Arts & Events

Around & About Music: Inga Swearingen performing in Berkeley Friday, June 10

By Ken Bullock
Tuesday June 07, 2011 - 04:16:00 PM

Inga Swearingen, who's been a regular on Garrison Keillor's Prairie Home Companion public radio show--and who performed engagingly a couple years ago at the old Freight & Salvage--is back with her lively mix of jazz standards, traditional folk songs and popular music from around the world, performing with her sister Britta and guitarist Jeff Miley--sharing the stage with "The Songwriting Siblings," Char and Robbie Rothschild of Round Mountain, from New Mexico, who play accordion, guitar, trumpet, highland bagpipes, djembe, cajon and kora, in a mix of "American grit" and world music styles. -more-

Press Release: Solstice Celebration and Concert on June 21 at Chapel of the Chimes

From Sarah Cahill
Monday June 06, 2011 - 06:34:00 PM

New Music Bay Area and Lifemark Group/Chapel of the Chimes present their popular summer solstice celebration Garden of Memory: a Columbarium Walk-Through Concert to Celebrate the Solstice at Chapel of the Chimes, a labyrinthine Julia Morgan-designed columbarium and mausoleum replete with gardens, fountains, and stained-glass skylights at 4499 Piedmont Ave. in Oakland on Tuesday, June 21 from 5 to 9 pm. -more-

Eye from the Aisle: GOTTERDAMMERUNG--A Breathtaking and Meaningful Wagner, a fulfilling marathon

By John A. McMullen II
Tuesday June 07, 2011 - 09:50:00 PM
Nina Stemme (Brünnhilde), Andrea Silvestrelli (Hagen) and Ian Storey (Siegfried) with members of the San Francisco Opera chorus.

When I was a child in a small Pennsylvania town, back when Christianity was part of public grade school, a traveling show came through on Easter Week and we were all ferried to the high school auditorium to see it. It was a play about the Passion of the Christ from Germany, and it was called Gotterdammerung. A devout little Catholic boy, I was entranced and transported. Those same feelings came back yesterday afternoon, at the SF Opera at Francesca Zambello’s interpretation of the last chapter of Wagner’s Ring Cycle. -more-

Eye From the Aisle:Lose the Blues at Willow’s ChicAGO in Martinez

By John A. McMullen II
Tuesday June 07, 2011 - 03:25:00 PM
Elizabeth Palmer, Maggie Franks, James Udom, Jennie Angel, Joseph Brunicardi, Kerrie Wininger,
                  Mark Farrell, Nicole Helfer, Maggie Connard, Isaiah Tyrelle, Giuliana Karezis, Adria Swan,
                  Michelle Ianiro, Shaun Carroll.

CHICAGO, at the Willows Cabaret in Martinez isa great way to lose the blues with this competent and entertaining production. By the famous team of Kander and Ebb who wrote Tony Winners “Cabaret” and “Kiss of the Spider Woman,” CHICAGO is set in the Wild Mid-West during the bawdy, boozy, pre-code Prohibition ‘20’s.” CHICAGO ranks as one of the top five longest-running musicals on Broadway. -more-

Eye from the Aisle: The Night is Bitter at Center Rep’s BLUES

By John A. McMullen II
Tuesday June 07, 2011 - 03:03:00 PM
Armelia Mc Queen, Amanda Folena, Debbie de Coudreaux

Blues in the Night at Walnut Creek’s Center Rep just sort of sits there for the first act and maybe a third of the second act. There is only one short monologue, and the rest is singing, singing, singing about being lonely, abandoned, old, horny, or heartbroken. There is no dancing, though a choreographer is listed. When it’s all about singing, the singers better be pretty damn good; yet, despite all the extraordinary singing talent in the Bay Area, the singing for the first act of BLUES seems at the level of a good community theatre or an Oakland piano bar. The choice of songs for the first 60% of the show have a sameness to them, there are no fireworks or high notes, and everything is subdued and as uneventful as a dull night in the cheap hotel which is where this is set. -more-

Around & About Theater: FURY Factory theater festival

By Ken Bullock
Tuesday June 07, 2011 - 03:00:00 PM

For the next three weeks (through June 26), about a dozen theater independent, stylized or experimental theater companies from the Bay Area and around America will stage major performances; another 20 troupes will put on works-in-progress at the annual FURY Factory, put on by foolsFURY, the Bay Area's innovative troupe, founded a decade ago by Ben Yalom, in partnership with ZSpace and Theatre of Yugen, at Theatre Artaud, NOHspace, The Jewish Theater and the Joe Goode Annex, all in San Francisco. -more-

Around & About: Indian Dance & Music

By Ken Bullock
Tuesday June 07, 2011 - 02:57:00 PM

Theater Review: "Care of Trees" at Shotgun Players

By Ken Bullock
Wednesday June 08, 2011 - 11:43:00 AM

"I submit there are no permanent structures in the idea of Nature."

Care of Trees opens with Travis (Patrick Russell) digging in the earth: "I tried to begin.I can't begin ... " -more-

Don't Miss This! Summer by the Bay

By Dorothy Snodgrass
Tuesday June 07, 2011 - 02:48:00 PM

So you think things slow down in the Bay Area in June, with little of interest to do? Au contraire! Catch some of the activities and cultural events offered this summer and you'll change your mind. -more-