Stage

The Performant: They Might be Giants

|
()

Stagewerx and SF Olympians Festival go big

It’s been a turbulent year for independent theatre and its venues. In truth, every year is. But there have been some notable successes too. Boxcar Theatre’s addition of a new studio space on Hyde Street. Bindlestiff Theatre’s move into a new permanent space. Pianofight’s acquisition of the old Original Joe’s in order to create a hybrid performance space-kitchen-bar right on the cutting edge of the downtown theatre district. 

Read more »

The Performant: Weekend in Wonderland

|
()

ALICE and Folsom Street Fair fall down different holes

From North Beach to South of Market, clowning to carousing, the weekend offered up a veritable smorgasbord of sensory overload and playful edge. First off, a debut performance of a quirky bit of deconstruction in new kid venue on the North Beach block, The Emerald Tablet. Written and conceptualized by two spirited performers (Edna Miroslava Barrón and Karen Anne Light), “ALICE: Down the Rwong Wrabbit Whole” offered a welcome introduction to both the space and the still-fresh faces of the presenting duo.

Read more »

Time and space pilot

Electro-composer Amon Tobin returns from the future with ISAM -- and an alien, next-level stage show

|
()

MUSIC Pioneering electronic composer Pierre Schaeffer used a specific word to describe his work, which took 'common' noises and manipulated them into music — acousmatic: "referring to sounds that one hears without seeing the causes behind it."Read more »

The Performant: The mundane sublime

|
()

Park(ing) and Fold {Live} were far from humdrum

It’s the little things. The things we do over and over again—the automatic, the routine, the de rigueur, the rote—that we need to find ways to celebrate above all, because every moment past could be a moment wasted, or a moment redeemed. But as with conceptual artist Kate Pocrass’ long-running Mundane Journeys project, sometimes the moment needs to be curated in order to be illuminated. That principle got some play over the past weekend with Park(ing) Day and Surabhi Suraf’s “Fold {Live}” installation, two very different projects which nonetheless served to turn the most banal of routines into conscious acts.

Read more »

The Performant: Dumpster Dive

|
()

“Elite Waste” dumpster home makes its San Francisco Fringe Festival debut

There aren’t usually too many compelling reasons to hang out on the first block of Eddy Street, unless the exquisite aroma of urine, pigeon shit, corner store fried chicken, and tour bus exhaust appeals. But during the San Francisco Fringe Festival, now in its 20th year, there’s always a bit of a horde milling around the entrance of the EXIT Theatre-plex: patrons waiting to see shows, performers handing out postcards to the undecided or hauling heavy trunks of props up the sidewalk. 

This year the crowds have been larger than ever, thanks to the public unveiling of a unique, experiential performance-space: a customized luxury living dumpster home parked outside the front door of the theatre for all to enjoy. Read more »

The Performant New York Edition: Too Much Rain Makes the Baby Go Soggy

|
()

Neo-Futurists and “Ostalgia” weather the storm

No performance in New York was quite as impactful as the front row seats we had for Hurricane Irene, as subdued as she was in comparison to her North Carolina appearance, and with the MTA not running and theatres large and small shuttering their windows and barring their doors, mostly everyone just stayed home and watched the lightning instead. Good thing I’d gone to see New York’s “only open-run Off-Off-Broadway show”, the Neo-Futurists’ “Too Much Light Makes the Baby Go Blind,” and the “Ostalgia” exhibit the night before, or this week’s installment would be a total washout.

Read more »

The Performant New York Edition: Fringe 101, an essential lexicon

|
()

Well, the 16-day New York International Fringe Festival has just wrapped up, and frankly it’s all a bit of a blur. Figuring out to watch next as the festival wound down was a delicate task as fraught with mystery as when it began. Was it worthwhile to attend “A” if it meant losing the opportunity to see “B” altogether? Wasn’t that one show about scuba-diving sewer rats supposed to be off the hook? Did the show about demonic possession in Uruguay already close? Which critic reviews or citizen commentary could be trusted? Which program blurbs can be relied upon to really reveal the truth about their show?

It’s times like these when an official program guide lexicon would come in handy, so that Fringers might have an easier time determining what they’ll truly be in for when they had over their fistful of coin and storm the theatre gates.

Read more »

The Performant: When I die I will be offcenter

|
()

Scoping out the local arts and culture scene ...

If there were a Best of the Bay category for performance space with the catchiest moniker, I’ve always felt that Mama Calizo’s Voice Factory had a clear lock on the title. That’s just one of the many things about the place I’ll miss when it shuts its doors, possibly for good, at the end of this month (though a loose association of affiliated artists including acting MCVF director Ernesto Sopprani, have announced their intention to continue as Theoffcenter, so look for future programming from them in an as-yet-undetermined location).

Read more »

All hail the big red noses, honk honk

|
()
See video

Just in time for summer, it's circus week on SFBG. Caitlin Donohue visited Circus Bella in this week's issue, and now we take an indepth and colorful look inside the San Francisco Clown School and Circus Finelli. Allez-oop!

Luis Echegoyen's old school Mission cool

|
()

Back when he was a television star in El Salvador, Luis Echegoyen could have little guessed that fifty year later he’d be performing in his own poetry reading in San Francisco of classic Spanish authors (Sat/8, Mission Cultural Center for Latino Arts). But it's not the least probable feat that legendary Spanish language Bay area news anchor Echegoyen has accomplished -- after all, poetry is his retirement project. Read more »