A rare flying object has been spotted this weekend at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, namely Cynthia Hopkins, as intergalactic space pilot Ruom Yes Noremac, a post-human “Druoc” in a floppy silver space suit hovering high above the stage of the Novellus Theatre. She’s returning from the far distant future to, what?, “save the earth, of course.”
The Success of Failure (Or, the Failure of Success), making its Bay Area premiere tonight and tomorrow, makes up part three of the wildly inventive Accidental Trilogy developed by New York–based artist-musician Hopkins and company Accinosco. I caught it last night, and while a full review will have to wait until next week, I can say that the sight of her twirling there before a sprawling spacescape projected across an enormous screen — in a comical operetta musing on “the pros and cons of evolution,” above a stage aglow and twinkling with arch sci-fi phantasmagoria, and in an all-pervading atmosphere of nostalgia and regret — seemed indeed to defy a certain gravity through the power of deft spectacle and ethereal song.
Apparently, even the massive, all-powerful aliens and scumdogs of the universe known as GWAR have trouble with reception on their iPhones.
While conducting a phone interview before a show in Hollywood, band leader Oderus Urungus’ connection cut out twice, leaving him grumbling, “Maybe I’m clutching my iPhone too tightly!”
Perhaps it was his giant claws proving to be too much for our puny human technology to handle — either way, once the connection was re-established, the intergalactic beast that has led GWAR for more than a quarter century had no shortage of hilarious and outrageous things to say.
Having just finished taping a segment for the Fuel TV show Daily Habit, Oderus was being informed that he had revealed a bit more of himself to the television audience than he had thought. “I just did the show apparently with my balls hanging out the entire time and nobody told me! That’s not like a big thing for Oderus, my balls usually are hanging out — but to try to get on national TV, I’m willing to do the ball tuck, but apparently the ball tuck didn’t work, it was horrible, it looked like a duck-billed platypus coming out of a burrow or something!”
The Fairmont Hotel’s storied Venetian Room, a.k.a. the San Francisco club where Tony Bennett first left his heart, has recently re-opened its doors to live music, courtesy of Marilyn Levinson’s Bay Area Cabaret series. Chita Rivera wowed them earlier this month, and this weekend Adam Pascal and Anthony Rapp do their thing, some of which you may have caught last year when they appeared in the touring revival of Rent at the Curran, in the roles they originated of Mark and Roger.
“So Paulette Frankl, why did you want to write a book about Tony Serra?” It seems like a reasonable question. After all, the “long hair” woman before me spent a good 17 years of work on her biography of San Francisco's most famous counter culture lawyer (book release party at Fort Mason Sat/20, btw). Her answer was a bit surprising.
“I didn't want to write a book about him! I wanted to be his artist!" Read more »
It may be a mainstream cliche that gay men are obsessed with their weight and appearance, but -- hey presto! -- it's also pretty true. It's also something not much discussed aloud in the gay community, although the bear movement of the 1990s managed to at least squeeze an entire subculture out of the topic. This Saturday evening, Andy Bydalek, director of last year's Frameline festival fave, Skinnyfat! The Movie (which dealt with the plight of two characters panicked over the loss of their six packs -- neither of whom would qualify for "The Biggest Loser" anytime soon), is organizing an important, local-luminary-studded panel at the LGBT Community Center called "Between Sizes" to address the issues of body image in the gay community after a screening of the director's cut of Skinnyfat! Lose your issues, not your tissue. Trailer and info after the jump.
Bay Area hip-hop heads are grateful that Zion I walks these mean streets. Emcee Zumbi and DJ Amp Live have been expanding the boundaries of what dope beats and lifted lyrics can be ever since they fled the industry culture of Atlanta and hit the Oakland scene with 1997's underground hit Enter the Woods. Their vibe's stayed positivewhile resisting major label affliation and a lot of the turf warring that plagues hip-hop in a weird, stereotype-enhancing way around some of the Bay's venues.
We spoke with Morehouse College grad Zumbi over the phone on the cusp of the duo's weekend-long Slim's celebration (Sat/20 and Sun/21) in honor of new album Atomic Clock, and the gig will be the duo's last before hitting the road on tour. Clock is a bangin', lifted affair studded with gems like "Always" and "Girlz" featuring Martin Luther's sweet hook -- but all the same, we still found ourselves talking politics. Sheesh. Read more »
Aeriel Art Soars at Theatre Artaud and Teatro Zinzanni
Do you dream of the day when you finally learn how to fly? For aerielists, that future is now, and that dream an everyday reality. It’s a career choice not for the faint of heart -- right up there, I’d say, with driving a fire truck or sailing around the world on a catamaran made of plastic bottles. But I imagine the psychic rewards to be tremendous. Life on the edge. Teasing gravity, tempting fate. To soar—perchance to jetstream.
If magical realism is rooted in Latin American cultures, nobody told Adia Tamar Whitaker. Her Ampey!, a 50-minute dance, chant, music, film, and narration piece, is an incantatory celebration of life — including the parts of life ingrained in our muscles and our dreams. If CounterPULSE's Performing Diaspora program had produced nothing but Ampey!, it would have been worth doing. Performed by a stellar cast of dancers and musicians, Whitaker has succeeded in pulling together strands of complex subject matter into a first-rate, original piece of poetic theater.Read more »
If you type "Myron and E" into the search engine on YouTube.com, you'll likely find a simple video clip of a record player with one of the duo's 7-inch singles on the turntable. Play the video clip, and the turntable's needle will descend on the vinyl. And then some of the most wonderfully sweet grooves will pipe through your speakers.Read more »
San Francisco’s Budget and Legislative Analyst has released a report outlining the costs and benefits of hosting the 34th America’s Cup in San Francisco. Bottom line: If the world-famous yacht race is held here, it will cost the city an estimated $42 million.
I wasn't sure what to expect at Tuesday night's Single Malt Extravaganza at the Intercontinental Hotel, with the welcome giveaway of Romeo y Julieta and Monte Cristo cigars as take-home treats. Read more »
A thousand pox upon the head of traditional history books. Leaving aside all matters of sexism, classism, imperialism, and plain old fact suppression, they're usually a pretty boring read on top of it all. But the writing's on the wall: Celebrate People's History is releasing its own version of “how we got here”'s greatest hits -- and the book release party is Sat/20.
Our old pal Chuck Nevius is gloating about how the "far left" (I guess that means the people who would have been called mainstream Democrats a generation ago, the ones who believe in the public sector and think economic equality matters) got beaten badly in the supervisors races. And he uses Aaron Peskin as the personification of the far left (amusing, because if you actually talk to Peskin, and look at his record, he's hardly a crazy leftist. And I say that as someone who is. Read more »
The students and professors at UC have come up with all sorts of creative ways to avoid or minimize tuition hikes, but there's an option that the Regents (and so far, the new governor) haven't put on the table: An income tax surchage on the irch and big corporations to pay for public education. Guees what? A majority of Californians are in favor of that approach. Read more »