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What's Happening
in San Francisco

November 17-25, 2006


Music, Dance Theater

San Francisco Opera: Performs Carmen & Manon Lescaut.

San Francisco Symphony: Performs Shostakovich's Fifth Symphony (Nov 15-18).  Also a special screening of Charlie Chaplin's City Lights with musical accompaniment (Nov 22, 24, 25).

Compańia Tania Pérez-Salas. Sonically sensual, visually inventive and theatrically arresting, the dances of Mexico City choreographer Tania Pérez-Salas reframe how we think about Contemporary Latin American dance. This varied program offers a rich palette of experiences. Las Horas is playfully tongue-in-cheek rococco, Anabiosis has a sweaty, angular earthiness, while Visitor is dreamlike and sensuous.

ACT: The Little Foxes. Playwright, activist, lover, blacklisted screenwriter—Lillian Hellman, with her rabble-rousing life and work, continues to exert a captivating hold on American culture.

Aurora Theatre: The Ice Glen by Joan Ackermann.Called “funny, moving and witty” by Boston’s Metroland, Ackermann’s play offers an exuberant, humorous look at the connections between the worlds of art, society, and nature.

Berkeley Rep: Passing Strange. The heartfelt and hilarious story of a young bohemian who charts a course for “the real” through sex, drugs and rock and roll. Loaded with soulful lyrics and overflowing with passion, the show takes us from black, middle-class America to Amsterdam, Berlin and beyond on a journey towards personal and artistic authenticity.

Museums

Asian Art Museum: Hidden Meanings: Symbolism in Chinese Art.  Symbolism abounds in the decorative arts of China, rendering clothing, personal adornment, and household objects rich with meaning. A gourd-shaped vase decorated with bats is more than just ornamental: it is a promising omen, as the gourd symbolizes fertility by virtue of its numerous seeds, and the imagery of bats implies the sentiment "blessings vast as the sky." By surrounding themselves with such symbols, many Chinese believed that wishes would be fulfilled. Pioneers of Philippine Art: Luna, Amorsolo, Zóbel. Featuring more than 30 paintings, this exhibition chronicles one hundred years of Philippine painting from the late 19th to the late 20th century in the works of three artists—Juan Luna (1857–1899), Fernando Amorsolo (1892–1972) and Fernando Zóbel (1924–1984).

Cal Academy of Science: Xtreme Life : Scientists have found life in battery acid, methane seeps, and boiling sea vents. If it can survive these extremes on Earth, where else might it exist in our solar system?

Legion of Honor: Claude Lorrain—The Painter as Draftsman: Drawings from the British Museum. The great French 17th-century landscape artist Claude Lorrain (1604/5–1682) is featured in this exhibition showcasing his unique response to the topography and atmospheric effects characteristic of the Roman countryside.

DeYoung Museum: Since 2001: Recent Prints by Ed Ruscha. The approximately 25 prints featured in this exhibition are recent additions to the Edward Ruscha Graphic Arts Archive, a signal body of work that was acquired by the Fine Arts Museums in 2000. The Quilts of Gee's Bend. Features a selection of more than 60 quilts made by four generations of African American women who inhabit a strip of land formed by a deep loop in the Alabama River, about thirty miles from Selma. Descended from slaves and isolated for decades by geography, poverty, and government indifference, the women of this community assembled quilts of astonishing artistry.

San Francisco Museum of Modern Art: Mexico as Muse: Tina Modotti and Edward Weston. For a few exhilarating years in the 1920s, two of the major figures in 20th-century photography, Tina Modotti and Edward Weston, shared a passionate partnership with each other. They also shared an intense romance with photography and with Mexico, where they lived together from 1923 to 1926. This exhibition includes some of the most significant photographs they made during their time in Mexico, pictures that count among the most memorable from each artist's career.

Yerba Buena Center for the Arts: Sensacional! Mexican Street Graphics.  Celebrates the vernacular design of the comic books, flyers, posters and signs common in Mexico, where a rough, idiosyncratic beauty arises from a mom-and-pop street economy. The artisans are the sign-painting, lithographic tradespeople who work off the high-art grid, and serve as de facto ad agencies for auto repair shops, food vendors, and wrestling events.