7 great shows to see this weekend and beyond

There are some great live shows to catch this week in the Bay Area, from ALO’s return to the Bruns to S.F. Ballet’s return to the Frost and Family Fiesta’s return to History Park.

Here’s a partial rundown.

ALO Fest returns to Orinda

Sadly, California Shakespeare Theater isn’t part of the Bay Area’s summer entertainment landscape this year, as the financially troubled troupe is idled until 2024; but at least its lovely home — Bruns Amphitheater in Orinda — is being put to use.

This weekend, for example, finds the Bruns, a gorgeous tree-shrouded outdoor venue nestled among rolling hills, hosting the lively Animal Liberation Orchestra for two shows.

The 25-year-old Northern California, which just dropped its ninth studio album, “Silver Saturdsays,”  band is known for a blues/folk/rock sound that is plenty tight but leaves room for improvisation, jamming and some attitude thrown in. Opening the shows are the folk duo Two Runner on Saturday and Dead & Company drummer Jay Lane debuting his new band Jay Lane and The Mayhem on Sunday.

At both shows, three will be pop-up performers, er, popping up through the amphitheater grounds, as well as arts and crafts vendors and food and drink.

Details: 7 p.m. Aug. 5 (doors open at 5 p.m.), 3 p.m. Aug. 6 (doors open at 1 p.m.); Bruns Amphitheatre off Highway 24, Orinda; $45-$75; or

— Randy McMullen, Staff

SF Ballet brings ‘Starry Nights’ back to Frost

There is something majestic and a little exhilarating about watching ballet or contemporary dance outside at night. Perhaps it’s the open-ended nature of it all, or the feel of the outdoor elements that reminds you that the audience and performers are in this thing together. Or maybe it’s the beckoning glow of the stars overhead (unless, of course, they are smothered by the fog). In any event, San Francisco Ballet returns this week to Stanford’s Frost Amphitheatre for another set of “Starry Nights” performances (and don’t assume that because they call it that the fog will cooperate).

The program is centerpieced by two works introduced earlier this year during the company’s Next@90 Festival, which celebrated S.F. Ballet’s 90th anniversary: Danielle Rowe’s “MADCAP,” set to a carnival-like score by Pär Hagström; and company resident choreographer Yuri Possokhov’s “Violin Concerto,” set to Igor Stravinsky’s work of the same name and inspired by George Balanchine. Also in the mix are segments from William Forsythe’s “Blake Works I,” Christopher Wheeldon’s “Cinderella” and Balanchine’s “Tchaikovsky Pas de Deux.”

Details: 7:30 p.m. Aug. 3 and 4; Frost Amphitheatre, Stanford University; $15-$250;

— Bay City News Foundation

Family Festa is back in San Jose

The Italian Family Festa, now in its 41st year, returns to History Park in San Jose Saturday and with live entertainment, culinary demos, arts and crafts vendors, food and wine booths, a new Italia Cultural and Culinary Pavilion and — of course — grape stomping.

Highlights will include a “living history” re-enactment of a Roman encampment and demos of Italian swordsmanship both days; grape stomping contests Saturday; and shows by the Fratello Marionettes and Satvik the Magician. The pavilion stage will host pizza tossing and recipe demos and talks on Italian heritage. Among the musical performers set to appear are Opera San Jose singers, John DeMers (aka the Bay Area Sinatra), Mike Annuzzi and Michela Musolino.

Food is always a headliner at this event. Look for the Tricarico Club’s polenta with sausage and the Sons of Sicily’s ravioli and sausage. Tony and Alba’s will sell slices of pizza; and members of the sponsoring Italian American Heritage Foundation will make meatball sandwiches and fill cannoli to order. Aroma Concessions will offer portobello mushroom sandwiches, eggplant pesto sandwiches, fried artichokes and fried zucchini. New this year: The Cousins Maine Lobster food truck. And someone’s sure to be frying sfingi, the popular Italian doughnuts.

Five wineries will be pouring varietals in the shaded Wine Tasting Garden — Armitage, Bargetto, Fortino, Guglielmo and Rosa d’Oro.

Details: 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Aug. 5, with an evening street dance, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Aug. 6, with an Anthony Nino Band finale; History Park, 1650 Senter Road; limited parking, carpooling and ride-sharing encouraged; free admission;

— Linda Zavoral, Staff

Free Opera in the Park in Walnut Creek

It’s arias al fresco on the green lawns of Walnut Creek Civic Park Sunday afternoon, as Festival Opera mounts a free concert hosted by the company’s general director Zachary Gordin, himself an accomplished baritone.

With Bay Area pianist Chun Mei Wilson providing the accompaniment, there will be highlights from a wide range of the operatic repertoire, performed by sopranos Hope Briggs and Lila Khazoum, mezzo-soprano Lily Bogas, contralto Sara Couden, tenor Taylor Thompson and baritone Andrew Fellows. One thing we can count on for sure will be some excerpts from Bizet’s “Carmen,” which will be the centerpiece of Festival Opera’s 32nd season when it opens in mid-August at the Lesher Center for the Arts’ Hofmann Theatre.

Briggs, by the way, will be singing the role of Micaela, and the production will also feature Bogas, Khazoum, Thompson and Fellows.

Details: 4 p.m.; 1375 Civic Drive, Walnut Creek;

— Bay City News Foundation 

Concord jazz series is back

The days of the massive Concord Jazz Festival appear to be gone, but the city is still celebrating its music roots with Jazz Around Town, a three-concert event that kicks off Aug. 2. The lineup is as follows.

August 2: Roots-rock and jazz guitarist Jinx Jones plays at The Veranda, 2001 Diamond Blvd., at 6:30 p.m.; free.

August 3: Contemporary jazz octet Jean Fineberg and JAZZphoria take over Concord’s Music & Market Series in Todos Santos Plaza; 6:30 p.m.; free.

August 4: Jazz trio Charged Particles perform 7 p.m. at the Concord Historical Society and Event Center, 1928 Clayton Blvd. Tickets are $25-$30.

Details: Tickets, registration for free shows or more information is available at

— Randy McMullen, Staff

Maxwell gets the symphony treatment

Fresh off his sold-out performance last Friday at the Aretha Franklin Amphitheatre in Detroit, R&B star, Billboard chart-topper and three-time Grammy winner Maxwell (given name Gerald Maxwell Rivera) is bringing his “Night — The Trilogy Show” to Davies Hall for back-to-back Summer at the Symphony concerts at 7:30 p.m. Aug. 4 and 5.

The singer-songwriter’s backing band, led by guest conductor Steven Reineke, will be the San Francisco Symphony, and his vocal selections will be announced from the stage.

Derails: $89-$209; 415-864-6000,

— Bay City News Foundation

All hail the Queen

Think it’s easy playing the legendary Tina Turner in a touring Broadway musical? Hardly. The iconic “Queen of Rock ‘n’ Roll,” who died on May 23, was known for her full-throttle vocal delivery on such songs as “River Deep — Mountain High,” “Proud Mary,” “Better Be Good to Me” and “The Best,” not to mention her ball-of-fire stage show. And that’s not even getting into her turbulent personal life – the early fame, the brutal domestic violence suffered at the hands of Ike Turner, and the return to triumph as a solo star. Imagine having to leave it all on the stage each night, only to return the next day. So the producers of “Tina – The Tuna Turner Musical” have an answer to this: They cast not one, but two stars of the show, who perform on an alternating basis. So you know that the Tina you see on any given day or night will be at least moderately rested.

The two actors are Naomi Rodgers and Zurin Villanueva, and they are here with the rest of the cast as “Tina” kicks off an extended Bay Area run this week. The show, fresh off a successful and acclaimed Broadway run, features a live band, background singers and more showcasing Turner’s life and performing classic Turner songs from throughout her career.

Details: Through Aug. 27 at Golden Gate Theatre, San Francisco; $66.50-$179.50 (subject to change);; and Aug. 29-Sept. 3; Center for theb Performing Arts in San Jose; $43-$113;

— Bay City News Foundation

Source link

𝗖𝗿𝗲𝗱𝗶𝘁𝘀, 𝗖𝗼𝗽𝘆𝗿𝗶𝗴𝗵𝘁 & 𝗖𝗼𝘂𝗿𝘁𝗲𝘀𝘆:
𝗙𝗼𝗿 𝗮𝗻𝘆 𝗰𝗼𝗺𝗽𝗹𝗮𝗶𝗻𝘁𝘀 𝗿𝗲𝗴𝗮𝗿𝗱𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝗗𝗠𝗖𝗔,
𝗣𝗹𝗲𝗮𝘀𝗲 𝘀𝗲𝗻𝗱 𝘂𝘀 𝗮𝗻 𝗲𝗺𝗮𝗶𝗹 𝗮𝘁

Similar Posts