Dec. 26: The Berkeley Choro Ensemble is always so inventive in its approach to choro (pronounced: shoro), the Brazilian style that mixes ragtime, blues, and European classical traditions. Sounds like a tuneful way to spend an evening in Pt. Richmond with Pt. Richmond Jazz. Details here.
Through Jan. 4th: So you waited up at the bookstore for all the Harry Potter books on the night of their release, and you know the plots of the books and the movies by heart. You still need to see Potted Potter, in which Daniel Clarkson and Jefferson Turner, two comic nerds, cram all seven books into a frantic, funny evening. They make silly jokes, digress wildly, and still manage to tell a great story, sort of like J.K. Rowling herself. Potted Potter is at the Palace of the Legion of Honor.
Dec. 26: This next item is a no-caroling zone (and Merry Christmas by the way). Bulletproof Stockings are devoutly Jewish and rocking. They're four ultra-orthodox women from Crown Heights in NYC, and lead singer Perl Wolfe sounds like a cantorial Adele. It's nice to hear religious music so full of passion and love, inspired by Torah and Lubavitcher prayer traditions, at a time when religion is sometimes the rationale for hate and violence. There's no official ban on men, but Bulletproof Stockings prefers a women only audience. A good night for cross dressing? Details here.
More Far Out! Here are some events coming in 2016 that we think are a big deal and might sell out.
Jan 31: The new Berkeley Art Museum and the Pacific Film Archives reopen in a spectacular new building. The old BAM building was a brutalist horror, but with great programming and art inside. The new 25 thousand square foot home is just down the street in Cal's former printing plant, under a striking stainless steel roof. The inaugural exhibit is Architecture of Life, about how we experience and live with architecture. Plus the PFA reopens in February with expanded programming and two new theaters. The first movie on the schedule- Ingmar Bergman’s classic art house flick The Seventh Seal.
May 14: The reopening of the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art is the biggest visual arts event of the year. After three years of renovation, costing upwards of $150 million, the old Mario Botta building and its giant new wing will make SFMOMA the largest modern art museum in the country. All that space will be filled with 1,100 works of art on longterm loan from the Fisher family, plus more than 4,000 new works.
Jan. 15: Conceptual artist and sculptor David Ireland's greatest work was his home at 500 Capp Street. Now the 100 year old house will reopen after a major renovation with daily tours of Ireland's art, and as a study center for artists. So at least one arts organization won't be priced out of the Mission. Details of the opening celebrations here.
Feb. 19-28: SFJAZZ and Opera Parallele are teaming up to produce a fully staged production of Champion, Terence Blanchard's opera about boxer Emile Griffith, and what happened when boxer Benny Paret outed Griffith as gay just before their bout. Here's what Griffith later said about the incident: "I kill a man and most people understand and forgive me. However, I love a man, and to so many people this is an unforgivable sin."
Jan. 24-May 8: Among the highlights when the San Francisco Ballet returns to the Opera House, a number of works by Christopher Wheeldon (who just won a Tony for his choreography for An American in Paris on Broadway), Fearful Symmetries, a world premiere by wunderkind Liam Scarlett (Jan. 27), and In the Countenance of Kings, a world premiere by the hot choreographer Justin Peck.
Jan. 22-May 12: Cal Performances is presenting a very full and eclectic lineup including Renee Fleming in recital March 5, the Mark Morris Group and Philharmonia Baroque in Morris’ masterpiece L’allegro, Il Peneroso Ed il Moderato, March 11-13; and don't miss a chance to hear from the creators of SERIAL, Sarah Koenig and Julie Snyder March 6. We'd bet that will sell out.
Feb. 2-7: America's most adventurous chamber group, the Kronos Quartet, holds its Explorer Series festival at SFJAZZ with frequent guest, pipa master Wu Man, the west coast premiere of a work about Chernobyl, and a concert by multi-instrumentalists David Coulter and Van-Anh Vo (from Fremont and also a composer), plus there's a family concert celebrating the Lunar New Year.