6 Bay Area arts and entertainment events to check out this week, May 9-15
The Chronicle’s guide to notable arts and entertainment events in the Bay Area.
San Francisco Opera Guild Fashion Show Returns with Carolina Herrera Designer Wes Gordon
After a two-year pandemic hiatus, the San Francisco Opera Guild Fashion Show and Luncheon returns to Neiman Marcus in Union Square.
The event, hosted by McCalls, is set to feature a runway show of New York fashion house Carolina Herrera’s pre-fall and fall 2022 collections, including a special appearance from creative director Wes Gordon. Since taking over the acclaimed fashion brand in 2018, Gordon has brought youthful vitality and a bold sense of color and pattern to the collections while honoring the heritage of understated elegance and sophistication for which it is renowned.
The event is co-chaired by Roman Gronkowski and Lisa Zabelle and benefits the Guild’s educational programs which serve more than 64,000 students at more than 200 schools in the Bay Area and Northern California.
San Francisco Opera Guild Fashion Show with Carolina Herrera Creative Director Wes Gordon: 11 a.m. Wednesday, May 11. Tickets start at $500. Neiman Marcus, 150 Stockton Street, SF sfopera.com/Opera-Guild/
The term “singer-songwriter” is a fairly accurate description for Gabriel Kahane – he adopts it himself – but it doesn’t quite capture the complexity or stylistic range of his work. With their deep harmonic language and expandable formal structures, Kahane’s creations are inspired as much by the romantic and modern tradition of artistic song as by the world of pop.
The latest version of Kahane, “Magnificent Bird” exemplifies this variety in a suite of songs created during the pandemic lockdown, at the rate of one a day. They are evocative, edgy and full of relentless inventive energy, an urgent but watered-down document of the past two terrible years.
Now that Kahane is free to step outside his home, the songs on “Magnificent Bird” have gained new mobility, and perhaps some openness. He will perform these and other works during a one-night performance at Stanford Live.
Gabriel Kahane: 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, May 11. $15 – $64. Bing Concert Hall, 327 Lasuen Street, Stanford. 650-724-2464. live.stanford.edu
‘Abba: The Movie’ documents Swedish band’s triumphant Australian tour
Although the songs received radio airplay, Abba was never considered cool until 1994’s “Muriel’s Wedding” gave them a second wave of popularity.
In the 1970s people always heard that in other parts of the world Abba was as big as the Who or the Rolling Stones, but this 1977 film – a concert film combined with a light-hearted narrative about a DJ trying to land an interview – is concrete proof that, at least in Australia, the stories were true.
Directed by Lasse Hallström, who began his career directing videos for the band, “Abba: The Movie” was documented during the band’s triumphant Australian tour.
“Abba: the film”: 7 p.m. on Thursday May 12 and 4:15 p.m. on Saturday May 14. $10 to $15. Smith Rafael Film Center, 1118 4th St., San Rafael. rafaelfilm.cafilm.org
A fact check asks wider questions about journalistic truth in ‘Lifespan of a Fact’
The gritty, bare-bones glamor of journalism is showcased from the opening lines of “The Lifetime of a Fact,” now in a Capital Stage production.
Magazine intern Jim (Cole Winslow) just got what he thinks is a plum assignment: fact-checking a story by John (Dave Pierini), “one of the most important living writers in America”. Editor Emily (Jamie Jones) warns Jim that John has played fast and loose with facts before, and of course the first question comes up right away, because the story quotes a stat about strip clubs from Las Vegas which is not to be confused with its source.
But in Jeremy Karekan, David Murell and Gordon Farrell’s play, the conflict between writer and fact-checker – between emotional truth and evidence-backed facts – quickly evolves. The play is based on the 2012 book of the same name by John D’Agata and Jim Fingal, which consists of a draft of D’Agata’s story with finalcomments, edits, fact checks and questions from the margins.
“The lifespan of a fact”: 8 p.m. on Friday, May 13; 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. Saturday May 14; 2 p.m. on Sunday, May 15. Until June 5. $25 to $49. Capital Stage, 2215 J St., Sacramento. 916-995-5464. https://capstage.org
Pianist twins Clara and Marie Becker share the stage at SF
If there’s anything more intimate than a musical duo, it’s surely a duo made up of twin siblings. Clara and Marie Becker seem to illustrate this proposition (which is, admittedly, conjecture).
The German piano duo, who are set to make their first local appearance at the Old First Concerts on Friday May 13, grew up in a musical family and have shared the music scene from an early age. Their repertoire includes not only classical works from the 19th and 20th centuries, but also recent music commissioned expressly for their artistic talent.
For their recital in San Francisco, the sisters have concocted a program dedicated to the Romantic era, with music by Schubert, Mendelssohn, Dvorák and Smetana.
Clara and Marie Becker: 8 p.m. Friday, May 13. $25. Former First Presbyterian Church, 1751 Sacramento St., San Francisco. 415-474-1608. www.oldfirstconcerts.org
Native American stand-up is honored in Good Medicine at the Oakland Museum of California
Oakland comedian Jackie Keliiaa, explaining that she is of Hawaiian and Native American descent on her father’s side, and Portuguese and Italian on her mother’s side, likes to joke that such a past “kinda makes me Mexican kind”.
The surprise is funny on its own, but it’s Keliiaa’s delivery that really sells the punchline – a long pause after, staring blankly, her head tilted back and forth as if to say, “I’m going to give time to do the math. Wait – that’s right – it can’t be done.
In 2020, Keliiaa, a tireless proponent of Native American comedy, created an online series called Good Medicine featuring all Native comics; profits benefited tribes affected by the pandemic. The show made its in-person debut at Cal Shakes last year; now it performs at the Oakland Museum of California in partnership with the Sogorea Te’ Land Trust and the City of Oakland.
Artists Siena East, Kasey Nicholson and Dash Turner join Keliiaa.
Good Medicine: A Night of Live Native Stand-Up: 7:30 p.m. Saturday, May 14. $25. Oakland Museum of California, 1000 Oak St., Oakland. 510-318-8427. https://museumca.org
For more agenda selections and to browse our calendar of events, click here.