'Matilda the Musical'
Anyone who’s ever felt overlooked or misunderstood — which is to say, anyone who’s ever been a child — can find something to relate to in Roald Dahl’s Matilda, the beloved children’s book about a little girl in an all-too-ordinary environment who develops some extraordinary powers. Matilda the Musical, a Tony Award-winning hit in England and on Broadway, opens in San Francisco for the first time July 15. Songwriter Tim Minchin told KQED he’s a huge fan of Roald Dahl — and one reason, he said, is it gives kids a feminist icon, one who gains power through learning. Those familiar with Dahl’s universe know to expect more than a bit of darkness, but this is still good (and far from dumbed-down) fun for ages 6 and up. Get details and ticket information here.
On Location: The Golden Gate Bridge on the Silver Screen
It’s hard to say who loves the Golden Gate Bridge more: tourists or filmmakers. From Hitchcock to the Planet of the Apes franchise, our deep orange beauty has played a critical role in some of the most startling visuals in film history. (And filmmakers sure do love to blow her up, like in Pacific Rim, above.) So it probably wasn’t hard to pull together enough clips for this San Francisco Historical Society-sponsored move night, featuring excerpts from X-Men, Planet of the Apes, Love Bug, Time After Time, It Came from Beneath the Sea, and many more. Jim Van Buskirk, author of Celluloid San Francisco: The Film Lover’s Guide to Bay Area Movie Locations, will narrate and serve as emcee. Get details and ticket information here.
Angelique Kidjo with the San Francisco Symphony
The San Francisco Symphony is in pops mode now that summer is here, but they’re still programming some ambitious shows. On Friday, the Symphony and Benin born Angelique Kidjo perform the US premiere of Philip Glass’s new song cycle, Ife, written expressly for Kidjo’s big, rich voice. In the Yoruban culture of West Africa, Ife is the mythical kingdom where the world was first created. “Angelique,” Glass wrote, “together we have built a bridge that no one has walked on before.” Get details and ticket information here.
Anna Deavere Smith's 'Notes From the Field'
A visit from Anna Deavere Smith is always a special occasion. Smith pioneered her own stunning style of solo performance with expertly mimicked verbatim excerpts of her own interviews with people offering many different perspectives on everything from racial tension in America (Twilight: Los Angeles, 1992) to the health care system (Let Me Down Easy). Now she’s back with a new piece with the unwieldy title Notes from the Field: Doing Time in Education, The California Chapter, part of a larger work in progress about the school-to-prison pipeline for underserved youth from poor communities in this country. In a departure from Smith’s usual format, in the second act she invites the audience to join the conversation and to work toward solutions to the problem. Get details and ticket information here.
Phono del Sol
Sure, you can shell out hundreds of dollars to see some of the biggest names in music this summer at what seems to be an ever-expanding menu of blowout festivals across the country. Or you can stay home and enjoy some of the best bands and food the Bay Area has to offer, right in the city’s Potrero del Sol Park. The fifth annual summer party is pretty heavy on the up-and-coming indie rock, featuring national acts Tanlines, King Tuff, Generationals, VÉRITÉ, and Marriages, alongside well-loved locals like Sonny & the Sunsets and Everyone Is Dirty. Foodies won’t be disappointed by offerings from Bacon Bacon, Hella Vegan Eats. Mozzeria Pizzeria, and plenty of cold beer from Lagunitas. Don’t forget the sunblock. Get details and ticket information here.
Local (and locally beloved) comedian W. Kamau Bell sold out his series of Thursday night shows at the Marsh in Berkeley so fast, he went and added three more. Jump on tickets while you can; performances of Home By 10 now run through Aug. 22.