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Marvel Studios’ AVENGERS: ENDGAME fan event

Are you ready for AVENGERS: ENDGAME? Check out these photos of stars, Chris Evans, Chris Hemsworth, Paul Rudd and Jeremy Renner, along with producer Kevin Feige and directors Anthony and Joe Russo, greeted excited fans at a special Marvel Studios’ AVENGERS: ENDGAME fan event held in Shanghai. 

Marvel Studios’ AVENGERS: ENDGAME opens in U.S. theaters on April 26.

The grave course of events set in motion by Thanos that wiped out half the universe and fractured the Avengers ranks compels the remaining Avengers to take one final stand in Marvel Studios’ grand conclusion to twenty-two films, “Avengers: Endgame.”

Kevin Feige produces “Avengers: Endgame,” and Anthony and Joe Russo are the directors. Louis D’Esposito, Victoria Alonso, Michael Grillo, Trinh Tran, Jon Favreau, James Gunn and Stan Lee are the executive producers, and Christopher Markus & Stephen McFeely wrote the screenplay.

KDFC to Air Richard Strauss’ ARABELLA on February 4

On February 4 at 8 p.m., the Bay Area’s Classical KDFC will broadcast a 1980 San Francisco Opera performance of Richard Strauss’ romantic opera Arabella starring soprano Kiri Te Kanawa in the title role, soprano Barbara Daniels as Zdenka, tenor William Lewis as Matteo and baritone Ingvar Wixell as Mandryka, with German conductor Wolfgang Rennert. This performance from the Company’s archives will be hosted by KDFC radio announcer Dianne Nicolini.

17-18-01-MC-D-856 - Claire de Sévigné as the Fiakermilli and Tomasz Konieczny as Mandryka in the Canadian Opera Company’s new production of Arabella, 2017. Conductor Patrick Lange, director Tim Albery, set and costume designer Tobias Hoheisel, and lighting designer David Finn. Photo: Michael Cooper

Photo: Michael Cooper

The capstone of the artistic partnership between Strauss and librettist Hugo von Hofmannsthal, Arabellapremiered in 1933 and quickly joined the artists’ other collaborations including ElektraDer Rosenkavalierand Die Frau ohne Schatten in the repertories of opera companies around the world. Set in Vienna’s golden age, the opera follows Arabella, a beautiful young woman who is expected to marry for wealth to save her family from financial ruin, but she yearns for a soulmate. The opera, which features one of Strauss’ most lush and refulgent scores, premiered at San Francisco Opera on October 29, 1980.

New Zealand soprano Kiri Te Kanawa sings Arabella, one of her most celebrated portrayals, for which theSan Francisco Chronicle praised her “voice which spins lines of precious tone, soaring softly or arching out to you, always in a living, dynamic state.” A few months after her critical and popular success in Arabella at San Francisco Opera, Te Kanawa’s fame grew to unprecedented proportions when she sang at the royal wedding of the Prince and Princess of Wales, a televised event seen by an estimated 750 million people. American soprano Barbara Daniels portrays Arabella’s lovesick sister, Zdenka. Swedish baritone Ingvar Wixell, a San Francisco Opera favorite since making his American debut with the Company in 1967, portrays Mandryka and William Lewis sings the role of Matteo. German conductor Wolfgang Rennert leads the San Francisco Opera Orchestra in this classic performance. 

17-18-01-MC-D-919 – (l-r) Claire de Sévigné as the Fiakermilli, Tomasz Konieczny as Mandryka, John Fanning as Count Waldner and Gundula Hintz as Adelaide in the Canadian Opera Company’s new production of Arabella, 2017. Conductor Patrick Lange, director Tim Albery, set and costume designer Tobias Hoheisel, and lighting designer David Finn. Photo: Michael Cooper

Photo: Michael Cooper

Classical KDFC can be heard on the FM dial at 90.3 (San Francisco), 89.9 (Wine Country), 92.5 (Ukiah-Lakeport), 104.9 (Silicon Valley), 103.9 (Santa Cruz and Monterey); on Comcast Cable 981; or online at kdfc.com.  The historic Arabella performance from 1980 may also be streamed on demand at kdfc.com up to four weeks following the February 4 broadcast. 

Sunday, February 4, 2018 at 8 p.m. – Richard Strauss’ Arabella (1980)

Kiri Te Kanawa (Arabella), Barbara Daniels (Zdenka), William Lewis (Matteo), Ingvar Wixell (Mandryka), Alexander Malta (Count Waldner), Sona Cervena (Countess Waldner), Michael Ballam (Count Elemer), John Brandstetter (Count Dominik), Kevin Langan (Count Lamoral), Erie Mills (Fiakermilli), Rebecca Cook (Fortune-Teller), Lee Woodriff (Djura), Karl Saarni (Jankel); conducted by Wolfgang Rennert. Recorded November 1980.


 

Making Your Donation Count: 10 Tips for Holiday Giving

Guest Post

Paul Downey_PS_2016By Paul Downey, Serving Seniors, President and CEO

The air is chilly. You’re humming holiday songs. You’re calculating how much vacation time you’ve accrued. The holiday season has arrived! Amid the festivities, it’s time to decide on end-of-year donations. But in today’s segmented world, with countless charities for every cause, how do you pick the right one? For starters, look for groups with strong leadership who operate by a mission that matches your passions or beliefs, and of course make sure your charity of choice is fiscally responsible, ethical and effective.

How do you know if your charity of choice is effective? Ideally, 85 cents of every dollar raised should go directly to programs and services of the charitable organization. Review the organization’s administrative costs and make sure you’re comfortable with what they spend on operational expenses, salaries and fundraising.

Here are 10 additional tips for smart holiday giving:

DO

  1. Verify that the charity is legitimate. Identify the correct name of the charity; many scammers establish fake charities with names that sound similar to real organizations’ names. Consult the BBB Wise Giving Alliance, Charity Navigator and GuideStar. Also look for audits, annual reports and 990 tax forms on the charity’s website.
  2. Ask for a tour. A reputable charity will happily show you around and answer your questions.
  3. Sign up for updates informing donors of how gifts were used and what outcomes were achieved with the donated funds.
  4. Protect your bank account and social security numbers. Charities don’t need this information to process your gift.
  5. Take immediate action if you suspect you’ve been affected by fraud. Call your bank and credit card companies and freeze your accounts. They’ll work with you to resolve your situation.

DON’T

  1. Donate in response to a hard sell. Don’t respond to anyone who says you “must” donate today or offers to pick up a check. A reputable charity will accept a gift today, next week, next month or even next year, and won’t pressure you.
  2. Make an online donation using a public wireless network. Use a password-protected network and verify that the donation page is secure: look for “https” in the URL and trust seals on the page. Before entering any personal info, double check that you’ve typed the URL correctly. If you click on an email link from a trusted sender, double check that you’ve arrived at the organization’s real website.
  3. Use your debit card, send cash or wire funds. If fraud is committed against your credit card, you can dispute the charges. If fraud is committed against your debit card, the funds are much harder to retrieve.
  4. Give to “pop up” charities. Don’t respond to on-the-spot donation requests from people in front of stores, even if they tell you that you’re helping people affected by natural disasters or recent tragedies. If the cause piques your interest, do some research. If the charity is legitimate, you’ll be able to mail a check or donate securely online.
  5. Give any personal info over the phone or to door-to-door solicitors. Caller identification is easy for scammers to fake; even if they appear to be calling from a real charity, it’s not necessarily true. As with “pop up” charities, if the organization sounds like one you’d like to support, do some research first.

You have a finite amount of hard-earned dollars that you can afford to donate, and you want those dollars to make the greatest impact possible. Trust your instincts and don’t be afraid to ask for clarification on statistics, details on tangible impacts and client stories or testimonials. Even if privacy or anonymity must be maintained, a reputable charity will have anecdotes that are “safe” for sharing. Bottom line: you’re giving away your hard-earned money for something you believe in. You decide where and when it goes. Charities that are worth donating to respect and appreciate this, and will respect and appreciate you.

For more than two decades, Paul Downey has been a national advocate for low-income seniors as well as the president and CEO of Serving Seniors, a nonprofit agency dedicated for more than 45 years to increasing the quality of life for San Diego seniors living in poverty. Learn more at www.servingseniors.org.


 

Opera in the Park – Huge Hit in San Francisco

The San Francisco Opera presents Opera in The Park. Featuring Music Director Nicola Luisotti conducting the San Francisco Opera Orchestra and stars from the fall season including Leah Crocetto, Diana Damrau, Heidi Stober, Ekaterina Semenchuk, Piotr Beczala, Michael Fabiano and Elliot Madore. In Golden Gate Park's Sharon Meadows on Sunday afternoon, September 13, 2015.

The San Francisco Opera presents Opera in The Park
Photo: Stefan Cohen/San Francisco Opera

This year’s roster for Opera in the Park included sopranos Sarah Cambidge, Amina Edris, Aurelia Florian and Toni Marie Palmertree; mezzo-soprano Jill Grove; tenors Atalla Ayan, Brian Jagde, Pene Pati and Kyle van Schoonhoven; baritone Artur Ruciński; and bass-baritone Alfred Walker performing arias and duets by Puccini, Verdi, Wagner, Bellini, Beethoven and Gounod along with traditional songs including “This little light of mine” and “The house I live in.” The concert began with Maestro Luisotti conducting the overture to Verdi’s Nabucco. Nearly 10,000 people attended the free event at Golden Gate Park. 

The afternoon climaxed with a performance of “Nessun dorma” from Puccini’s Turandot sung in a special arrangement for three tenors, which was followed by the traditional Opera in the Park closing encore of “Libiamo” from Verdi’s La Traviata, performed by the entire group of soloists along with the audience. Matthew Shilvock, General Director of San Francisco Opera, served as master of ceremonies.

Opera in the Park, presented in partnership with the San Francisco Chronicle, is one of San Francisco’s most cherished traditions. Established by former San Francisco Opera General Director Kurt Herbert Adler in 1971, the annual Opera in the Park free concert has included in past years opera legends from Luciano Pavarotti and Plácido Domingo to Beverly Sills and Marilyn Horne.

For tickets to the San Francisco Opera’s current season go to: https://sfopera.com/


 

Hamilton Returning to San Francisco

Producer Jeffrey Seller announced the first week of August that HAMILTON will return to San Francisco in early 2019.  Information regarding engagement dates and how to purchase tickets will be announced at a later time.  

“I was blown away when the ticket-holders who had gathered outside the SHN Orpheum Theatre prior to the first preview cheered and cheered when the doors opened and they could finally take their seats.  Hamilton at the Orpheum Theatre is gorgeous, powerful and kinetic,” says Jeffrey Seller.  “We look forward to returning and staying for a long time in early 2019.”

hamilton-broadway-sanfrancisco-auction-02A second national tour will begin in Seattle in February 2018.  The musical first opened on Broadway in 2015; a Chicago company opened in September 2016; and the London company premieres November 2017.

HAMILTON is the story of America’s Founding Father Alexander Hamilton, an immigrant from the West Indies who became George Washington’s right-hand man during the Revolutionary War and was the new nation’s first Treasury Secretary.  Featuring a score that blends hip-hop, jazz, blues, rap, R&B, and Broadway, HAMILTON is the story of America then, as told by America now.  

With book, music and lyrics by Lin-Manuel Miranda, direction by Thomas Kail, choreography by Andy Blankenbuehler and musical supervision and orchestrations by Alex Lacamoire, HAMILTON is based on Ron Chernow’s biography of Founding Father Alexander Hamilton

Solea Pfeiffer, Emmy Raver-Lampman & Amber Iman star as the Schuyler sisters in the national tour of "Hamilton" in San Francisco. (SHN)

Solea Pfeiffer, Emmy Raver-Lampman & Amber Iman star as the Schuyler
                          sisters in the national tour of “Hamilton” in San Francisco. (SHN)

HAMILTON’s creative team previously collaborated on the 2008 Tony Award®-Winning Best Musical IN THE HEIGHTS.

HAMILTON features scenic design by and casting by Telsey + Company, Bethany Knox, CSA.

The musical is produced by Jeffrey Seller, Sander Jacobs, Jill Furman and The Public Theater.

For information on HAMILTON, visit www.HamiltonOnBroadway.com


 

AN INCONVENIENT SEQUEL: TRUTH TO POWER – Official Poster

AN INCONVENIENT SEQUEL: TRUTH TO POWER will be in theatres July 28.

 

Inconvenient truth sequal

A decade after AN INCONVENIENT TRUTH brought climate change into the heart of popular culture, comes the riveting and rousing follow-up that shows just how close we are to a real energy revolution. Vice President Al Gore continues his tireless fight traveling around the world training an army of climate champions and influencing international climate policy. Cameras follow him behind the scenes – in moments both private and public, funny and poignant — as he pursues the inspirational idea that while the stakes have never been higher, the perils of climate change can be overcome with human ingenuity and passion.

Directed by: Bonni Cohen & Jon Shenk

Produced by: Richard Berge & Diane Weyermann

#BeInconvenient

 

Website: InconvenientSequel.com


 

George Takei Graphic Novel Coming – IDW Publishing

unnamedGeorge Takei has signed a book publishing deal with IDW Publishing. The graphic novel will tell the story of Japanese American internment camps during WWII based on his family’s firsthand experience. 

Best known for his role as Hikaru Sulu in the original Star Trek television and movie series, Takei was only five years old when President Roosevelt signed Executive Order 9066 shortly after the bombing of Pearl Harbor, authorizing the internment of Japanese Americans. The shameful order lead to the forced relocation and incarceration of 120,000 innocent citizens, including Takei and his family. They were rounded up without any charges or due process. This graphic novel will explore these events through the eyes of young George, and how this shaped him to become the humanitarian he is today; a vocal activist against intolerance in all its forms, lending his influential voice to the voiceless.

“I have spoken publicly on numerous occasions during my life on the unjust internment of Japanese Americans in my ongoing mission of spreading awareness of this disgraceful chapter of American history,” said Takei. “I do this, and will continue to do so, in the hope that my personal experience can serve as a cautionary reminder of our past leaders’ mistakes, and that as a society, we can learn from those transgressions and not repeat them. When the opportunity to tell my story in the form of a graphic novel presented itself, I recognized the value in making it easily accessible for our youth to discover and digest the material, bringing attention to an important and relevant issue, while preserving it for generations to come. We live in uncertain times, and if stories such as mine can inspire us to do better and encourage positive change, I want to share it with as many people as possible, no matter who they are, or where they come from.”

Acting as narrator, Takei guides readers through memories of his family’s confinement within the internment camps, the aftermath of starting over with nothing after their release, his rise to stardom as helmsman of the USS Enterprise on Star Trek, and how these life-changing events led him down his chosen path of activism and championing human rights.

Justin Eisinger and Steven Scott (IDW’s Senior Book Editor and PR Manager, respectively) will handle scripting duties with an artist to be named at a later date.

The as-of-yet untitled graphic novel will be released in 2018. It will be an important education tool in how injustices can easily pass when irrational panic and accepted racism goes unnoticed until it’s too late. 


 

6 Tax Tips to Get the Most from Your Charitable Contributions

Tax Day 2017 is Tuesday, April 18. Yup, that’s right around the corner. Don’t forget to deduct your charitable contributions. Check out these 6 tax tips to help you get the maximum benefit from your contributions by Judi Steadman, Director of Individual & Planned Giving, Susan G. Komen San Diego. 

  1. In order to get a legitimate tax deduction your gift must be made to a qualified organization. If you are unsure if the organization qualifies, then take a look at IRS Publication 526 for what the rules are on what constitutes a qualified organization.
  1. You have to file Form 1040 and itemize your gifts on Schedule A if you want to deduct a charitable contribution.
  1. Gifts given to charitable organizations over the course of the year like sporting event tickets, merchandise or other goods and services the tax-deductible amount is the amount that exceeds the fair market value of the benefit that was received. 
  1. When you make a donation of stock or other non-cash property – they are valued at what the fair market**valuewould be at the tie of the gift. If you donate clothing or household goods – they must be in very good condition to be deductible. If your total deduction for all noncash contributions for the year is over $500, you have to complete and attach IRS Form 8283, Noncash Charitable Contributions, to your return as well.
  1. If you are donating an item that is valued at more than $5,000 you must also complete Section B of Form 8283, which requires that the item or items be appraised by a qualified appraiser.
  1. In order to be able to deduct a contribution made of cash, check or other monetary gifts (like a wire transfer), you must maintain a bank record, payroll deduction records or a written communication from the organization containing the name of the organization, the date of the contribution and the amount of the contribution. For text message donations, a telephone bill will meet the record-keeping requirement if it shows the name of the receiving organization, the date of the contribution, and the amount given.

** Fair market value is generally the price at which property would change hands between a willing buyer and a willing seller, neither having to buy or sell, and both having reasonable knowledge of all the relevant facts. For information on determining value, you can look at Publication 561, Determining the Value of Donated Property. All the forms and publications mentioned here are available at http://www.irs.gov.

Judi Steadman is the Director of Individual & Planned Giving for Susan G. Komen San Diego, the County’s largest funder of free breast cancer services and support and is the only organization providing qualified women the free services they need for every step of the breast cancer journey. Learn more at komensandiego.org.


 

See Hamilton for $10 at SHN!

243x313_HAMILTON
Forty-four tickets will be sold for every performance for $10 each.  Seat locations vary per performance; some seats will be located in the front row. You can enter the digital lottery two days prior to each performance.

HOW TO ENTER

  • Visit https://www.hamilton.shnsf.com or http://www.luckyseat.com/hamilton.html to register.
  • The lottery will open at 11:00 AM PT two days prior to the performance date and will close for entry at 9:00 AM PT the day prior to the performance.
  • Winner and non-winner notifications will be sent at approximately 11:00 AM PT the day prior to the performance via email and SMS (if mobile number is provided).
  • Only one entry per person. Repeat entries and disposable email addresses will be discarded.
  • Tickets must be purchased online with a credit card by 4:00 PM PT the day prior to the performance using the purchase link and code in a customized notification email. Tickets not claimed by 4:00 PM PT the day prior to the performance are forfeited.
  • Lottery tickets may be picked up at will call beginning 2 hours prior to the performance with a valid photo ID. Lottery tickets void if resold.
Hamilton Richard Rodgers Theatre Cast Lin-Manuel MirandaAlexander Hamilton Javier Muñoz Alexander Hamilton Alternate Carleigh Bettiol Andrew Chappelle Ariana DeBose Alysha Deslorieux Daveed Diggs Marquis De Lafayette Thomas Jefferson Renee Elise Goldsberry Angelica Schuyler Jonathan Groff King George III Sydney James Harcourt Neil Haskell Sasha Hutchings Christopher Jackson George Washington Thayne Jasperson Jasmine Cephas Jones Peggy Schuyler Maria Reynolds Stephanie Klemons Emmy Raver-Lampman Morgan Marcell Leslie Odom, Jr. Aaron Burr Okieriete Onaodowan Hercules Mulligan James Madison Anthony Ramos John Laurens Phillip Hamilton Jon Rua Austin Smith Phillipa Soo Eliza Hamilton Seth Stewart Betsy Struxness Ephraim Sykes Voltaire Wade-Green Standby: Javier Muñoz (Alexander Hamilton) Production Credits: Thomas Kail (Director) Andy Blankenbuehler (Choreographer) David Korins (Scenic Design) Paul Tazewell (Costume Design) Howell Binkley (Lighting Design) Other Credits: Lyrics by: Lin-Manuel Miranda Music by: Lin-Manuel Miranda Book by Lin-Manuel Miranda

 Photo Credit: Joan Marcus

ADDITIONAL RULES
Limit 1 entry per person, per performance. Multiple entries will not be accepted. Patrons must be 18 years or older and have a valid, non-expired photo ID that matches the name used to enter. Tickets are non-transferable. Ticket limits and prices displayed are at the sole discretion of the show and are subject to change without notice. Lottery prices are not valid on prior purchases. Lottery ticket offer cannot be combined with any other offers or promotions. All sales final – no refunds or exchanges. Lottery may be revoked or modified at any time without notice. No purchase necessary to enter or win. A purchase will not improve the chances of winning.

HAMILTON is the story of America’s Founding Father Alexander Hamilton, an immigrant from the West Indies who became George Washington’s right-hand man during the Revolutionary War and was the new nation’s first Treasury Secretary.  Featuring a score that blends hip-hop, jazz, blues, rap, R&B, and Broadway, HAMILTON is the story of America then, as told by America now.

Hamilton Richard Rodgers Theatre Also Starring Alexander HamiltonLin-Manuel Miranda George Washington Christopher Jackson Aaron Burr Leslie Odom Jr. Eliza Hamilton Phillipa Soo King George Jonathan Groff John Laurens/Phillip Hamilton Anthony Ramos Marquis de Lafayette/Thomas Jefferson Daveed Diggs Angelica Schuyler Renee Elise Goldsberry Production Credits: Thomas Kail (Director) Andy Blankenbuehler (Choreographer) David Korins (Scenic Design) Paul Tazewell (Costume Design) Howell Binkley (Lighting Design) Other Credits: Lyrics by: Lin-Manuel Miranda Music by: Lin-Manuel Miranda Book by Lin-Manuel Miranda

Photo Credit: Joan Marcus

With book, music and lyrics by Lin-Manuel Miranda, direction by Thomas Kail, choreography by Andy Blankenbuehler and music supervision and orchestrations by Alex Lacamoire, HAMILTON is based on Ron Chernow’s biography of Founding Father Alexander Hamilton.

Performance Dates:
March 10–August 5, 2017

About SHN:
SHN is the preeminent theatrical entertainment company in the Bay Area, bringing live entertainment experiences to San Francisco’s premier venues. SHN presents current hits fresh from Broadway, original Broadway cast productions, pre-Broadway premieres and one-of-a-kind live events that are at the forefront of the national theater scene.

#HAM4HAM


 

Watch 20th Century Women This Weekend and A24 Will Make a Donation to Planned Parenthood

A24 has announced that it will make a donation to Planned Parenthood in honor of each person that goes to see the Golden-Globe® nominated film 20th Century Women this weekend. 

20th-century-women

Planned Parenthood consulted on the film and Planned Parenthood California Central Coast shared information and resources about Planned Parenthood health centers in the ’70s. Planned Parenthood also plays a crucial part in the lives of two of the main characters in the film. Of the collaboration, writer/director Mike Mills says, “The people at Planned Parenthood were so helpful to me with the writing and pre-production of 20th Century Women. They connected me with people who worked in PP offices in the ’70s to make sure every aspect of my scenes was correct, from the language counselors used to the very particular decor and dress of the people in those offices, to the overarching philosophy and attitude of the women who worked there. It was very important to me that we capture this moment in women’s reproductive rights accurately and they were so generous and helpful to me.”

STARRING
Annette Bening, Elle Fanning, Greta Gerwig,
Lucas Jade Zumann, and Billy Crudup

WRITTEN AND DIRECTED BY
Mike Mills

Writer/director Mike Mills and stars Greta Gerwig and Elle Fanning reflect on those who raise us and the times that shape us in latest video ‘Modern Women’, featuring an exclusive interview with Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richards.