Wednesday, January 4 I The Two-Character Play by Tennessee Williams Williams’ heartbreaking backstage saga of a brother and sister and the secrets that make them cling to one another and eventually tear them apart. Williams’ own favorite play, “The Two-Character Play” brings together all the themes of his career in one final comic drama which celebrates both life and a life in the theatre.
Thursday, January 5 I Alt. Dance – Steampunk and Electro Swing Alt. Dance is an alternative dancefloor from a past that never existed (or a future that might yet). The folks from Swing Goth play traditional music, untraditionally and dance to have fun! Primarily focusing on Steampunk and Electro Swing, Alt. Dance is the party for “all times”! This event is partner dance positive and there’ll be vendors, a dance floor and a lounge in which to socialize. The primary format is a combination of Steampunk and Electro Swing.
Friday, January 6 I Mugwumpin Presents ‘Future Motive Power’ Mugwumpin, San Francisco’s favorite performance-ensemble dynamo, returns with the world premiere of a mind-bending performance piece inspired by the life of inventor Nikola Tesla, created for the vault level of the historic Old Mint. From the heights of fame and wealth, he delivered electricity to the world. His genius for invention rivaled Thomas Edison, and his spectacular scientific demonstrations enraptured the likes of Mark Twain. Yet his life ended in poverty, with the pigeons outside his window as his only companions. Nikola Tesla’s riveting, peculiar life provides the inspiration for Mugwumpin’s newest original performance about ambition, transcendence, and the terrible price of genius.
Saturday, January 7 I The Boar’s Head Festival with San Francisco Renaissance Voices Join San Francisco Renaissance Voices and Assistant Music Director Katherine McKee, us as they celebrate the end of the holiday season with a Celebration of Twelfth Night – The Boar’s Head Festival – featuring the music of Medieval through contemporary England. The Festival originated at Queen’s College, Oxford, England in 1340. Legend has it that a scholar was studying a book of Aristotle while walking through the forest on his way to Midnight Mass. Suddenly, he was confronted by an angry wild boar. Having no other weapon, he thrust his metal-bound book down the throat of the charging animal, whereupon the brute choked to death. That night the boar’s head, finely dressed and garnished, was borne in procession to the dining room, accompanied by carolers singing “in honor of the King of bliss.” This year, audiences will have more opportunities to sing along during the concert and after the concert enjoy a traditional feast featuring wassail, king’s cake and meat and vegetable pies.
Monday, January 9 I GIFT OF GAB (Of Blackalicious) Like a few other West Coast rap acts, Blackalicious has generally favored what hip-hoppers call the “positive tip”; in other words, its lyrics have often been spiritual and uplifting rather than violent or misogynous. Like a lot of experimental alternative rappers, Blackalicious can be quirky and eccentric; nonetheless, spirituality is a big part of the group’s music. SoleSides Records released Blackalicious’ debut single “Swan Lake” in 1994 and although it wasn’t a triple-platinum smash, the single was a small underground hit that fared well among alternative rap audiences. The following year, SoleSides Records released a Blackalicious EP titled “Melodica.” By late 1997, SoleSides Records had transformed into Quannum Records, and in 1999, Quannum put out another Blackalicious EP, “A2G.” In 2000, Quannum released the group’s full-length debut “Nia” (whose title is the Swahili word for purpose). After being together eight years, Blackalicious finally signed with a major label when, in late 2000, the Californians were added by MCA. After the requisite tour, both Xcel and Gab began developing solo material; Quannum released both Maroons’ “Ambush” (Chief Xcel with Latyrx’s Lateef the Truth Speaker) as well as a Gift of Gab solo LP, “Fourth Dimensional Rocketships Going Up.” Don’t miss this rare chance to catch Gift of Gab solo at the Elbo Room with Deuce Eclipse.
Know of any other events happening in the Bay Area this week? Post them in the comments section!