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Arts + Culture

Neil Gaiman's Coraline at SF Playhouse

Heedless of admonishments from elderly neighbors Miss Spink and Miss Forcible - not to mention warnings from the mice trained by Crazy Old Man Upstairs - Coraline steps through the bricked-up drawing room door into Other World, a seemingly idyllic version of her real home where toys fly through the air, Miss Spink and Miss Forcible perform a never-ending cabaret, and her absentee parents are attentive and loving. But Other World's sinister underbelly soon reveals itself, forcing Coraline into a battle to save her real parents and the ghost children who fell prey generations earlier.

 

This Week's Hottest Events: Neil Young + Joanna Newsom, SF Ballet Nutcracker, and Bazaar Bizarre

Music: Neil Young + Joanna Newsom
In case you missed our pre-Thanksgiving blog about UCSF's Neil Young and Joanna Newsom show, here's the scoop again. These two amazing performers will be playing a benefit show and we're only hoping they'll throw in some duets. Money raised goes to help build a new home in Mission Bay for the Benioff Children's Hospital, which is considered one of the best kid's facilities in the country. And did we mention the pre-show cocktail reception with General Colin Powell, a post-performance dessert reception, and an afterparty with beats by will.i.am? Enough said. $250+; Wednesday 12/8; Nob Hill Masonic Auditorium, 1111 California St., theconcertforucsfbch.com

Two Art Events Worth Your Time: It's All A Blur + Garage Biennale Book Release

Justin Hoover, artist and curatorial genius at SOMArts, has big news:
His Garage Biennale Book ($40), funded in large part by Southern Exposure's alternative exposures grant, is finally complete. The catalog illustrates a collection of shows, each one night only, by a group of artists exploring the temporality of art production. This week, you have two chances to get the book in person before it's gone—only 250 copies were printed and each features hand-adhered vinyl lettering on the cover. It's the perfect holiday gift for your art-loving friend or the perfect collectible for your coffee table.

Holiday Horror Movie Fest @ YBCA Not For the Faint of Heart

Brilliantly billed as a film series "for holiday haters, adventurous cinephiles and degenerate thrill-seekers alike", the YBCA's Go To Hell For The Holidays: Horror In December collection of messed-up movies could almost be a cathartic experience for those of you struggling with all this Christmas cheer in the air lately.

Photos: Roger Waters – The Wall Live @ Oracle Arena

Follow our music photographer, Misha Vladimirskiy, for free music downloads and chances to win show tickets http://twitter.com/mvladimirskiy

Do the Rockettes Ever Get Sick of Christmas Music?

The Rockettes bring their leggy precision to the West Coast for the Radio City Christmas Spectacular, now in its 78th year. Lindsay Howe, a Sacramento native and seven-year Rockette, gives us the inside scoop. The Rockettes perform Dec. 16–17 at the Oracle Arena.

Is the famous chorus line kick part of the audition process?
Yes. The Christmas Spectacular was my first professional audition—2 days, 13 hours, more than 500 entrants, and countless high kicks. It helps if you’re 5 feet 6 inches or taller and can get the tip of your toe to the top of your eye.

You must have to listen to a lot of holiday music. Do you ever get sick of it?

1000Memories Focuses on Dealing with Death in the Digital Age

When Rudy Adler’s friend died last year, he was suddenly and painfully reminded of the shortcomings of social networks—Facebook and Twitter focus on connections between living people, but the deceased are stuck in what Adler describes as a “viral loop.” Users have complained of receiving invitations to “reconnect” with dead friends, or of getting a pre-arranged virtual birthday greeting from beyond the grave. “After our friend died, we all went to his Facebook page to share pictures and stories. But after a few weeks, the page was memorialized and his wall was shut down. All of those stories disappeared.” To memorialize a page, a friend or family member must fill out a form and submit the request to Facebook. Upon verification, the deceased user disappears from news feeds and will cease showing up in Facebook’s suggestions, and the memorialized page becomes accessible only to confirmed friends.

Adler, 29, together with friends Brett Huneycutt and Jonathan Good, recognized an opportunity. They quit their jobs—Adler at ad agency Wieden + Kennedy in Portland, working on campaigns for Levi’s and Nike; Huneycutt and Good at consulting giant McKinsey & Company—and convened in San Francisco in February 2009, moving into a house in the Mission.

Modern Day Salon Comes to Life at Hotel Rex

On December 2nd, Union Square's beautiful, 1920's salon inspired Hotel Rex hosted a modern-day salon for an evening celebrating local, hand-crafted art, workmanship, and cocktails! The jovial guests enjoyed live music, short films from the Disposable Film Festival, artisan cocktails by Hendrick's Gin, and vendor tables from local artists. A portion of the evening's proceeds benefitted 826 Valencia, the acclaimed community non-profit program supporting the education of thousands of students in the literary arts.

Indie Theater Roundup: 7 Movies to See This Week

The weather outside is frightful, the fiery resurgence of Mike Singletary's 49ers so delightful, but if you've no place to go, check out one of these fine films at the city's venerable collection of indie theaters.

1. Gremlins

Where: Castro Theatre, 429 Castro St., 415-621-6120
When: Dec. 9

Jennifer Siebel Newsom's 'Miss Representation' Headed to Sundance

Congrats are in order for first lady Jennifer Siebel Newsom, whose documentary, Miss Representation, has been selected as part of the 2011 Sundance Film Festival's U.S Documentary competition. Miss Representation, which officially launches this January, closely examines the media's representation of women. We chatted with Jen a few months ago about the film, and she shared with us her inspirations, goals and advice for young women today. Check out that interview here and the Miss Representation trailer below.

 

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