Grimm but not grim: SF Playhouse's winning fairy tale 'Into the Woods'

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Given all traditional parameters of critical experience, SF Playhouse’s production of Into the Woods (now playing through Sept 6) should be at least somewhat irksome. The vocal talent can be inconsistent, the accents are ambiguous, the set looks busy, and the musical is high-strung enough that it can be insufferable without expert work on all fronts. Shockingly, despite the surface-level issues, the Playhouse production is an unqualified technical success and a complete joy to take in.

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Workers’ new website demands: Hey, Tech, do better

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Can Silicon Valley tech companies “do better?” With the launch of a new website, the tech industry's security guards are coming forward with tales of inequality in Silicon Valley, and asking Google and other big tech companies to do just that.Read more »

Protect light industrial businesses from Big Tech sprawl

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[Editor’s Note: With the San Francisco Board of Supervisors Land Use Committee scheduled on Monday, July 7, to act on a proposal to allow the new owner of the San Francisco Design Center to evict existing tenants to accommodate tech company Pinterest, Jim Gallagher of Garden Court Antiques, one of those tenants, wrote the following guest editorial for the Guardian.]

The San Francisco Design Center has been a doing business at 2 Henry Adams street for the last 40 years.  During that time it has created thousands of good paying jobs in the city.  We are currently at risk of losing the majority of the building to tech office space.  The building is zoned for PDR-Design but a loophole in the law is being exploited by the new owners, a Chicago based investment firm.  This would lead to the loss of SF based small businesses and the jobs that they create. Read more »

Future, the Auto-Tune rapper du jour, had a very lazy night at the Regency

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Future, America's Auto-Tune rapper du jour, is in a cushy position. His recent album Honest is one of the year's most critically acclaimed rap albums so far, and it's moved enough units to establish him as a major presence on 2014's hip-hop scene. Hip-hop fans know who he is, as do a lot of indie kids who've stumbled across fawning reviews of his work online. But he's not yet a star.Read more »

Guardian on the move: Into the mall, under new management

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There were a couple of big changes for the Bay Guardian this week. We and our sister newspapers within San Francisco Media Company — San Francisco Examiner and SF Weekly — moved into the Westfield Mall. Yes, the mall, but in the fifth floor business offices formerly occupied by the San Francisco State University School of Business extension program.Read more »

Robyn + Röyskopp + Pride = lots and lots of glitter

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By Tiffany Rapp

When two major figures in the Scandinavian electronic music scene collaborate for a mini-album and tour, it's bound to feel like something special. But when a Röyskopp and Robyn tour comes to San Francisco and it’s Pride weekend — when there's always a little magic (and quite literally glitter) in the air, anyway — it almost seems like strobe-lit, sparkly fate.Read more »

Civil Grand Jury report highlights gifts made on mayor's behalf

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A major real-estate firm contributed $1 million to the America’s Cup Organizing Committee at the behest of Mayor Ed Lee, right around the time it sought city approval to expand a downtown tech office building that was already under construction.Read more »

Protest against "Prison of Love" Armory party leads to arrests

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At least six people were arrested and taken into custody shortly before midnight on Saturday at the 16th Street Mission BART Plaza following a raucous protest of Kink.com’s pre-Pride party, according to San Francisco Police Department spokesman Albie Esparza.Read more »

Sharon Van Etten banters happily through the sad songs at The Independent

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Sharon Van Etten had yet to play a note before someone in the crowd shouted forth a marriage proposal toward the stage. The term “adoring fans” might sound generic, but it’s apt in describing the audience at Van Etten’s first of a pair of sold-out shows at The Independent last night [Sun/29 -- the second is tonight].  For just short of two hours they sang along and showered the 33-year old singer with love at every chance they got.Read more »

Wax on: a journey into the new Madame Tussauds San Francisco

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You probably won’t win any staring contests inside the new Madame Tussauds that opened June 26 at Fisherman’s Wharf. (Besides, I wouldn’t recommend holding prolonged eye contact with any of the wax figures, especially the Nicolas Cage one.) Like the youngest sibling in the shadow of brothers and sisters who have already established themselves, the SF branch — the fifth North American branch — tries to make a name for itself by flaunting its individuality whenever it’s convenient. Its attempt showcases eerily lifelike figures of well-known San Franciscans in themed rooms.

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Will proposal to sell Hetch Hetchy power overshadow CleanPowerSF?

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Supervisors Scott Wiener and London Breed have proposed an ordinance to allow the San Francisco Public Utilities Power Commission’s Power Enterprise to sell hydroelectric energy from the Hetch Hetchy dam to retail customers -- particularly large real estate developments. Sup. Wiener and Breed say the ordinance would both generate revenue for the PUC and further the city’s overall goal of achieving a 100 percent greenhouse-gas free power mix. Read more »

Oakland joins other Bay Area cities in seeking higher minimum wages

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San Francisco isn’t the only Bay Area city looking to bump up its minimum wage rate. Alameda County today [Fri/27] certified a ballot measure that would raise minimum wage in Oakland to $12.25 and provide workers with paid sick days, affecting over 50,000 employees.Read more »

A great week for (indie) sci-fi and docs: new movies!

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This week, Frameline continues (our coverage here!), plus offbeat sci-fi winners Coherence and Snowpiercer are well worth seeking out ... especially if you're not in the mood for more giant robot smash-ups from the Michael Bay factory. Plus: new docs and more! Read on.

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Jury find SF officer used excessive force in beating a restrained arrestee

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A jury last week unanimously convicted a San Francisco police officer of using excessive and unnecessary force, although the San Francisco Police Department cleared the officer in an internal investigation and kept him on the streets.

In Magistrate Maria-Elena James' courtroom, the jury voted 8-0 that Police Officer Matthew Sullivan used excessive force against plaintiff Eduardo Alegrett on February 7, 2012.  Alegrett’s lawyer, Panos Lagos, told the Guardian that Alegrett was suffering a “mental crisis” when he allegedly battered a woman at 88 Perry Place.Read more »

Heavy metal time machine: "Dio: Live in London, Hammersmith Apollo 1993"

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December 12, 1993: Mariah Carey, Janet Jackson, and Whitney Houston were owning the American airwaves, but over in London's Hammersmith Apollo, a different soaring voice — one that veered more toward doom than bubblegum — was showing how it's really done. Dio: Live in London Hammersmith Apollo 1993 (Eagle Rock Entertainment) captures Ronnie James Dio (with band: drummer Vinny Appice, bassist Jeff Pilson, guitarist Tracy G, and keyboard player Scott Warren ... Read more »