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What to do this Weekend: Sep 17-20

by Cristina Schreil

As is beloved Bay Area fashion, the lineup of things to do this weekend runs the artistic gamut, from high-energy entertainment to intimate and reflective experiences. Visit a gallery before laughing with a diverse lineup of female comics. Privately “tour” the Decorator Showcase before rocking out to live music. Carefully craft a pastry with expert guidance before sinking into an evening of the blues.

There are plenty of things to do this weekend in the Bay Area. Check out our curated roundup below.

1. Transcend definition with an iconic Bay Area artist.

Plunge into the unique work of pivotal Bay Area artist Jay DeFeo in a new exhibition at Gagosian San Francisco: Transcending Definition: Jay DeFeo in the 1970s.

“DeFeo produced a diverse body of experimental work that continues to inspire artists to follow their own paths,” Gagosian SF writes. The exhibition, which opened September 10, centers on DeFeo’s output of paintings, photographs and works on paper in the 1970s, when she was based in Larkspur. Earlier, DeFeo was part of San Francisco’s Beat movement and created the legendary work The Rose, acquired by the Whitney Museum of American Art. DeFeo passed in Oakland in 1989.

Running through Oct. 31. The gallery is open by appointment, Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Appointment requests can be emailed to [email protected]


2. Explore the 2020 Decorator Showcase from wherever you are.

As fellow Gazette reporter Anh-Minh Le covered in the September issue, this year’s San Francisco Decorator Showcase is not physically welcoming visitors (the first time since 1977), due to the pandemic. Via digital tools, you can still plunge into the 21 designers and firms’ enthralling work — in transforming a 1926 West Clay Park home. Enjoy wandering the three-level home’s 27 design spaces of five bedrooms, five and a half baths, an entertainment space, reading room, wine cellar, outdoor living spaces and more.

The virtual experience also includes designer interviews illuminating inspiration and the creative process.

Tickets are $25 and valid for two days after purchase.

3. Groove to two ‘Showroom Sessions’ concerts.

There are not one, but two, concerts this week presented by Piedmont Piano Company, which beams live music into your living rooms via its series the Showroom Sessions.

First, there’s a Virgo Birthday Celebration featuring vocalist Nicolas Bearde, pianist Glen Pearson and bassist Ruth Davies on Thursday. Programming draws from preparation for a new album.

Sunday’s all about blues, featuring Maria Muldaur (of Midnight at the Oasis fame) and her Jazzabelle Trio. Expect vintage jazz and bawdy blues, plus songs from her 2019 album. Guitarist Danny Caron, pianist Chris Burns and bassist Ruth Davies also perform.

Thursday, Sept. 17, 5 p.m.; and Sunday, Sept. 20, at 5 p.m. on YouTube and Facebook. Free.


4. Make knafeh with Chef Reem.

What’s better than eating pastries? Learning to make them yourself.

James Beard Award semifinalist Reem Assil, of the Oakland and San Francisco-based bakery/restaurant Reem’s, guides you through her Palestinian recipe for knafeh. Crisp phyllo lovers rejoice: Knafeh is a phyllo dessert layered with cheese and drenched in syrup. Chef Reem’s take honors her late grandfather.

The Asian Art Museum presents this online cooking demonstration.

Thursday, Sept. 17, 6:30 p.m. online. $0–$25.


5. Laugh it up with Who’s Your Mami Comedy.

Craving some cutting commentary with your comedy? Irene Tu, veteran of Comedy Central’s Clusterfest, RIOT LA, Bridgetown Comedy Festival and Outside Lands, headlines the next iteration of Who’s Your Mami Comedy. The women-led show, presented by Brava Theater Center and hosted by Mina Hartong, was created as a “hilariously trenchant response to misogyny in the comedy industry.”

Expect “deeply funny, culturally diverse, subversive comedians,” which include Betsy Salkind, Danielle Perez, Calvin Cato and Marga Gomez.

Thursday, Sept. 17, 7 p.m. on Zoom. $10.


6. Capture a multifaceted view of our environmental impact.

Lately, we in the Bay Area are more than aware of our impact on the environment. California Academy of Sciences is here to fill in the blanks.

To capture the complex intersections of humanity and the natural world, Cal Academy interweaves multiple disciplines in one evening: natural world photography, entomology, fine art and science illustration and even rap and spoken word.

Subjects range from the impact of house cats on wild birds and urban environments’ effects on wildlife migration corridors to the Philippines’ indigenous Manobo people. Dr. Nathalie Nagalingum, the Academy’s curator of botany, hosts.

Thursday, Sept. 17, 7 p.m. on YouTube and Facebook. Free.


7. Celebrate Latinoamericanos worldwide through music.

In music, there’s a special power in pairs. The Mission Cultural Center for Latino Arts spotlights the duet in all its glory with a special gathering of three different bands — all duos performing original songs — based in California, Argentina and France.

The bands are Silvia Balducci & Osvaldo Torres; Pablo Trosman y Teresa Méndez; and Made & Feña: Madeleine Zayas & Fernando Torres.

Friday, Sept. 18, 6 p.m. on Facebook, Instagram and YouTube. Free.


8. Meet the Disney imaginer behind an iconic ride.

You might not know the name Tania McKnight Norris. But, chances are, you know her work — and it may have made you jump.

Norris, who began working in 1964 for the enterprise that became Walt Disney Imagineering, helped design the Haunted Mansion ride at Walt Disney World and New Orleans Square in Disneyland.

The Walt Disney Family Museum spotlights Norris’ imagineering career in this virtual talk.

Saturday, Sept. 19, 1 p.m. on Zoom. $8 for members, $12 for non-members.


9. Look back at SF Opera’s world premieres.

All pandemic long, San Francisco Opera has turned a scholarly eye toward facets of opera history, from women in opera to comedic moments and queer characters, in its Opera Aficionado virtual event series. This time, the focus is very close to home.

Dramaturg Emeritus Kip Cranna leads you through the 12 world premieres at San Francisco Opera over the last 25 seasons, enhanced with video clips and exclusive insights. Composers represented include André Previn, Jake Heggie, John Adams, Philip Glass and Mark Adamo. Cranna is an apt guide: He was involved in commissioning and developing all of them.

Sunday, Sept. 20, 1 p.m. on Zoom. $20.


10. Reach a higher vibration with BAMPFA.

Dip into compelling experimental works by composer and electroacoustic musician Zachary James Watkins in this live stream concert. University of California, Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive (BAMPFA) presents Watkins, who harnesses techniques like just intonation (using a specially designed guitar fretboard) to investigate “high vibration resonance” and probe new musical forms.

Watkins’ 2006 composition Suite for String Quartet was awarded the Paul Merritt Henry Prize for Composition.

Sunday, Sept. 20, 7 p.m. on YouTube. Free.


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