7 Bay Area arts and entertainment events to check out this week, October 11-17

A scene from “Louis’s Shoes”, a French animated short. Photo: Courtesy of Yummy Films

The guide to chronicling notable arts and entertainment events in the Bay Area.

New French short films, now streaming, highlight cinematic innovations and novelties

In the United States, shorts are rarely seen. They appear at film festivals, but these screenings are mainly attended by other directors of short films. But in France, audiences can see short films on television – typically they fill a two-hour time slot when a feature film is shorter. Perhaps as a result, France has a thriving shorts industry.

They fall into two categories. There are animated short films – the French are considered to be at the forefront of animation as an art, innovating technologically and in its subject matter. And then there are the live-action short films, where sometimes major stars appear and where you can also discover the major stars of the near future.

The Smith Rafael Film Center offers a program of French short films. It can be downloaded from their website as a streaming option for $ 7 (for members) $ 12 (for general public).

New French Short Films 2021: Presented by Smith Rafael Film Center. Available to view for 48 hours after purchase. $ 7 for FCI members; $ 12 for the general public. bit.ly/newfrenchshorts2021

– Mick LaSalle

Director John R. Lewis at the rehearsal for “Somewhere”, a co-production of the Pear Theater and the Perspective Theater Company in Mountain View, Calif. On Tuesday, September 21. Photo: Scott Strazzante / The Chronicle

Pear Theater celebrates 20 years with ingenious duets of beloveds and new

Mountain View’s Pear Theater has come up with an ambitious plan to celebrate its 20th anniversary. A season of “Pear Pairings” would correspond to new productions with favorites from the past, with both pieces often featured in the repertoire.

The first repertoire set is co-produced with Perspective Theater Company (formerly known as the Arabian Shakespeare Festival). “Somewhere” by Marisela Treviño Orta follows an entomologist and her brother tracking down the last monarch butterflies in a post-apocalyptic world devastated by climate change. From its opening scene, the West Coast premiere exhibits unusual art and lyricism, finding meaning in a final meal set up in a stranded ghost ship, in the tiny acre of land on which insects who do not completely transform spend their entire lives. John R. Lewis directs.

New art director Sinjin Jones has cleverly paired the play with Shakespeare’s “The Tempest” which, while not explicitly an end-of-the-world play, certainly takes place at the end of the world, on a desert island where shipwrecked humans must forge, alongside fairies and monsters, a new way of life. Melinda Marks is directing.

Somewhere ”: 7:30 pm Thursday, October 14; 8 p.m. Friday, October 15; 2 p.m. Saturday October 16; “The Storm”: 8 pm, Saturday October 16; 2 p.m. Sunday, October 17. »In the repertoire until October 24. $ 20- $ 42. Pear Theater, 1110 La Avenida Street, mountain view. 650-254-1148. www.thepear.org

– Lily Janiak

Kenny Scott (front) with Soren Santos (back left) and Radhika Rao in “The Claim” by Shotgun Players. Photo: Robbie Sweeny / Shotgun Players

Asylum interview turns into double vaudeville act in Shotgun’s “The Claim”

Misunderstandings arise early and quickly in the asylum interview room of “The Claim”. Congolese refugee Serge (Kenny Scott) and his interviewer each think “comfortable” means something different. From there, they speak to each other like two nervous soliloquies whose parallel streams of consciousness only occasionally intersect.

While the possibility of justice, truth, and compassion seems far removed from the show’s front lines, that sense of threat is only growing. Still later, the interview room begins to sound like the comic double act of a vaudeville performance. You half-expect the two interviewers, played by Radhika Rao and Soren Santos, to ask, “Who’s first? “

Shotgun Players originally planned Tim Cowbury’s play, which is set in the UK, for its 2020 season. Now the three-handers marks the first in-person show in their Bridge series, which aims to bridge the gap between shows. fully digital and those fully in person. Two performances of “The Claim” are scheduled to be broadcast live.

Rebecca Novick directs.

“The Claim”: 8 p.m. Thursday-Saturday, October 14-16; 5 p.m., Sunday, October 17. Until October 30. $ 8 to $ 40. Ashby Scene, 1901 Ashby Avenue, Berkeley. 510-841-6500. https://shotgunplayers.org

– Lily Janiak

Violinist Shunske Sato Photo: Courtesy of Shunske Sato

Philharmonia leaves the baroque era to play Robert Schumann

The Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra & Chorale still has room in its calendar for the 18th century repertoire from which it takes its name. But the group has increasingly broadened its vision, from contemporary music (the wonderful August premiere of “The No One’s Rose”) to early Romantic Era music.

In the latter vein, Richard Egarr began his mandate as musical director late with a program largely devoted to the works of Robert Schumann. The composer’s rarely heard “Requiem” was meant to be the centerpiece of the program, but the disappointment of this cancellation should be assuaged by the inclusion of the delightful Second Symphony, and Shunske Sato is the scheduled soloist for the Violin Concerto.

A little bit of Bach completes the program for the sake of the good old days.

Philharmonia Baroque orchestra and choir: 8 p.m., Thursday, October 14. $ 32 to $ 130. Herbst Theater, 401 Van Ness Ave., SF 7:30 p.m. Friday, October 15. Bing Concert Hall, Stanford. 8 p.m. Saturday October 16 4 p.m. Sunday October 17. First Congregational Church, 2345 Channing Way, Berkeley. 415-295-1900. www.philharmonia.org

– Joshua Kosman

Poet, activist and San Francisco native Tongo Eisen-Martin walks through Balmy Alley in the southern Mission District where he grew up in San Francisco, Calif. On Friday, July 10, 2020. Photo: Jessica Christian / The Chronicle

SF Poet Laureate Tongo Eisen-Martin presents a new take on programming at the Magic Theater

The Magic Theater’s first in-person indoor event since the start of the pandemic is not a silent naturalistic game. “Black Fire: A Live Recording Event” – starring San Francisco and San Francisco poet laureate Tongo Eisen-Martin – is more of a multi-hyphenated festive performance fusing poetry, music (with percussion by Ahkeel Mestayer) and video.

Magic presents the play as the kick-off of two new series, its Poetry program and its New Performances program, which promise to put theater in dialogue with other modes of storytelling.

The event offers a tantalizing glimpse into the future of the company under the leadership of the new artistic director Sean San José. He assumed his new role in June after performing on the Magic stage for decades, demonstrating artistry of the highest caliber, a passion for the unique poetry that is possible in performing arts, and a generosity without limits as a collaborator.

“We wanted to start with an event that was emblematic of our mission to center people of color in all ways and make Magic a home for more people,” San José said in a statement.

“Black Fire: A Live Recording Event”: 7 p.m. Friday, October 15. Suggested donation of $ 25. Magic Theater, Fort Mason, 2 Marina Blvd., Building D, 3rd Floor, SF 415-441-8822. www.magictheatre.org

– Lily Janiak

Judy Chicago’s “Immolation” fireworks show from the “Women and Smoke” series (1972) was staged in the California desert. Photo: Through the Flower Archives / © Judy Chicago / ARS

Judy Chicago to present the colorful installation “Forever de Young” in front of the SF Museum

As part of the popular exhibition “Judy Chicago: a retrospective”, the de Young Museum will host a live screening of the artist’s multi-colored smoke installation, titled “Forever de Young”.

The performance is one of Chicago’s “Atmospheres” works, site-specific exhibitions that she relaunched in 2012 after a hiatus of almost 30 years. The performance will take place on a 27-foot-high scaffolding directly in front of the de Young Museum: brightly colored media will then mix with the air and be carefully choreographed in different shapes and designs, intervening in a soft and ephemeral way with the Landscape. from Golden Gate Park.

“Atmospheres” was a series of performances, in the late 1960s and early 1970s in California, which sought to temporarily interact with existing space to create delicate, intangible forms. In 1974, Chicago used fireworks and flares to create a butterfly shape on Oakland’s Lake Merritt. Although the artist documented the events in photographs and pictures (she and the women who helped create these works were often nude during performances), they have remained a lesser-known part of her canon until recently.

This free public performance is a must-see event for Chicago fans and a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see the museum’s facade and grounds bathed in Technicolor vapor.

“Judy Chicago: Forever de Young”: 5 pm Saturday, October 16. Free. De Young Museum. Participants must wear face coverings during the performance. 50 Hagiwara Tea Garden Drive, SF 415-750-3600. deyoung.famsf.org

– Tony Bravo

The Takács Quartet Photo: Amanda Tipton

The Takács Quartet brings the repertoire to life with the music of Coleridge-Taylor

The Takács Quartet has built its reputation on powerful interpretations of classical works of string quartet literature – the quartets of Bartók especially, but also those of Haydn, Beethoven and Brahms. But the ensemble also has other strings to its bow.

For its live return to Cal Performances, the quartet’s program centers on the “Five Fantasy Pieces” by black English composer Samuel Coleridge-Taylor – coincidentally, the same 1896 work performed earlier this month by the Catalyst Quartet. More familiar Haydn and Beethoven dishes complete the program.

Takács Quartet: Sunday, October 17 at 3 p.m. $ 74 to $ 98. Zellerbach Hall, University of Berkeley. 510-642-9988. www.calperformances.org

For more calendar choices and to browse our calendar of events, click here.

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Jennifer R. Strohm

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