SF Life: Theatre, Music, Magnolias, Rare Books
Happy New Month Tomatoes! As more and more venture inside, well it’s a wee bit cold out for many of us, there are fabulous music venues to enter and amazing shows to applaud. The magnolias are also beginning to show their beauty, so dodge raindrops and head to the Conservatory of Flowers to say ahhhhh. In search of a rare book, perhaps to gift for Valentine’s Day? The Rare Books Fair might be worth a visit this weekend.
Now to Feb. 26. Mean Girls
Oh the theatrical offerings in our backyards are so incredible. I just have to promote “Mean Girls”. Having seen it in NYC, both my Mr. Tomato and I simply adored this version of the classic movie. Regina George and the Plastics are hitting the stage for this musical edition of the ever-quotable early 2000s film; Tuesday through February 26th. More fun to be had Work on your Burn Book over cocktails: Two SF bars are serving up Mean Girls–themed drinks. Pre- or post-show, head to The Madrigal for a Regina George (vodka, prickly pear, and edible glitter served in a pink glass) or La Bande for a Fetch 75 (a French 75 with sparkling rosé.) goldengatetheatresf.com
Now – Feb. 26. “Satchmo at the Waldorf”
This is a one-man, three-character play in which the same actor portrays Louis Armstrong, the greatest of all jazz trumpeters; Joe Glaser, his white manager; and Miles Davis, who admired Armstrong’s playing but disliked his onstage manner. It takes place in 1971 in a dressing room backstage at the Empire Room of New York’s Waldorf-Astoria Hotel, where Armstrong performed in public for the last time four months before his death.
Reminiscing into a tape recorder about his life and work, Armstrong seeks to come to terms with his longstanding relationship with Glaser, whom he once loved like a father but now believes to have betrayed him. In alternating scenes, Glaser defends his controversial decision to promote Armstrong’s career (with the help of the Chicago mob) by encouraging him to simplify his musical style, while Davis attacks Armstrong for pandering to white audiences. This electrifying program is being performed at The San Jose Stage Company. Now through February 26th. https://www.thestage.org
Feb. 23-March 12. Anything Goes
If you have never witnessed the incredibly choreographed dance numbers in “Anything Goes” or the beautiful tunes by Cole Porter, get yourself to 42nd St. Moon’s production of this classic. The show runs from February 23 – March 12th and as we’ve mentioned before, it’s at one of our favorite intimate venues. Expect spectacular dance and soaring music.
Farcical hijinks abound in this theatrical romp across the Atlantic, in which a young ocean-liner stowaway, Billy Crocker, sets out to win the affections of Hope Harcourt, with plenty of elaborate disguises, tap-dancing sailors, and good old-fashioned blackmail along the way. A hilarious, heart-warming romantic comedy, featuring such classics as “I Get a Kick Out of You”, “You’re the Top”, and “It’s De-Lovely”. Find us in the audience singing along! https://42ndstmoon.org/
The Live Music Club Scene
The music club scene is vibrant in SF and they are working hard to lure patrons back indoors. Here are some of our favs, nothing like live music to warm you up on a cold winter’s eve.
BIRD & BECKETT. The folks at this Glen Park neighborhood bookstore/music venue offer high-caliber live music performances, as well as a wide selection of new and used books for sale. www.birdbeckett.com
CAFÉ DE NORD and SWEDISH AMERICAN HALL. At the basement level of the Swedish American Hall, Café du Nord is an iconic historical speakeasy with direct access from the Swedish American Hall through a secret interior stairwell. The high caliber of acts and the venue’s unique history and architecture make it a must to visit. http://www.cafedunord.comh
FEINSTEIN’S at the NIKKO. The intimate cabaret-style room has hosted some of the best and brightest names on and off the Broadway Stage and in jazz, offering an up close and in person supper show vibe. www.feinsteinssf.com
One of San Francisco’s most breathtaking natural marvels, the annual bloom of more than 200 rare and historic magnolias with trees reaching 80 feet, is typically at its peak from mid-January through March at the SF Botanical Garden. Velvety silver buds on the often-bare branches of these elegant trees, many rare and historic, open into dazzling pink, magenta, and white flowers, filling the wintery garden with dramatic splashes of color and sweetly fragrant scents. https://www.sfbg.org/events
Feb. 3-5. The Rare Book Fair
We know a lot of you Tomatoes love your books, so why not head to the Rare Book Fair to pick up a special edition for yourself, a valentine or a galentine. Get your hands on the finest antiquarian books, ephemera, and maps from dealers from all over the world at the Rare Books fair, inside the recently restored Hibernia bank building.
A special opening night party tonight, February 3rd will benefit The Book Club of California, Friends of the San Francisco Public Library, the Codex Foundation, and the Society of California Pioneers; 4pm to 7pm Friday, 10am to 6pm Saturday, and 11am to 4pm Sunday. The Hibernia, 1 Jones St. eventbrite.com.