This Week's Picks: March 12 -18, 2014

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WEDNESDAY 12

Freddie Rainbow Presents "Gender Night"

It's no secret that comedy is a male-dominated business. For years, there's been this stereotype that women aren't funny. Honestly, how often do you see a comedy with a female lead? While movies like Bridesmaids and Ghost World are few and far between, over the past couple of years, women in entertainment have been speaking out against this double standard. "Gender Night" is the most recent development. Comedian and ardent supporter of gender equality Freddie Rainbow presents an encore presentation of comedy from California's finest comediennes. Expect jokes about shopping and love as well as fart jokes. Girls fart too, get over it. "The only reason to miss this show is if you hate women," says the comedy club website. "Please don't hate women." (Laura B. Childs)

8pm, $15

Punch Line Comedy Club

444 Battery, SF

(415) 397-7573

www.punchlinecomedyclub.com

 

THURSDAY 13

Shpongle

For more than 15 years, English DJ and producer Simon Posford and Australian flutist Raja Ram have collaborated to produce expansive, mind-bending, psychedelic music. Fans are still raving about how Shpongle rocked Oakland's Fox Theatre just before Halloween 2011, when Posford and Ram played with a live band and an ensemble of colorful dancers. Posford, who takes to the decks for this show in support of the duo's latest album Museum of Consciousness (Twisted Records), was a major contributor to the frenetic psy-trance scene that blossomed in Britain in the early '90s. Those early musical influences shine through in the track "How the Jellyfish Jumped the Mountain," an intricate, mid-tempo, 10-minute journey through filtered melodies, distorted vocal samples and catchy basslines. (Kevin Lee)

With Desert Dwellers, Vokab Kompany

8 pm, $27.50 presale, $30 at the door

The Regency Ballroom

1300 Van Ness, SF

(415) 673-5716

http://www.theregencyballroom.com

 

IDEO's David Kelley

IDEO founder David Kelley and his brother Tom Kelley believe that we are watered-down versions of what we could be. On the heels of their bestselling The Art of Innovation, the businessmen brothers have written Creative Confidence, a book that challenges the idea that only some people are creative, suggesting that creativity is not innate but rather a skill. At this JCC event, the IDEO founder and Stanford University professor will speak about unlocking our creative potential; the night will also include a guest lecture by the pioneer for modern journalism and story-telling, Douglas McGray, editor-in-chief of Pop-Up Magazine and the brand new California Sunday Magazine. (Childs)

7pm, $25

Jewish Community Center of San Francisco

3200 California, SF

(415) 292-1200

www.jccsf.com

 

 

Little Minsky's Burlesque Cabaret

Boasting what some have called both the best pizza and jazz in the city (can you really beat that combination?), Club Deluxe is bringing back Little Minsky's Burlesque Cabaret every second Thursday of the month. If you like your cocktails stiff and your burlesque dancers flexible, this is the night for you. Take a trip back in time with a lovely lineup of vintage cabaret performers and Prohibition-era jazz musicians. The night is sure to get hot and heavy, but in the classiest of ways, of course. (Childs)

10pm, $5

Club Deluxe

1511 Haight, SF

(415) 552-6949

www.pizza-deluxe.com

 

FRIDAY 14

Screen Printing for Newbies – Late Night Edition

Remember the good old days, when your parents signed you up for various art classes or random activities just so they didn't have to deal with you on the weekends or school breaks? Workshop SF is oddly reminiscent of summer camp. With Jameson lamps, metallic saws, and only the necessary amount of clutter, the NoPa studio offers awesome classes from Sewing 101 to Hair Bootcamp to Pickling 101. Tonight, they offer a special late night edition of "Screen Printing for Newbies." Learn the basics of silkscreen printing with an hour-long, hands-on tutorial and two hours of time to print. Bring your own printing supplies or come empty-handed — either way you'll walk out with some cool designs printed on paper, T-shirts, and even beer koozies. (Childs)

8pm, $42

Workshop

1789 McAllister, SF

(415) 874-9186

www.workshopsf.org

 

Stephen Petronio

It's been a while since we have seen Stephen Petronio's dancers fill a local stage with the interlocking complexities of choreography so fiercely layered — and performed at such speed — that the mind sometimes had difficulties in absorbing it all. Apparently, given the newest work's name, we can expect some slower passages. In Like Lazarus Did, Petronio and his 10 dancers are dancing about death and resurrection, not exactly a hot topic on the traveling dance circuit. But perhaps the subject makes sense for a dancer-choreographer who is close to 60, who was the first male dancer with Trisha Brown — whose troupe is currently on life support — and whose own company is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year. So happy birthday and many more to come. (Rita Felciano)

March 14-15, 7:30pm, $35-50

Yerba Buena Center for the Arts

700 Howard St. SF

(415) 978-2787

www.ybca.org

 

SATURDAY 15

Magic, Color, Flair: The World of Mary Blair

With a keenly creative outlook and modernist style mixed with bold, beautiful colors, artist Mary Blair helped inspire and design some of the most beloved films and attractions made by Walt Disney Studios during the 1940s and '50s, including Peter Pan, Cinderella, and Alice In Wonderland. This new exhibit features 200 works that examine not only her seminal time and iconic output with Disney but also her early years, as well as her later work as an illustrator for advertising, theatrical sets, clothing, children's books, and much more. (Sean McCourt)

Through Sept. 7, 2014

10am-6pm, Wed-Mon, $10 for Blair exhibit only, museum combo ticket $17-$25

The Walt Disney Family Museum

104 Montgomery, SF

www.waltdisney.org

 

 

Sureando: Rambling through the South

There is a difference between listening through your ears and listening through your heart. For the latter, there's nothing better than the voice of Chilean cellist Mochi Parra. This performance will see Parra teaming up with Peruvian native bass virtuoso and Berkeley Jazz School teacher David Pinto to present a concert of South American musical jewels that will undoubtedly set a precedent for the possibilities of these two instruments. There's nothing sparse about this: Pinto's six-stringed bass seems to dialogue with Mochi commanding interpretations, and the duo's original arrangements combine to create an exquisite orchestration right at the edges of the unpredictable nueva canción styles. (Fernando A. Torres)

7pm, $15

Red Poppy Art House

2698 Folsom, SF

(415) 826-2402

www.redpoppyarthouse.org

 

The San Francisco International Chocolate Salon

In the market for a sugar rush? Now in its 8th year, this annual smorgasbord of all things cocoa-based promises "55,000 square feet of chocolate," in the form of tastings, demonstrations, new product launches, author talks, wine pairings, a "Chocolate Art Gallery," and more. Artisan chocolatiers, confectioners, and self-proclaimed chocolate aficionados from all over the globe will converge at the Fort Mason Center to hear from locals like John Scharffenberger, chocolate maker at, yes, Scharffen Berger Chocolate, as well as chocolate-obsessed celebrities from the cooking show world. Let's get real: It's been a month since we had any heart-shaped truffles and there are still a few weeks to go until Cadbury Creme Eggs. Our sweet tooth needs this. (Emma Silvers)

10am, $20 -$30, discounts for kids

Fort Mason Center

2 Marina Blvd, SF

www.sfchocolatesalon.com

 

SUNDAY 16

Portland Cello Project

Compelling mysteries arise whenever the Portland Cello Project is slated to perform. What sort of ensemble will participate? Will they go all cellists, or will they incorporate some combination of vocals, horns, winds, and percussion? Moreover, what sort of music will they play? Known as an "indie music orchestra," PCP (an affectionate nickname from fans) unabashedly reappropriates rap, rock, and pop artists, from Kanye West's upbeat "All of the Lights" to Radiohead's melancholic "Karma Police," into provocative covers that defy easy genre classification. The Project's most stirring renditions seem to come from slowing down a track and teaming up with a powerful voice, which seems to naturally emphasize the emotional power of the cello. Accompanied by vocalist Chanticleer Tru, the Project's take on Beck's "Don't Act Like Your Heart Isn't Hard" is a particularly devastating, soul-laden heartbreaker. (Lee)

8pm, $22 presale, $26 at the door

Yoshi's San Francisco

1330 Fillmore, SF

(415) 655-5600

www.yoshis.com

 

Sunday Sampler at the Berkeley Rep School of Theatre

If you've spent more time practicing your Oscar acceptance speech than you'd perhaps like to admit, come out of hiding: Three times a year, the professional thespians at the Berkeley Repertory's School of Theatre hold an afternoon of free acting workshops that are entirely open to the public, to serve as a preview of the school's upcoming programming. Classes for youth, teens, and adults are available, from Beginning Acting and Musical Theatre to Playwriting and "Acting Violence" — aka how to stage a swordfight without actually injuring your coworkers or yourself. Even if you never go pro, you never know when that last one could come in handy. (Silvers)

1pm, free

Berkeley Repertory School of Theatre

2071 Addison, Berkeley

(510) 647–2972

www.berkeleyrep.org


MONDAY 17

Crossroads Irish-American Festival with Katherine Hastings

For those whose ideal St. Patrick's Day celebration is a little more literary, a little less passing-out-in-your-own-green-puke, this evening honoring the legacy of Irish-American poetry, featuring Sonoma County Poet Laureate Katherine Hastings, should be just the ticket. With her recently published Nighthawks, Hastings has established herself as a poet unafraid to tackle controversial current events in her work, but there's a constant undercurrent of appreciation for nature — she previously edited What Redwoods Know: Poems from California State Parks as a benefit for the struggling California State Parks Foundation. And because poets do know how to have fun: Irish soda bread and other Irish treats will be served. (Silvers)

7pm, free

BookShop West Portal

80 West Portal, SF

www.irishamericancrossroads.org

 

TUESDAY 18

Free to Play advance screening

This feature-length documentary, produced by video game developer Valve, takes viewers inside the world of competitive gaming — sorry, e-sports — as three professional gamers travel the world, competing for a $1 million prize in the first Dota 2 International Tournament. What was once considered a niche interest is now serious business, with trading and politics that mirror professional sports; Dota 2, a five-person team sport, is especially big in China, where one wealthy man recently bought an entire team for $6 million. This premiere will feature a live Q&A with the film's creators and other special guests. (Silvers)

8pm, $25

Castro Theatre

429 Castro, SF

www.castrotheatre.com

 

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