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city arts & lectures

It's Back To School Time! Fall Classes To Rev Up Your Brain

It's fall, which means you're back from your summer shenanigans and ready for action....right? Kick your brain back into gear with these fall classes around town.

Making Aged Cheeses @ 18 Reasons: Maybe you've made fresh milk cheeses at home before, but here's some next level knowledge–how to make aged and deliciously stinky cheeses on your very own countertop. Taught by Louella Hill, you'll learn all that and proper aging and storing, the ins and outs of making blue cheese, the nature of molds, and how different strains taste. Yum! Class starts Tuesday, Sept. 13, from 6-8 pm. Get tickets per class, or tickets for a series of classes.

Re-Animate and Reconstruct Your Wardrobe @ Workshop: Everyone knows back-to-school is all about getting new clothes! Well instead of new clothes, try reinvigorating those neglected items crowding your closet! You'll breathe new life into clothes that don't fit or items that are missing that certain something-something. Just bring in 3 to 6 articles of clothing in need of a makeover, and teacher Nicole Stevenson will show you how to work your magic. Sept. 13, 7:30-10:30 pm. Sign up here.

James Franco Makes a Cameo in Gary Shteyngart's Book Trailer Spoof

The author of Absurdistan and The Russian Debutante's Handbook is known as a great satirist, so it's no surprise that the promo for his third novel Super Sad True Love Story is a complete joke. Starring as himself—complete with fake Russian accent—and claiming he can't  even read, the ridiculous trailer also features such seasoned writers as Jeffrey Eugenides and Mary Gaitskill. But perhaps the best clip is of James Franco as one of Shteyngart's Columbia students. If you like his brand of funny, get tickets to City Arts & Lectures' conversation on Wednesday (May 11) at Herbst Theatre.

Tabitha Soren on Her MTV Days, Her New Bloomberg TV Stint and Clive Owen This Weekend

Tabitha Soren was a fixture of many a teenage past, serving as a news reporter (alongside Kurt Loder) of MTV's early-'90s golden years (golden, meaning they still played music videos). Her interview with Tupac Shakur was famously included in the 2003 documentary film Tupac: Resurrection, and at the age of 23, she was the face of 1992's Choose or Lose campaign, setting out on the presidential campaign trail to rock 20 million Gen-Xers into the vote. These days, Soren lives in Berkeley, has three children and is married to author Michael Lewis (Moneyball, The Blind Side).

David Foster Wallace's Posthumous "The Pale King" Comes to Life At Herbst Theatre

David Foster Wallace is one of the most ambitious and imaginative minds of modern literary times. Gone too soon, he was the kind of writer who you just knew would never go out with a whisper. Well, true to form, he has a posthumous novel coming out, and it's even more highly anticipated than his previous works. To be released on April 15, The Pale King is his story of a crew of entry-level workers and their soul-crushing jobs, which had swollen to 1000 pages and 150 chapters before he died in 2008.

Win Tickets to Tina Fey's Sold-Out Show

The bad news: When City Arts & Lectures announced in November that Tina Fey would be passing through SF in April to promote her new book Bossypants, tickets sold out in less than an hour. So, they got a bigger venue, and tickets sold out again in a hot second.

The good news: Starting now, you can place a bid to score 2 premium orchestra seat tickets for the April 20 performance at Orpheum Theatre! A benefit for the Japanese earthquake and tsunami relief efforts, 100% of the moola raised will go to the Japanese Cultural & Community Center of Northern California fund to help victims of the disaster.

Get Tickets for Tina Fey

In case you hadn't already heard, Tina Fey is coming to the Bay Area on April 20 for a City Arts & Lectures discussion. Unfortunately, tickets to the night of film clips and conversation are already sold out and people are already reselling the $33 golden tickets for a whopping $165!

So, you could either pay way too much to guarantee your seat, or sit tight until April and brave the crowds at the Orpheum for returned tickets. Stay tuned.

Back to School: Fall Arts, Crafts and Cooking Classes and Lectures

It's back to school time, so take your brain off summer vacation. Here are some opportunities to get your noggin firing some extra neurons this fall:

Jonathan Franzen @ City Arts & Lectures: Perhaps THE great American novelist of his generation (The New York Times Book Review called his latest novel, Freedom, "a masterpiece of American fiction"), Franzen (who previously authored The Corrections) is a deeply cerebral writer who crafts multi-layered plots of dramatic social commentary. At Herbst Theatre, he'll be talking to Mark Breitenberg about his writing life and new works. September 13th, 8 pm. Other City Arts & Lectures events to get on your calendar include Jonathan Safran Foer, Maya Rudolph, Mark Morris and Judd Apatow. (check out the full schedule here).

Patti Smith Speaks at City Arts This Wednesday

Rock icon Patti Smith, whose classic catalog includes Horses and Easter, will appear at City Arts & Lectures this Wednesday for a conversation with Kevin Berger. Smith recently published a memoir, Just Kids, in which she discusses her friendships with Sam Shepard, Jim Morrison, and close pal Robert Mapplethorpe, who took the iconic photo of Smith that graced Horses' cover, and who shared an apartment with her in the Chelsea Hotel. She'll discuss her fellow artists and the era of creative exploration that shaped them, including her own work within the then-emerging punk and spoken-word movements. While she may not be singing at the event, Smith has lived a fascinating life, and her discussion of the tumultuous 70's should be interesting.

John Hodgman Saying Funny Things About Twitter, Michael Cera, the Mac Ads and Sentinel

Writer, actor, and comedian John Hodgman has had a wild ride since publishing his first book, a collection of fake facts and "Complete World Knowledge" titled The Areas of My Expertise, in 2005. In that time, he's become the resident expert on "The Daily Show," co-starred in numerous films, and portrayed the "PC" in Apple's ongoing series of "Get a Mac" commercials. He's also written a sequel, More Information Than You Require, recently released in paperback. The More Information audiobook, also just released, features celebrity guests ranging from Sarah Vowell to Zach Galifianakis. Hodgman will appear in San Francisco at City Arts & Lectures this weekend.

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