Mugwumpin’s Black Baba struts along a picturesque path in the Cutting Ball Theater “Phantasmagoria”. Photo: Julie Schuchard, Cutting Ball Theater
The Chronicle’s Guide to Notable Art and Entertainment Events in the Bay Area.
Cutting Ball, Mugwumpin and Bay Area Theater Cypher team up for the Lewis Carroll collage
One of the few theatrical advantages of the pandemic is the emergence of exciting collaborations with multiple troops, as companies that have long been on each other’s radar suddenly have more bandwidth to enable partnerships.
The latest on this glorious list, “Phantasmagoria” brings together two stalwarts of the experimental and avant-garde, Cutting Ball Theater and Mugwumpin, with a relative newbie, Bay Area Theater Cypher, that combines theater and hip-hop.
The filmed show, with cast members from all three companies, is inspired by the poem of the same name by Lewis Carroll from 1869 and the pandemic feeling that you have shrunk to a mere ghost that has haunted your home. The show collages excerpts from several Carroll texts, followed by the twin ghosts Ghosty (Maria Marquis) and Ghostie (Akaina Ghosh), who only communicate via tin can phones as they are stuck in tiny cells and receive visitors from other places in the supernatural realm.
Ariel Craft Directed by and James Ard, who made a squishy, squishy sound design for Cutting Ball’s “Utopia” in the fall repeats its role.
“Phantasmagoria”: Available until May 23rd. $ 25 per household. 415-525-1205. cutball.com
– Lily Janiak
The poster for the Shift Your World Film Festival Photo: Shift your world
The debut of Shift Your World, a virtual film festival about mindfulness
Thursday May 6th marks the debut of Shift Your World: Calling the Future Into Focus, a new virtual festival dedicated to films about wellness, mindfulness and the betterment of the world.
From the Petaluma-based Layer networkThe festival offers free film screenings, talks with directors and panel discussions. Those willing to pay $ 97 for a VIP Pass will have access to online classes, virtual receptions, and on-demand viewing of selected films through May 23.
The opening film “The Portal” follows six people who change their lives through meditation. Shift Your World has an interesting concept for a festival and a welcome one after a year of stress, loneliness and fear.
A full list of the opening line-up of 14 films will be available at the festival website.
Shift your world: Put the future in focus: Thursday, May 6th to May 9th. Free, $ 97 for VIP Pass. shiftyourworldfilmfestival.com
– Mick LaSalle
Maria Kochetkova and Davit Karapetyan in Helgi Tomasson’s “Romeo & Juliet” for the San Francisco Ballet Photo: Erik Tomasson
SF Ballet repeats ‘Romeo and Juliet’ star-crossed lovers
The San Francisco Ballet’s 2021 digital season, featuring the company’s shorter and more intimate works, ends with two of the great full-length story ballets that have played a key role in Helgi Tomasson’s long tenure as Artistic Director.
For program 6, the company repeats Tomasson’s “Romeo and Juliet” in an archive recording from 2015. This presentation – followed by a presentation at the end of the season of “Swan Lake” on May 20 – was shot for Lincoln Center in the cinema. and shows the former main dancers Maria Kochetkova and Davit Karapetyan in the title roles.
Music director Martin West conducts Prokofiev’s exuberant score.
“Romeo and Juliet”: San Francisco Ballet. Available to stream at 6pm Thursday, May 6th through May 26th. Single tickets, $ 29. 415-865-2000. sfballet.org
– Joshua Kosman
The singers Molly Netter (left), Rebecca Hargrove and Sonya Headlam play Julia Wolfe’s “Steel Hammer”. Photo: Courtesy of Cal Performances
Julia Wolfe’s ‘Steel Hammer’ explores the clash between man and machine
The legend of John Henry, the “steel driving man” who faces the power of the steam drill, has long appealed to audiences and artists alike. With its climatic showdown between man and machine, history is a constant symbol of our fascination and fear when it comes to technology.
Steel Hammer, the brilliant sounding oratorio by composer Julia Wolfe from 2009, uses this material to create a rich meditation on folklore and its power. The lively score alternates between sweetly tinged vocal harmonies and pure industrial outbursts.
“Steel Hammer”, performed by Bang on a Can All-Stars with singers Molly Netter, Rebecca Hargrove and Sonya Headlam, is coming to the Cal Performances at Home series in a new film version.
Bang on a can of All-Stars: Cal Performances at home. Available for streaming from 7pm Thursday, May 6th through August 4th. $ 5- $ 56. calperformances.org
– Joshua Kosman
Accordionist Rob Reich is pictured with bassist Daniel Fabricant Photo: Courtesy of Yoshis
Rob Reich and Daniel Fabricant highlight the return of live music to Yoshi’s in Oakland
Yoshi’s, the popular East Bay nightclub and restaurant, is finally reopening after a long hiatus caused by a pandemic. The venue currently offers free live performances Thursday through Sunday for guests with reservations for dinner.
The virtuoso duo of Rob Reich and bassist Daniel Fabricant is on the performance list on Friday, May 7th. Reich, who published one in August album with clarinetist Ben Goldberg, Fabricant and others, has received praise for his establishment as an accordion player with the highly acclaimed Tin Hat Trio, local favorite Circus Bella and other projects as well as for his skills as a jazz keyboardist and composer for local ensembles, including Gaucho jazz.
The venue recently revealed a redesigned stage in the dining area as COVID restrictions put pressure on the traditional performance space. Take this opportunity to enjoy sushi and music from some of the best local musicians while supporting an Oakland institution that has hosted many of the jazz greats since it opened in 1972.
Rob Reich / Daniel Fabricant Jazz Duo :. Friday, May 7th and 28th, 6pm. Free of charge when you reserve dinner. Yoshi, 510 Embarcadero West, Oakland. 510-238-9200. yoshis.com
– Anne Schrager
Soloist Dan Hoyle records the movement for racial justice in “Talk to Your People”.
The soloist Dan Hoyle is a shapeshifter. When he undresses one character to attract another, he appears to be reorganizing his bone structure, in keeping with the way each speaker holds his forehead, jaw, and shoulders.
Like his other works, his latest piece is a compilation of monologues and other vignettes that focus on an urgent social issue, but this pandemic-era project continues to evolve as Hoyle collects more stories. He originally named the ongoing show “Alone Together Now,” but when his focus shifted to this year’s Racial Justice Movement, a friend asked him to “speak to your people,” a mandate that resonated enough to support the new one Title to become.
Long-time collaborator Charlie Varon helped develop the piece.
“Talk to your people”: Saturday, May 8th and 22nd, 5:00 pm. $ 20-50 suggested donation. bit.ly/talktoyourpeople
– Lily Janiak
Pianist Allegra Chapman Photo: Kevin Fryer
The outdoor piano marathon celebrates spring and the return of live music
Live music returns to our world in a show of conscious but unmistakable progress. And what better way to celebrate this evolution than with a marathon of live outdoor piano music by some of the Bay Area’s best artists?
“Hear | Together, ”a free program presented by a consortium of local organizations at the Crowden School in Berkeley, will feature both local figures and students at the school in a diverse program of old and new music.
Allegra Chapman will play music by Bach and Grazyna Bacewicz, and Elizabeth Dorman will perform works by Timo Andres, Scarlatti and Elisabeth Jacquet de la Guerre. Sarah Cahill will premiere a selection from a new work by Frederic Rzewski. And as a sealer, Robert Fleitz will find his way through Dylan Mattingly’s ambitious two-hour piano epic “Achilles Dreams of Ebbets Field”.
“Hear | Together “: Sunday, May 9th, 10 am-7pm. Free of charge with a reserved ticket. Evidence of vaccination or negative COVID test required. Crowden Music Center, Rose and Sacramento Sts., Berkeley. bit.ly/alternatingcurrents
– Joshua Kosman
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