Where/When: Spring 2019
May 18, 2019 03:10PM
By Cale Finta
A curated guide to Bay Area events, performances, concerts, art shows, and much more.
Experience your favorite comediennes like never before. Laugh, eat, drink, sing, play, or just do your thing, at this three-day festival. Now in its third year, Comedy Central Presents Clusterfest returns to Civic Center Plaza and Bill Graham Auditorium for an unhinged weekend of fun. Amy Poehler & Friends, John Mulaney, Patton Oswalt, Issa Rae, Chris Redd Sinbad are among the headliners. June 21-23, San Francisco, clusterfest.com.
Oakland Museum of California explores California's LGBTQ+ history and culture in Queer California: Untold Stories. This major exhibition focuses on the diversity of queer identities and social activism through contemporary artwork and historical artifacts. Through August 11, museumca.org.
KISS MY AZTEC
This fresh, musical comedy by Berkeley Rep fuses salsa, Latin boogaloo, hip-hop, gospel, funk, and merengue, with an inspired mash-up of Elizabethan dialect and modern slang to celebrate, elevate, and commemorate Latin culture. May 28-July 14, berkeleyrep.org.
The Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award®-winning masterpiece, Rent, returns to the stage in a vibrant 20th anniversary production. With its inspiring message of joy and hope in the face of fear, this timeless celebration of friendship reminds us to measure our lives by the only thing that truly matters—love. June 14 – 23, Golden Gate Theatre, SF, shnsf.com.
WC FIRST WEDNESDAYS
On the first Wednesday of each month, Cypress Street comes to life with a street festival full of live music, dancing, food trucks, wine and beer, kids’ fun zone, games, and chef demos. June 5, Vybe Society; July 3, Mustache Harbor; August 7, Cut Loose; September 4th, The Michael Beck Band; 5:30pm-8:30pm, walnutcreekdowntown.com.
BAMPFA ART: ECLECTIC MINIMALISM
The UC Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive (BAMPFA) presents a new abstract art exhibition, Looking: The Art of Frederick Hammersley, featuring the abstract artist’s works in photography, painting, printmaking, drawing, sculpture, and early computer art. Through June 23, bampfa.org. (Image: Frederick Hammersley, 1989)
From Tony Award–winning director Frank Galati comes the satire Rhinoceros, an entertaining comedy about power, conformism and mass culture. May 29–June 23, Geary Theatre, SF, ACT-sf.org.
PICNIC IN THE PARK
San Francisco’s weekly romp, Presidio Picnic, is a good way to spend a Sunday afternoon—Off the Grid food trucks, music, lawn games, yoga, and more. Main Parade Ground, The Presidio, SF, offthegrid.com.
Tap your feet to the music in Center Rep’s Woody Sez: The Life & Music of Woody Guthrie. With songs like “This Land is Your Land,” Guthrie, America's greatest troubadour, transformed folk music into a vehicle for social protest. May 17-June 23, WC, lesherartscenter.org.
This pet-friendly, open-air market features artisan vendors, children’s activities, live entertainment, and lots of good food. True to its name, Second Saturday is held every month on the waterfront. 11am-5pm, Jack London Square, Oakland, visitoakland.com.
STRUGGLE FOR FREEDOM
Thirty years after Tiananmen, fourteen contemporary artists and art collectives reflect on the complexity and responsibility of remembering moments of global, cultural, and political upheaval in Present Tense 2019: Task of Remembrance. Through December 21, Chinese Culture Center (CCC), SF, cccsf.us.
MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM
Cal Shakes opens its theatrical season with a classic Shakespeare tale of love, royalty, fairies and magic. May 22-June 9, Bruns Theatre, Orinda, calshakes.org.
Five-time Grammy Award-nominee Michael Feinstein returns to Feinstein’s at the Nikko with “It Might as Well Be Spring” on May 9-12. Other artists appearing at Nikko’s this spring include Tom Reardon (May 16-17), Lindsay Mendez (May 18-19), and Judy Carmichael (May 31- June 1). feinsteinsatthenikko.com.
Carole King penned the soundtrack of a generation, including “I Feel the Earth Move,” and “You’ve Got a Friend.” The musical, Beautiful, that celebrates this talented artist returns to San Francisco for another stunning run. May 28 – June 9, Golden Gate Theatre, shnsf.com.
Patricia Pitpitan stars in the local musical, Women On The Verge Of A Nervous Breakdown, a tale of women in 1980’s Madrid whose relationships with men lead to a tumultuous 48 hours of passion and confusion paired with an irresistible Spanish beat. May 30-June 22, Lafayette, townhalltheatre.com.
In honor of the 150th anniversary of the Transcontinental Railroad, Oakland Museum of CA presents Pushing West: The Photography of Andrew J. Russell, a collection of prints documenting the social consequences of technological history by one of the 19th century’s epic photographers. Through September 1, museumca.org.
In a riveting performance by an international cast, including actors from refugee backgrounds, The Jungle tells the story of a self-governing society that emerged as Europe’s largest unofficial refugee camp in Calais, France. Through May 19, Curran Theatre, San Francisco, sfcurran.com
Claude Monet’s beloved water lily paintings are on display at Monet: The Late Years, a rare look at his radical late career as a forebear of modernism. Through May 27, San Francisco, deyoungmuseum.com
From acclaimed playwright Kate Hamill comes Vanity Fair, a rollicking new stage adaptation of William Makepeace Thackeray’s classic 19th-century novel that pops with 21st-century spirit. Ambitious Becky Sharp may not have been born with wealth or status, but she’s determined to attain both—at any cost. Through May 12, Strand Theater, SF, ACT-sf.org.
Based on the novel by Bret Easton Ellis, the play tells the story of Patrick Bateman, a Wall Street banker with impeccable taste and unquenchable desires. With its electric score, this musical satire paints a picture of how consumerism and misogynistic attitudes took over the 80’s corporate world. May 17-June 8, San Francisco, rayoflighttheatre.com.