The Nile Project
The Nile Project proves the clout cultural ambassadors can wield -- even as it gets everyone up dancing. Bay Area singer-songwriter Meklit Hadero, originally from Ethiopia, was having a drink after a concert a few years ago with Mina Girgis, an Egyptian ethnomusicologist. And they came up with the a two-part idea: a collaboration among musicians from all 11 countries touched by the Nile River -- that’s the dancing part -- coupled with an education program about the environmental and political challenges facing the world’s longest river.
The Nile Project makes three stops in the Bay area -- February 13, 2015 at the Green Music Center at Sonoma State in Rohnert Park, February 18, 2015 at Bing Concert Hall at Stanford, and February 19, 2015 at Zellerbach Hall at UC Berkeley.
Mr. Burns, a Post Electric Play
Talk about meta: a family tries to build a new society after a global nuclear holocaust, and takes as its fundamental text fractured memories of the 1993 “Cape Feare” episode from The Simpsons, that very long-running Fox animated comedy series. That’s the gist of Mr. Burns, a Post-Electric Play at the American Conservatory Theater.
Playwright Anne Washburn developed Mr. Burns, a Post-Electric Play with The Civilians, an investigative theater troupe. The New York Times called the play’s 2013 production “downright brilliant.”
Attendance at the A.C.T. performances will bring other rewards: a chance to buy a “D’oh! Nut” (with raspberry and beer glaze) from Dynamo Donuts and an onstage talk with Jon Vitti, former head writer of The Simpsons, after the Mar. 7 matinee. Details and ticket information here.
Dengue Fever, Los Angeles' Cambodian-inspired psychedelic rock band, first burst on the scene in 2003 with a self-titled album sung entirely in Khmer. This January saw the release of their fifth studio album, The Deepest Lake. The show is sold out, but there are limited tickets at the door. So get their early to score tix, and check out the free social hour with Dengue Fever before the show at the Mojo Bicycle Café across the street from the Independent. Dengue Fever also plays Moe’s Alley in Santa Cruz on Mar. 11. Details and ticket information here.
Bruce Conner: Somebody Else's Prints
The late Bruce Conner is worshiped by filmmakers and film buffs alike as the genius who married found footage to pop music in the early '60s with the immortal shorts Cosmic Ray and Breakaway. Based in the Bay Area for most of his career, Conner was a master of numerous media, including assemblage, sculpture and painting. This exhibition spotlights his printmaking, which the native Kansan explored and experimented with for more than half a century. Like everything Conner created, his etchings and lithographs are beautiful, brilliant and wholly original. The opening reception is Feb. 13. Details here.
Mighty Real: A Fabulous Sylvester Musical
In the bacchanalian splendor of 1970's gay-liberated San Francisco, nobody flew their freak flag higher than Pentecostal choir-boy-turned-gender-blurred “Queen of Disco” Sylvester. After a stint with the infamous S.F. performance troupe The Cockettes and a stab at rock stardom, he turned his spine-tingling, frequently falsetto voice toward dance music, riding the discotheque wave until his death from AIDS complications in 1988. His larger-than-life personality always seemed born for musical theater, and indeed he gets his own biographical stage vehicle with this New York Times-praised production starring Broadway veteran Anthony Wayne. Details and ticket information here.