5 Bay Area arts and entertainment events to check out this week, May 23-29

Actress Natalie Portman in an image from ‘Closer’. Photo: Stephen Goldblatt / REUTERS

The Chronicle’s guide to notable arts and entertainment events in the Bay Area.

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“Closer” is an interesting film – which Julia Roberts almost knocked over

The film “Closer” is worth seeing for three reasons: two of them artistic, one academic.

The artistic reasons are Clive Owen and Natalie Portman who, under the direction of Mike Nichols, produced groundbreaking performances in a film about the intersecting sexual lives of two couples, adapted from the play by Patrick Marber. The academic reason is that, in Julia Roberts’ performance, we get an example of how one actor’s poor choices and lack of emotional generosity can almost bring an entire movie to the ground.

“Closer” is a four-cylinder engine in which three cylinders – Owen, Portman and Jude Law – are working at full capacity, and Julia Roberts is closed, unattended and inflexible in a role in which she is supposed to be the romantic fascination of two highly desirable men. The film is also a good example of how even a great director like Nichols can sometimes fall short of being a great star, either because the star is just doing what they want or because the star is so personally charming that the director lets her murder his film. . Fortunately, although Roberts tries to kill “Closer”, she doesn’t quite do it.

“Closer”: 6:30 p.m. on Monday, May 23. $16.75. Alamo Drafthouse. 2550 Mission Street, SF www.drafthouse.com/sf

—Mick LaSalle

Ingrid Rojas Contreras, author of ‘Fruit of the Drunken Tree,’ onstage at Pop-Up Magazine’s Fall 2021 issue at the Paramount Theater. Photo: Erin Brethauer / Pop-Up Magazine 2021

Relax with your favorite publication – in person at a theater – with Pop-Up Magazine

Imagine sitting with your favorite magazine: the deep dives, the pungent nuggets, the visuals that pop up and help tell stories, the imaginary relationships you have with writers, the feeling that the whole publication is a little gift to be opened .

Now imagine that when you open its pages, a scene unfolds. That’s the idea behind Pop-Up Magazine, whose Spring 2022 issue hits the Paramount Theater newsstand on Tuesday, May 24.

Call it an intellectual variety show or a public gathering for introverts, nerds and readers.

This season’s contributors include 2020 Pulitzer Prize finalist Chloe Cooper Jones on the staring phenomenon, author and illustrator Kristen Radtke championing the unsung virtues of gossip, and writer Brooke Jarvis on the many wonders of fireflies. Formats range from performance to film, visual art to game show.

Spring 2022 issue of Pop-Up Magazine: 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, May 24. $39 to $79. Paramount Theater, 2025 Broadway, Oakland. www.popupmagazine.com

—Lily Janiak

Whoopi Goldberg stars as Deloris Van Cartier, a nightclub singer who poses as Sister Mary Clarence to help out her old friends, the nuns at St. Catherine’s Convent, in “Sister Act 2: Back in the Habit.” Photo: STF/FOX

SF’s Sundown Cinema kicks off 2022 season with ‘Sister Act 2’ chant

Sundown Cinema is back this summer, kicking off a five-month series of movies screened outdoors on Friday nights at various Bay Area parks.

Screenings will begin Friday, May 27 with a song from “Sister Act 2: Back in the Habit” (1993) at Dolores Park in San Francisco. From there, programs will take place every three weeks, with stops at the Presidio (“The Rock,” June 17), Union Square (“Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home,” July 8), Marina Green (“ Harry Potter & the Deathly Hallows: Part II, July 29), India Basin Shoreline Park (“Encanto,” choir singing, August 19), Alamo Square (“Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark,” September 9 ), Crane Cove Park (“Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings”, September 30) and the Jerry Garcia Amphitheater (“Addams Family Values”, October 21).

Programs start at 6:30 p.m. and movies start at sunset. Don’t forget to bring a jacket.

Sundown Cinema: “Sister Act 2” Sing-Along: 6:30 p.m. Friday, May 27. Free. Dolores Park, 19th Street and Dolores Street, SF https://bit.ly/sundowncinema

—Mick LaSalle

Playwright Sarah Ruhl listens to a reading during a rehearsal of her new play ÒBecky Nurse of SalemÓ for the Berkeley Repertory Theater on Thursday, November 14, 2019 in Berkeley, California. Photo: Liz Hafalia/The Chronicle

Sarah Ruhl’s ‘Melancholy Play’ Promises Different Resonance in a Time of Loss

Melancholia differs from depression, notes playwright Sarah Ruhl. “Melancholy can be active, yearning, hopeful, nostalgic, sexy even,” she writes in the foreword to “Melancholy Play,” now in a Lunatico Theater production. It’s open, communicative. “Depression, on the other hand, is airtight, sealed, inert, hopeless, an emotion that is difficult to communicate to others.”

After more than two years of unfathomable loss – of life, health, time, unity, livelihood, promised experiences – this 2002 play by Ruhl (“Eurydice,” “Becky Nurse of Salem”) offers audiences a poetic and liberating way to reflect on their feelings in response to our unique times.

The show follows Tilly, a woman so melancholy that everyone she meets instantly falls in love with her. Ruhl’s language is characteristically lush: “I look into your eyes and feel like I can deposit my pain there — like a coin in a hole,” one line continues. Happy people, says another, “make noise when they smile.”

“Melancholy Play”: 8 p.m. from Friday to Saturday May 27-28; 3 p.m. Sunday, May 29. Until June 19. Suggested donation of $30 to $50. La Val Underground Theater, 1834 Euclid Ave., Berkeley. https://theatrelunatico.wordpress.com

—Lily Janiak

“Pilea in pot” by artist Klari Reis. Featured “Klari Reis – Life Forms” on Themes + Projects. Photo: Klari Reis

SF artist Klari Reis unveils ‘Life Forms’, the first exhibition in the city in a decade

“Life Forms” is San Francisco artist Klari Reis’ first show in the city in a decade, presented at Themes + Projects at the Minnesota Street Project. The exhibition features a series of botanically inspired works that demonstrate his technique of painting with epoxy resin (a form of liquid plastic), creating colorful explosions of shapes through his use of dyes and pigments in the material, which is then mounted on a form. for display. With their exuberant shapes and splashy quality, they are reminiscent not only of plants but also of life at the cellular level.

“The botanical works are the latest in my ever-evolving artistic exploration of the systems of biology and the beauty and design displayed in nature,” Reis said in an artist statement on the work. “My engagement with these systems has taken me from the microscopic functioning of cells, as far as the strange re-visioning of city maps as biological blueprints, to these new macro-paintings of nature triumphant, imposing its own order to the world.”

The idea for the series first came to Reis during nature walks with her family at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. The exhibition is curated by Maria Di Grande of MDG Art Advisory.

Klari Reis – “Life Forms”: 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday to Saturday. Until July 9. Free. Themes + Projects at Minnesota Street Project, 1275 Minnesota St., SF 415-732-0300. https://www.themesandprojects.com/

-Tony Bravo

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Jennifer R. Strohm