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Amber Adrian

Sailing With Homer: The Odyssey, Not Simpson

A play about a boat, performed on a boat. Revolutionary, logistically tricky, and rife with ultra-awesome potential. We Players triumphs yet again with another site-specific performance - Homer’s classic seafaring adventure, performed on an 1891 scow schooner named Alma. For its latest ambitious project, local theater troupe takes audiences on a ride through the seas - physical and metaphorical - of Greek poetry. 

Condensing Odysseus’s ten year journey into a three-hour sail around the San Francisco bay, cast and crew blend real-time wrangling of Alma’s sails with Homer’s epic journey of gods and sirens. Definitely a new way to experience both The Odyssey and boats. 

Project Bandaloop Suspended in Oakland

In twenty years, Project Bandaloop has flown from mountain tops, down skyscrapers, and through the air as if they had made the evolutionary leap from shoulder blades to wings. They aren’t precisely weightless, more strapped in with super-strength harnesses, but they do defy gravity. 

Known around the world for innovative aerial work in unconventional spaces - like the cliffs of Yosemite and the Chattanooga Bridge - Project Bandaloop kicks off its 2011 season with something new. A large-scale vertical work, Bound(less) is accompanied by live music from Dana Leong and his band. A physical - and death-defying - look at how we forge our identity through interactions with our community and our environment, Project Bandaloop hits the wall again.  

Diana Ross Plays San Francisco For The First Time Since 1969

Diana Ross hasn’t graced a San Francisco stage since the summer of love, when she performed with at the Venetian Room with The Supremes. For the first time since Nixon was in office, the music superstar is sending her belted-18-number-one-hits-and-sold-100-million-records voice into our stratosphere. 

Diana Ross tutorial: She signed with Motown records in 1961 with The Supremes. They soon became the sound of young America. She went solo in 1970 and has been hammering out hits ever since. She’s Billboard magazine’s Female Entertainer of the Century, a Guinness world record holder, an Academy Award-nominated actor, and she graces two stars on Hollywood’s Walk Of Fame.

Suffice it to say, she’s a legend and she’s playing here. 

Extinction Burst: Dance of the Dead at California Academy of Sciences

We don’t really know how a Tyrannosaurus Rex moved. Sure, there are skeletal indications and paleontologists who’ve made careers of knowing their dinosaurs. But unless a Tyrannosaurus Rex comes back to life and gives us a seven ton demonstration, there's still some mystery. I mean, maybe dinosaurs had roller skates. Maybe they rode massive winged unicorns. We just can't be sure.

Acclaimed choreographer Chris Black investigates this very phenomenon (minus the unicorns) in a site-specific work at California Academy of Sciences. Sending five contemporary dancers hurtling through the museum in the foot steps of long-departed species, Black evokes a very physical brand of nostalgia for that which will never walk the earth again. 

City, Speak To Me: San Francisco in Words and Pictures

San Francisco is a city stuffed with hidden pockets of the weird and delightful. Sometimes it takes a photographer’s eye and a poet’s soul to find them. If you don’t have either, relax - there's an exhibit just for you. Julie Michelle, the eye behind I Live Here:SF and poet-in-motion Silvi Alcivar join forces to show you their San Francisco. Even if you have one hell of a poet’s soul, thankyouverymuch, there’s still plenty of the strange and lovely in this gallery exhibit at La Boutique. 

Muslim Culture Unveiled at Brava Theater Center

One of the top subjects labeled “Misunderstood by Americans” is Muslim culture. Even less understood is the role of women in that culture. Using the voices of five Muslim women in the western world post-9/11, playwright Rohina Malik peels away the layers of contention in her one-woman show going up at Brava this month.  

ODC Theater's "West Wave Duets"

Duets bring an intimacy and physical chemistry to the stage that's unmatched by any other format - especially when the duet is danced by a real-time fairytale romance. Husband-and-wife duo Nicole Trerise White and Ethan White are former Smuin Ballet dancers and, according to Kimberley Wyatt of CBS's Live to Dance, they're magic together. Following Michael Smuin’s credo of making ballet more accessible, the Whites put a contemporary spin on all that deft footwork and impressively bendy extension. 

Rita Moreno’s Life Without Makeup at Berkeley Rep

Struggling artists, take heart. Rita Moreno - one of the few performers to line her shelves with an Oscar, a Tony, a Grammy, and two Emmys - labels her early Hollywood career as “horrifying.” Tony Taccone, writer of Ms. Moreno’s new one-woman show at Berkeley Rep, says “There’s a lot of humor in failure.” Meaning, you get to laugh and be buoyed by the thought that one of the most lauded performers in show business history spent time swimming around in the primordial Sea of Failed Attempts. Just like the rest of us. 

Stage Werx Theatre's "All Atheists Are Muslim" A Compelling Look at Cultural Divides in Danville, CA

Zahra is moving in with a man. Something that would be perfectly acceptable to her Muslim parents, as long as he isn’t white, an atheist, or her boyfriend. When they learn he’s all of these things, consequences bombard Zahra with all the subtlety of irate heat-seeking missiles. 

September Classical Roundup: The Sound of History

San Francisco Symphony at Civic Center

For its one-hundredth birthday bash, the San Francisco Symphony hits the city streets with a free concert in Civic Center Plaza on September 8. Food trucks and hordes of people will be lounging in the sun (or fog -  let's be real here) as Michael Tilson Thomas kicks up the string section with his baton and Joe Lang Lang takes the piano bench. You'll hear Liszt's Piano Concerto No. 1 in E-flat major and Britten's The Young Person's Guide to the Orchestra. If you get there early enough, you can snag free treats from Ghirardelli and La Boulange. 

September 8, noon. Civic Center Plaza, Polk and McAllister Streets. Tickets are free. 

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