SF Life: Outdoor Opera, Merrily, Film Fests. Sistine Chapel
May the luck of the Irish be with you all tomatoes and we raise a glass of something green to all of you! Spring is almost here so let’s head outside for SF Opera’s BOHEME OUT OF THE BOX, an hour of pure delight staged across the bay. Sondheim’s classic MERRILY WE ROLL ALONG comes to delight audiences at The Gateway Theatre and film festivals for spring have arrived. Check out the ones coming right up. Can’t get to Rome this year, San Jose has a most unique take on the Sistine Chapel that will inform and delight without the travel! P.S. If you want more Martini Wisdom, the books are available on Amazon.
Now-April 2. Bohème Out of the Box
With the possibility of sunshine and warmer weather an outdoor hour-long Opera sounds inviting. Each weekend from now to April 2nd, Bohème Out of the Box will travel to a new outdoor venue around the greater Bay Area, sharing opera in an intimate and powerful new way with local communities free of charge. Each stop will offer a unique setting to gather and experience the power of this timeless tale on an innovative mobile stage. Free and Open to all!
Bohème Out of the Box runs approximately one hour with no intermission and features piano accompaniment. Performed in Italian with English dialogue. There are no supertitles, but a translation of the libretto will be available online. Join 45 minutes preshow talk on Fridays and Saturdays. Will cancel if rain. https://www.sfopera.com/seasons/opera-out-of-the-box/
Now-May 29. Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel: The Exhibition
If going to Italy is not in your travel plans this year, but you are longing to see the magical creations of Michelangelo, then head to San Jose. That’s right, Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel: The Exhibition showcases the awe and wonder of arguably one of mankind’s greatest artistic achievements, while allowing visitors to experience this art from an Up-Close, Life-Sized, and Never-Before-Seen perspective.
With special expertise and care, the ceiling paintings from the Sistine Chapel have been reproduced in a truly unique way using licensed high-definition photos. Brought to life using a special printing technique that emulates the look and feel of the original paintings, visitors are given a chance to engage with the artwork in ways that were never before possible: seeing every detail, every brushstroke, and every color of the artist’s 34 frescoes. Each image is accompanied by informative signage, and audio guides are available to rent for an even more in-depth experience. Even better than braving the crowds in Rome and with much more explanation, this is an innovative way to explore Michelangelo’s timeless masterpiece. Now through May 29th. Thursday through Sunday 10 – 5. https://chapelsistine.com/exhibits/san-jose/#
March 23-April 9. Merrily, We Roll Along
This one of those musicals about hopes and dreams. The glorious and heartbreaking tunes by beloved Stephen Sondheim brings the audience to tears and smiles throughout the show. Produced and staged by The Gateway Theatre in SF the show goes up March 23rd – April 9th. According to the Artistic Director this is his take on the show. “At age 20, your hopes and dreams are often one and the same. But as the years roll along, they begin to diverge; your hopes become about making the hand you’ve been dealt, while your dreams often start to wither and fade. And when the people you love were part of those dreams, they too can start to wither and fade. By reversing the timeline, MERRILY wants us to hold on to our dreams and shows us that friendship and love can survive the foibles and follies of human nature.” 42ndstmoon.org/merrily-we-roll-along.
Film festivals offer a wonderful opportunity to step out of the realm of blockbuster movies and into the arena of unique and informative films. This is the time of year when screenings are in abundance and here are some of the ones, we think are fascinating.
The Windrider Forum, is a local favorite and was launched in 2005 as a small class at the Sundance Film Festival to bring together filmmakers and film lovers in an immersive educational experience designed to facilitate thoughtful conversation, awaken compassion, and inspire change. This annual Film Forum screens important independent films which explore challenging issues in our world, followed by in-depth, moderated discussions with the filmmaker or others involved in the process. All screenings take place at the Menlo-Atherton Performing Arts Center.
Films being screened this year are REFUGE, a story about fear and love in the American South – Thursday, April 13 at 7pm at the Menlo-Atherton Performing Arts Center. Film screening followed by audience Q&A with Chris Buckley and Arno Michaelis – former white supremacists featured in the film, and current intervention specialists working with Parents for Peace. Youth Documentary Academy – Short Films Program. Screening Friday, April 14 at 7pm. Film screening followed by audience Q&A with four YDA filmmakers.
On Saturday April 15th at 7 p.m. WATERMAN is the featured film. Narrated by Jason Momoa – this original documentary by Sidewinder Films features commentary from surfing’s biggest stars. Followed by a Q&A with Chet Thomas, co-Producer, Waterman, and Steve Hawk, a fixture of the Coastside surf scene. https://windriderbayarea.org/
East Bay Tomatoes might be interested in The Vine Cinema and Alehouse in Livermore that will bring back its International Film Series with the French World War II drama “Farewell, Mister Haffmann” on Thursday, March 23, and the Israeli comedy drama “Perfect Strangers” on Sunday, March 26. “Farewell, Mr. Haffmann” is about a Jewish jeweler in Nazi-occupied Paris in 1941.Fearing the worst, Haffmann arranges to flee the city with his family, and asks an employee to take over the shop until the war ends. But when the jeweler’s attempts to escape are thwarted, he must rely on his employee for protection.
“Perfect Strangers” is an Israeli adaption of a 2016 Italian film about seven people, friends since childhood, agree to read aloud any texts they receive, or play their conversations on speakerphone, during a dinner party, with disastrous results. https://eastbayjewishfilm.eventive.org