West Side Story
West Side Story is back. Directed by Arthur Laurents, author of the original 1957 script, this rendition of the classic Romeo and Juliet story via 1950s New York City brings fresh life to the rivaling Jets and Sharks and Tony and Maria's forbidden love. Musical favorites in Leonard Bernstein and Stephen Sondheim's legendary score include "Tonight," "America," "Maria," "I Feel Pretty," and "Somewhere." Jerome Robbins' spirited dynamic choreography is as much a part of the magic as the story and music. See why West Side Story has captivated audiences for decades when its tour hits San Francisco. (Emmaly Wiederholt)
Through Nov. 28
Showtimes vary, $30–$99
1192 Market, SF
This year's Halloween-y new releases, Paranormal Activity 2 and Saw 3D (the seventh entry in that undying series), may not be enough to satisfy your need for horror. Luckily, SFMOMA administers a double dose, starting with 1973's Season of the Witch, an early George Romero film, about a housewife who becomes enmeshed in witchcraft. The must-see, though, is 1977's Suspiria, in which an American ballet student travels to Germany to attend a new school where sinister goings-on are as common as pointe shoes. Directed by Dario Argento, the film is a Technicolor nightmare and an essential addition to the season. Read on for more Halloween movie revivals, including an additional Suspiria screening. (Ryan Prendiville)
7 p.m., $5 (free with museum admission)
Phyllis Wattis Theater
San Francisco Museum of Modern Art
151 Third St., SF
"French Cinema Now"
A week before presenting a run of Olivier Assayas' 330-minute cine-event, Carlos, the San Francisco Film Society hosts its annual sampling of Gallic small wonders. "French Cinema Now" welcomes a few familiar faces (Isabelle Huppert in Copacabana, Catherine Deneuve in Hidden Diary, one of Guillaume Depardieu's last performances in A Real Life), along with auteur turns from Bertrand Tavernier (The Princess of Montpensier) and Alain Cavalier (Irène). Closing night brings Certified Copy, in which Abbas Kiarostami, like Hou Hsiao-hsien before him, calls upon Juliette Binoche for his French twist. If early reviews are any indication, the Iranian filmmaker remains intimately concerned with epistemology in spite of the change in scenery. (Max Goldberg)
Through Nov. 3
Showtimes vary, $12.50
Embarcadero Center Cinema
One Embarcadero Center, Promenade Level, SF
"Performing Diaspora: Devendra Sharma"
During last year's Performing Diaspora, Devendra Sharma's Mission Suhani proved to be a major hit. Inspired by the tradition of arranged marriages dowries, it put a light-hearted twist on what has become a controversial though deeply embedded cultural practice. Mission charmed with the wit of its dramatization of this tale about greed, betrayal, and sweet revenge. It is performed by Nautanki Theater, a company of amateurs and professionals residing in Fresno. Nautanki is a North Indian folkloric style, half musical theater, half dance that has migrated to the Central Valley and, clearly, seems to be thriving within the local Indian community. (Rita Felciano)
Thurs/28–Sat/30, 8 p.m.; Sun/31, 3 p.m.,
1310 Mission, SF
Ray Parker Jr.
With an instantly recognizable tune and shout along opportunities galore ("Who ya gonna call?"), the "Ghostbusters" theme song likely brings back a flood of fun memories for anybody who grew up in the 1980s or is a fan of the hit movie and much-played music video. Written and performed by Ray Parker Jr., the tune has had a life of its own ever since it was unleashed on audiences more than 25 years ago. Spirits should be high at tonight's concert as Parker is sure to resurrect his biggest hit, just in time for Halloween. Bustin' makes me feel good! (Sean McCourt)
8 p.m., $59
Claremont Hotel, Club, and Spa
41 Tunnel Road, Berk.
I'm usually not a huge fan of weddings, but imagine this mythical union: L7 and Sleep joined in holy heavy matrimony, spitting out a bell-bottomed babe with a book titled Say You Love Satan in hand. Overlay this with indigo, fog, fuzz, a killer Hawkwind cover (the first song ever, it is said, to feature the word "parallelogram"), and dreamy female vocals dripping with distortion and demonic dew and doom. D-d-duhhh! This show is a no-brainer: formed back in 1993, Acid King is seminal SF stoner metal. Catch this rare local appearance on the heels of their Australian tour. C'mon, don't be a plain ol' square, be movin' like a parallelogram. (Kat Renz)
With Thrones and Christian Mistress
9:30 p.m., $10
1131 Polk, SF
Failure 2 Communicate
Jaime has a traumatic brain injury limiting his impulse control. Loomis is autistic and particularly sensitive to touch. How they and other students navigate the high school environment is the premise of Valeria Fachman's new play Failure 2 Communicate. At a high school for students with severe behavior disorders, emotional disturbances, and learning disabilities, teachers develop strong relationships with difficult students, eventually empowering the students to change their lives. This world premiere from Performers Under Stress — a local physical theater company committed to exploring challenging content — ultimately addresses disability and how we cope. (Wiederholt)
Through Nov. 14
Fri.–Sat., 8 p.m.; Sun, 2 p.m., $20
975 Howard, SF
Hubbard Street Dance Chicago
Why Hubbard Street Dance Chicago? First, fabulous performances; second, it's a modern dance company that is not a one-choreographer deal; third, it boasts an international repertory we might never see otherwise (they were the first Twyla Tharp entrusted pieces to after she disbanded her own troupe). Further proof of reason No. 3: Spanish choreographer Nacho Duato just disbanded his own ensemble; Hubbard is bringing his baroque music box piece Arcangelo. When Dance Theater of the Netherlands visited last, it had been 22 years. Now Hubbard is bringing a Jirí Kylián work, 27'52". What's more, Hubbard promotes from within. The Bay Are premieres of Deep Down Dos and Blanco are the creations of Company dancer and choreographer in residence Alejandro Cerrudo.(Felciano)
8 p.m., $32–$68
Bancroft at Telegraph, UC Berkeley, Berk.
"SF Sketchfest Presents: The Return of Tony Clifton"
When was the last time you saw a real zombie? Rumor has it that Tony Clifton is Andy Kaufman returned from the dead. (Hey, Jesus did it.) Just make sure you don't mention the late comedian to Clifton; he's notoriously touchy about the subject. In any case, Clifton is touring with his "Katrina Kiss-My-Ass Orchestra" as community service after being charged with disorderly conduct in New Orleans. Not only do proceeds benefit Comic Relief, but at each show one lucky ticket holder "will get to spend one night at Dennis Hof's Moonlight Bunny with Mr. Clifton paying for the hooker of the winner's choice." Whoever he is, he's still classy. (Prendiville)
8 p.m., $30.50
Cobb's Comedy Club
915 Columbus, SF
Everyone remembers Carol Anne ("They're heeeere!") and Tangina ("This house is clean!"), but Poltergeist diehards know the heart of the 1982 horror classic is JoBeth Williams' Diane Freeling, the kind of mother who'd crawl up a rope into purgatory to save her youngest child. (She also smokes weed and has a pretty awesome swimming-pool scene alongside several grinning corpses.) Clear your building-houses-over-graveyards-schedule; this Mark Huestis-produced event features an onstage interview with Williams, plus an array of entertainments, from a Carol Anne look-alike contest to a Poltergeist-inspired (creepy clowns? Creepier trees? Maggot-y steaks? Dead parakeets?) fashion show. (Cheryl Eddy)
7:30 p.m. (also noon, with Williams Q&A; 9 p.m., film only), $6–$30
429 Castro, SF
"Eli Roth's Midnight Movie Marathon"
Programmed by horror filmmaker Eli "Bear Jew" Roth, this SF Indiefest event offers nearly 24 hours of Halloween delights. Though drop-ins are welcome, this event is clearly structured to cater to true fiends who'll sit tight for the whole dirty dozen, with dinner and breakfast breaks thoughtfully sprinkled throughout. Your descent into weak-kneed terror begins at noon with John Carpenter's 1982 The Thing (highlight: blood-testing scene), and continues, in order, with Lucio Fulci's 1979 Zombie (zombie vs. shark underwater fight); 1988's The Vanishing (Dutch version, not Nancy Travis-starring remake); 1982's Pieces (chainsaw-sploitation); 1973's The Wicker Man (Nic Cage-free original); 1976 Spanish chiller Who Can Kill a Child?; in-a-row essentials Eraserhead (1977), Suspiria(1977), Cannibal Holocaust (1980), and The Evil Dead (1981); Miike Takashi's delightfully violent Audition (1999); and 1973 giallo Torso. Brain-scrambling awesomeness. (Eddy)
Noon, free (donations to benefit CellSpace appreciated)
2050 Bryant, SF
"Matinees for Maniacs"
If you're not too hung over from all the booze, hard drugs, or candy corn you gobbled down the night before, come check out this double-dip of spooky Disney classics on Halloween afternoon. First up is Something Wicked This Way Comes (1983), the Ray Bradbury-based tale of a demonic circus ringleader. (Haven't thought about it for years, but in hindsight, it maaaaay just have something to do with my irrational fear of the circus.) Next up is Escape to Witch Mountain(1975). Unfortunately, or actually, perhaps very fortunately, this original version doesn't star Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson or include a song by Miley Cyrus like the 2009 reboot does. (Landon Moblad)
2:30 p.m., $11
Gaining some initial recognition as the singer and leader of Tubeway Army with their single "Down In The Park," Gary Numan's success exploded with the release of his 1979 solo record The Pleasure Prinicipal, which featured the hit single "Cars." Inspiring untold New Wave, industrial, and goth bands with his sound and look over the ensuing years, Numan has been enjoying a resurgence of late, and has found himself on stage with groups such as Nine Inch Nails as a special guest. Tonight he'll be performing his debut album in its entirety; expect it to be delivered with an extra dose of seasoned edginess when this icon hits the stage. (McCourt)
8 p.m., $27.50
1805 Geary, SF
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