April 7 - 17: Justin Peck may be the hottest young choreographer in ballet, his work marked by what the New Yorker recently called “speed, exuberance and vigor.” He's both a soloist and resident choreographer at New York City Ballet, and San Francisco Ballet has snagged the world premiere of Peck's newest dance, set to and named for Sufjan Steven's wonderful film score In the Countenance of Kings. Also on the bill is the return of Christopher Wheeldon's Continuum, and Balanchine's Theme and Variations. Details here.
Continuing through April 23: We're always up for a new work by Bay Area playwright Peter Sinn Nachtrieb. The Totalitarians from 2014 was a scarily funny and prescient satire of political campaigns. Now Z Space is premiering Nachtrieb's newest work, featuring the great actor and master of snark, Danny Schieie. House Tour of the Infamous Porter Family Mansion with Tour Guide Weston Ludlow Londonderry is an immersive one-man play — where the audience follows Scheie through the former home of a wealthy couple who have come to a mysterious end, and including some plot element about a stick of butter, as depicted in the video above. One caveat, of a sort, Nachtrieb warns "this show contains explicit material and is intended for immature adults only." Details here.
April 7: Escondido was one of the small bands that made a big impact at SXSW. The duo of Tyler James and Jessica Maros have no connection to the Southern California beach town, they hooked up in Nashville, and feature a great twang sound with the occasional trumpet. James has said he wants the duo to sound like Clint Eastwood was playing pop songs at a Nashville honkytonk. It is kind of twang noir, and it's a Cheap Thrill!, just $12 to see them at the Rickshaw Stop on Thursday.
April 2 - 3: Choreographer Larry Keigwin has taken his Bolero to eleven cities across the country, from New York to Santa Barbara, tailoring each one to the culture and quotidian life of each location. In Santa Barbara, the dancers surfed and chased a lifeguard. At Stanford's Bing Hall, Keigwin told the Mercury News, he imagines a Bolero Silicon Valley that's like a tech circus, with people in office chairs, at their computers, or cellphones. Among the cast of 70 or so, students from East Palo Alto's Eastside College Prep School, members of Stanford's drone club, and a student music and dance collective. Details here.
April 7: Travel with us now back to 1971, when the Flamin' Groovies released Teenage Head. It was the same year that the Rolling Stones released Sticky Fingers. The Stones' Mick Jagger reportedly said Teenage Head was the better record. But the Groovies never made it big, and founder and lead singer Roy Loney left the band, even as guitarist Cyril Jordan and the Groovies made another power pop classic, Shake Some Action. Now the Groovies, including co-founders Loney and Jordan are getting back together for a show at the Chapel in San Francisco, ahead of a European tour and just in time for their 50th anniversary. We asked Roy Loney why classic rock, like Teenage Head, with its simple chord structure, ages so well. "There’s no reason to go beyond three chords," Loney said. "If you know how to handle those three chords. It’s simple. It’s to the point. I think of it as primitive rock with taste." Details for the Chapel show are here. If you miss this show, you can catch The Groovies at Burger Boogaloo in in Oakland in June.