Cy and David's Picks: Ghost Ship Benefits, a Utopian San Francisco, and Comedy for New Year’s Eve
This is the last weekend for Inversion: Circus Disobedience, an intimate and beautifully performed circus show at Kinetic Arts in West Oakland. Details here. And it's the last weekend for one of the big art shows of the fall, For-Site Foundation's Homeland Security, an exhibit on national security in the WWII era bunkers and buildings in the Presidio. Details here. And we're featuring more benefits for the families, friends and roommates of those who died in the Ghost Ship fire (see below).
Dec 31: How do you say goodbye to a year some are calling the worst ever? Laugh through the tears. Paula Poundstone, a regular on NPR's Wait Wait... Don't Tell Me, does her sneakily subversive style of family comedy at the Nourse Theatre on New Year's Eve. Details here.
Dec. 31: If you want to support local comedians, try the Brava Theater Center's New Year’s Eve Comedy Fiesta. Headliner Marga Gomez is fresh from a stint in New York with her 12th autobiographical show, and she's joined by Tom Ammiano, former standup comedian and state lawmaker, plus Priya Prasad, Butch Escobar, and Chey Bell. This one may not be much fun for supporters of President-elect Trump. Details here.
Dec. 31: The San Francisco Symphony managed a big get for it's Holiday Concert Series: two guests who can sing, tell jokes, do Broadway musicals and star in a popular television series. Tituss Burgess and Jane Krakowski are in the Netflix show The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, and they'll sing and crack wise with the San Francisco Symphony at Davies Hall New Year's Eve. Details here.
Dec. 16: Opera San Jose has done a kind of star-search for military veterans, and recruited them into a chorus for a holiday concert. It's a commemoration of the little-known Christmas Eve truce of 1914, when Scottish, French and German soldiers celebrated Christmas in the trenches on the Western front. It's also a preview for Opera San Jose's upcoming production (Feb. 2017) of the Pulitzer Prize-winning Silent Night, by Kevin Puts and Mark Campbell, an opera about that same Christmas truce. Details on the veterans' chorus concert at Le Petit Trianon Theatre in San Jose are here.
Continuing through Jan. 31: William Scott paints utopian cityscapes, in which San Francisco becomes Praise Frisco, a community of love and harmony. Scott, who grew up in the Bayview, is developmentally disabled, and he’s painted for years at Creative Growth in Oakland, a non-profit for people with learning disabilities. Scott's work is in the permanent collection at New York's MOMA, and he's getting an exhibit in San Francisco at 836M, a gallery that's been showcasing Creative Growth artists this fall.
Creative Growth Director Tom di Maria says the exhibit is about being home for the holidays. “But it also brings up issues around displacement and families," di Maria said, "For a lot of our people and artists with disabilities, it’s a really difficult time for them. Some of them don’t know their families, some are challenged by a time when they’re supposed to be happy, but they can feel alone. But William Scott’s work is so amazing. He’s the nicest guy on the planet, he wants to make the city perfect and clean and wholesome so that people’s lives will be better." Details for the show at 836M are here. And Creative Growth has its own terrific gallery with work by Scott and other artists. What a nice place to shop for holiday gifts. Details here.
Dec. 16: Members of The Atom Age are punk legends, and they’re part of the lineup with Dirty Denim and others in a benefit for families and friends of those who died in the Ghost Ship fire. Details for their concert at the Starry Plough in Berkeley (with donations going to the Fire Relief fund organized by Gray Area Foundation for The Arts) are here.
Dec. 18: And there’s another way to heal and and to mourn those lost in the Ghost Ship fire. The Chapel of the Chimes is holding its annual free concert called Musical Reflections, dedicated to those who died in the musical community this year. The concert features members of Kitka, the Temple of Light Georgian Community Choir, the William Winant Percussion Group, the Cardew Choir, Samuel Carl Adams, Ellen Fullman, Pamela Z, Sarah Cahill, members of Volti, and many more. Details here.