Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Weekend Picks for SF and the Bay Area

There is no singing the summertime blues around Chez Nancy. Well, I will make an exception for the days when my clueless upstairs clods keep me awake past 3 AM with their clomping and stomping. But I just get myself out the door anyway and enjoy the cultural riches that abound - while plotting revenge.

I realized that if I listed everything - like the Schwitters' show and the two Stein shows and what's up and coming at the Legion and the two new shows at the De Young, I'd run out of space and try your patience. So, I'm just going to limit this to two ..or three...or four.. or...

Tiger barong (barong macan), approx. 1900–1930 (top). Mas, Gianyar. Wood, pigments. National Museum of Ethnology, Leiden, the Netherlands, 2407-51

At the Asian Art Museum: Bali closes on Sept. 11, so beat the crowds and catch some stellar programs while you can. Living legend I Wayan Wija -- one of the world's best shadow puppeteers -- performs this Thursday at MATCHA for just $10, again on Aug.25 with a different presentation, and demonstrates Aug. 17-28. Watch a screening of Talking with Spirits on Aug. 23 followed by a filmmaker Q&A, and a shadow puppet making demonstration Aug. 31-Sept. 11.

I thought this was one of the most vibrant, exciting shows that I'd seen in ages and gave it 5 stars:
The Asian is offering a reduced admission fee (code is BALI5)

Why did Gertrude Stein and I decide to write an opera about saints? Simply because we viewed a saint’s life as related to our own. In all times the consecrated artist has tended to live surrounded by younger artists and to guide them into the ways of spontaneity. And thus to characterize one’s gift is indeed to invite “inspiration” and just possibly, through art, make “miracles.” — Virgil Thomson

At Yerba Buena: Three Saints in Four Acts
One of the most important alliances in the history of American opera began in Paris in 1927 when the young, little-known composer Virgil Thomson invited fellow expatriate artist Gertrude Stein to write a libretto he could set to music. In 1934, back in the United States, the curtains finally rose on Four Saints in Three Acts, an experimental milestone in 20th-century music as well as a Broadway hit in its day. Considered radical for its convention-defying format, Four Saints remains a cornerstone of avant-garde theater—one that brought the zeitgeist of bohemian Paris to America and helped usher modernism into mainstream culture.

I have tickets for Sunday's matinee and I can hardly wait!

Review by Janos Greben at the SF Examiner:

An inside look by local blogger, Mike of Civic Center fame who is one of the supernumeraries in the show:

 Warren Gee. @artist/Creativity Explored

At Creativity Explored:  Structure, a new exhibition at Creativity Explored Gallery, represents all of these variations on a theme — illustrating how one concept can relate to nature, science, geography, architecture, music, language, and much more. Opening Reception: Thursday, August 18, 2011, 7:00 pm to 9:00 PM. 3245 16th St, San Francisco.

The San Jose Museum of Art’s popular series “DIY Art” continues on Saturday, August 20, from 1 to 3 p.m., with a session on “Drawing Comic Books.”  Visitors of all ages will learn the fundamentals of creating comic books, from storyboarding and writing to layout and draftsmanship. Richard Becker, author and illustration of the book "How to Draw the Marvel Heroes," will instruct. Comic book costumes are welcome.  The program is free with Museum admission of $8 ($5 for students, seniors, and youth ages 7-18; free to members and children under 6).

The Oakland Museum continues to honor John Muir's legacy by preserving a unique collection of butterflies:

At the Exploratorium: Girls Science Institute
This four-day workshop for girls ages 10-12 will cover Newton’s Laws, forces and motion, and engineering through exploration of the lives of women who impacted the field, hands-on activities, and creative expression. $240 members/ $275 nonmembers. For questions please call 415-561-0376.
3601 Lyon Street. San Francisco, CA 94123

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