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Amber Adrian

Litter: The Story of the Framingham Dodecatuplets

If you don’t know the precise number of children dodecatuplets implies either, don't worry; I checked. Brace yourself for whatever reflexive reaction you have to the thought of intense pain and ponder this: twelve. Twelve children born simultaneously. Google claims that dodecatuplets have been born in Prague and Santa Fe - and now a set is born of Peter Sinn Nachtrieb's slightly twisted yet oh-so-clever brain and A.C.T.'s MFA class of 2011. 

March Classical Roundup: Soloists Rule

Louis Lortie, Pianist 

Chopin fans, get out your credit cards. In a dramatic musical undertaking that’s been called the Everest of the piano canon, Louis Lortie tackles the complete Chopin etudes in one sitting. Lortie made his performance debut with the Montreal Symphony Orchestra when he was 13 and was soon touring China and Japan. Of his grand gesture, the London Financial Times says, “Better Chopin playing than this is not to be heard, not anywhere.”

March 12-14. Herbst Theatre, 401 Van Ness Avenue (and additional venues). Tickets are $34-48 at 415-392-4400.

Stephen Petronio Company

For the last 25 years, Stephen Petronio’s company has performed his unpredictable brand of dance in 26 countries to music by collaborators like Fischerspooner, Rufus Wainwright, and Lou Reed. Petronio has choreographed works for companies in London, Berlin, and Paris, and drawn people like Andy Warhol and Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis to his shows. What we’re saying is, the man has charisma. 

Considered one of the leading dance makers of his generation, Stephen Petronio mixes a potent blend of new music, visual art, and fashion - and is constantly trying to top himself. “My job is to make things that are just beyond my grasp from last year,” Petronio said in an interview with Dance magazine in 2009.

Merce Cunningham Dance Company's Final Bay Area Performance

If you want to see the revolutionary Merce Cunningham Dance Company do its thing, this weekend is your last chance. The company hit the road for a final two year tour after avant garde dance pioneer Merce Cunningham’s death in 2009. The company will disband at the end of 2011. 

After rolling into Berkeley in a Volkswagen bus for its first performance here in 1962, the company went on to perform 26 seasons locally. For the company’s final Bay Area performance, they’ll perform pieces from various eras of Cunningham’s incomparable 70 year career.

Andy Warhol: Good for the Jews?

Irreverent local monologuist Josh Kornbluth turns his considerable powers of pondering to Andy Warhol's Ten Portraits of Jews of the Twentieth Century. Raised atheist by Marxist parents, Kornbluth reacted strongly when he first saw Warhol's 1980 exhibit at The Contemporary Jewish Museum of San Francisco. Commissioned by the museum to explore his unease on stage, Kornbluth developed his latest one-man show, Andy Warhol: Good for the Jews?, turning his theatrical monocle on pop art, cultural Judaism, and what on god's green earth Warhol's motives were. 

Avenue Q at the Orpheum

If Sesame Street grew up, went to college, worried about paying rent, and knew how to access online porn, it would look a lot like Avenue Q. Monsters, puppets, and people share a disintegrating apartment building in Manhattan, as well as a charming tendency to burst into harmonious song about racism and whose life sucks the most. 

Labeled an irreverent smash hit when it opened on Broadway in 2003, Avenue Q probably feels more subversive to tourists from Omaha than anyone living in the Bay Area.

Guns, Drones, and Needlepoint: Exhibitions by Trevor Paglen and Basset and Crites

Three artists at two side-by-side galleries on Geary Street deal in guns, pretty colors, and covert military operations. 

Honing in on the darker side of defense, Trevor Paglen photographs otherworldly skyscapes scarred by military and CIA drones used for covert operations in Pakistan and Yemen. At first glance, they could be shooting stars or city lights seen through a rain smeared window - until you read the plaque and realize it’s actually a spacecraft in perpetual geosynchronous orbit. He also uses his talented trigger finger to snap haunting landscapes like the Anasazi Cliff Dwellings.

Fable and Faith: World Premiere from Robert Moses’ Kin

Certain stories keep looping around, no matter how the world changes around them. And we all like a good fable, especially when choreographed by Robert Moses. Known for his complex and fluid style, Moses collaborates with well-known local playwright Anne Galjour to explore imagination in our current cultural landscape via the lens of children’s tales. With live music from the Grammy-winning San Francisco Boys Chorus, Fable and Faith is a hip multimedia world premiere from one of the Bay Area’s major dance companies.

LoveLand at The Marsh

Frannie Potts is the last person you want in the seat next to you on a long flight. Twitchy, judgmental, and prone to reenacting masturbatory fantasies, she'll make you long for an Ambien and a fifth of whisky - until you actually start listening to her. 

Ann Randolph’s solo show about compulsive oddball Frannie is hilarious, irreverent, and lauded by just about everyone. SF Bay Guardian calls it “riotously demented and brilliantly humane.” SF Bay Times says, “Ann Randolph is a comic genius.” The list of raves goes on. And the woman knows her comedy - she co-starred with Will Ferrell and Cheri Oteri in LA’s Groundlings and Mel Brooks compared her to the late, great Gilda Radner.

Bad Movie Night at The Dark Room

If your idea of fun is sitting in a dark room with the sarcastic robots of Mystery Science Theater 3000 (and whose isn't?), we've got the place for you. But the valiant souls with the microphones aren’t machines. Nor are they ornery old men best known for hurling verbal slurs at muppets. No, the voices of Bad Movie Night are alive, ready to heckle, and partially blocking your view of Megan Fox's cleavage. 

Mercilessly lambasting recent blockbusters (next up is Eat, Pray, Love), Bad Movie Night is a haven for anyone who can’t keep quiet when filmmakers commit the heinous crime of putting sunglasses on a pig or thinking Megan Fox is a good idea. There’s an art to skewering movies so bad even the actors cringe - and the hosts of Bad Movie Night have been perfecting it for six years.

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