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What To Do This Weekend: May 12–16

by Michelle Konstantinovsky

Beatrice Rana makes her Cal Performances debut with a streamed recital featuring works by Chopin, Bach and Debussy. Recorded at Rome’s Oratorio del Gonfalone, the concert streams May 13–June 12. More info.

The Bay Area is bouncing back in a big way, and along with sunny skies comes newly reopened restaurants, museums, music venues, and more. Check out this week’s list of must-experience entertainment and education:

Say hello again to the Legion of Honor

The Legion of Honor has officially reopened its doors to the public and what better way to celebrate the iconic institution’s rebirth than by taking in an in-person exhibit? In The Book of Now: Dieter Roth and Ed Ruscha, guests are invited to explore the ways artists work in the medium of books and how Dieter Roth and Ed Ruscha specifically pioneered new radical paths through ordinary and found materials. 

Now through Sunday, June 6


Dissect difficult topics through the lens of Black art

The latest edition of the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco’s Virtual Wednesdays series (presented in partnership with the SeeBlackWomxn collective) invites viewers to reflect on the intersection of race and death. In Black Deaths with See Black Womxn, contemporary Black artists explore themes in the age of COVID-19, and will discuss how Black art and music have remained enduring staples at the center of the cultural narratives of survival. The event begins with a death meditation from Angela Hennessy, followed by commentary from guests Olka Baldeh and Tracy Brown.

Wednesday, May 12, 5 p.m.


See a sparking array of art on display

San Francisco’s Marrow Gallery presents Mother Tongue, an exhibition of new works from New York and Nashville based-artist, Kimia Ferdowsi Kline. In her second solo show at the gallery, Kline presents a selection of brand-new work created during the pandemic that marks a significant departure from her traditional oil painting style, incorporating pearls, beads, glitter and ink on papyrus. 

Wednesday, May 12, through Saturday, June 26


Hear an Italian pianist conquer the classics

Italian pianist Beatrice Rana makes her Cal Performances debut with a recital that combines all four of Chopin’s notoriously challenging and lively scherzos, plus Bach’s French Suite No. 2 in C minor, as well as selections from the first book of Debussy’s Études. The performance was recorded at Rome’s jaw-droppingly beautiful Oratorio del Gonfalone, and viewers can stream the video through June 12.

Thursday, May 13, 7 p.m.

Learn how the East and West can intersect in the kitchen

Author Samantha Mui debuts her cookbook Melting Pot, and discusses the ways her upbringing as a second-generation Chinese American shaped her approach to Eastern and Western dishes. Mui delves into how she developed her identity in the kitchen and will answer questions from the audience in this online event from the Palo Alto City Library. 

Thursday, May 13, 7 p.m.


Get a glimpse of the next generation of independent filmmakers

The Cinema Department of City College of San Francisco and the Roxie Theater present the 20th Annual City Shorts Student Film Festival. For the first time ever, the event will be completely virtual, showcasing works from Bay Area independent filmmakers and raising funds for two of the City’s beloved institutions. In past years, the festival has screened early work by award-winning filmmakers such as Jim Granato, Joe Talbot and Tina Takemoto.

Friday, May 14, 6 p.m.


Find ways to support the AAPI community through art, activism and environmentalism 

Commemorate Asian Pacific American Heritage Month with the panel discussion Environmental Resiliency and Asian Pacific American Leadership. Presented in conjunction with the Asian American Women Artists Association and the SOMArts Cultural Center exhibition Sowing Agency, the Asian Art Museum’s special event features artists and activists discussing ways to build environmental resilience in Asian American communities and fighting for climate justice. The discussion will feature artists Angela Basbas Angel, Priya Handa and Pam Tau Lee, and Asian Pacific Environmental Network organizer Cheuk-Ning Li.  Exhibition curator Lisa Pradhan and 18 Million Rising Campaigner sumi dutta will moderate the talk.

Saturday, May 15, 4 p.m.

Take in an emotionally challenging performance 

Don’t miss the tail end of TheatreWorks Silicon Valley’s New Works Festival Online. The special event closes with a performance of pas de deux (lost my shoe), written and performed by Lisa Ramirez. The show focuses on the complex bonds between siblings, specifically between Ramirez and her younger brother, a principal dancer with the Oakland Ballet, who died of alcoholism. The semi-autobiographical piece is rooted in themes of “memory, grief, forgiveness and freedom.”

Saturday, May 15, 2 p.m.

Pay homage to the magnificence of motherhood in nature

Just because Mother’s Day is over doesn’t mean you can’t still celebrate the magic of mamas. In the Rhythmix Cultural Works exhibit Mother Tree, six mother/daughter artist duos explore the majesty of the forest’s massive wonders, and how they symbolize connection. The exhibit features the work of mother-daughter artist teams Ginny & Sally Parsons, Annie & Emily Heller, Jan & Emilie Watten, Danielle Gilbert, Molly Boyle and Hopi Breton, and Lee Zabin & Esther Zabin. The opening reception will be the gallery’s first in-person event in over a year. 

Saturday, May 15, 4 p.m. (the exhibit will be on view every Saturday from May 22 to June 19, from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m.)

See a unique take on three First Ladies

Palo Alto Players presents Tea for Three: Lady Bird, Pat and Betty, a production staged outdoors in the Lucie Stern Community Center’s patio in front of a live in-person audience. The comedic and moving show focuses on the journeys of Lady Bird Johnson, Pat Nixon and Betty Ford, and how each woman’s journey was affected by life in the White House. The live performance will be filmed and available for online viewing May 19 through May 23. 

Sunday, May 16, 2 p.m. (and May 19 through May 23, both in-person and virtually)


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