Culture re-cap

After spending a week in Detroit and Chicago, I jumped right back into the culture scene in San Francisco, a mix of music, poetry and theater…

Thursday, March 2San Francisco Symphony presented an evening of Strauss and Brahms. From previous accounts, I had anticipated baritone Matthias Goerne to top the program, but it was Shoenberg’s orchestration of Brahms’ Quartet for Piano and Strings that knocked my socks off. Conductor Ingo Metzmacher further entertained the audience with his energetic, punctuated conducting and the occasional flashes of hot pink satin from underneath his black coat-tails. Twenty-four year old violin soloist Sarah Chang will be headlining next week, playing Sibelius.

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Friday, March 3 – My best friend, Jaye, took me to the Oakland Metro, where Youth Speaks was hosting it’s first round of semi-finals. I was rather impressed by the young poets who chose to speak on subject matter off the beaten track (i.e., no mention of “I have a dream”, Langston Hughes, and queen). For example, one young lady spoke very eloquently on her battle with anorexia, while another, Adrienne Rosenberg, used a theme of gray to convey how her life had changed abruptly after learning she couldn’t play sports anymore. Another young poet, Alex Gonzalez, avoided yelling into the mike, as some novices do, and instead used his smooth baritone to describe the great pain he experienced after learning his friend had been raped. The finals take place at the San Francisco Opera House on March 18, 7pm; tickets are $15 general admission or $5 for the 20 and under crowd.

Saturday, March 4 – Got comp tickets to the A.C.T’s MFA program’s production of “On the Bum, or the Next Train Through” at the intimate Zeum theater. The story was a bit thin at times, and some of the actresses were a bit off but all in all, I enjoyed the Americana, music, and acting of the male leads. The show runs until March 18, tickets are $10-15.

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