Arts & Events
If like me, you're totally fed up with the long holiday season, join the club! What once was a magical Christmas for children, the event can now be summed up in dollar signs! Commercialism at its worst! Nevertheless, we may still find several ways of celebration with the many activities offered in the New Year.
Let's start with the fantastically rich Chinese opera company, Shen Yun, playing now through January 8 at the San Francisco Opera House. (888) 633-6999.
For lovers of ballet, the Smuin Ballet will present a dynamic show, "Swipe", set to music by Prokofiev, April 26-May 6 at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, S.F. On April 12-22, also at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, the Lines Ballet will perform the alluring Schererezade "Arabian Nights" story.
The Oakland Ballet Company will perform May 18-20 at the Malonga Caseuelourd Center for the Arts in a fresh spin on the legacy of the Ballets Russes, with a stage version of Stravinsky's "Pulcinella.
Batsheva Dance Company will perform in February, again at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts.
Michael Tilson Thomas will direct the S.F. Symphony Thursday, 12, 8 p.m.; Friday, Jan 13 at 8 p.m. and Sat. Jan.14 at 8 p.m. with Frederica von Stade narrating Debussy's, "Martyrdom of Saint Sebastian." John Harbison's operatic treatment of F. Scott Fitzerald's "The Great Gatsby" comes to Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in February.
The S.F. Chronicle invites you and a guest to special screening on Monday, Jan. 9 of "Joyful Noise" . (www.joyfulnoisethemovieccom).
Movie addicts should enjoy "Hyde Park on the Hudson," with actor Bill Murray giving a remarkable portrayal of Franklin D. Roosevelt, chomping on his cigar, during a busy weekend in 1943.
Berkeley Repertory Theatre's latest production, "Ghost Light" inspired by the 1978 assassination of Mayor George Moscone, previews this Friday.
Roger Waters re-creates a Pink Floyd original 1980 arena rock show May 11 at AT&T Park.
If you don't mind traveling to San Jose, Neil Diamond will perform August 7 at HP Pavilion, reclaiming his legacy of shameless schmaltz.
Not overlooking art, Andy Warhol's Foundation for the Visual Arts shows the most personal side of the pop maven's output at the Berkeley Art Museum, 2627 Bancroft Way, Jan. 27-May 20. (510) 642) 0808.
The Martha Graham Dance Company will perform in the near future; no date has been given. The above cultural events will, we hope, get your New Year off to a great start!