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Allison McCarthy

Opening Tonight: Rex Ray's "New Work" at Gallery 16

With the barrage of new art sweeping through town, this weekend's ripe for gallery hopping. As you bounce around downtown from show to show, be sure to add an oldie but goodie to your hit list. Rex Ray, the Bay Area's beloved local artist who has always had a particular penchant for bold colors and abstract designs, is showing off some new work at Gallery 16. The opening reception happens tonight from 6 - 9 p.m.

This Week's Hottest Events: Fleet Foxes, Fashion's Night Out, and Serge Gainsbourg Tribute Dinner

Community
SPUR Reclaim Market Street exhibit
We've heard a lot about cleaning up Market Street for the better. Hence, SPUR's (The Studio for Urban Projects) latest exhibition and series of events. If you're committed to reclaiming this historic space, check out the exhibit and take part in the organization's corresponding "interventions" that discuss how the local community can better take advantage of sidewalks, plazas, and streets.
When: Tues. 9/6 – January 6, 2012
Where: SPUR, 654 Mission St.

Food+Music
Serge Gainsbourg Tribute Dinner
Everyone is talking about it. graffEats and Noise Pop are at it again with their Covers dinners. This week, it's a culinary tribute to French pop icon Serge Gainsbourg. Noise Pop pairs a thematic cover song with each of chef Blair Warsham's six signature dishes. Thursday's dinner is already sold-out. If you're lucky, you can still snag a ticket for Wednesday. Beg, plead, and sing your way in.
When: Wed. 9/7 and Thurs. 9/8
Where: A secret SoMa destination that will be disclosed to ticket holders only

Test Your Balance at SOMArts' "Frontrunners" Exhibit

How many times have you visited a museum or gallery and used all your restraint not to touch the art? Well, at SOMArt's "Frontrunners" exhibit, you can finally get your fix … on one of the installations, at least. Test your equilibrium on Helene Schlumberger's single-person balancing platform (which might be tricky after a few drinks), or marvel at Michael Koehle's 23-foot-tall masking tape lamp post that's suspended in the air by a set of red balloons. The group exhibit showcases work by 23 Bay Area artists, cleverly coined "the frontrunners."

This Week's Hottest Events: Sade, Jeff Bridges, and Kreayshawn

Film
Bay Area Animation Fest
Celebrate local talent at this year's Bay Area Animation Fest, and meet the filmmakers behind these fantastical creations.
When: Wed. 8/24 – Sun. 8/28
Where: Pacific Film Archive, 2575 Bancroft Way, Berkeley

Art
Tabitha Soren

Fashion a Photograph at Photobooth's Grand Opening

Remember those hokey booths on the boardwalk at the shore where you could dress up in old-fashioned Western garb and get your picture taken? Well, Vince Donovan and Michael Shindler, two local photographers who specialize in alternative processes, took that idea and made it cool with Photobooth. Starting this weekend, anyone can pop into their concept shop and get a unique portrait created instantly onsite using alternative techniques including tintypes and Polaroid shots.

This Week's Hottest Events: Bill Maher, Reggie Watts, and Old School Rap with Public Enemy and De La Soul

Comedy
Reggie Watts
The so-called disinformationist who blazed through 2010 with accolades from Conan, Rolling Stone, SPIN, and GQ brings his improv music and comedy to The Indy. But you'll have to beg for tickets—both shows are already sold out.
When: 8 and 10:30 p.m., Wed. 8/17
Where: The Independent, 628 Divisadero St.

Bill Maher Brings His Political Satire to Davies Hall

TV host, political commentator, author, actor—Bill Maher is a jack of all trades. The wildly popular stand-up comedian even has his own star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Before HBO’s Real Time with Bill Maher, the equal opportunity offender hosted the late-night talk show Politically Incorrect, and in 2008, he and director Larry Charles made the documentary spoof, Religulous. This month, Maher brings his signature brand of political satire and sociopolitical commentary to Davies Symphony Hall. There’s no topic Maher isn’t willing to broach, so expect offbeat remarks and unflinching honesty on everything from legalizing marijuana (thumbs up) to the possibility of having Sarah Palin as the next president (not so much). Aug. 20; 201 Van Ness Ave.

"The City We Love" Locals Show at 941 Geary

For 941 Geary founder Justin Giarla and graffiti artist APEX, it's all about the present. The two have co-curated "The City We Love," a large-scale group show of Bay Area artists at Giarla's cutting-edge Tenderloin gallery. The exhibit of new work by local artists highlights graffiti and street art culture from the likes of Chad Hasegawa, David Ball, Chor Boogie, John Felix Arnold, and more. “I just felt that it was time to focus on doing a show with just San Francisco artists," says Giarla. "There’s a stronger community in San Francisco than people realize. The artists that we work with are here because they love it."

This Week's Hottest Events: Outside Lands, Dave Chapelle, and Mortified

 Theater
Let Me Down Easy
West Wing and Nurse Jackie vet Anna Deavere Smith lights up the stage with her solo performance Let Me Down Easy. The two-time Obie Award winner takes on all characters—from a rodeo rider and doctor to Lance Armstrong and Lauren Hutton—in what the Today show hails as a "Run—don't walk" performance.
When: Wed. 8/10 – Sun. 9/4
Where: Berkeley Repertory Theatre, 2025 Addison St., Berkeley

Ticket Giveaway: Sade with John Legend at Oracle Arena, August 26

Sade: sexy, soulful, smooth. This is the woman responsible for staging romantic date nights and fulfilling love fantasies. One could even say she's every man's ticket to the bedroom. And it all started with her '80s hit "Smooth Operator." She's since become the most successful solo female artist in British history.

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