9 shows, exhibits to see this weekend and beyond
There are many great shows and exhibits to see in the Bay Area this weekend. Here is a partial overview.
Violins of Hope return to the Bay Area
The Livermore-Amador Symphony, conducted by Music Director Lara Webber, will perform a trio of concerts featuring the famous “Violins of Hope” beginning Sunday. This is a collection of violins, violas and cellos played by Jewish musicians during the Holocaust and have since been restored by Israeli luthier Amnon Weinstein and his son Avshalom.
The instruments are played by acclaimed Los Angeles violinist Lindsay Deutsch, a guest soloist, as well as the orchestra’s cellist Peter Bedrossian and several members of the orchestra’s string section. The program includes Prokofiev’s Hebrew-themed overture, parts of the Oscar-winning score from Schindler’s List composed by John Williams, and Max Bruch’s Jewish folk-song-like composition Kol Nidrei.
During the concerts presented by the East Bay Holocaust Education Center, Avshalom Weinstein will tell the story of some of the instruments. The instruments, which have toured and performed in countless concerts since the early 2000s, will be on display at the Bankhead Theater daily from 11am to 6pm through February 12.
Details: The concerts will take place on February 5th at 3pm; 7:30 p.m. 6th-7th February; Bankhead Theater at the Livermore Valley Arts Centre, Livermore; $35-$500; livermorearts.org.
– Randy McMullen, Associate
Bay Area artist Mary V. Marsh’s Artists Holiday is part of a new exhibit focused on Xerox art, Positively Charged: Copier Art in the Bay Area Since the 1960s, hosted by the San Francisco Center for the Book and is presented SF Public Library. (San Francisco Public Library) We celebrate copy art
The 1960s gave us more than psychedelic rock, tie-dye shirts, and lava lamps. It also gave us Xerox art. Also known as copy art and scanography, the form developed as copy machines became ubiquitous in offices and schools etc. and artists realized that the machines could produce more than copies of curricula and business proposals. By manipulating the copying process—e.g., using bulky objects, moving objects around during the copying process, lifting the cover flap to distort the printed image—artists were able to create a variety of effects and images.
The art form gained popularity in the 1970s and 1980s, and the Bay Area had a particularly active scene, with artists and enthusiasts flocking to hubs like the Postcard Palace in North Beach, the San Francisco Art Institute, and the Mama Bears Bookstore in Oakland gathered.
A new exhibition organized by the San Francisco Center for the Book and SF Public Library, Positively Charged: Copier Art in the Bay Area Since the 1960s, looks back at the birth and evolution of the art form and includes numerous works including the gritty and surreal “Artists Holiday” from Bay Area artist Mary V. Marsh.
Details: Until March 19; Exhibitions in both at the Center for the Book, 375 Rhode Island St., sfcb.org; and Skylight Gallery on the sixth floor of the San Francisco Public Library main branch, 100 Larkin St., sfpl.org. Admission is free at both locations.
– Bay Area News Foundation
Music from the uprooted
The fall of the Ottoman Empire, which reshaped the Middle East at the end of World War I, still echoes with painful aftermath a century later. Berkeley flutist Ellie Falaris Ganelin’s Greek Chamber Music Project taps into these memories with “Uproot: Music from Asia Minor,” a program of Greek music and stories detailing the expulsion of ancient Greek communities from former Ottoman territories.
The repertoire includes many songs from the rembetiko tradition of ‘Greek blues’, but transformed by contemporary arrangements by Ganelin and several guest arrangements. The ensemble consists of Ganelin, singer Katerina Clambaneva, cellist Lewis Patzner and pianists Elektra Schmidt (February 3) and Jonathan Alford (February 12).
With the 100th anniversary of the expulsion commemorated across the Greek world last year, Ganelin relied on stories passed down by “my own family, who were refugees from Smyrna,” she said. “This is a time only loosely known to some but otherwise not widely known, although it is a transition into the whole Middle East conflict.”
Ganelin and the Greek Chamber Music Project are bringing the Asia Minor program to concerts in the Bay Area this weekend and next.
Details: 8 p.m. Feb. 3; Old First Concerts at the Old First Presbyterian Church, San Francisco; $20-$25; www.oldfirstconcerts.org; February 12, 4 p.m. at St. Paul Lutheran Church, Oakland; $20-$25; www.eventbrite.com (search for “Music From Asia Minor”)
— Andrew Gilbert, correspondent
Superstar pup Bluey lands in San Jose
Everyone loves “Bluey”.
The animated TV show, which premiered on ABC Kids in Australia in 2018 and became a global sensation thanks in large part to Disney+, is technically aimed at preschoolers. But millions of older siblings and especially parents are also enchanted by the heartwarming and funny stories of Bluey and her family.
Bluey — an energetic Blue Heeler pup with a knack for getting her dad to do silly things — has now moved beyond the small screen and is busy trolling fans with “Bluey’s Big Play the Stage Show!” inspire.
It’s the first-ever “Bluey” live theater show in the US, with big puppets, live actors and cool sets. It also amplifies an original story by series creator Joe Brumm and new music by “Bluey” composer Joff Bush.
The show, which runs non-stop for 45-50 minutes, just played in San Francisco and lands in San Jose for three days this weekend.
Details: Friday 6 p.m., Saturday 2 p.m. and 6 p.m., Sunday 1 p.m. and 6 p.m.; San Jose’s Center for the Performing Arts, 255 S. Almaden Blvd.; $26-$73; broadwaysanjose.com.
— Jim Harrington, Associate
SECA Awards celebrate emerging artists
Some of the things the San Francisco Museum of Modern Arts does to support Bay Area artists include the annual SECA Awards, which not only help emerging artists, but also art fans who want to meet them. The award is named after one of the museum’s charities, the Society for the Encouragement of Contemporary Art, founded in 1961. Their mission has been to create a better connection between the museum and Bay Area artists, and the annual SECA Awards are part of that.
Gregory Rick’s painting “Trap” is on display at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.
The awards have been presented each year since 1967 to an artist or group of artists who show remarkable talent and artistic development but have not yet received much recognition. Each winner will receive an exhibition at SFMOMA and an accompanying catalogue, as well as a cash prize.
The best thing for art fans is that we can see each artist’s exhibition. For free. This year’s winners are Binta Ayofemi, Maria A. Guzmán Capron, Cathy Lu, Marcel Pardo Ariza and Gregory Rick. Each artist will receive an SFMOMA gallery on the second floor where they can exhibit site-specific works showcasing their work. Ayofemi’s installation explores concepts such as black abstract art and black joy; Capron’s sculptures fuse human figures with more abstract forms; Lu’s tonal creations, as SFMOMA puts it, combine “long-nailed hands and fruit from the corner store”; Ariza features portraits of transgender Bay Area leaders mimicking Catholic altarpieces; Rick’s complex abstract paintings deal with racial issues.
Details: Until May 29; 2nd floor at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, 151 3rd St., San Francisco; for free; www.sfmoma.org.
– Bay Area News Foundation
Classic picks: Kahane, Midori, Chopin in Paris
A new work by Gabriel Kahane, the return of violinist Midori and the California Symphony’s tribute to Chopin are high on the calendar of classical events this weekend.
It’s an “Emergency”: Head to Davies Symphony Hall to see Gabriel Kahane’s “Emergency Shelter Intake Form,” a new oratorio about homelessness that makes its San Francisco Symphony premiere in a program that also includes the pianist Conrad Tao Gershwin’s Piano Concerto in F plays. Edwin Outwater conducts.
Details: 7:30 p.m. today and Friday; $35-$135; 415-864-6000, sfsymphony.org.
Midori Returns: In celebration of the 40th anniversary of her New York Philharmonic debut, the great violinist Midori returns to San Francisco for two programs featuring repertoire by Bach, John Zorn, Thierry Escaich and Annie Gosfield.
Details: Presented by San Francisco Performances; Today 7:30 p.m., Sunday 2:00 p.m.; Autumn Theater, San Francisco; $50-$70; www.sfperformances.org.
“Chopin in Paris”: That’s the title of the California Symphony’s weekend concert with Maria Radutu as the soloist in Chopin’s Piano Concerto No. 1 from 1830. The program also includes César Franck’s Symphony in D minor and “The Anonymous Lover” by French-Der Caribbean composer Joseph Bologne – also known as Chevalier de Saint-Georges. Conducted by Donato Cabrera.
Details: 7:30 Saturday, 16:00 Sunday; Lesher Center for the Arts, Walnut Creek; $49-$79, students $20; californiasymphony.org.
— Georgia Rowe, correspondent
Morisseau’s “Blue” opens in Berkeley
: Playwright Dominique Morisseau’s vibrant works reflect many contemporary issues and experiences, but she will always remain deeply connected to the people and issues of her hometown of Detroit. Her three best-known plays include those in the so-called “Detroit Project”, all of which, of course, are set in the Motor City and deal with themes such as race riots (“Detroit ’67”) and inner-city unemployment (“Skeleton Crew”).
Then there’s Paradise Blue, which opens this week at the Aurora Theater in Berkeley. Set in 1949 in a Detroit area undergoing urban renewal, “Paradise” follows a talented trumpeter named Blue as he considers selling his ailing jazz joint, which was once one of the hottest clubs in the city. Selling the club will fix some problems but also create some new ones, like putting the musicians in his longtime house band out of work. In the midst of it all, as the Aurora Theater Company describes it, “a mysterious woman with a walk that drives men insane” emerges and changes everything. Directed by Dawn Monique Williams, Paradise Blue plays at the Aurora Theater, 2081 Addison St., Berkeley through February 26.
Details: $40-$75; www.auroratheatre.org
– Bay Area News Foundation