The Do List: Listen to Our Event Picks for Sept. 19–25

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Guitarist, singer, comedienne and all-around camp idol Charo performs in San Francisco this weekend. (artist photo)

The weekend is almost here. Hooray!

Looking for things to do? Listen to KQED Arts’ Gabe Meline and Sarah Hotchkiss discuss their event picks at the audio link above, or read about each event below.

Charo: Ms. "Cuchi Cuchi" herself, Charo, is still at it, and this weekend she plays her first show in the Bay Area in ten years. Now, I’m not crazy, hear me out—I saw Charo once and it was so ridiculous, and so fun, I have never been the same since. In San Francisco, she’s bound to have a loyal camp following in the audience, but don’t forget her guitar playing and hilarious, self-effacing jokes. She plays on Friday, Sept. 20, at the Herbst Theater in San Francisco. Details here.

Free Museum Day: Officially, Sarah’s recommendation is to call in sick on Thursday, Sept. 19. That’s because a bunch of the museums around Yerba Buena Gardens, including SFMOMA, the Museum of the African Diaspora, YBCA and the Contemporary Jewish Museum are all opening their doors for free. It’s a celebration they’re calling Culture for Community, and most of the arts and culture institutions (over a dozen total) have extended hours and special programming happening—all of it completely free (though SFMOMA does recommend reserving your tickets in advance). Details here.

'50 Faces': This populist show is a collection from Italy of mosaic images of celebrities, and other figures: Carlos Santana, Frida Kahlo, David Bowie, Basquiat. Total Instagram bait, if we’re being honest. Sarah is unsettled by the Frida Kahlo portrait’s tiny doll hand earrings hanging off her mosaic ears, and I’m brave enough to admit that this is not high art. But if you’re like me, you have a side of you that loves this stuff. It opens Saturday, Sept. 21, at the Marin Museum of Contemporary Art in Novato, and runs through Nov. 10. Details here.


'Cities of the Future': In this show, artists from San Quentin State Prison made one diorama depicting a city of the present, and a second diorama that imagines a city 300 years in the future. This is all made out of paper, cardboard, paint—the models are incredibly detailed. Sarah got to visit the art program at San Quentin just a few weeks ago, and the level of talent in that studio, she attests, is impressive. It’s on view at 2100 Milvia Street in downtown Berkeley through March 2020. Details here.

'The Man in Black': Who can pull of a ballet based on the music of Johnny Cash? SMUIN Ballet, that's who. Created by James Kudelka, ‘The Man in Black’ is a ballet based on five of Johnny Cash’s songs—which also runs along dances based on the music of Dave Brubeck and Carmina Burana. That's on Friday and Saturday, Sept. 20 and 21, at the Lesher Center in Walnut Creek. Details here.

Hank Williams Tribute: Meanwhile, to coincide with Ken Burns’ Country Music documentary, up in Petaluma there’s a live music tribute to the Hillbilly Shakespeare himself, Hank Williams. It features an all-star cast of local musicians and benefits KRCB public radio. "Lovesick Blues," "Hey Good Lookin’," "Your Cheatin' Heart"—it all goes down on Saturday, Sept. 21, at the Mystic Theatre. Details here.