May 2008

Arts & Entertainment

Through May

Photography:  Family Portrait Studio events  

In honor of Mother’s Day Family Portrait Studio sponsors free family portraits and activities. On Mondays in May, moms and single parents can meet from 4 to 6 p.m for socializing and portraits.  From 6 to 8 p.m. on May 1 wine and cheese tastings will be offered; on May 2 the studio will host magical fairies, princesses, story telling, face painting, balloon hats, magical wands, and other treats for children; and on May 9 dancing fairy queens will perform group sing-a-longs on their banjos.  1878 Union Street.  Information:;

May 2 – 11

Theater:  Waiting for Godzilla

Z Space Studio Theater presents Randall Wong’s Waiting for Godzilla, a miniature operetta in three parts.  Combining the mythically scaled with a Beckett-like absurdity, Waiting for Godzilla is an opera in the grand tradition, but performed on a toybox scale. The play is performed on miniature stages and screens by three singer/puppeteers, a “virtual orchestra,” and live instruments.  Tickets $10 to $15.  Friday/Saturday 8 p.m.; Sunday 3 p.m.  NOHspace, 2840 Mariposa Street. Information: 621.7978;

May 4

Benefit:  Leaves of Love Tea Party

The first annual Leaves of Love Tea Party will feature an array of gourmet teas from around the world, elegant music and décor, and a selection of fine art, fashion, and jewelry available for purchase from local artists and designers.  Proceeds will benefit United Council of Human Services, Mother Brown’s Dining Room, and the Hope House Project.  3 to 6 p.m., Bayview Opera House, 4705 Third Street.  Information: 671.1100.

Music:  Mozart and Schubert

Enjoy three operatic works by Mozart and Schubert.  In Mozart’s Bastien and Bastienne, a kindly musician works his wonders to resolve a crisis of young love.  In Schubert’s The Wedding Roast, a groom leaves his bride alone to shoot a rabbit for their wedding feast, has a brief run-in with a death sentence and an eventual happy ending.  And in Schubert’s The Conspirators, the women of the town, weary of war, devise a simple but devastating plan to end the fighting. Tickets $34.  2 p.m., Legion of Honor, 34th Avenue and Lincoln Park.  Information: 972.8930;

May 6

Social Lecture:  Individual Difference in Perception

Ask a Scientist series presents Ariella Popple, a University of California, Berkeley vision scientist, who’ll be discussing visual perception, focusing on gender differences, genetic quirks such as color blindness, synesthesia, and supertasting.  As part of the session Popple will conduct a casual on-site research study.  7 p.m., Axis Café, 1201 8th Street.  Information: 437.2947;


May 8    

Dance:  Miguel Gutierrez and the Power People

Former San Franciscan Miguel Gutierrez returns to the City for the second time in 10 years.  A rising international star, Gutierrez fuses an urban, hip, sexual, and physically bold aesthetic with a post-minimalist formalism.  $25.  8 p.m., ODC Theater, Project Artuad Theater, 450 Florida Street, 863.9834;


Book Reading:  Mary Roach’s Bonk: The Curious Coupling of Science and Sex

The San Francisco Library hosts New York Times best selling author Mary Roach for a reading of Bonk: the Curious Coupling of Science and Sex.  Impeccably researched and uproariously funny, Roach’s writing reveals the occasionally noble, sporadically ghastly and ever surreal world of researchers in the often mysterious and frustrating field of sexual physiology. A book sale follows the presentation.  6:30 to 7:30 p.m., Main Library, Lower Level, Latino/Hispanic Community Meeting Room, 100 Larkin Street.

Farley’s:  San Francisco’s School of the Arts Songwriting Showcase

San Francisco’s School of the Arts songwriting students present their Spring Showcase at Farley’s Cafe.  Enjoy good music written by young songwriters and support the City’s artistic community.  7 p.m., Farley’s 1315 18th Street.  Information: 648.1545.


May 9

Exhibition:  Livros Do Cordel

Named after street vendors’ clothesline displays, Brazil’s Livros Do Cordel are a form of street literature with European roots.  Inexpensive pamphlets tell the news in poetic format, capturing political scandals, arson, revenge, and illicit affairs, which are often song by street poets to attract customers to the market place.  A reception inaugurates the exhibit.  6 to 8 p.m., Center for the Book, 300 DeHaro Street.  Information: 565.0545;

Exhibition:  American Symbols: From Lady Liberty to Stars & Stripes

The Museum of Craft and Folk Art presents their opening night of American Symbols: From Lady Liberty to the Stars and Stripes, an exploration of the graphic history of the flag, the eagle, the shield, Uncle Sam, and Lady Liberty as used in folk art. These symbols are sewn into quilts, carved in wood, and painted on metal, with 75 beaded, woven, stitched, hammered, and printed items on display. Museum of Craft and Folk Art, 51 Yerba Buena Lane.  Information: 227-4888;

May 11

Farley’s:  Mother’s Day

Farley’s annual tradition of honoring all moms continues:  bring mom in for a free coffee drink of her choice. 7 p.m., Farley’s 1315 18th Street.  Information: 648.1545.


May 12

Arts:  Graphic Novels

The gently surreal culture in many of Ben Katchor’s comic strips includes hucksters, butter-and-egg men, latter-day Kabbalists and merchants living in a wonderland of tin ceilings, illuminated storefronts, and unusual enterprises, such as the Senseless Elaboration Parlour and the Mortal Coil Mattress Store.  See Katchor in a conversation with monologist Josh Kornbluth. $10.  8 p.m., Jewish Community Center of San Francisco, 3200 California Street, 292.1233;

May 15

Music:  Richard Wahlberg

Come to the San Francisco Library for an evening of music from the 1930s.  Richard Wahlberg brings original 78 rpm records from his music archives and plays them on an historic, open-horn 1906 Victrola. The event is part of the Library’s celebration of the 75th anniversary of the Works Progress Administration.  6 p.m., Main Library, Lower Level, Latino/Hispanic Community Meeting Room.

May 16 & 17

Theater:  Ghosts of the River

ShadowLight Productions proudly presents the Ghosts of the River, a new multidisciplinary shadow theater work that tackles the highly charged and complex subject of the US/Mexico border by illuminating the lives of the people on both sides of the divide.  The project is inspired by writer Solis’ personal experience growing up in El Paso, Texas, and his recent extensive interviews with residents, immigrants, their families, law enforcement officers and immigration lawyers.  Tickets $5 to $10 sliding scale.  8 p.m., Mission Cultural Center, 2868 Mission Street.  Information: 648.4461;

May 16 Through June

Theater:  Beowulf: A Thousand Years of Baggage

Shotgun Players and collaborating company Banana, Bag and Bodice have gotten down to work inspecting this classic poem, adapting its powerful narrative to make a new play that’s part homage and part parody. Flawed heroes, sympathetic monsters and haughty professors collide as one of the most twisted stories in the literary cannon comes to life with a live musical score. Tickets $25. The Ashby Stage, 1901 Ashby Avenue, Berkeley.  Information: 510.841.6500;

May 17

Community:  Green Your Home

Bring in an incandescent light bulb and exchange it for an energy-saving CFL.  4 to 7 p.m., Whole Foods Market, 450 Rhode Island St.  Information: 552.1144.

May 17 & 18

Storytelling:  Bay Area Storytelling Festival

This outdoor storytelling festival features a half dozen renowned storytellers, regaling children and adults alike with stories in the oral tradition.  Many performances are accompanied by music in an outdoor amphitheater, and others are in tents.  Tickets $13; whole festival $70.  Kennedy Grove Regional Recreation Area.  Information:

May 22 to 24

Performance Art:  Speaking Chinese

Speaking Chinese is an international collaboration with artists based in Shanghai, crafted together by long-time Potrero Hill resident Kim Epifano through her various trips to Shanghai.  The story is based on Love in a Fallen City, written by Chinese-American writer, Eileen Chang.  The work is a collaboration by choreographer Derrick Jones, ballerina Hou Honglan, Australian dramaturge Barry Plews, Chinese composer Zhu Zian’er and several other Chinese set designers and interpreters.  The performance is part of the 2008 San Francisco International Arts Festival.  Tickets $10.  Thursday at 8; Friday at 9; Saturday at 7, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts. Information: and


May 23

Lecture:  20th Century Ghosts (and Otherwise) of Calligraphy

Center for the Book features a slideshow of original work by a large variety of calligraphers of the highest quality.  Heroes featured include Walter Brudi, Hans Hoyer, Albert Kapr, Rudolf Koch, Hans Schmidt, and more.  A portion of the original work has been discovered in the past few years by Carl Rohrs’ travels in Europe.  Center for the Book, 300 DeHaro Street.  Information: 565.0545;

May 23-24

Art:  Midway Mechanique

Artist in Residence at the San Francisco Dump presents Paul Cesewski’s Midway Mechanique. Tinkerer and kinetic artist extraordinaire, Paul Cesewski recreates an old-fashioned carnival midway at the dump as San Francisco Recycling and Disposal’s latest artist-in-residence. The exhibition will feature a carnival ambiance, employing a series of mechanically heavy-handed entertainment devices imbued with a lighthearted sense of nostalgia. 5 to 9 p.m.; May 24, 1 to 5 p.m..  503 Tunnel Avenue.  Information:

May 29- June 1

Dance:  Cristina Moura Like An Idiot

The San Francisco International Arts Festival celebrates its fifth anniversary featuring the California performance premiere of extraordinary Brazilian dancer/choreographer Cristina Moura in her solo production Like an Idiot.  Moura is one of Brazil’s most provocative contemporary dance artists, combing a unique dance vocabulary in which she moves about the stage as if possessed, drawing pictures in midair with her body.  Tickets $20.  Thursday 7 p.m.; Saturday 9:30 p.m.; Sun 4:30 p.m.; Dance Mission Theater, 3316 24th Street.  Information 292.1850;  

May 31

Fundraiser:  5K VisionWalk

The Foundation Fighting Blindness will host its 5K VisionWalk to raise money for research that could lead to cures for retinal degenerative diseases, including retinitis pigmentosa, macular degeneration, Usher syndrome, and Stargardt disease, which affect more than nine million Americans.  10 a.m., Golden Gate Park, Music Concourse Bandshell.  Information: 408.739.1846;  


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