Spring Arts Preview: A star-studded film fest, the return of SoundBox, René Magritte + More

Spring Arts Preview: A star-studded film fest, the return of SoundBox, René Magritte + More


Fall may be the unofficial season for the arts, and summer is all about music festivals, but there are still plenty of ways to get your culture fix during the flowering months.

Mark your calendars for the return of SoundBox, an appearance by Charlize Theron at the San Francisco International Film Festival, a killer hip-hop exhibition, and more this spring in San Francisco.


In Victoria Mimiaga's version of The Grinder by Diego Riviera, the tortillas are wrapped in plastic.

(Courtesy of Telegraph Hill Gallery)

What: Wrapped—Food in Plastic II: The Masters

When: March 14 through April 27, 2018

Where: Telegraph Hill Gallery, 491 Greenwich St. (North Beach), telegraphhillgallery.com

Why: Sausalito-based artist Victoria Mimiaga's solo exhibition will appeal to the eco-minded, calling attention to our society's excessive and often needless use of plastics in daily life. Her reproductions of master artworks show the paintings' iconic food items wrapped in plastic—think Magritte's green apple, Gauguin's bowl of mangoes, and Diego Rivera's tortillas.

What: Respect: Hip-Hop Style & Wisdom

When: March 24 through August 12, 2018

Where: Oakland Museum of California, 1000 Oak St. (Oakland), museumca.org

Why: Because hip hop has left an indelible impression on our culture over the last 50 years. OMCA celebrates the genre through photos, posters, graffiti, clothing, and an array of objects that show the impact of hip hop as a social movement that has influenced not just music, but also dance, poetry and writing. The exhibit also comments on the significant role that California, and Oakland specifically, has played in hip hop's evolution.

What: PunkkiCo presents Controle

When: March 15-17, 2018

Where: ODC Theater, 3153 17th St. (Mission), odctheater.org

Why: There is life outside of social media. Prove it by logging off and heading out of the house to catch a dance performance about, er, social media. Controle considers the roles that Instagram, Facebook and others play in our daily lives through on-stage choreography that explores metaphors of control—our need to be seen as well as to control our privacy.

What: Cult of the Machine

When: March 24 through August 12, 2018

Where: De Young Museum, 50 Hagiwara Tea Garden Dr. (Golden Gate Park), deyoungmuseum.org

Why: We have a love-hate relationship with technology, one that's been engrained in the American mindset since the early 20th Century when our agrarian economy shifted toward the industrial and technological. With that came the Precisionist arts movement of the 1920s, where artists began to "machinize" their works as a way to express both the optimism and anxiety or suspicion associated with advancement (sound familiar?). The complicated responses of artists—including Charles Sheeler, Georgia O'Keeffe, Charles Demuth, Imogen Cunningham and Paul Strand—are the topic here, discussed through paintings, photography, design objects, news clips, and film.

What: Speak to the Stones, and the Stars Answer

When: Through June 2, 2018

Where: Haines Gallery, 49 Geary St. (Union Square), hainesgallery.com

Why: You believe Mother Nature is the ultimate work of art. Bay Area photographer Linda Connor and Chinese sculptor Zhan Wang have an intercultural conversation about the passage of time and the power of nature to give new meaning to our whole existence.


A still from Boots Riley's Sorry to Bother You, screening at the SF International Film Festival this month.

(Courtesy of SFFILM)

What: Euphoria @ SoundBox

When: April 6-7, 9pm (Doors 8pm)

Where: SoundBox, 300 Franklin St. (Civic Center), sfsoundbox.com

Why: SoundBox shows always sell out for a reason. This season, the San Francisco Symphony has announced the addition of its Producer Pass, a $350 ticket ($250 of that is tax deductible) that also includes early admission, two free drinks at the VIP bar, and a special producer's thank-you on the big screen at the start of the show. This month's performance, Euphoria, is a musical trip down the rabbit hole that is human emotion.

What: Judy Dater: Only Human

When: April 7 throug September 16, 2018

Where: De Young Museum, 50 Hagiwara Tea Garden Dr. (Golden Gate Park), deyoungmuseum.org

Why: Feminism is the new black. The exhibition is an homage to the 50-year career of Berkeley-based photographer Judy Dater—a pioneer, during the 1970s, of feminist art. The collection include a series of self-portraits and photos that aimed to shine a light on our ideas of sexuality, gender politics, freedom, vulnerability, strength, and character.

What: Head Over Heels

When: April 10 through May 6, 2018

Where: The Curran, 445 Geary St. (Tendernob), sfcurran.com

Why: The Go-Go's still rock. This comedic musical from the legendary all-female rock band is the sassy and playful telling of a royal family that gets together to prevent a prophecy of doom—they'll do anything to save their kingdom. Expect love triangles, sexual awakening, and self-discovery.

What: Angels in America. A Gay Fantasia on National Themes

When: April 17 through July 22, 2018

Where: Berkeley Repertory Theater, 2025 Addison St. (Berkeley), berkeleyrep.org

Why: It is timely—again. Tony Kushner's Pulitzer Prize– and Tony Award– winning play comes to the Rep in two parts. Directed by artistic director Tony Taccone (who first commissioned the play 26 years ago for its debut at SF's Eureka Theater), the iconic drama about American politics, gay identity, and love feels every bit as fresh today.

What: San Francisco International Film Festival (SFFILM)

When: April 4-17, 2018

Where: Various locations in the city, sffilm.org

Why: SF is rolling out the red carpet. This annual festival will feature screenings—including Oakland writer/director Boots Riley's "wonderfully deranged" film Sorry to Bother You (Thurs. Apr. 12 at Castro Theatre and Grand Lake Theatre)—and a special tribute to Charlize Theron, who's expected to attend (Apr. 8, Castro Theatre).


Capacitor will perform Left to Her Own Devices: 20 Years of Sculpture in Motion, at Transform Fest.

(Courtesy of YBCA)

What: René Magritte: The Fifth Season

When: May 19 through October 28, 2018

Where: SFMOMA, 151 Third St. (SoMa), sfmoma.org

Why: Everybody loves René Magritte, whose later work, in the 1940s through the '60s, represents his break from the formal Surrealist movement and the moment he hit his stride. This exhibition collects more than 70 works including some of his most notable and iconic paintings: Look forThe Kiss and The Son of Man.

What: An Evening With Audra McDonald and San Francisco Symphony

When: May 18, 8pm

Where: Davies Hall, 201 Van Ness Ave. (Civic Center), sfsymphonyhall.org

Why: Audra McDonald has six Tony Awards on her shelf. On this night, the famed soprano (Porgy & Bess, Carousel) will enchant you with her gift for song and comedic storytelling in her renditions of Broadways classics as well as contemporary works.

What: San Francisco International Arts Festival (SFIAF)

When: May 24 through June 3

Where: Fort Mason Center for Arts & Culture, 2 Marina Blvd. (Marina), fortmason.org, sfiaf.org

Why: This fest has everything—music, dance, comedy, and performance art. This year's event pays homage to the memory of Dr. Martin Luther King, as well as to women and queer culture. Look for a roaring 20s–style burlesque performance from Quebec's Cirquantique as well as Eric Kupers' "Losers + Dragons + Queer A.I. A Triple Dose of Queerdom."

What: Transform Fest

When: May 9-20, 2018

Where: Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, 701 Mission St. (Mission), ybca.org

Why: An invitation to open our minds, this edition of YBCA's Transform Fest centers on a question: "Where is our public imagination?" International musicians, dancers and actors—including Black Women Rock!, DJ Spooky, Printz Dance Project, and Okwui Okpokwasili—reply.

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