Shiyuan Liu during her recent artist talk at Et al.
See: -Alter-Circuit: Shiyuan Liu - My Paper Knife at Et al. The gallery's exceptional programming continues with work by this Beijing/Copenhagen artist. -Theory of Survival: Fabrications at Southern Exposure. Taraneh Hemami has assembled an outstanding roster of a dozen California-based Iranian artists into a vibrant marketplace within the walls of SoEx. Try to visit during this Saturday's Bazaar. -Matt Borruso: Wax House of Wax at Steven Wolf Fine Arts. Wonderfully creepy cut-and-paste-paper collages and sculptural installations that reference horror films, interior design, DIY, and much more.
Read: The George Kuchar Reader, edited by Andrew Lampert. Everyone in SF still misses George, and this is a chance to peruse some delightful ephemera including many notes written in Mr. Kuchar's own hand.
Listen: The Sunlandic Twins by Of Montreal has been on heavy rotation for me after I danced my feets off at one of their shows at the Great American last week. Let's pretend we're in Antarctica.
Watch: Llyn Foulkes: One Man Band, directed by Tamar Halpern and Christopher Quilty. "The Most Famous Artist You've Never Heard Of" is the perfect tagline. Keep an eye out for screenings, otherwise hopefully the film will be released online soon.
Eat: Anything from Hella Vegan Eats. I have dreams about their potsticker burrito.
Recent theater: -Ideation at SF Playhouse. A must-see, particularly for those who have ever been in a project meeting that goes awry. -Pastorella at The Exit. Stuart Bousel's latest is a delightful behind-the-scenes look at how actors act when they're not on stage. -The Whale at Marin Theatre Company. A week in the life of a 600-pound man living in Idaho. Intense, beautiful, incredibly moving.
Sunday -Mental soundtrack ---> The Bluetones -Argh BART but yay AC Transit -Also yay OAK and yay Southwest -The drive from Chicago to Milwaukee and the first glimpse of the city in the gloaming -Settling in at the uber-cool Brewhouse Inn & Suites, housed in a converted Pabst brewery -Dinner at Odd Duck: cocktail #27 + cheese plate + Korean pancake + sesame deviled eggs -Bowling (and karaoke recon) at Landmark Lanes
Monday -Mental soundtrack ---> Bahamas -Milwaukee when it rains -The desert and tropical domes of the Mitchell Park Conservatory -A peanut butter chocolate (PBC) from Holey Moley Doughnuts -A punt in the form of an easy chain restaurant lunch when faced with an unexpected "closed" sign at Mazos -One scoop chocolate, one scoop vanilla frozen custard from Leon's -Watching artisan cheese being made at Clock Shadow Creamery and a taste of ripe ground cherries from the nearby roof garden -Caramel peanut parfait from Purple Door Ice Cream -Dinner at Mader's: a stein of New Glarus Spotted Cow + mushroom napoleon with spaetzle
Tuesday -Mental soundtrack ---> Saint Etienne -A morning stroll along the lake and then meeting up with Ms Alicia in time to watch Calatrava's wings unfurl at the Milwaukee Art Museum -Tea and conversation in the museum cafe running rampant through the collection -Lunch at Zaffiro's: an olive and cheese pizza, party cut -Many delicious beers, cheese curds, and a most entertaining tour at Lakefront Brewery -Bibliophile heaven at Boswell Book Company -German delicacies (and crazy murals) at Usinger's and a traipse along the Riverwalk to find the Bronze Fonz -Dinner at Blue Jacket: the daily grog + fried Brussels sprouts + asparagus with remoulade + mascarpone and potato gnocchi + cardamom truffles in miso-caramel sauce -A Bramble at Bryant's Cocktail Lounge -One truly giant pretzel
Thursday -Mental soundtrack ---> Missing Persons -Grandma's 100th birthday celebration extravaganza! Family and food and kittens galore
Friday -Mental soundtrack ---> Neko Case -Breakfast at JP's: chai latte + fruity oatmeal -Morning at Ottawa Beach -The drive back to Chicago -Lunch along the way at Pleasant House in Three Oaks: mushroom and kale pie + mash + coriander chutney -A Potbelly veggie sandwich for the plane -And home to kitties
Through September 28 - A Midsummer Night's Dream at Cal Shakes. In a lovely alignment of the stars I managed to see this mere days after rewatching Dead Poets Society (in which the play factors strongly) at the Castro, and on one of the first truly warm nights of our Bay Area "summer." Shana Cooper directs a notably physical production that doesn't shirk from the raciness and ribaldry of Shakespeare's script, and with some magical stage design and strong ensemble acting throughout too I was transported body and soul to the Athenian woods. Danny Scheie has been getting well-deserved raves for his portrayal of Puck, and he does rule every scene he is in with genius comic timing, but Tristan Cunningham as Hermia and Lauren English at Helena also deserve mention for the glorious fervor with which they go at each other during their fight scene. Margo Hall does a hilarious gender-swapped turn as Bottom, even if the play-within-a-play always feels shoehorned in to me no matter how able the actors. Meanwhile Erika Chong Shuch makes an amazing Titania, her dancer's grace allowing her to literally float on the shoulders of the fairy ensemble in one scene. Shuch also acted as Movement Director for the play, adding imaginative choreographed details that contribute to the production's waking-dream qualities. And most importantly this Dream manages to encompass all the passion and poignancy of love as it is gained and lost and gained again. "Oh what fools these mortals be" indeed.