The Do List: Cats Purring, Nutcrackers Twirling and More for Dec. 12-19

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Samara Cole-Mercado dancing as Yemanja during a rehearsal at Sullivan Community Space in Oakland on Dec. 8, 2019.  (Stephanie Lister/KQED)

Looking for things to do in the Bay Area this weekend? The Do List has you covered with concerts, festivals, exhibitions, plays, performances and more.

You can listen to this week's episode with KQED's Gabe Meline, Sarah Hotchkiss and Sam Lefebvre above, or read about our picks below.

Terry Fox, 'The Labyrinth Scored for the Purrs of 11 Different Cats': Here's a fun one: the sound of 11 cats purring, layered together by artist Terry Fox, in an exhibition at BAMPFA. The sound of a cat purr is obviously a calming one, and Fox designed it to be listened to while walking a cathedral-style labyrinth in this 1977 piece, The Labyrinth Scored for the Purrs of 11 Different Cats. The purr of each individual cat is meant to represent one of the 11 concentric rings of the labyrinth as you walk it—and friends, this is your last chance, because this totally one-of-a-kind experience ends this weekend, Dec. 15, at BAMPFA in downtown Berkeley. Details here.—GM

Art With Elders Holiday Sale: Here's a slightly more conventional suggestion this week. It’s a one-day holiday art show and sale at Cushion Works, a Mission District project space… And maybe you’re thinking... Another holiday sale? But this one’s slightly different. All the work comes from the Art With Elders program, a really incredible nonprofit that provides art classes for Bay Area seniors in long-term care communities like Laguna Honda Hospital. And this is a specially curated display of that work. That’s Sunday, Dec. 15, at Cushion Works in San Francisco. Details here.—SH

Hip-Hop at the Fine Art Museum: There’s an exhibit we’ve talked about previously on the Do List called Soul of a Nation—a massive exhibition celebrating black artists and black power at the de Young. What’s new this weekend is what I’m 99% sure has never happened before there: a show by a hip-hop group at the museum. Saturday brings the Oakland group Souls of Mischief to the de Young, in both a live show and a screening of their documentary, 'Til Infinity. A big bonus here is that museum admission is free that day for Bay Area residents, including admission to Soul of a Nation. That’s Saturday, Dec. 14, at the de Young Museum in San Francisco. Details here.—GM


ABO Comix Release Party: ABO Comix publishes autobiographical comics by and for queer and transgender prisoners incarcerated around the country. The Oakland publisher is part of a movement centering prison abolition in the struggle for LGBTQ liberation, and considers part of that work to be diligently corresponding with queer prisoners and figuring out how to get them money for their artwork. In the past couple years, ABO has raised more than $10,000 for its artists. This weekend, ABO celebrates the release of its third anthology with a show featuring a local punk band called Anti Repression Music. That's on Saturday, Dec. 14, at Classic Cars West in Oakland. Details here.—SL

'The Nutcracker': I know, I know—you can see The Nutcracker on approximately twelve billion stages this month. I’ve got two to recommend. The first is the big kahuna: the SF Ballet’s Nutcracker. I finally saw this last year, and all I can say is believe the hype. It’s dazzling with a breathtaking set, top-tier dancing, you can’t go wrong. That runs at the War Memorial Opera House through Dec. 29. Details here. But then there’s a version of The Nutcracker in Oakland that’s a little different. There’s no nutcracker. No mouse, even. It’s called KOLA: An Afro Diasporic Remix of the Nutcracker. The lead character, Nzingha, travels through the African diaspora learning different dances, like Afro-Haitian, Afro-Cuban, jazz, hip-hop, break-dancing and more. That runs now through Dec. 22 at Castlemont High School in Oakland. Details here.—GM