7 Bay Area arts and entertainment events to check out this week, April 18-24
The Chronicle’s guide to notable arts and entertainment events in the Bay Area.
Comedy and tragedy are a double-edged sword in Killing My Lobster’s ‘Good Grief’
Perhaps you are appalled that the world can just happily go on, not caring about all the people, all the time, all the memories the pandemic has taken away from us. Maybe you just don’t agree right now.
Killing My Lobster feels your pain. If existential desperation doesn’t sound like water to the sketch mill, then “Good Grief,” which performs at PianoFight in San Francisco after a run at the society outpost in Oakland, shows that the laughter and tears can be equally valid responses to the same tragedies, both mundane and global.
“Small losses pile up,” says the show’s opening number, written by Allison Page, in a sentiment that had to be sung about if there was one. In Elaine Gavin’s “Ashes to Ashes” skit, a father records a video will that is so relevant you might begin to wonder if all comedy, in a psychological way, is delivered on the brink of death.
Siyu Song conducts.
“Good Grief”: 8 p.m. from Thursday to Saturday April 21-23. Until April 30. $16 – $42.50. PianoFight, 144 Taylor Street, SF www.killingmylobster.com
‘What’s up doc?’ brings laughs (and an epic chase) to Total SF Movie Night
“What’s up doc?” co-stars with Barbra Streisand and was directed by Peter Bogdanovich at the height of its popularity. But the real star is San Francisco, where almost the entire 1972 film was filmed.
The romantic comedy about two hapless protagonists caught in the middle of a baggage change mix-up involving a jewelry heist and a government conspiracy culminates in the second-best chase through San Francisco. (Respect to the creators of “Bullitt.”) It includes a trip through the Richmond District and Chinatown and down the steps to Alta Plaza Park, where you can still see the damage caused by filming without a permit.
“What’s up doc?” is the 12th Total SF Movie Night, play at the Balboa Theater in the Richmond district of San Francisco at 7 p.m. on Thursday, April 21 – a return to the Balboa after several virtual movie nights. There will be trivia, prizes, live music and an appearance by Total SF mascot Norton the It’s It. (The Balboa sells It’s Its and local beers.) Tickets at balboamovies.com.
“What’s up doc?”; 7 p.m. on Thursday, April 21. $12.50 to $15. Balboa Theater, 3630 Balboa St., SF Tickets: www.balbomovies.com
— Staff of the Chronicle
‘Happening’, a Cesar-winning French abortion drama set in the 1960s, screens at BAMPFA
“Happening” was a great critical success in France, Anamaria Vartolomei winning the well-deserved César for the most promising actress, a prize most often the harbinger of a great career.
Based on the autobiographical novel by Annie Ernaux (“The Other”, “Simple Passion”), it is the story of a studious and enterprising young woman who learns that she is pregnant and decides to have an abortion. The obstacle ? We are in the 1960s and abortion is illegal. Thus, the film becomes the harrowing story of a woman trying to get an illegal abortion that won’t kill her.
The film is being shown as part of the San Francisco International Film Festival, and director and co-writer Audrey Diwan will appear and answer questions from the audience.
“Happening”: 7 p.m. on Friday, April 22. $18. Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive, 2155 Center St., Berkeley. www.bampfa.org
Nicholas McGegan will conduct the Oakland Symphony in the music of Mendelssohn
Mendelssohn’s music for “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” is one of classical music’s great creative puzzle acts. After composing the overture at age 17 as a stand-alone orchestral work, Mendelssohn returned to it 17 years later and created a suite of incidental pieces to accompany it. They fit perfectly.
This suite, with spoken narration by Ellen Geer, is the centerpiece of an upcoming Oakland Symphony concert program led by guest conductor Nicholas McGegan. Libby Larsen’s orchestral work “Evening in the Palace of Reason” — an evocation of life at the court of the Enlightenment of Frederick the Great — is also on the bill, as well as Mozart’s Violin Concerto No. soloist Natasha Makhijani.
Oakland Symphony: 8 p.m. Friday, April 22. $25 to $90. Paramount Theater, 2025 Broadway, Oakland. 510-444-0801. www.oaklandsymphony.org
Tom Cruise and Jamie Foxx star in Michael Mann’s ‘Collateral’
“Collateral” is an outstanding thriller from the director Michael Mann, starring Jamie Foxx as a taxi driver who picks up a well-dressed man who, at first glance, might assume to be a young executive. But no, he’s a hitman, played by Tom Cruise, and what he wants from the taxi driver is a ride to a series of locations where he plans to kill various targets.
Once the taxi driver figures out what’s going on, it’s not like he has a choice, even though he knows that as the only witness to a series of crimes, his life expectancy comes to be reduced by several decades.
“Collateral” is a series of intense scenes, underlined by strong performances. The jazz club interlude, with a notable bend from Barry Shabaka Henley, is deservedly famous.
“Guarantee”: 3:00 p.m. Friday, April 22. $13.50. Alamo Drafthouse. 2550 Mission Street, San Francisco. www.drafthouse.com/sf
Palo Alto players’ ‘Allegiance’ asks what has changed for Japanese Americans since WWII
Eighty years after President Franklin Roosevelt signed Executive Order 9066, which paved the way for the internment of Japanese Americans during World War II, anti-Asian hatred remains alive and well, manifesting in verbal and physical attacks and a generalized culture of fear.
This backdrop makes Jay Kuo, Marc Acito and Lorenzo Thione’s musical “Allegiance,” now in a Palo Alto Players production, all the more urgent. The show is inspired by the life of “Star Trek” actor George Takei – specifically the sense of helplessness his childhood felt in his father while his family was incarcerated in California and Arkansas.
Two Palo Alto Players cast members, Ron Munekawa and Brandon Gruber, have relatives who were institutionalized. Vinh G. Nguyen conducts.
“Allégiance”: 8 p.m. Friday-Saturday April 22-23; 2 p.m. on Sunday, April 24. Until May 8. $10 to $57. Lucie Stern Theater, 1305 Middlefield Road, Palo Alto. 650-329-0891. https://paplayers.org
FashionABLE panel at Art Market SF discusses neurodiversity in clothing design
Art Market San Francisco – now in its 10th edition and running Thursday-Sunday April 21-24 – brings together modern and contemporary galleries from around the world for a four-day fair showcasing the best of what’s new and exciting. news in the art world.
San Francisco studio and art gallery Creativity Explored is a special partner at this year’s event, hosting a “Mode Brut” fashion exhibit in the VIP Lounge and hosting a panel on accessibility in clothing design. Chronicle columnist Tony Bravo is set to moderate the discussion, titled FashionABLE, with Laura L. Camerlengo, associate curator of costumes and textiles at San Francisco Fine Arts Museums, Josefin Lundahl, curator of Creativity Explored, Ben Ospital, co-owner of Modern Appealing Clothing boutique, Tokyo Gamine Fashion. designer Yuka Uehara and artist Creativity Explored Joseph Omolayole.
The event will highlight the work Creativity Explored and other organizations have done to expand neurodiversity in fashion and ask questions about how clothing design can be reinvented to be more inclusive of different types of artists. textiles, as well as on how to create clothing for a more diverse clientele.
Trending: 1:00 p.m. on Sunday, April 24. $25 for day pass, $50 for fair pass. Fort Mason Center Festival Pavilion, 2 Marina Blvd. SF https://artmarketsf.com/
— Staff of the Chronicle
For more agenda selections and to browse our calendar of events, click here.