Spring into arts - Page 4

Guardian writers select the season's most-anticipated performances, exhibits, film events, and more

CubaCaribe Festival's Danza del Caribe

San Francisco's spring-summer film fest season includes heavy-hitters like the San Francisco International Film Festival (April 5-May 29; www.sffs.org); the San Francisco International LGBT Film Festival (June 20-30, www.frameline.org); the San Francisco Silent Film Festival (July 18-21; www.silentfilm.org); and the San Francisco Jewish Film Festival (July 25-Aug. 12; www.sfjff.org).

Elsewhere, the Pacific Film Archive unspools "The Spanish Mirth: The Comedic Films of Luis García Berlanga" (March 29-April 17; bampfa.berkeley.edu); the Vortex Room's latest weekly double-feature extravaganza, "Assault on Vortex 13," chock full o' 1970s and '80s action flicks, kicks off April 4 (Facebook: The Vortex Room); the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts scores with "Thai Dreams: The Films of Pen-ek Ratanaruang," with an in-person visit from the groundbreaking artist (April 4-21; www.ybca.org); cult-movie series Thrillville celebrates its 16th anniversary with an April 14 screening of This Island Earth (www.thenewparkway.com); and the best documentary about movie obsession ever, Room 237, opens April 19 at the Roxie (www.roxie.com).

Plus! Contribute at least $40 to the San Francisco Cinematheque's Kickstarter campaign in support of the group's experimental and avant-garde Crossroads Film Festival (April 5-7; www.sfcinematheque.org), and get a tote bag featuring naughty 'n' nice artwork by the late, great George Kuchar — guaranteed to never go out of style. (Cheryl Eddy)


Tinsel Tarts in a Hot Coma (March 28-June 1, Hypnodrome, SF) Making good on a promising trend that began gloriously in 2009 with smash hit Pearls over Shanghai, Thrillpeddlers continues its Theatre of the Ridiculous Revival series with more musical-comedy mayhem from the Cockettes, San Francisco's own tripping glitter-bearded drag queens of legend. With the full-length restored version of 1971's Tinsel Tarts in a Hot Coma, the company really pulls out the stops — while stuffing in 14 new songs and roping in, as collaborators and cast members, three original Cockettes: Scrumbly Koldewyn, Rumi Missabu, and "Sweet Pam" Tent. www.thrillpeddlers.com

The Bereaved (April 4-27, Thick House, SF) For several years now my friend John and I have been simultaneously enjoying Thomas Bradshaw's devilishly smart plays (Purity; Dawn; Strom Thurmond Is Not a Racist; etc.) and wondering when someone in the Bay Area would get around to mounting one. In a West Coast premiere, Crowded Fire essays Bradshaw's scathingly all-American comedy about a family of fevered New York go-getters — gleefully "inappropriate" enough in its wanton send-up of what passes for normal life to be considered a refreshing provocation amid the usual theater fare. www.crowdedfire.org

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