Cy and David's Picks: A Show That’s All True, 100 Years of Dada, and Tips for Halloween and Day of the Dead

City Lights Booksellers is organizing a celebration of the art movement Dada on its 100th anniversary (Photo: Courtesy of City LIghts Booksellers)

No time for zombies on the Do List this morning; we've been too busy catching shows. SF Opera's production of The Makropoulos Case features such beautiful music, you can forgive the hyperkinetic directing -- and what great singing from Nadja Michael as the heroine (at the Golden Gate Theater through Oct. 29). Meanwhile, David went back to see Hedwig and the Angry Inch (through Oct. 30), and loved it again with Lena Hall taking the title role for the evening.

Now to the new stuff:

Oct. 29–31: Now 36, Gustavo Dudamel may no longer be a boy wonder, but he remains deeply devoted to teaching young people the beauties of classical music. He's leading the Los Angeles Philharmonic's efforts to spread music to disadvantaged kids in Los Angeles, following the El Sistema model that nurtured him in his native Venezuela. Cal Performances is sponsoring his Youth Orchestra Los Angeles at the Paramount Theater Sunday afternoon for a concert with tickets as low as $5. (Details here.) And Dudamel leads the big kids in the LA Philharmonic into Davies Symphony Hall for programs featuring Tchaikovsky and Mahler on Monday and Tuesday. (Details here.)

A still from Bruce Conner’s film Crossroads, 1976
A still from Bruce Conner’s film Crossroads, 1976. (Photo: © 2016 Conner Family Trust, San Francisco)

Oct. 29–Jan. 22, 2017: The late Bruce Conner’s art was about everything from consumerism to nuclear apocalypse. He made photographs, movies, collages, sculptures, and obsessively intricate inkblot drawings. He lived in San Francisco in the 1950s (and founded the Rat Bastard Protective Association with his artist and poet friends including Jay DeFeo and Michael McClure), and then returned here at the end of his life. So Bruce Conner: It’s all True, with its 250 works, jointly curated by SFMOMA and the MoMA in New York, is a kind of homecoming. Details for the show opening Saturday, Oct. 29 are here.

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Oct. 28: The Pet Shop Boys prove two things about pop culture: '80s music never dies, and sometimes it's pretty good. Vocalist Neil Tennant and keyboardist Chris Lowe met in an electronics shop in London in 1981, and went on to make dance music history. But they're keeping it fresh with a new album. Apparently they're also wearing Halloween-ready headgear, sort of metallic helmets (as seen at their Las Vegas shows). “The more we look like we come from another planet," Tennant told Aidin Vaziri in the San Francisco Chronicle, "the better.” Bring your dancing shoes; details for their show at the Fox Theater in Oakland are here.

Nov. 1-13: Dada was a movement founded as a protest against World War I, colonialism, and conformity by a group of European artist refugees. The most famous Dada artwork was Marcel Duchamp’s urinal, still amusing and shocking art lovers (and that's part of the point) 99 years later. Dada is now 100 years old, and San Francisco's City Lights Bookstore has organized a Dada World Fair in its honor, with City Lights staffer Peter Maravelis as organizer. Maravelis told me the movement has inspired generations of artists in the Bay Area. "You can draw a long line all the way from the more recent Cacophony Society to punk, to the beats." If nothing else, it's a chance to welcome poet Andrei Codrescu back to San Francisco. We missed him.  Details for the readings and celebrations (expect "pranks, bufoonery and intoxication") are here.

Halloween is supposed to be creepy
Halloween is supposed to be creepy. (Photo: Cy Musiker/KQED)

Halloween is supposed to be creepy, but fun. And we have suggestions:

Oct. 30: Mariachi Flor de Toloache is an all-woman mariachi band and one of the promised highlights for La Ultima Parada, a Day of the Dead festival at the School of Arts and Culture in San Jose, with two stages of Mariachi, Cumbia, Tropical and more. Tickets are $5; it's family friendly, and yes, there's a costume contest. Details here. 

Oct. 29: Also in San Jose, the sketch comedy troupe The Roughhouse presents The Spook Show at the Black Cat Licorice Theater 10pm on Saturday night. Details here. 

Oct. 29 and 30:  Symphony Silicon Valley plays live accompaniment to Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone -- that’s the first in the series -- at the San Jose Center for the Performing Arts. Two shows both days. Details here.

Oct. 28-30: Dance Brigade is presenting an alt-Halloween show. The Great Liberation Upon Hearing is a revival based on the Tibetan Book of the Dead at Dance Mission Theater in San Francisco. Sounds very cool. Details here. 

Oct 30: On Sunday the San Francisco Opera teams up with the Edwardian Ball gang for a Halloween-in-drag celebration. Come in costume or borrow from the in-house costume booth provided by the San Francisco Opera Costume Shop. A live DJ follows the performance. Details here for this Opera Lab event at Oasis.

Oct. 28-30: And finally, Alien Con. This is a fan event for the History Channel show, Ancient Aliens. I don't know the show, but they've got a killer lineup of sci-fi stars from TV and the movies, with Angela Cartwright from Lost in Space, Katee Sackhoff from Battlestar Galactica, and the original Godzilla, Haruo Nakajima, who wore the monster’s body suit in the first 12 films. Expect lots of costumes at the Santa Clara Convention Center. Details here.

 

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