhattan transfer), karen steffens (destry rides again - schuyler pho, johnny kelly), courtesy photo (pinkalicious - katie mcgee)

Yoshi’s | Oakland $35-$45 | 510.238.9200 yoshis.com Grammy-Award winning jazz/pop vocal group celebrates 40 years. (Ends 2/12)

Thee Parkside | SF $6 | 415.252.1330 theeparkside.com Retox, Doomsday Student, Secret Fun Club


by andy gilbert Draped in a lacy black gown, her raven tresses cascading down her bare shoulders, Ana Moura looks like a fadista from central casting, a singer devoted to the tradition-bound Portuguese musical style that marries poetry about love, loss and the vicissitudes of fate to sumptuously plaintive, often minor key melodies. While she hews to many of the genres conventions, performing accompanied by teardrop-shaped 12-string Portuguese guitars, Moura embodies the contemporary spirit of fado, which is in the midst of a renaissance.

image: paulo segadaes (ana moura)

Prince is producing her upcoming album, and the Rolling Stones are major fans who invited her on stage to deliver “No Expectations” during a Lisbon performance. For Moura, 32, these opportunities didn’t feel like a stretch. “Before I sang fado professionally, I had a pop rock band,” she says. “I always sang many styles, but fado was my special thing. When I was invited to participate with the Rolling Stones, it was important to grab the attention of people who never heard of fado, who only like rock ‘n’ roll.”

songwriter and guitarist who spent years accompanying Amália Rodrigues. “After Amália there was a little break, but Misia came, and she started to grab some attention outside of Portugal, then Mariza and Cristina Branco. It’s amazing how people are more and more interested in other sonorities, in new sounds.”

MUSIC

ANA MOURA

ensuring fado does not fade

ANA MOURA February 18 | 8:00 pm Zellerbach Hall, UC Berkeley $28 to $50 | 510.642.9988 calperformances.org

With its unabashed emotional intensity and preoccupation with heartbreak, betrayal and separation, fado has thrived for generations in Lisbon taverns. For much of the 20th century the beloved diva Amália Rodrigues personified the style and came to be seen as a figure of national unity in the face of Portugal’s starkly riven politics. But at her death in 1999 fado looked like an inheritance rejected by young Portuguese. Moura is part of a wave of charismatic young women who are reintroducing the style to international stages. Her latest album, 2009’s “Leva-me aos Fados,” continues her collaboration with Jorge Fernando, a poet, FEBRUARY 2012 |

| 21


SPOTLIGHT

DAILY 21 | Mufaro’s Daughters

23 | Batsheva DANCE

21 | The Chieftains

23 | Distracted

21 | The Flaming Lips

23 | Dividing the Estate

Wells Fargo Center | Santa Rosa $12-$17 | 707.546.3600 wellsfargocenterarts.org A Cinderella story with traditional African chanting, drumming and music. Davies Symphony Hall | SF $25-$75 | 866.920.5299 sfjazz.org Featuring Paddy Moloney and special guests. SFJazz Spring Season. 16 | MATT EAKLE BAND

Osher Marin JCC | San Rafael $15-$25 | 800.380.3095 marinjcc.org Discover what flute-fired fusion is all about in a special night of jazz.

Bimbo’s 365 Club | SF $50 | 877.435.9849 bimbos365club.com With Release The Sunbird. Noise Pop 2012. 21 | Zapp Band

Rrazz Room | SF $35-$40 | 800.380.3095 therrazzroom.com An old school double bill of gospel and soul/funk. (Ends 2/23) 22 | Don’t Fence Me In

22 | Scott Capurro 17 | REGINA CARTER

Napa Valley Opera House | Napa $25-$40 | 707.226.7372 nvoh.org Carter marries African folk music to her violin playing in concert and CD.

George’s Nightclub | San Rafael $12-$15 | 800.380.3095 georgesnightclub.com SF native known for his confrontational yet thought-provoking comedy. 22 | Smuin Ballet

22 |

| FEBRUARY 2012

23 | Guitar Masters

Napa Valley Opera House $30-$35 | 707.226.7372 nvoh.org Andy McKee shares the stage with Stephen Bennett and Antoine Dufour. 23 | Justin Vivian Bond

Great American Music Hall | SF $26 | 415.885.0750 slimspresents.com Singer, songwriter and Tony-nominated performance artist. 23 | Lila Downs

Herbst Theatre | SF $25-$85 | 415.392.4400 performances.org CIIS presents Meico-born vocalist downs and her world-music band La Misteriosa. 23 | The Motet

22 | The Fresh & Onlys

24 | Aleron Trio

22 | Young Prisms

Douglas Morisson Theatre | Hayward $20-$28 | 800.380.3095 dmtonline.org Horton Foote’s darkly comic portrait of a family divided. (Ends 3/18)

Douglas Morrisson Theatre | Hayward $10-$28 | 510.881.6777 dmtonline.org Horton Foote shows us a darkly comic portrait of a family divided. (Ends 3/18)

Mountain View Center $52-$65 | 650.903.6000 smuinballet.org World premiere by Amy Seiwert and three works by Michael Smuin. (Ends 2/26) Bottom of the Hill | SF $12 | 415.621.4455 bottomofthehill.com With Disappears, Talkdemonic and Churches. Noise Pop 2012.

23 | Dividing the estate

Town Hall Theatre | Lafayette $26.50-$29.50 | 925.283.1557 thtc.org Young Jesse is “distracted.” Is it ADD, typical acting out, or ??? (Ends 3/17)

Café Du Nord | SF $12-$14 | 866.468.3399 cafedunord.com With Melted Toys and The Tambo Rays. Noise Pop 2012. 23 | Alessandrini conducts

Davies Symphony Hall | SF $35-$140 | 415.864.6000 sfsymphony.org Rinaldo Alessandrini the San Francisco Symphony. Featuring Olivier Cavé on piano. (Ends 2/25)

Yoshi’s | SF $16-$20 | 415.655.5600 yoshis.com The Music of the Grateful Dead. Old First Church | SF $17 | 415.474.1608 oldfirstconcerts.org An ensemble of three women from France, the United States and Taiwan on violin, cello and piano. 24 | Alice’s Adventures

Firehouse Arts Center | Pleasanton $18 | 925.931.4848 firehousearts.org New adaptation of Carroll’s novel, with original music. (Ends 3/4) 24 | All Shook Up

Foothill College | Los Altos Hills $10-$28 | 650.949.7360 foothill.edu Fetaures hit songs made famous by Elvis Presley. (Ends 3/11)

images: courtesy photos (matt eakle band, regina carter), terry sullivan (dividing the estate - stuart hall, bunny walker)

Napa Valley Opera House $20-$30 | 707.226.7372 nvoh.org Songs, music, and poetry of the West featuring Wylie & The Wild West.

YBCA - Novellus Theater | SF $35-$60 | 415.392.4400 sfperformances.org Max, created by Artistic Director Ohad Naharin. (Ends 2/25)


by grier cooper There are many reasons why the New York Times hailed Ohad Naharin, Batsheva Dance Company’s artistic director, as “one of the most fascinating dancemakers on the planet”. MAX is a showcase of reasons: choreography juxtaposing the meticulously controlled and wildly abandoned, the small and large, the smooth and sharp, unison and organized chaos, and the audience’s attention continuously recharged by continuous shifts and well-timed blackouts. The sound score is challenging, sweeping from the melodious to the ominous with undertones of grating industrial noise, eerie male voices speaking in gibberish and long periods of silence. There are none of the traditional theatrical elements to draw the audience in; no set, no narrative, no characters, no display of emotion, no fancy costumes (just shorts and simple tanks). There is simply the dance.

The dancers receive daily training in the Gaga technique and the company has been praised for its fearless, full-bodied, movingly honest performances. Smith shares this story about how she arrives there: “There is a part in MAX where I have to punch the air. Ohad asked me to punch his hand. I laughed and gave him a wimpy punch because I thought he was joking. Ohad then said, ‘Punch my hand like it’s my face.’ Then we finally achieved the result he was looking for.” max February 23 to 25 Novellus Theatre - Yerba Buena Center 700 Howard Street, SF $36 to $65 | 415.398.6449 ybca.org

image: gadi dagon (max - batsheva dance company)

Batsheva Dance Company became a leader in ground-breaking dance when it was formed in 1964 by Baroness Batsheva de Rothschild, who enlisted Martha Graham as artistic advisor. Batsheva was the first company outside of Graham’s own troupe to perform the legendary choreographer’s works. Naharin continues to develop cutting-edge movement through the creation of his own dance technique: Gaga. Says Batsheva dancer Bobbi

Jene Smith, “Gaga has not only influenced my dancing but changed my whole idea of dance. It helps me to connect to things I didn’t know I had lost. It allows me to listen physically to my sensations. Gaga reminds me everyday that there is still room to connect my effort to my pleasure, my pain to my pleasure, my weakness to my passion, my sense of humor to my dedication.”

dance

MAX

israel’s batsheva dance company is gaga

FEBRUARY 2012 |

| 23


SPOTLIGHT

DAILY 24 | Concrete Blonde

Bimbo’s 365 Club | SF $30 | 877.435.9849 bimbos365club.com LA post-punk club band.

24 | Dave Holland Quartet

Palace of Fine Arts Theater | SF $25-$65 | 866.920.5299 sfjazz.org Chris Potter, Jason Moran & Eric Harland. 24 | Dee Dee Bridgewater 24 | HEROES & GIANTS

Paramount Theatre | Oakland $27.50-$81.50 | 800.745.3000 oebs.org Soloist William Harvey plays a trumpet concerto by Mieczyslaw Weinberg.

Yoshi’s | Oakland $25-$30 | 510.238.9200 yoshis.com Grammy winning jazz vocalist remembers the legacy of Billie Holiday. (Ends 2/25) 24 | Don’t Fence Me In

Wells Fargo Center | Santa Rosa $20-$30 | 707.546.3600 wellsfargocenterarts.org Songs, music, and poetry of the West with Wylie & The Wild West and more. 24 | Eat Our Shorts 4

Stage Werx 446 | SF $15-$20 | 800.838.3006 facebook.com/ guywriterstheatrecompany Short comedic plays about SF gay community. (Ends 3/10)

26 | John pizzarelli

Venetian Room | SF $30-$45 | 415.392.4400 bayareacabaret.org Renowned jazz guitarist and his quartet plus a show with wife Jessica Molaskey.

New Conservatory Theatre | SF $25-$36 | 415.861.8972 nctcsf.org Roger Parsley & Andy Graham’s play of E.M. Forster’s book novel. (Ends 3/25) 24 | Mitch Woods

George’s Nightclub | San Rafael $10-$15 | 800.380.3095 georgesnightclub.com With his band the Rocket 88s sn guests Todd Morgan and The Emblems. 24 | Moon Over Buffalo

Chanticleers Theatre | Castro Valley $13-$18 | 510.733.5483 chanticleers.org Acting group thinks Frank Capra is coming to see their show! (Ends 3/18) 24 | RAW: No Exit

28 | NELLIE McKAY

The Rrazz Room | SF $30 | 800.380.3095 therrazzroom.com A film noir musical biography based on the film I Want To Live. (Ends 2/29)

24 |

| FEBRUARY 2012

Garage | SF $10-$20 | 800.838.3006 975howard.com Christine Bonansea presents a complex and codependent triangular relationship. 24 | Vonda Shepard

Rrazz Room | SF $45 | 800.380.3095 therrazzroom.com Shepard’s was the soulful musical voice of “Ally McBeal.” (Ends 2/25)

Lesher Center | Walnut Creek $38-$43 | 925.943.7469 lesherartscenter.org Center Rep presents George Bernard Shaw’s endearing romantic comedy. (Ends 2/25)

25 | Ourkouzounov & Ogura

Green Room at SF War Memorial $34 | 415.242.4500 omniconcerts.com Omni Guitar Concerts presents the San Francisco debut of this guitar and flute duo. 25 | Atlas Sound

Bimbo’s 365 Club | SF $20-$22 | 877.435.9849 bimbos365club.com Deerhunter frontman Bradford Cox. Noise Pop 2012. 25 | Dick Gregory & Will Durst

Rrazz Room | SF $35-$45 | 800.380.3095 therrazzroom.com Gregory is an activist and comedian. Durst is a political satirist. (Ends 2/27) 25 | Ives Quartet

Dance Palace | Point Reyes Station $15-$31 | 415.663.1075 dancepalace.org Inspired by the passionate, artistic commitment and temperament of American composer Charles Ives 25 | Live at da Savoy

Bayview Opera House | SF $20-$25 | 415.824.0386 bayviewoperahouse.org A gala event reminiscent of the Chitlin’ Circuit. 15 singers will impersonate various R&B singers. 25 | Natalie Cole

Napa Valley Opera House $115-$130 | 707.226.7372 nvoh.org Napa Valley Opera House debut of the nine-time Grammy award winning artist. 25 | Overwhelming Colorfast

Bottom of the Hill | SF $12 | 415.621.4455 bottomofthehill.com With Oranger, Slouching Stars and Peppercorn. Noise Pop 2012. 25 | Pride & Joy

George’s Nightclub | San Rafael $20 | 800.380.3095 georgesnightclub.com R&B, soul and lots of dance from a very popular Bay Area band.

images: gregor pierce (william harvey), jimmy katz (john pizzarelli and quartet), rick gonzalez (nellie mckay)

24 | Maurice

25 | Arms and the Man


a tree -hugger by any other name by ml heath

It’s official: Justin Vivian Bond is a tree-hugger. For evidence, look no further than “Dendrophile,” the title of transgendered singer-performer Bond’s latest CD.

music

JUSTIN VIVIAN BOND

“A dendrophile is someone who gets an erotic charge out of nature,” Bond recently explained by phone from New York. “So it literally means a tree hugger - or tree humper, depending on how excited they get!” Released last April, half the songs on “Dendrophile” are among Bond’s first originals. “I thought writing my own songs would be a way to rediscover my own voice as an artist, after years of doing a character,” a reference to Bond’s longtime turn as boozy cabaret terrorist Kiki DuRayne, of Tony-nominated duo Kiki and Herb. “Dendrophile” also includes songs by Joni Mitchell, Karen Carpenter, Joan Baez and, surprisingly, ‘60s Afro-Hippie cult rocker Exuma. Nature lover Bond may be, but clearly no grass has been allowed to grow underfoot since Kiki’s retirement. This month alone sees JVB coming to San Francisco for what V (to use Bond’s chosen gender-neutral pronoun) says will be “a night of frivolity and fun” at the Great American Music Hall. Also on the bill are local sunshine-pop revitalists The Whoa Nellies. The pairing promises to be especially festive, with Bond and Nellies lead singer Leigh Crow (aka drag-king Elvis Herselvis) celebrating their 20th anniversary as a wedded couple. Bond will also appear at the Castro Theatre for a Valentine’s Day screening of Love Story, featuring a special appearance by star Ali McGraw. Fitting the film’s infamous catchphrase, Bond will take part in a medley of songs with ‘sorry’ in the title. “And I encourage everyone to come and hear how sorry it is!,” V helpfully adds.

image: michael doucette (justin vivian bond)

Bond foresees no grand comebacks for Kiki DuRayne, however. “I played Kiki for fifteen years, and did everything I wanted to do. Now I’m looking for more fields to plow…and fields to be plowed in!” JUSTIN VIVIAN BOND February 23 | 9:00 pm Great American Music Hall 859 O’Farrell Street, SF $26 | 415.885.0750 gamh.com

FEBRUARY 2012 |

| 25


DAILY 26 | Black Choreographers

Dance Mission Theater | SF $10-$25 | 800.838.3006 bcfhereandnow.com Original dance works, master classes, lectures, films and spoken word performance presentations. 26 | Eric Zuber

design publications websites

415.552.8040 780 sutter street san francisco, ca 94109

www.viamedia.net a division of Caselli Partners LLC

28 | Danii Trifonov

Herbst Theatre | SF $34-$44 | 415.392.4400 chambermusicsf.org Chamber Music SF presents an encore by award-winning young Russian pianist Danii Trifonov.

26 | Fool for Love

28 | Nellie McKay

26 | John Pizzarelli

28 | RAW: Box City

Boxcar Studios | SF $15-$35 | 415.776.1747 boxcartheatre.org Sam Shepard’s tale about a man who comes across an old flame and threatens to drag her back home. (Ends 4/18) Venetian Room | SF $$40-$$45 | 415.392.4400 bayareacabaret.org Acclaimed jazz guitarist John Pizzarelli for two performances. Bayview Opera House | SF $15-$20 | 415.824.0386 bayviewoperahouse.org An original score interwoven with stories about Harriet Tubman and the underground railroad. 26 | Pianist Frank Lévy

Rrazz Room | SF $30 | 800.380.3095 therrazzroom.com A “brilliant, zany film-noir musical biography” (NY Times) inspired by the 1958 Susan Hayward movie. (Ends 2/29) Garage | SF $10-$20 | 800.838.3006 975howard.com Collage Theater dives down the rabbit hole to explore the world of homelessness. 28 | Spacebar

Thick House | SF FREE-$10 playwrightsfoundation.org A new work by Michael Mitnick. Part of the Playwrights Foundation Rough Reading series.

Oshman Family JCC | Palo Alto $15-$18 | 800.838.3006 paloaltojcc.org Oshman Family JCC presents Lévy’s “Around the World in 88 Keys.”

29 | Danny Click

26 | Pizzarelli - Molaskey

29 | Dazz Band

Venetian Room | SF $45 | 415.392.4400 bayareacabaret.org John Pizzarelli & wife Jessica Molaskey perform their acclaimed Carlyle show “When Worlds Collide.” 27 | Jim Brickman

Napa Valley Opera House $40-$75 | 707.226.7372 nvoh.org Brickman’s romantic piano sound has made him the best-selling solo piano artist of our time. 27 | SF Music Players

Herbst Theatre | SF $30 | 415.392.4400 sfcmp.org Presenting Zone 3, a concert of works that draws from the European musical and literary traditions.

| FEBRUARY 2012

Bottom of the Hill | SF $12 | 415.621.4455 bottomofthehill.com With Books on Tape and Please Do Not Fight.

Old First Church | SF $17 | 415.474.1608 oldfirstconcerts.org Acclaimed pianist celebrates Chopin’s birthday.

26 | Marcus Shelby

26 |

27 | The Jealous Sound

George’s Nightclub | San Rafael $15 | 800.380.3095 georgesnightclub.com Texas Blues Review show. Yoshi’s | SF $35-$38 | 415.655.5600 yoshis.com The guys who brought us the Top 10 hit “Let It Whip” in 1982. 29 | Sydney Ducks

Thee Parkside | SF $6 | 415.252.1330 theeparkside.com The Business, The Downtown Struts, Sydney Ducks 29 | Sympathetic Strings

142 Throckmorton | MV $20-$30 | 415.383.9600 142throckmortontheatre.org A multi-artist bill featuring sets by Alex de Grassi, Paul McCandless and others.


bass master brings his meaty riffs by andy gilbert

Trumpet legend Miles Davis possessed an unerring ear for talent, and when he brought British bassist Dave Holland to America to propel the rapidly evolving ensemble responsible for the seminal 1970 fusion album “Bitches Brew,” the jazz world took note. Holland has been at the center of the action as a game-changing collaborator and consistently inspired leader ever since. His latest project, the all-star Overtone Quartet, features three of jazz’s most prodigious and celebrated next-generation improvisers. Eric Harland is a drummer of exceptional taste and power eagerly sought out by veteran masters like Dianne Reeves, Joshua Redman, Charles Lloyd and Terence Blanchard. Chris Potter, arguably the most influential tenor saxophonist of his generation, has recorded a series of revelatory albums as a leader. He’s also played a pivotal role in several Holland bands, including his celebrated quintet and his swaggering big band. Finally, pianist Jason Moran, one of the youngest jazz musicians ever awarded a MacArthur Foundation “Genius” Fellowship, is a conceptual powerhouse who borrows from blues and hip hop, free jazz and rock.

Rubalcaba at the piano, the rechristened Overtone band debuted at New York City’s Blue Note in 2009. Every player contributes tunes, which only deepens their breathtaking bandstand communion.

JAZZ

DAVE HOLLAND OVERTONE QUARTET

“It’s something I saw Miles do,” said Holland, 65, a fearless improviser whose big, meaty tone is instantly recognizable. “When he had his group, he would often feature music by Wayne Shorter and Herbie Hancock and other people who were in the band. Unfortunately I wasn’t writing much at that time, but he often asked me to bring something in. I think it’s part of nurturing a working band and developing music. It gives everybody yet another outlet for their creativity.” DAVE HOLLAND Overtone quartet February 24 | 8:00 pm Palace of Fine Arts 3301 Lyon Street, SF $25 to $65 | 866.920.5299 sfjazz.org

image: louise holland (dave holland)

Largely based on the Monterey Jazz Festival Quartet, which flashed into existence in 2007 with the same players except for Gonzalo

FEBRUARY 2012 |

| 27


BACK Marissa Keltie, Daniel Petzold and Cory Censoprano from Little Brother at Custom Made Theatre

Jack Jones at the Rrazz Room

image: via media

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Joshua Schell, Christina Larson and Margot Manburg at Boxcar Studios

William Giammona, Dennis Lickteig and Coley Grundman from The Story of My Life at NCTC

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Lorenzo Pisoni at the A.C.T. offices

Mark Anderson Phillips and Carrie Paff from Double Indemnity at San Jose Rep

Paul Kanter at the Rrazz Room

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image: steven underhill

Angie Dickinson at Noir City at the Castro

Jason Graae, Faith Prince and the cast of 42nd Street Moon’s The Best of Times: The Jerry Herman Salon at the Alcazar

image: steven underhill

image: via media


IN PRINT

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BAYSTAGES | 2012.02 - Febraury