Aug. 5: We're highlighting the little Petaluma Music Festival (Aug. 5) over Outside Lands (Aug. 5-7) for three reasons: Petaluma is just $45 bucks for a day (profits all go to Petaluma schools), with music by Sacramento native Jackie Greene, The Motherhips, Moonalice, Moetar (great band), and other jambands.
Outside Lands (Radiohead, Lionel Richie) is $145/day. Petaluma expects barely four thousand at their home at the Sonoma/Marin Fairgrounds. Figure 55 thousand a day at Outside Lands. And finally, Outside Lands is sold out. Details on the Petaluma Music Festival are here. And BTW, we have an Outside Lands preview from our own Emma Silvers here.
Continuing through Aug. 13: Campo Maldito is a play, created by the San Diego theater company People of Interest, about ghosts and gentrification. It was a hit at the New York and San Francisco Fringe Festivals a few years ago, and is just as timely now. A tech startup moves into San Francisco’s Tenderloin, and the white entrepreneur hires a Santeria priest to purify the office with scary results. The well-told moral may be don't displace the living or piss of the dead. The producers are offering free tickets to neighborhood residents. Details for the run at San Francisco's Exit Theatre are here.
Continuing through Aug. 13: It will hard to imagine the Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music without Marin Alsop. This champion of women as conductors and composers is exiting after 25 years as artistic director and conductor at the festival, leaving a brilliant legacy of newly commissioned music. The video above is for a new symphonic ballet by Anna Clyne preming at the festival. And over the years, Alsop has welcomed Berkeley's John Adams (composing a new work this year dedicated to Alsop), the Peninsula's Mason Bates, John Corigliano, Jennifer Higdon and many others. Don't miss your chance to see Alsop's swan song. (Wouldn't it be nice if the San Francisco Symphony brings her back to the Bay Area as a guest conductor once in a while. Imagine her taking over for MTT when he eventually retires). Details for Cabrillo are here.
Aug. 10-27: Here's a stage musical that promises to be topless, tasteless and so much fun. Showgirls was a really trashy and exploitative 1995 film, starring Gina Gershon and Elizabeth Berkeley, about Vegas showgirls, and what they’ll do (anything, apparently) to succeed. The movie has long been a favorite of drag queens, and now we’re getting the West Coast premiere of Showgirls the Musical, co-starring April Kidwell (repeating the role she originated in the New York production) and San Francisco drag queen Peaches Christ (Joshua Grannell), in the role of the older diva. “As drag queens and cult enthusiasts," Christ/Grannell told me, "we saw the value in taking this film, and celebrating the absurdity, so that we take the misogyny and the sexism and put it in a drag context, and refuse to take this seriously. I don’t think this was the intention of the filmmakers at all." This is a rare adults-only Do List item, and details for the run at the Victoria Theatre in San Francisco are here.
Aug. 10: Ezra Furman is another performer who looks good in pearls (see Peaches Christ above), He's a gender non-conforming, smart (and smartass) conservative Jew who doesn't play concerts on the Sabbath (Friday evening through Saturday at dusk). He's also a terrific songwriter and singer with a knack for power pop melodic hooks, and a deep respect for rock and roll traditions from doo-wop to Bruce Springsteen to Little Richard. His new EP is about “the theme of the mind unmoored,” but Furman never seems to lose his artistic way. Details for his show at the Swedish American Hall in San Francisco Wednesday, are here.
Through Aug 6: For a couple of years now, we've been following San Francisco choreographer Robert Dekkers' evolving dance opus about community and our place in the universe. Now he and his company Post:Ballet are performing all the chapters together in a new staging that features food, mylar balloons, and live music performed by the Living Earth Project. Expect strange and brilliant. Details here.