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Thom Yorke to perform rare solo set in Oakland

Tue, 12 Dec 2017 20:07:55 UT

Even Radiohead’s sulky frontman Thom Yorke needs to cut loose on occasion. The singer is playing just a handful of live dates in support of a reissue of his 2014 solo album “Tomorrow’s Modern Boxes” (hey, any excuse to play live is a good one), including one at the Fox Theater in Oakland on Thursday, Dec. 14. Unlike his previous solo sets that featured a full live band, these shows — which included a stop in Los Angeles earlier this week — find Yorke backed by Radiohead producer Nigel Godrich and audiovisual artist Tarik Barri. — Aidin Vaziri Thom Yorke: 10 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 14. $49.50.

With Magic’s Virgin Play Fest, audiences look inside the incubator

Tue, 12 Dec 2017 20:03:59 UT

You don’t get to be a renowned producer of new plays and visionary artists, as Magic Theatre is, by cherry-picking scripts that magically emerge, fully formed, straight from the playwright’s mind. World premieres — which the Magic has a proud legacy of championing — are often the product of lengthy incubation periods, years of back-and-forth. With its Martha Heasley Cox Virgin Play Festival, the 50-year-old theater company lets audiences in on that creative process. This week includes readings of Kate Tarker’s “Laura and the Sea” (8 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 14), about trying to grieve in a cold, corporate setting, as well as L. Feldman’s “Another Kind of Silence” (2:30 p.m. Sunday, Dec.

The holidays two ways with Smuin’s ‘The Christmas Ballet’

Tue, 12 Dec 2017 19:37:14 UT

Smuin Contemporary American Ballet’s “The Christmas Ballet” aims to satisfy all flavors of holiday cravings. The show is split into two acts, opening with snowy-clad dancers performing traditional seasonal favorites like Michael Smuin’s “Bach Magnificat” and “Ave Maria.” Act 2, “Cool Christmas,” comes with a costume change, dancers now wearing cinnamon reds to signal the arrival of more contemporary numbers like “Santa Baby” and “Droopy Little Christmas Tree.” The lineup for this year’s show includes a premiere from Amy Seiwert set to Vivaldi’s jubilant “Christmas Concerto.

Handelian splendor from Philharmonia Baroque

Tue, 12 Dec 2017 19:25:16 UT

If ever there was a seemingly inexhaustible cornucopia in the musical repertoire, it’s the oratorios of Handel. They number more than two dozen, each one a fount of endless melody and stirring vocal display. Nicholas McGegan and the Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra have been making their way through this body of music for decades, and each new installment seems more strikingly revelatory than the last. This year’s offering, “Joseph and His Brethren,” traces the tale of fraternal strife and reconciliation from the book of Genesis. The starry cast includes soprano Sherezade Panthaki and tenor Nicholas Phan, along with the Philharmonia Chorale.

Sad trio bloom to life in 42nd Street Moon’s ‘The Secret Garden’

Tue, 12 Dec 2017 19:21:36 UT

The Tony Award-winning musical “The Secret Garden,” now a 42nd Street Moon production, centers on characters who are all in some way stunted. There’s Archibald Craven (Brian Watson), a hunchback and widower haunted by the ghost of his dead wife (Sharon Rietkerk). There’s his son Colin (Tyler Groshong), whom Archibald quarantines to bed, for fear that his son might, too, become a hunchback. And there’s his niece Mary (Katie Maupin), newly orphaned from a cholera outbreak and newly moved to her uncle’s sad, cold and spooky home. But things don’t stay dark for long.

Doc about drag company Les Ballets Trockadero goes beyond the glitter

Tue, 12 Dec 2017 18:24:16 UT

Ballerinas are not known for their rebelliousness, but the Trocks are no ordinary ballerinas. Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo, as they’re formally known, are classically trained male dancers who perform in drag and lovingly send up ballet icons from “Don Quixote” to Balanchine. The documentary “Rebels on Pointe” goes backstage and beyond the false eyelashes (lots and lots of eyelashes) to reveal the gentlemen inside the divas and authenticate their artistry. Not that they need legitimizing; these rebels have long since stormed the establishment. What started as a lark in downtown New York in 1974, in the wake of the Stonewall riots, is now a highly respected company that’s adored the world over.

Berkeley Rep’s Temptations musical heads for DC, Broadway

Tue, 12 Dec 2017 18:20:57 UT

Berkeley Repertory Theatre’s production of “Ain’t Too Proud — The Life and Times of the Temptations” will transfer to Washington, D.C.’s Kennedy Center June 19 to July 22 as part of a pre-Broadway tryout, the Berkeley company announced Tuesday, Dec. 12. With direction by Tony winner Des McAnuff (“Jersey Boys”), a book by Dominique Morisseau and music from the Temptations’ hits as well as other songs from Motown catalogue, the show follows the trailblazing quintet from its humble beginnings on Detroit street corners through workhorse years in the well-oiled machine that was Motown Records.

‘Star Wars: The Last Jedi’ gets a tour de force performance from Mark Hamill

Tue, 12 Dec 2017 18:14:27 UT

“Star Wars: The Last Jedi” brings something new to the “Star Wars” franchise: an exceptional performance. All “Star Wars” movies end up being remembered, and this one is going to be remembered for Mark Hamill. Here’s an actor who has spent a long time living with Luke Skywalker, being the guy who was in those movies, getting older, getting used to it, rebelling against it, carving out a place inside his head where he can have his own identity. And all of those 40 years of coming to terms with being Luke find their way into this performance. The movie begins maybe five or 10 minutes after “The Force Awakens” ended.

Broadway-bound Go-Go’s musical to premiere in SF

Tue, 12 Dec 2017 18:00:00 UT

The Go-Go’s are getting the Broadway treatment. Their extensive music catalog will form the basis for a new musical called “Head Over Heels,” which is set to premiere in San Francisco at the Curran Theatre in April for a limited run before heading to New York City. “Head Over Heels,” which premiered at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival last year, has a lot going for it, including two Tony Award winners at the helm. Michael Mayer (“Hedwig and the Angry Inch,” “American Idiot”) will be directing a book by Jeff Whitty (“Avenue Q”). The musical will open here on April 24 and run through May 20.

Documentary about actor Dennis Hopper a portrait of wasted talent

Tue, 12 Dec 2017 17:56:45 UT

“Along for the Ride,” a documentary about actor-writer-director Dennis Hopper, is an intermittently interesting footnote to the cultural history of America in the late 1960s and early ’70s, specifically the chapter on Hollywood going off the rails. Hopper was a prototype of the era’s misunderstood, and sometime misguided, rebels — his fondness for thumbing his nose at the establishment, and for many forms of excess, led eventually to personal and professional crack-ups. After the release and financial success of “Easy Rider” in 1969, Hopper was the king of movieland, which went into overdrive trying to seduce that film’s countercultural audience.

Dear Abby: Man’s computer illiteracy puts heavy burden on wife

Tue, 12 Dec 2017 08:01:00 UT

Dear Abby: My husband and I have been together for 40 years. Like most people, we’ve had our good times and bad, but we’ve both been committed to the marriage, and so we’ve made it work. Now I’m faced with a problem for which I see no solution. My husband refuses to learn to use a computer. He knows nothing about computers, not even how to turn one on! As you know, computers are now key to even the most fundamental tasks. That means, as the only computer user in the house, all tasks are my responsibility.

Horoscope for Tuesday, 12/12/17 by Christopher Renstrom

Tue, 12 Dec 2017 06:01:00 UT

ARIES. (March 20 - April 18): You finally learn why matters fell apart. It's a good thing you didn't know then what you know now or things wouldn't have turned out so well.

Catch more than 40 local playwrights in a flash

Tue, 12 Dec 2017 04:08:18 UT

You’ve probably heard by now that the Bay Area is one of the country’s most dynamic and prolific metropolitan areas for the creation of new plays. But if you haven’t yet climbed aboard that train, Playwrights Foundation’s “FlashPlays!” offers one of the most efficient ways to introduce yourself to a swath of the region’s playwrights. More than 40 local writers contribute “micro plays” (shorts lasting approximately 1 minute each) that together offer a multifaceted look at San Francisco in 2017.

Symphony Silicon Valley, Ballet Stars of Moscow bring ‘The Nutcracker’ to the South Bay

Tue, 12 Dec 2017 03:39:50 UT

“The Nutcracker” has it all: a child with her head full of dreams, a villain at the helm of a dizzying mouse army, and a hostess extraordinaire in the Sugar Plum Fairy, serving sweets from every corner of the globe. This month, Symphony Silicon Valley performs its rendition of Tchaikovsky’s festive, enduring classic, as the full orchestra, led by veteran conductor George Daugherty, joins forces with the Ballet Stars of Moscow. Under the guidance of Artistic Director Mikhail Bessmertov, Ballet Stars of Moscow includes an impressive retinue of principal and leading dancers from Moscow’s preeminent ballet companies.

‘The Florida Project’ wins top prize from S.F. Film Critics Circle

Tue, 12 Dec 2017 02:38:00 UT

Indie drama “The Florida Project” was the big winner at this year’s San Francisco Film Critics Circle awards meeting; the story of poverty-stricken families struggling near a Disney resort received best picture of the year. Andy Serkis won the best actor award for his motion capture performance in “War for the Planet of the Apes,” while Margot Robbie won best actress for her comic/dramatic performance in “I, Tonya.” Laurie Metcalf won best supporting actress for “Lady Bird,” and Willem Dafoe won best supporting actor for “The Florida Project.” Guillermo del Toro won best director for “The Shape of Water.