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Ballerinas in the Mist: SF Ballet at Stern Grove

This post is for the subset of the San Francisco population inhabiting the Venn diagram interception between People Who Enjoy Classical Dance and People Fond of the Free. With the related but not strictly necessary parallel with People Fond of Drinking Booze at the Ballet.

Next Weekend's American Craft Council Show Rivals the Coolness of Outside Lands

No ticket to Outside Lands? No problem, because there's an almost cooler event going down the same weekend: the American Craft Council show at Fort Mason. It's a celebration of all things handmade and one-of-a-kind, and there's so much to take in, there's no possible way you could do it all in one day.

The main attraction is the showcase of talented up-and-coming artists from around the country who excel in making uncommon creations, like upcycled jewelry made from LEGOs to "trashion" pieced together from weird materials like fish skin and fruit bags.

Classical Roundup: August is Looking Rather French

John Ferguson

Known for his nimble fingers and impassioned delivery, John Ferguson has plunked himself down on piano benches across the country to perform the most Herculean solo works in the classical canon. Two contrasting Beethoven pieces are on tap for his San Francisco appearance - the sublime and devilishly tricky Hammerklavier Sonata Op. 106 and the serene Pastoral Sonata Op. 28.
 

Robert Duvall Knocks on Heaven's Door in 'Get Low'

Robert Duvall brings his characteristic gravity and a gruff sense of humor to Felix Bush, a backwoods recluse who has chosen, for mysterious reasons, to plan and preside over his own funeral, in Get Low, Aaron Schneider’s quietly effective feature debut.
 

Superhero Weekend at Playland-Not-at-the-Beach

A tribute to San Francisco's historic oceanside amusement park Playland at the Beach, El Cerrito's Playland-Not-at-the-Beach dubs itself a "Museum of Fun." The indoor museum contains over 30 pinball machines you can play for free, penny arcades with "antique amusement devices," magicians, a hand-carved miniature circus, and exhibits honoring carnival and amusement park history—all without the freezing cold of the original Playland's Ocean Beach location. If you've just returned from Comic-Con, don't pack that Batman costume away just yet. This weekend is Super Heroes Weekend at Playland, with prizes for fun-seekers who show up in superhero costumes. There's also a flea circus starring Professor B!

Breaking Down Buddy-Cop Clichés with 'The Other Guys'

Never mind the barely functional story line that provides a flimsy backdrop for Will Ferrell’s improvised riffs and Mark Wahlberg’s empty-headed rants in The Other Guys, the latest collaboration from Ferrell and Adam McKay.
 
Since teaming up after coinciding runs on Saturday Night Live – Ferrell as the show’s most charismatic star, McKay as its head writer – they have lampooned TV talking heads in 2004’s Anchorman and asinine adrenaline junkies in 2006’s Talladega Nights. Here, they target buddy-cop clichés, among them two rock-star detectives straight out of Michael Bay’s playbook.
 

Phish Phans Freaking Out for Greek Theatre Tix

Although they're not really on my radar, it's actually become difficult to escape any mention of Phish's three-day takeover of Berkeley's Greek Theatre this weekend. And because the shows sold out months ago in approximately five minutes, many "phans" too spaced out to click a few buttons (and others who tried and failed because of an overwhelmed Ticketmaster server) missed another chance to see Phish---otherwise known as the second coming of the Grateful Dead.

Gorillaz Tix On Sale Friday 10 a.m.

Damon Albarn and Jamie Hewlett are back from a long hiatus with Gorillaz' highly anticipated third studio album Plastic Beach. Featuring the likes of Snoop Dogg, Mos Def, De La Soul, Little Dragon and more, this one is poised to be their best yet. And with Gorillaz' track record of sold-out performances, our guess is that you'll have about a hot second to get tix. So, get up early, grab a coffee and be on Live Nation's site before the official sale starts at 10 a.m. Friday morning, 8/6.

Indie Theater Roundup: 7 Movies to See This Week

Just a month remains before the September release of Casey Affleck's long-rumored documentary about Joaquin Phoenix's bumpy transition from the big screen to the recording studio. (The Oscar-nominated Walk the Line star reportedly aspires to rap.) You can try holding your breath in the meantime, but you'd be wiser to visit one of the city's lovely indie theaters, where the following fine films await you.

1. Rebel Without a Cause
Where: Castro Theatre, 429 Castro St., 415-621-6120
When: Aug. 6

Big Fish: 'Get Low' Producer Reels in Robert Duvall and the Elusive Bill Murray

It took him the better part of a decade, but producer Dean Zanuck, whose charming new drama Get Low opens this Friday, finally got his men.
 
After working with original screenwriter Chris Provenzano (TV’s Mad Men) for three years and eventually recruiting first-time feature director Aaron Schneider to the project, Zanuck, 37, grandson of the legendary Hollywood mogul Darryl F., reached out to Academy Award winner Robert Duvall, his first choice to play ornery hermit Felix Bush. Then he pressed his luck.
 

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