‘Head Over Heels’ Has Got the Beat!

Taylor Iman Jones and company (Joan Marcus)Bay Area the Go-Go’s fans won’t want to miss the new musical ‘Head Over Heels’ playing until May 6 at San Francisco’s Curran Theatre. The show comes to the Bay stage with an impressive team including Tony Award winner Michael Mayer (Hedwig and the Angry InchSpring Awakening) as director. After its short run in San Francisco it will head to New York for its Broadway debut at the Hudson Theatre.

The musical is based on a long-form poem/play by Sir Philip Sidney called ‘The Arcadia’. The story revolves around a royal family in which an oracle has predicted a prophecy of doom. The patriarch of the family tries to prevent these by re-locating the family. The audience is then taken on a campy journey full of sexual innuendos and gender non-conformity. The drama unfolds with mistaken identities, jealous lovers, sexual awakenings, scandal and self-discovery. Interwoven throughout are the iconic hit songs “We Got the Beat,” “Get Up and Go,” “Cool Jerk,” “Vacation,” “Our Lips Are Sealed,” “Lust to Love,” “Head Over Heels” and Belinda Carlisle’s solo hits “Mad About You” and “Heaven is a Place on Earth.”

Peppermint as Pythio - (Joan Marcus)Not only does the musical feature tunes from one of the most successful all-female rock bands but it also includes the debut of Peppermint (“RuPaul’s Drag Race”), set to become the first transgender woman to perform in a principle role on Broadway. Peppermint plays the character of Pythio who’s preferred pronoun is “they”. It was great to see a non-binary role played by someone from the LGBT community.

There are plenty of toe tapping moments as well as those that lead to mini-burst of laughter. It’s a great show for a light –hearted night out on the town but can’t promise that it will be everyone’s cup of tea. The references to pop-culture and the innuendos are what make the show enjoyable and may go over the heads of some.

headoverheelsWhen: Catch Head Over Heels until May 6.
Where: Curran Theater, 445 Geary St., San Francisco
Running time: 2 hours 40 minutes, one intermission
Tickets: $29–$175

Season subscriptions are also available. Packages range from $116–$744, SFCURRAN.com or calling 415-358-1220.
headoverheelsthemusical.com  


 

Cirque Du Soleil Brings Its First Ice Show, CRYSTAL, to San Jose’s SAP Center

CRYSTAL—Cirque du Soleil’s 42nd production and first-ever experience on ice—has arrived in San Jose’s SAP Center until April 1, 2018.

COURTSHIPIn typical Cirque fashion, the show is innovative, visually stunning, funny, and full of imaginative scenarios that only a Cirque show can take you through. Artists and skaters perform acrobatics on the ice and in the air, seamlessly combining multiple disciplines to take the audience into the dream world conjured up by the show’s main character, Crystal (Nobahar Dadui).

Crystal finds herself feeling the weight of the mundane life and dreaming of breaking away, “I don’t belong here, I want to live in a book…”. She tells herself, “skate away from them all, find the one inside”, and then begins a magical world of synchronized skating, freestyle, figure, and extreme skating combined with swinging trapeze, aerial straps and hand to hand acts. She goes through a self-reflection that leads her to a feeling of freedom and empowerment. The acrobats push their limits and fly through the air demonstrating a weightlessness one can only feel when open to taking risks.

01_TEMPETE-0265The show has something for everyone. There are little amusements like fake falls to make people laugh, incredible stunts for the thrill seekers, and the colorful and musical representations for the artists and dreamers. In the end Crystal breaks through the ice and resurfaces, “everythng feels real until you realize you’re dreaming.”

Another key feature of Cirque shows is their dedication to warming up the audience. Prior to show time they take a more creative approach to getting your attention than just blinking the house lights on and off. For Crystal, this warm up included snow ball fights on stage and within the audience. This is what makes Cirque enjoyable by many. Their creative approach caters to their specific audience, in this production it’s inclusive to all ages and tastes.

13_BALLROOM-3587Want to get your first choice at seats at future shows? Sign Up for a complimentary membership. Cirque Club members receive advance access to the best seats, deals and discounts for tickets, promotions with their partners and a chance to experience never before seen exclusive Cirque du Soleil content.

For more information, visit: www.cirquedusoleil.com/crystal
 

Update: Cirque has done it again, all shows at the San Jose location are sold out. 

 

CRYSTAL – A Breakthrough Ice Experience | Cirque du Soleil


 

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/


 

Brooklyn Loves Michael Jackson

bkmjSaturday marks the 6th Annual “Brooklyn Loves Michael Jackson” block party thrown to honor the musical legend’s birthday. This year will be hosted by Sway & Spike Lee with music played by DJSPINNA. The location for the event is the same street that Lee’s, “Do the Right Thing” was filmed on in 1998. 


The block on Stuyvesant Avenue between Lexington Avenue & Quincy Street was re-named “Do The Right Thing Way” a year ago. The New York City Council approved the requested change proposed by Councilman Robert Cornegy Jr, as part of a bill to honor 50 streets with names of icons in NYC history. Although it’s an honor for Spike Lee its technically honoring a piece of art, making it and even grander feat.

So head down to “Do the Right Thing Way” and bring the whole family to show how much “Brooklyn Loves Michael Jackson”. Jackson would have been 58 on Monday. 

Event Details: 

What: 6th Annual Brooklyn Loves Michael Jackson Block Party

When: Saturday, August 27 from 12PM-6PM

Where: Stuyvesant Avenue between Lexington Avenue & Quincy Street

Cost: Free

Website: https://www.40acres.com


 

In Memory of Prince – The World Turns Purple

Icon singer/musician/producer/writer/genius Prince Rogers Nelson was pronounced dead at 10:07 am today, he was only 57 years old. He was found in an elevator at Paisley Park Studios in Chanhassen, Minnesota. The cause of death is still unknown. Many honored him by lighting up in purple in reference to his most iconic album, Purple Rain. President Barack Obama posted a message on Facebook summarizing Prince’s genius. 

Screen Shot 2016-04-21 at 9.26.53 PM

TRIBUTES

 

Who Killed Kurt Cobain? Graphic Novel

Kurt CobainIconic singer/songwriter, Kurt Cobain left behind a phenomenal body of work, legions of fans, and a mystery… a final letter addressed to “Boddah.” Award-winning creator Nicolas Otero brings the story of this note to life in the forthcoming original graphic novel tale published by IDW Publishing. The announcement was made in the city that Cobain called home, Seattle during Emerald City Comic Con.

“I was 17 when Nirvana and Kurt Cobain came to Paris in 1992,” recalls artist Nicolas Otero. “I saw them live the day before my graduation and it was… explosive, mind-blowing, sonic, and so powerful. When Kurt put an end to his life in 1994, I remember hearing the name of Boddah for the first time. I thought it could be a fantastic way to tell Kurt’s story, with Boddah as the narrator. Twenty years later, my hair is not long nor dirty, I’m the father of three wonderful kids, and life has given me such a great gift. I can finally draw this little voice and explore what I imagined Kurt’s mind and life were inside. I hope you’ll enjoy reading it as I enjoyed doing it. I’m 17 again today.”

Based on the French novel, Le Roman de Boddah by Heloise Guay de Bellissen, this adaptation – a work of fiction – recounts real-life events from Cobain’s life, as narrated by his childhood imaginary friend, Boddah.

Through the eyes of Boddah, readers get a front row seat to the highs and lows of one of music’s influential voices. Trace the arc of modern rock’s greatest icon from the dark clubs of Seattle to the bright lights of the world stage… and all the angst, horror, and thrill that came with that ride in this captivating graphic tale.

“Nirvana blew the world open my freshman year of high school and were gone before graduation. In 1993 I saw them play on Halloween with Kurt dressed as Barney the dinosaur” said editor, Justin Eisinger. “But I didn’t know about Boddah. I’d never really thought about this mythical life — Kurt’s — from any perspective other than MTV-spawned voyeur. What Otero does here is impressive. His exploration peels back the curtain, showing another way to perceive this person’s life and accomplishments. Boddah’s narration is endearing and haunting… leading us to question what we expect to find inside those we idolize. After all, what do we know of our heroes?”

Who Killed Kurt Cobain? arrives in book stores this October.

About IDW

IDW is a fully integrated media company which includes publishing, games, entertainment, and the San Diego Comic Art Gallery. All divisions of IDW are owned by IDW Media Holdings, Inc. (IDWM) which provides a wide range of entertainment products worldwide.


 

Jersey Boys at SHN Orpheum Theatre

Jersey Boys On StageThe “Jersey Boys” are back in San Francisco at SHN Orpheum Theatre until February 14, 2016. The Tony, Grammy and Olivier Award-winning hit musical tells the story of Frankie Valli as a soloist and as part of The Four Seasons with Bob Gaudio, Tommy DeVito and Nick Massi. The audience gets a glimpse into the background of how they became a group that went on to sell 175 million records worldwide before they were thirty to being inducted into the hall of fame in 1990. If you grew up with the music you’ll be sure to be taken on a nostalgic trip. The show features all their hits including “Sherry,” “Big Girls Don’t Cry,” “Oh What A Night,” “Walk Like A Man,” “Can’t Take My Eyes Off You” and “Working My Way Back To You.”The Handshake

You’ll learn that they were not angels. From jail, affairs, prostitutes, drugs, gambling, mob connections, and abandoning their families, you’ll get an honest yet still PG-13 look at many of their not so great choices and flawed characters.

Valli is portrayed as an old-school guy who could be trusted with just a handshake (his contract with Gaudio). He’s a man’s man and even worked his butt off to help pay off Tommy DeVito’s gambling and tax debts without hesitation. Meanwhile his neglected wife and daughters barely saw him and that relationship ends in divorce. Most of the time he was portrayed as neglectful because he was working all the time but there are several accounts of him and groupies told in real life. However, he tells his wife in one of the scenes that what happens on the road is none of her business alluding to his misconduct during tours.

The Sit DownTommy DeVito is quick to anger and continuously cheats the group but he’s also the one that believed in the group, especially Valli’s talent. This is the source of Valli’s devotion to his gambling friend. If it weren’t for him he wouldn’t be the Frankie Valli with the unique voice that has lived on our airwaves all these years.

Bob Gaudio is the genius behind the music that never had any interest in being up front in the limelight. His connection and belief in Valli is what kept the hits coming. He could’ve written songs for others but his handshake contract with Valli was proven solid throughout the years. We don’t really get to know that much about his background. We see moments where he’s inspired, interacting with the group and the “big night” scene dedicated to when he loses his virginity to a prostitute sent over by the record company. “Oh What A Night” was playing throughout the scene with jokes alluding to his performance being too short. We also find out in a previous scene that actor Joe Pesci is responsible for introducing Gaudio to the group and that’s when they became, The Four Seasons.

Jersey Boys FinaleThe actors do a great job at portraying the group and have even received approval from some of the real group members. “It’s fun, its great, it means a lot that he believed enough in what I was doing to allow me to portray him and go around the world and share the story” said Drew Seely who did a great job playing Bob Gaudio.

Listen to the full interview with Drew Seeley who plays Bob Gaudio


Frankie Valli is the core of the play and Aaron De Jesus is fantastic with his vocals and dance moves. He did a great job portraying the good, the bad and an emotional scene where Valli finds out his daughter, Francine, died of a drug overdose.

Jersey Boys SingingThere’s a lot that can be discussed about their lives and what fame and fortune mean to different people. The one thing that everyone can agree on is that being able to leave something behind like a song (in this case, songs) that will be celebrated way beyond his or her years, is an amazing accomplishment. And all this was squeezed into two and half hours!

JERSEY BOYS worldwide has been seen by over 22 million people.

Directed by two-time Tony® Award-winner Des McAnuff, JERSEY BOYS is written by Academy Award-winner Marshall Brickman and Rick Elice, with music by Bob Gaudio, lyrics by Bob Crewe and choreography by Sergio Trujillo.

JERSEY BOYS is produced by Dodger Theatricals, Joseph J. Grano, Tamara and Kevin Kinsella, Pelican Group, with Latitude Link and Rick Steiner.

Jersey Boys Poster

 

Tickets for JERSEY BOYS begin at $45 and are available through shnsf.com and SHN Audience Services at 888-746-1799. Performance schedule, prices and cast are subject to change without notice. For more information, visit www.JerseyBoysTour.com or www.shnsf.com.

David Bowie Dies of Cancer at Age 69

david Bowie

Ziggy Stardust

 

David Bowie died of cancer yesterday, only two days after his 69th birthday and the release of his 25th studio album, BlackStar. He had been living with cancer for 18 months. He was considered ahead of his time with his style, music, and personality. He was never afraid to say what was on his mind or share his art from deep within. The world gravitated towards him and became better because of his influence. His last album is being seen as a goodbye message to his fans. He left us but not without having the last word, that’s so Bowie!

 

Lazarus – From his Final Album

David Bowie confronts Mark Goodman of MTV For Discriminating Against Black Artists In 1983

As Jareth in Labyrinth – Magic Dance

Space Oddity


 

Adele Announces North American Tour Dates For 2016

Adele North American TourIt’s here! The dates for Adele’s new tour have been announced. She will be returning to North America after five years.  The tour begins ‪on July 5th in St. Paul, MN at Xcel Energy Center and run through November 15th in Mexico City at Palacio de los Deportes.  The tour will have multiple shows in most markets, including six nights at Staples Center in Los Angeles and six nights at New York’s Madison Square Garden.  She’ll be coming to North America after a sold out tour in the U.K. and Europe.

 

Tickets go on sale December 17th at 10am local time: live.adele.com/north-america/.

Tour Dates

Date                                        City                                         Venue

July 5                                     St. Paul, MN                          Xcel Energy Center

July 6                                     St. Paul, MN                          Xcel Energy Center

July 10                                   Chicago, IL                            United Center

July 11                                   Chicago, IL                            United Center

July 13                                   Chicago, IL                            United Center

July 16                                   Denver, CO                           Pepsi Center

July 17                                   Denver, CO                           Pepsi Center

July 20                                   Vancouver, BC                      Pepsi Live at Rogers Arena

July 21                                   Vancouver, BC                      Pepsi Live at Rogers Arena

July 25                                   Seattle, WA                           KeyArena

July 26                                   Seattle, WA                           KeyArena

July 30                                   San Jose, CA                        SAP Center at San Jose

July 31                                   San Jose, CA                        SAP Center at San Jose

August 2                                Oakland, CA                          Oracle Arena

August 5                                Los Angeles, CA                    Staples Center

August 6                                Los Angeles, CA                    Staples Center

August 9                                Los Angeles, CA                    Staples Center

August 10                              Los Angeles, CA                    Staples Center

August 12                              Los Angeles, CA                    Staples Center

August 13                              Los Angeles, CA                    Staples Center

August 16                              Phoenix, AZ                          Talking Stick Resort Arena

August 17                              Phoenix, AZ                          Talking Stick Resort Arena

September 6                         Auburn Hills, MI                     The Palace of Auburn Hills

September 7                         Auburn Hills, MI                     The Palace of Auburn Hills

September 9                         Philadelphia, PA                     Wells Fargo Center

September 10                       Philadelphia, PA                     Wells Fargo Center

September 14                       Boston, MA                           TD Garden

September 15                       Boston, MA                           TD Garden

September 19                       New York, NY                       Madison Square Garden

September 20                       New York, NY                       Madison Square Garden

September 22                       New York, NY                       Madison Square Garden

September 23                       New York, NY                       Madison Square Garden

September 25                       New York, NY                       Madison Square Garden

September 26                       New York, NY                       Madison Square Garden

September 30                       Montreal, QC                        Bell Centre

October 1                               Montreal, QC                      Bell Centre

October 3                               Toronto, ON                        Air Canada Centre

October 4                               Toronto, ON                        Air Canada Centre

October 6                               Toronto, ON                        Air Canada Centre

October 7                               Toronto, ON                         Air Canada Centre

October 10                             Washington, DC                   Verizon Center

October 11                             Washington, DC                  Verizon Center

October 15                             Nashville, TN                        Bridgestone Arena

October 16                             Nashville, TN                        Bridgestone Arena

October 25                             Miami, FL                             American Airlines Arena

October 26                             Miami, FL                             American Airlines Arena

October 28                             Atlanta, GA                          Philips Arena

October 29                             Atlanta, GA                          Philips Arena

November 1                          Dallas, TX                             American Airlines Center

November 2                          Dallas, TX                             American Airlines Center

November 4                          Austin, TX                             Frank Erwin Center

November 5                          Austin, TX                             Frank Erwin Center

November 8                          Houston, TX                          Toyota Center

November 9                          Houston, TX                          Toyota Center

November 14                        Mexico City, DF                      Palacio de los Deportes

November 15                        Mexico City, DF                      Palacio de los Deportes

 

San Francisco Beer and Music Festival

Rock Star Beer Productions held their first San Francisco Beer and Music Festival on November 21st. The Las Vegas company easily appealed to locals and sold out almost a week in advance. The event was outdoors at SOMA Streat food Park and showcased multiple local and regional breweries as well as local bands and DJ’s. There were over 50 craft beers to please your palate over and over again.

IMG_4120 copy

My favorite was the Oyster Stout by HenHouse brewing company. It’s brewed with oysters from Hog Island Oyster Co. and sea salt. It’s color is pitch black almost and it has a savory taste of chocolate and coffee with a dry finish. The bitter chocolate taste lingers a bit after. Luckily, the tastings were unlimited so I was able to go back for seconds.

I also got to sample a hard apple cider by William Tell. The company was named after him because he’s known for “hitting the bulls eye” when he shot an apple off of his young son’s head. Their signature cider is a unique blend of freshly fermented hard apple cider and premium California pinot grigio. In my opinion the taste certainly hit the “bulls eye” as well.San Francisco Beer Festival

The production company is working on other great events throughout San Jose, Hollywood, Las Vegas and San Diego. On November 27th they will be having a free beer tasting and show with Alien Ant Farm at Yost Theater. Shhhh… don’t tell anyone because it’s a secret! Register here!