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Review: 'Cosi Fan Tutte'

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Review: 'Cosi Fan Tutte'

Don Alfonso counters, wagering that he can prove all women are fickle—even the officers' beloved Dorabella and Fiordiligi. The men accept, and soon they are pretending to be called off to war, then disguising themselves in Eastern European garb and false mustaches, as they attempt to seduce each other's lover. At first, Dorabella and Fiordiligi are perplexed at their new "Albanian" guests, and are just as quick to deny their advances. But with a little finagling, lying, and with the added support of Don Alfonso (along with the ever-changing personas of chambermaid Despina), Ferrando and Guglielmo soon get in over their heads, risking their lovers for the sake of a misogynist gamble. » Read More

The Art of 'Play!'

"We want to showcase to people that play is something we all need in our lives," Kienzle says. "It promotes innovation, it keeps us happy and healthy. We're hoping to give people an opportunity to be playful, at least during the time they're in the gallery." The exhibit runs through Dec. 29. Over the course of the show, the art center will hold a series of public programs and hands-on activities for its first ever "Season of Play." The free kick-off event will feature mini golf, art activities, ice cream and a cash bar, among other things. » Read More

This Art Kills Fascists

Anno Domini's new group show, "The ASARO Collective," brings together work from the Asamblea de Artistas Revolucionarios de Oaxaca, a revolutionary artist collective dedicated to creating social change through its creations. The collective grew out of a response to the 2006 Oaxaca protests, a conflict between the Popular Assembly of Peoples of Oaxaca and the local government of the Mexican state. The protests resulted in the death of 17 non-violent demonstrators. In the fallout, the Mexican government was accused of violating human rights in its efforts to dampen the unrest. The ASARO Collective is made up of artists from all walks of life-from trained painters to self-taught graffiti artists and students. It is a group born out of » Read More

All Lit Up

Last week's issue of Metro featured a rundown of the many visual arts exhibitions, stage shows and live music slated for this fall. It turns out there are plenty of page-turning poetry and prose events in store for the coming season, as well. From Eastridge to Palo Alto, the literary strands of Silicon Valley are alive and well. Current Santa Clara County Poet Laureate Arlene Biala will host a free event to talk about the poet laureate program, who should apply to be the next one, and answer any questions about the application process. Former county poet laureates David C. Perez, Sally Ashton and Nils Peterson will also be on hand to discuss their experiences and share their respective insights. » Read More

Janice Sapigao's Shadowy Musings

"I've been coming here since before those graves and tombstones were built," says Janice Sapigao, pointing to a cluster of headstones nestled against the hillside. "I've been coming here a really long time." We're near the intersection of Meditation Road and Memory Lane in Oak Hill Memorial Park, standing over her father's gravesite. Janice visits multiple times a year. She's been doing so since she was 6 years old. A lot can change in that time. Like a Solid to a Shadow, Janice Sapigao's forthcoming second book of poetry, is a constantly shifting work of translation. At the center of the book are a series of recorded love letters her father sent to her mother. These letters were spoken in Ilocano, a secondary dialect of the Philippines, » Read More

MAGWest Brings Pinball Wizardry

MAGFest has been an event for gamers on the East Coast going on 15 years now. Originally known as the Mid-Atlantic Gaming Festival, the Music and Gaming Festival (as it is now known) made its name with 24-hour arcades, LAN parties, panels by gamer icons like Nobuo Uematsu and Sid Meier, and a wide selection of video game-inspired music. Since starting in 2002, MagFest has grown from drawing hundreds along the Atlantic seaboard to thousands, to tens of thousands. The same format is being brought to Santa Clara this year at the Hyatt for the first ever MagWest, including the round-the-clock arcade and LAN parties. Musical acts include locals like Curious Quail and Super Soul Bros, a number of San Francisco chiptune acts, as well as musicians » Read More

San Jose Feels The Burn

What began as a ritual bonfire on Baker Beach back in 1986 has blossomed into the most iconic counterculture festival in the country, offering an ephemeral home to hundreds of large-scale, hallucinatory art projects-many of which involve fire. "There were a lot of works that were really inspiring," says Kerry Hapner, San Jose's director of cultural affairs; Hapner attended the event for the first time last year. "What you see is that people really participate in the event. There's no boundary between us and them. Everybody is actively engaged and part of the experience." Captivated by the experimental vigor of the annual festival, Hapner wondered if there was any way for her to bring the spirit of the playa back to San Jose. » Read More

Surfing My Religion

Surfing has recently produced some excellent works of nonfiction that have little to do with stoned-out surfer stereotypes. Last year's Pulitzer Prize for autobiography went to William Finnegan for Barbarian Days: A Surfing Life. Steve Kotler's West of Jesus: Surfing, Science and the Origins of Belief is a fine book on the intersection of surfing and spirituality. And I'll add Jaimal Yogis' new memoir, All Our Waves Are Water: Stumbling Toward Enlightenment and the Perfect Ride, to the mix. Yogis, a San Francisco-based author, wrote the book as a follow-up to Saltwater Buddha, a coming-of-age story that blends surfing and spiritual seeking. All Our Waves picks up where he left off in his previous work and chronicles Yogis' » Read More

Identity Art

A block from the main corridor of the First Friday Walk, a mass of artsy youth congregated at Social Policy for "Our Heaven"-a mixed-media showcase of 19 local artists with a single common thread. Inside SoPo, a half-animated video was playing on the wall. Spicy soup bases, udon noodles and soy sauce bottles lined the brightly lit aisles of a supermarket. It was a familiar sight for those of us who grew up accompanying our parents to the store-if your family was Asian, that is. The video was created by Josiah Columna, a Filipino American artist whose stop-motion animation and found footage mashup was one of many works on display at the cafe-by-day, gallery-by-night venue on Friday. » Read More

Northside Theatre Company Comes Home

If you think you've had a bad year, San Jose's Northside Theatre Company has you beat. When the Anderson Reservoir spilled over this past winter, many San Jose neighborhoods found themselves at the mercy of the elements. After two weeks of heavy rain in late February, waters in Coyote Creek reached a critical level, and entire San Jose neighborhoods were flooded. All told, more than 14,000 residents were forced to evacuate their homes in a disaster that cost nearly $100 million in damage. One of the victims was the Olinder Community Center, home to the Northside Theatre Company since 1980. Like most theater companies, Northside started its year planning a season's worth of performances, capped by its annual holiday production of "A » Read More

Review: 'Lord of the Flies'

Featuring a cast of aspiring young actors from a variety of Bay Area junior high and high schools, the play is presented by the Palo Alto-based youth theater company, A Theatre Near U, in cooperation with the Pear in Mountain View. Just as in the novel, the play follows the plight of a small group of schoolboys marooned on an unpopulated island somewhere in the Pacific. Though the group attempts to work together at first, factions soon form and the children fight among themselves as they struggle to survive and find rescue. An allegorical tale first published in the U.K. in 1954, Lord of the Flies was Golding's response to the rise of Hitler, and feels particularly relevant in today's fractious political climate. "It is easier than we » Read More

The New Spider-Man

Please note the inside joke from Spider-Man: Homecoming, making up somewhat for the rotten Easter-egg Captain America tossed at us at the end of the film. What a big nerd-chuckle in the theater it was when Donald Glover showed up. He played Aaron Davis, a minor criminal Spider-Man did his worst to interrogate. Davis gives up the info Spider-Man was pathetically trying to scare him out of. He, Aaron, wants The Vulture and his space-weapons off the streets. After all, Aaron's nephew lives in the neighborhood. Chuckle, said the fanboys. They knew the nephew was a sly reference to artist Sara Pichelli and writer Brian Michael Bendis' comic series Spider-Men, which finds Peter Parker and Miles Morales uniting as a multi-culti web-slinging duo. » Read More

New Ballet School Dances Into The Future

World-famous ballet dancer José Manuel Carreño coached the dancers for Paquita, which Rawson described as "the technical highlight" of the show. The hour-long retelling of the original ballet will include a well known wedding scene in its historical 19th century choreography, during which the program's highest level dancers will take center stage. Complementing this classical favorite is a series of contemporary pieces choreographed by the school for its summer pupils. One of them, a seven-minute piece titled Electric Sheep, is an abstract ballet inspired by an electronic score that Rawson's brother, musician and Cola frontman Cliff Rawson, composed. "There's a little melody in it that makes me think of reaching beyond," Rawson says, » Read More

Review: 'Lizzie'

City Lights Theater Company's summer production is a fun, frightening and raucous musical retelling of one of America's most infamous murder cases. Lizzie follows the life and (alleged) crimes of Lizzie Borden. Most known to the world through a grisly nursery rhyme, Borden famously went on trial for the murder of her parents in 1892, after their bodies had been found axed to death. Some say it was for revenge, others money and still others point the finger in different directions. And although Lizzie was eventually acquitted of the murders, her story still haunts American culture. The show opens on a sparely furnished, almost bare, Victorian room. The walls are covered in picture frames. The largest two hold digital pictures of Lizzie's » Read More

Chasing the Dream

When Tabitha Soren accompanied her husband, Michael Lewis, author of Moneyball, to the Oakland A's spring training camp, it was a stroke of luck that the she brought her camera along. There, the former MTV reporter met the team's 2002 minor league draft picks-21 young men whose lives she would follow for the next 14 years. "When I met them, they were so full of hope and purpose that I felt like I wanted to capture that emotion on film," Soren recalls. While screaming fans and big money saturate the narrative of Major League Baseball's superstars, the 180 photographs in Soren's exhibit-titled "Fantasy Life"-capture the hidden faces and stories behind our national pastime. » Read More

The House That Freedom Built

Old Jack Daniel's bottles, various rusty motorcycle parts, an abandoned Volkswagen minibus and what appears to be a tiny glass jar full of pills. In and of themselves, these dusty artifacts don't amount to much. However, when illuminated in context, they are imbued with a sense of history and intrigue. Upon learning that all of these items were recovered from the Santa Cruz Mountains property known as the Chateau Liberté, myriad questions arise. For example, did any of those bike parts come off of Sonny Barger's chopper? Did that minibus belong to a Merry Prankster? And those pills-do they contain bathtub speed or are they perhaps tiny mints dosed with LSD? All of this miscellany comprises one of the New Museum Los Gatos' newest shows, » Read More

Art At The End Of The World

While fine arts typically take center stage at the Montalvo Arts Center, the villa's newest event in its Summer Nights series is all about getting down and dirty with survival tactics. ARTpocalypse Now follows the narrative of a world where machines have taken over and personal technological devices are no longer functional. That means no phones, no laptops, no tablets and no internet connection to cushion the challenges of everyday life. While such a world may seem barren and even impossible to inhabit for those generations who grew up knowing only the miraculous conveniences of a completely web-connected world, ARTpocalypse is here to remind folks that between a rock and a hard place, good old creative thinking can still yield solutions. » Read More

Gone But Not Forgotten

It's the most melancholy work on display in Detritus, an exhibit at the San Jose Institute of Contemporary Art. The show is dedicated to the artistic process and what's left behind on the studio floor after the art is done. In Clinton's case, it's not that the flowers have the appearance of a sad bouquet. It's that they look like an inadequate consolation prize for what she, and a majority of the American electorate, recently lost. Their inverse, a ghostly white prototype, sits on a shelf in front of the photograph. Coupling Clinton's image with the original model lends an emotional punch to something as innocuous as white paper and glue. There are colored pencil shavings, fabric threads and cracked eggshells stacked up in tall glass » Read More

Local Girl Goes Broadway

The 21-year-old Carnegie Mellon University theater major first saw the production in Pittsburgh, Penn., when Tony Award-winner and fellow Carnegie Mellon alumna Deneé Benton played the part. "I was in love," Herrold says. "Nabulungi is sort of the quintessential ingénue, which was exciting for me because I had never seen an ingénue who looks like me, which I think shows that the world of theater is evolving." Not long after watching Benton's performance, Herrold auditioned for the role, which led to her Broadway debut and brings her home for the musical's local run. Penned by South Park creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone, The Book of Mormon follows the misadventures of mismatched missionaries sent halfway around the world to spread the » Read More

Heather Wilcoxon Explores Uncharted Waters

Klea McKenna and Nikki Grattan made a short, intimate profile of the artist Heather Wilcoxon on their website inthemake.com. The camera moves around her studio like a curious eye that takes in her work and the clutter on every available surface. As they narrow their focus to the artist's active hands, she imprints an inky black creature onto a white canvas, a headless possum-dog, a hybrid with two opposing tails. At the time, this alien animal, along with a universe of misshapen, corporeal forms, represented the artist's concerns with the neurotic id. Where cartoonists like Roz Chast and Aline Kominsky-Crumb keep their phobias and obsessions in (mostly) human form, Wilcoxon made a practice out of turning them into Tim Burton-like monsters. » Read More

The Pear Theatre Remixes the Bard

The Pear Theatre's newest production is the world premiere of a comedic romp through the words of William Shakespeare. Written by Max Gutmann, and the last show of the Pear's fifteenth season, What You Will is a funny combines elements from different Shakespeare plays into a new comedic homage to the Sweet Swan of Avon. The play opens on a Duke as he holds court. He is conducting business with a man named Antonio, but there is suspicion between the two, a rivalry encouraged by the Duke's attendant Malvolio. The Duke has eyes for Antonio's wife, something Antonio can only suspect until he dresses up like her and deceives the duke's affection. Likewise, the Duke's wife, The Duchess, suspects foul play, but only ends up seducing Antonio when » Read More

The Bad Grad

Since its release as a novel in 1963, followed shortly after by the classic 1967 film starring Dustin Hoffman and Anne Bancroft, The Graduate has been an important cultural point of reference. Nearly a half century later, it has been baked into the radioactive background of American life. Now it's the Palo Alto Players' turn to take a stab at the eminent coming-of-age comedy. The play opens on Benjamin Braddock sitting awkwardly on his bed. He's wearing a wet suit his father bought him and is dreading facing a sea of people downstairs-all there to celebrate his college graduation. Benjamin almost is prepared to escape his house and avoid the party entirely when a family friend-Mrs. Robinson-finds her way into his room while looking for a » Read More

Andy Woodhull Keeps It Personal

After graduating with a degree in geology and environmental science, comedian Andy Woodhull didn't particularly enjoy working in a lab for a company that sold clay. He wanted to do stand-up, but didn't realize the ladder-climbing that comes through open mics, then second-billed sets at comedy clubs. "I used to think you were just being funny in a restaurant one day and show business would come and say, 'You're the next Jerry Seinfeld,'" he says. In 2005, he discovered the scene in Chicago and eventually worked up the courage to quit his job and start touring in 2008. He basically hasn't stopped doing it since, working about 45 weeks of the year. At first, he focused on writing riffs on topics like frozen pizza, aiming for Seinfeld-esque » Read More

Toxie Gets His Revenge

San Jose Stage Company's newest summer musical is a campy, crude and surreal romance set in the concrete swamps of The Garden State. Written by Joe DiPietro, The Toxic Avenger, is a musical adapted from the 1984 film of the same name. Originally released to a quiet response, the production's clever writing and obsessive fans helped propel this bloody B-movie into cult classic status, spawning a litany of adaptations. Now taken on by San Jose Stage Company, The Toxic Avenger opens to a spare stage, punctuated by barrels overflowing with radioactive green waste behind a large screen filled with a pixelated image of a trash heap-all the comfortable trappings of a toxic dump. The set shares the stage with a live band. The players sit to the » Read More

Gabriel Ibarra: Documenting Decay

"Nothing gold can stay," writes America's quintessential modern poet. Nearly a quarter of the way through the 20th century, Robert Frost reflected on the inevitable tendency of time to override and replace former worlds with the new. Several decades later, Gabriel Ibarra embarked on a photographic journey in the Bay Area, preserving landscapes and structures that have and continue to diminish in the exponentially hastening pace of life within the high-tech bubble of Silicon Valley. His photo exhibit at the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Library-titled "Three Decades of Photography"-comprises more than 60 images documenting various sites in San Jose, Santa Clara, Milpitas, Sunnyvale, Agnews and Bodie, a famous ghost town east of the Sierra » Read More

Fresh Prints For Your Rear View

It all started as a throwaway joke at a family party. "Wouldn't it be funny if there was an air freshener company called fuchila?" Ruben Villa recalls quipping. His wife, Veronica, agreed. "Fuchila" is Spanish slang used when something is smelly or off-putting. The joke continued, even to the point where his family joked about silly designs and smells that the company could sell, but all the while Ruben saw it as something bigger. "Yeah, we didn't think he was serious at all," Veronica says. After quitting his design job at Apple in 2014, Villa got serious and launched a Kickstarter for his company, Fuchila Fresheners, to raise $2,500. He created six original designs that he hoped would hit different age groups of the Latino market. He » Read More

Brian Copeland: The 'Genuine' Article

As a comedian, Brian Copeland has long found cracking jokes easy. Bearing his soul didn't come so naturally. That might have something to do with his upbringing. Copeland, who is black, grew up in San Leandro in the 1970s-at a time when the population of the East Bay city was almost entirely white and the community was known for being openly hostile toward African Americans. In 1972, The National Committee Against Discrimination in Housing called San Leandro a "racist bastion of white supremacy." Though he certainly faced plenty of adversity as a youth-including antagonism from his neighbors and the police—Copeland managed to carve out a successful career for himself in show business. Many locals will recognize his voice from his » Read More

The Art of the Lowrider

I can create." That's my gift. I can make anything I can imagine. Out of metal. Glass. You name it." That's not a statement made by the artist Shawn HibmaCronan. That's Madison Jeffries speaking, a Marvel Comics mutant whose superpower is the ability to manipulate plastic, metal and glass with his mind. HibmaCronan has the assistance of a welder, lifts, a crane and a forklift, but the end results are the same. His Alameda studio is filled with the building materials and detritus of an artisan's unfettered imagination. Hovering on the remotest edge of the now defunct Alameda Naval Air Station, HibmaCronan's shared warehouse space faces out to ships docked in the bay. » Read More

Dancing Inside a 'Walk-In-Womb'

Take a silent hallway veiled in yards of draping fabric-psychedelic swirls of stars and flowers dance beside metallic silver sheets; the warm, mystical ambiance of some illustrated lamps hang overhead. Mixed-media artist Laurie Shapiro's "walk-in womb" at the San Jose Museum of Quilts and Textiles tackles the mysteries of our collective origin story. The installation-titled "Before You Were Born"-forces us to ponder where we came from before stumbling into this physical realm. "Where did your essence-your spirit-come from?" Shapiro urges in her artist's statement. It's an enticing question, one that can end with the simple answer of "a womb" or stretch on indefinitely into the mystical grounds of metaphysical contemplation. » Read More

Fanboi Funtime at FanimeCon

Dust off that Saitama costume because Northern California's biggest anime convention is back for its 23rd year. For the uninitiated, FanimeCon is that time of year when thousands of cosplaying eccentrics descend on the McEnery Convention Center. But the annual celebration of all things anime is much more than that. Speed dating, video game competitions, oodles of merch and even a formal dance are also on the bill this year. One of the biggest draws at FanimeCon is hunting for collectibles. The Dealer Room is where attendees can find all the latest anime and manga merchandise. Typically the sellers are established vendors, so sometimes they end up having a lot of the same stuff. No matter what visitors are looking for, though, if it's anime » Read More

Palo Alto's Totally Tubular Art

For the first weekend in June, several artists will be transforming downtown Palo Alto into a public art installation. The Code:ART festival, in its pilot year, will unfurl a set of "urban interventions" and "creative placemaking" loosely centered between University and Hamilton avenues. The city's online map of the project suggests an obstacle course made of interactive art for kids and adults alike. For museumgoers willing to forsake air-conditioned interiors, Code:ART promises to engage pedestrians with urban architectural spaces that are often overlooked. First on the walking tour is the Murmur Wall by Future Cities Lab. The late Sen. Ted Stevens' renowned description of the internet is remarkably apropos of this intervention. » Read More

The Architectural Allure of Joseph Eichler

There's at least one Eichler home for sale right now in Sunnyvale. It's a four-bedroom, two-bath listed at just under $2 million. What a difference seven decades make. In a 1949 ad on display in Eichler Homes: Modernism for the Masses, you could put $600 down near Saratoga Road in the same city and own one of "36 Strikingly Beautiful NEW 3 BEDROOM HOMES!" That's about $6,000 today-in an age when the median down payment on a South Bay home approaches the $200,000 mark. But the past affordability of Eichler homes is just one set of facts presented at the Los Altos History Museum's new exhibit about the builder Joseph Eichler and his enterprising vision. » Read More

The Ritz Hosts Screening Party for 'The Creature Video'

One of the gnarliest skateboarding companies around is premiering its new video this week at The Ritz in San Jose. Known for its rough-around-the-edges but equally well-rounded approach to terrain, Creature Skateboards is currently crossing the country showing off its new full-length skate film, The Creature Video, including a special stop in San Jose. More than two years in the making, The Creature Video brings together the team's (the 'fiends,' as they are affectionately known) wide variety of skills and styles in a mind-blowing display of skating prowess. Featuring tried and true Creature team members, including transition master Darren Navarrette, criminally underrated Taylor Bingaman, and all-around miracle-maker David Gravette, The » Read More

Corporations Are Artistic, Too

It would be criminal if the optics weren't spot on for Creativity on the Line: Design for the Corporate World 1950-1975. Rest assured, no graduate student from The Stanford d.school or the California College of the Arts should be able find fault with the presentation. Cantor Arts Center's new exhibit celebrates work created by both graphic and industrial designers. As such, even the fonts on the wall text have been meticulously chosen. The objects themselves have been thematically arranged in clear plastic boxes. There's even a white porcelain sink with a chrome faucet polished clean, a cheeky salutation, perhaps, to Marcel Duchamp's Fountain, which kicked off the dada movement 100 years ago. Stenciled in temperate colors, pull quotes from » Read More

A Punk Rock Picture Show

Seeing Things Gallery's newest show, "Michael Jang is NO FUN" features more than 80 vital snapshots captured during photographer Michael Jang's time cavorting through the burgeoning scene in the 1970s. Featuring everyone from Iggy Pop to David Bowie, and even photos from the last performance of the Sex Pistols, Jang's collection of photos are truly rare (this is the first time the collection is being shown in America) and nostalgic. But beyond its rarity, the collection radiates an intense and intimate energy, providing unique glimpses into an oft-lionized, but rarely seen, fleeting cultural movement. » Read More

Abstract Memories of Bay Area Art

Is it too soon to feel nostalgic for the 20th century? Abstracts From Life: Bay Area Figurative Past and Present at New Museum Los Gatos (NUMU) doesn't think so. The exhibit seamlessly joins the past and the present together. But it's easy to mistake the old for the new, and vice versa. After a couple of turns through the galleries, "Little Edie" Beale's famous Grey Gardens quotation makes perfect sense, "It's very difficult to keep the line between the past and the present." She's referring to nostalgia—the mysterious feeling that floods your mind with memories, the poignant ones thought lost or temporarily missing, that suddenly return to overlap and interfere with your day-to-day emotions. The era of Bay Area figurative art's heyday, » Read More

Review: 'La Boheme'

Oh, to be in love! Opera San Jose's newest production of La Boheme, Giacomo Puccini's classic opera, is a rambling trip through the lives and loves of French bohemians in Paris at the turn of the century. Premiering originally in 1896 at Teatro Regio in Turin, Italy, La Boheme has since its inception induced polarizing opinions in its viewers. While it's always been a crowd favorite, critics have historically been less favorable, often complaining about the simplicity of the libretto's musical accompaniment. Fortunately for Opera San Jose, neither is an obstacle, with its powerful rendition only transmitting the quality of the original. And whereas the original takes place during the 1840s in France, the timeline for Opera San Jose's » Read More

Love the Race, Ditch the Rats

As a female tech industry veteran, Kim Scott has encountered plenty of sexism-and bad bosses-in Silicon Valley. Still, she believes more women should pursue careers at Apple, Google and the like. Scott, a "CEO coach," plots an outline for being a "kick-ass boss" while remaining human in her new book, Radical Candor, excerpted below: Twenty years ago, management skills were neither taught nor rewarded in Silicon Valley, but today its companies are obsessed with it. ... The reason Silicon Valley turned out to be a good place to study the relationships between bosses and the people who report to them is that the war for "talent" here is intense. » Read More

Staying in Touch with the Earth

Maurilio Maravilla's face is melting in an upstairs gallery at the San Jose Museum of Art. To be more precise, twelve molds of his face, all made from sugar, are in the process of decomposition. The faces, hanging in a row, are dyed a rich, earthen brown. As they react to the light, air and heat, dark purple splotches are breaking out like rashes. They are oozing out a sticky liquid that catches on and stains the white stand beneath their chins. There's a Grand Guignol quality to a roomful of severed, "bleeding" heads adorning a long white wall. But Beta Space: Victor Cartagena isn't a Gothic expression of some artist's solipsism. » Read More

Hope Gangloff Paints What She Knows

The Cantor Arts Center is about to usher in a season of curation devoted to Hope Gangloff. In late May, the New York-based artist will be painting onsite. According to the Cantor, the public will have a chance to watch her "paint several large-scale, site-responsive portraits to hang along the light-filled Atrium Balcony." Additionally, Gangloff also plumbed the museum's permanent collection to populate Hope Gangloff Curates Portraiture. As the title suggests, in this recently opened exhibit, Gangloff carefully arranges, and sometimes juxtaposes, several of her own portraits with a diverse range of works from the 16th to the 20th centuries. A casual observer can clearly make out the direct influence of the artists Egon Schiele and Gustav » Read More

Art or iPad Ad?

Like the "shot on iPhone" ad campaign that resurfaces every few months on roadside billboards, the iPad drawings of David Hockney's The Yosemite Suite make a similar argument. They advertise the singularity of the Apple product in lieu of the works themselves. Instead of leaving the means of production vague, i.e., a mobile device, the iPad is credited as an equal partner in Hockney's creative process. This isn't necessarily suspect but it does raise the question: is The Yosemite Suite a not-very-well-disguised commercial for an Apple product? This is the British-born, L.A.-based artist's second collection of iPad prints to make their way to the Bay Area. » Read More

Fox and Friends

Don't be alarmed by the cat-sized squirrel thrusting a flower out from the wall near the entrance to the Marshall Street parking garage in downtown Redwood City. As lifelike as it appears-with light glinting at the corner of its left eye and casting a shadow against the beige concrete column behind it, this oversized rodent is only a painting. It's part of a series of "interactive murals," which the Redwood City Improvement Association has commissioned. Titled "Flora from Fauna," the squirrel-along with other chrysanthemum-clutching critters, like deer, eagles, a fox and a great blue heron-were created by San Francisco-based fine artist and scientific illustrator Jane Kim, and are meant to engage pedestrians and get people to think about » Read More

Cheech Marin to Discuss New Memoir at Kepler's Event

Richard "Cheech" Marin and Tommy Chong came up with the "Dave's not here" gag by accident. While Chong fiddled with a new tape recorder, Marin went outside to start an improv bit. When Marin knocked, Chong wasn't sure the recorder was working, so he stalled, prompting the genuine frustration from Marin. Turns out, they'd been rolling the whole time. But that half-minute of spontaneous brilliance had been the result of years of practice. "You get hit by dumb luck standing in the middle of the intersection waving your arms," Cheech says over the phone. "But prepare, prepare, prepare. It's like being a pinch hitter. At some point, [someone tells you], 'Go in and hit a home run.'" » Read More

Review: 'Frankenstein'

In City Lights Theater's newest production, Frankenstein, an original dramatic adaptation of Mary Shelley's classic, the nature of mankind and its arrogance is investigated to a horrifying degree. The story, of course, is familiar—even to those who only know the very different plot of the famous movie interpretation. But this production, written and directed by Kit Wilder, is intriguingly different in its overall approach and is far more cerebral. As the show opens, the characters emerge on a stage dotted by large, stalagmite-like columns. » Read More

The Freedom of Abstract Art

There's an immediate sense of liberation, from logic and rationality, from meaning itself in a room full of abstract art. You can project nothing, something or everything at the busy, complicated canvases lining the walls. The subject matter of Oliver Lee Jackson's paintings-colorful colliding lines and shapes-appears to be floating and drifting toward the canvas edges as if earth's gravity was about to escape. The exhibit Oliver Lee Jackson: Composed, Works from 1984 to 2016 also contains three sculptures, but their heaviness doesn't hold the same ocular allure as the painted works. As you enter the gallery, Painting (12.19.84), 1984, an oil pastel, dominates the space. » Read More

Little Ms. Firecracker

When Wicked previewed in San Francisco a decade or so ago, Kristin Chenoweth had just created the role of Galinda. Later to become the goody-two-shoes known as Glinda the Good, Galinda was the unconsciously mean sorority-sister type at a lady's school in the turbulent land of Oz. Her showstopper was a reminder about the importance of being popular: "When someone needs a makeover / I simply have to take over." The petite (4-foot 11-inch) Oklahoman counterbalanced Idina Menzel's own theater-filling voice. Generally men prefer the Wicked Witch type to the Glinda type. Chenoweth changed their minds. Last fall, I was at a laundromat waiting forever for a sleeping bag to dry, and thus sort of forced to watch a daytime talk show. The hostess was » Read More

Review: 'A View from the Bridge'

On the opening weekend of A View from the Bridge, the Pear Theatre suffered from major climate control issues. When an employee was asked why the temperature was as humid as a Louisiana swamp, she replied, "I don't know." The lack of oxygen and the rising mercury inspired a claustrophobic response in some theatergoers and led to an exodus at intermission. (Full disclosure: I was one of the half-time departures). The lack of twenty- or even thirty-somethings there on a Saturday night raised the question that hung in the heavy air: how to make A View from the Bridge relevant to younger audiences? The story of the blue-collar worker Eddie, a precursor to the intolerant bigot Archie Bunker from Norman Lear's sitcom All in the Family, is » Read More

Dancing His Way to the Stars

The way Nick Lazzarini tells it, his long journey to the the top of So You Think You Can Dance began when he was just 5 years old. On that fateful day, back in 1989, the young Lazzarini was leaving soccer practice at the local rec center in his hometown of Mountain View when his mother noticed him staring in awe at a dance class. When she asked him what he was so interested in, he turned to her and told her: "I want to do that, mom." That was the end of Lazzarini's soccer career. "It just wasn't my thing," Lazzarini says, referring to his short-lived time in organized sports. "I was the kid that was doing cartwheels on the soccer field and practicing tumbling during baseball." » Read More

Deep Thoughts

Turn your gadgets off and all you'll be left with is art. Art and the sound of your monkey brain screaming for attention. If you're an employee of Salesforce or SAP, you probably have a head start over the rest of us. Several companies in Silicon Valley have already incorporated everyday mindfulness into the workday. A mindful employee is a productive employee! And, for this experiment, members of the American Leadership Forum-Silicon Valley participated in a "prototype" or first iteration. It's their initial feedback that's incorporated into the title graphics at the entrance of the show. » Read More

A Thousand Words of 'Peace'

Negative misconceptions about Muslims abound, especially in America. Ron Herman, a photography professor at Foothill College, challenges these stereotypes in his recent exhibit, Messengers of Peace, at the Krause Center of Innovation Gallery. "Some people may feel threatened by diversity, or even hostile to it, resulting in the mistreatment of others," Herman says in a news release for the show. Herman spent four weeks in the West African country of Senegal, researching religious diversity between the nation's Muslim majority and Christian minority as part of the Fulbright scholarship he received in 2016. » Read More

Burlesque Revue to Trump: Hands Off!

Viewed through the reductive prism of the male gaze, burlesque might appear to be little more than a highly theatrical form of striptease, designed to titillate and arouse an audience. Certainly, this risque offshoot of cabaret is about sex. But, according to the organizers of the forthcoming Legislate This! South Bay, burlesque is about so much more. For starters, it's about feeling sexy as much as it is about arousing desire. Whether a performer is a straight white female, a trans woman of color, or has a body that isn't mirrored in the mainstream media's traditional depictions of beauty, they are all welcome on the Curtains Cabaret stage. Burlesque has the ability to empower and champion marginalized groups, according to DeeDee Queen, a » Read More

Kicking it With Billy Crystal

There's a reason Billy Crystal has hosted the Oscars nine times-more than any other performer besides Bob Hope. He nails the opening monologue, neither kissing ass nor going for the jugular, then gets properly solemn during the memorials and helps make movie stars look funny or insightful when they're onstage. He does his best work when he's given a microphone and allowed to speak freely. A rare talent that can seamlessly swing between the absurd and serious, Crystal comes to the San Jose Center for the Performing Arts on March 2 to perform his loosely structured one-man show-which despite his films and stand-up comedy-is the medium where he is the strongest. » Read More

From Street Art to Street Wear

When he was just 12 years old, Samuel Rodriguez would routinely lace up his leather Puma Clyde basketball shoes at the stroke of midnight and leave his home on the East Side of San Jose to venture out plastering freeway bridges, buses and walls with his self-taught graffiti skills. "I was in a bubble," Rodriguez says. "Taking the bus, all I saw was tagging and everything revolved around that." Today, you can find 36-year-old Rodriguez working professionally on his craft in his friend's back-house-turned-studio in San Jose. The minimalistic cement wall rooms are decked with his Aztec-inspired prints and portraits of ethnic faces veiled with graffiti. » Read More

Tara Donovan: Playing Her Cards Right

Stepping inside Tara Donovan's exhibit at Pace Gallery in downtown Palo Alto, is like entering a minimalist's idea of heaven. Whiteness makes its presence felt. Or inversely, if you prefer, color is entirely absent. The artwork, separated into three categories, maintains an orderly sense of Nordic design. Large framed pieces reflecting faint patterns and gradients against clean hardwood floors. The eye, used to overstimulation, will need a minute to settle into this display of starkness. But once it does, the process of engagement is like glimpsing the underbelly of an osprey against a winter sky. What Donovan leaves out of her work is not accidental. » Read More

'Chafismo' Show Explores Nature of Art

Crudely simplified, the Chicano Art Movement advanced the aesthetic of rasquachismo, a defiant and inventive use of whatever lowbrow components one has on hand. It isn't just cheap stuff for the sake of cheap stuff. There is a method of communication-something along the lines of: "This is all we got, so we're going to use it." Translation: If one doesn't have $1,000 for a deluxe convertible easel, one can plant cacti on the border between Tijuana and San Ysidro and carve them into Easter Island-style head profiles before transporting them to art-gallery pedestals, just to ridicule the highbrow colonization of the desert. That said, at WORKS/San Jose, two cacti plants emerge from wooden pedestals colored with rainbow graffiti. It's all part » Read More

Guess Who's Coming to Dinner

The San Jose Stage Company has truly outdone itself with its latest production, Disgraced. This 2014 Pulitzer Prize-winner is a must see. Prepare to be shaken. Penned by Pakistani-American playwright Ayad Akhtar, Disgraced opens on a expansive, luxurious upper East Side apartment. An Arabic coffee pot sits on the coffee table and a statue of Shiva sits next to the door-offering a slight foreshadowing of things to come. Emily, played by Allison F. Rich, is trying to sketch a portrait of her husband, Amir, played by Damien Seperi. She is white and he is of Pakistani descent, but as their conversation about painting gives way to talk about a racist encounter a few days before, it is hard to tell who is on what side. Emily is genuine and » Read More

Art vs. Injustice at De Anza

When San Jose artist Judy Shintani helped to dismantle an aging barrack where her father and many more Japanese-American citizens were housed during World War II, she knew the pieces of wood she collected were special. There was a weighty significance to the reclaimed lumber and so Shintani kept the scraps-biding her time as she searched for the appropriate project. She recently put the old timber to use, arranging it in the form of an American flag, surrounded by a fence of barbed wire. It's title, Pledge Allegiance, references the patriotic mantra her father and his imprisoned neighbors were required to recite every day during their internment. » Read More

The Female, in All Its Forms

We have Bridget Gilman and the members of her Santa Clara University art history class, "Photography and the American West," to thank for a new exhibit at the de Saisset Museum. The curation of "Virgin Landscape: Representations of Women and the American West" highlights women both in front of and behind the camera lens. The exhibit's title-"Virgin Landscape"-is accounted for in one of the cerebral thesis statements that tenuously link the idea of "virgin lands with the rise of women in the American West." That particular connection between pure and unspoiled land and the photographs themselves remains somewhat elusive (you can almost make it out if you wrinkle your brow and squint a little), but it doesn't detract from the overall impact » Read More

Andy Warhol's Candid Camera

Andy Warhol took photographs that made the paparazzi turn emerald green with envy. He had something they would never possess-access. A photographer could snap a shot of an actress leaving a nightclub, but he'd never capture the sultry, unashamed expression of Debbie Harry, nude but thoughtfully cropped, the way that Warhol does in one of his many polaroid portraits. In "Warhol Unframed," a small exhibit at the Cantor Arts Center, some of the artist's lesser known photographs, contact sheets and silkscreen prints are currently on display. The recurring story that emerges from the exhibit is that he lived, worked and played with and amongst celebrities. Warhol embraced these cultural luminaries, oftentimes his friends, and transformed them » Read More

Cartoonist Behind 'Yellow Submarine' at KALEID

Kaleid Gallery's newest show will be a unique and inimitable trip down an animated memory lane. With work by legendary animator and artist Ron Campbell, the "Cartoon Pop Art Show" will feature more than fifty original pieces of art inspired by the countless cartoons Campbell had a hand in animating-most notably The Beatles' classic film Yellow Submarine. Born in 1937 in Seymour, Australia, Campbell's love of animation began at an early age. After going to the Saturday afternoon movies as a kid and being awestruck by the children's animated reel between features, Campbell assumed the process was some kind of magic-until he asked his grandmother. » Read More

Review: 'Annie'

One of the most popular musicals in Broadway history, Annie continues to endear itself to new generations as it makes its way around the globe in a touring production from Troika Entertainment, brought to us locally by Broadway San Jose. Originally debuted in 1977, with book by Thomas Meehan, music by Charles Strouse and lyrics by Martin Charnin, the nostalgic show won seven Tony awards and ran for nearly six years. It has been translated into 28 languages and performed in as many countries, from Argentina to Zimbabwe. » Read More

An Orderly Decay

The sinewy, twisting shapes of the natural world collide with the exact geometry of the man-made in Jake Fouts' photography exhibit, "Archetypes," currently showing at The Studio Rock Climbing gym in San Jose's SoFA District. The seemingly random forms of twigs, branches, and bone-hard angles strike a harmonious chord with the hard angles of metal brackets, the perfectly round circles of hydraulic gauges and the glinting glass casing of incandescent bulbs. Rust, decay and their shared status as found objects is what connects this assortment of aesthetically arranged detritus, which Fouts-a longtime San Jose denizen and bartender with a passion for photography-meticulously collects, refines and then stages for his earthy still life » Read More