49 Hours of SF: April Awakenings
By: Cindy Hu
Photo by Shawn Clover
The hills are green. Flowers bloom. Can’t you just hear Simon & Garfunkel singing “April come she will when streams are ripe and swelled with rain” on the radio? Oh, right. On your iPhone.
Whatever you’re listening to, here’s a couple of spring flings:
Based on the true story of a Chinese delivery man trapped in a Bronx elevator for 81 hours, the American Conservatory Theater’s visionary musical work, “Stuck Elevator,” is onstage through April 28. An undocumented immigrant, Guang faces his past and the elusive American dream within the confines of a 4′ by 6′ by 8′ metal box, suspended between the upward mobility of the American dream and a free fall into the dire consequences of drawing attention to himself by pressing the alarm button and what that will reveal about his status.
Only Time Will Tell
Christian Marclay’s 24-hour cinematic masterpiece, “The Clock,” has arrived at SFMOMA just in the nick of time. Constructed from thousands of film clips marking the passage of time, “The Clock” features time-related moments from the iconic —a close-up of Gary Cooper eyes watching the clock in “High Noon,”— to the obscure. As part of the countdown for closing festivities, SFMOMA will host several full, 24-hour viewings of the work, including a screening every weekend in May and one during a free admission period leading up to the museum’s closure on June 2. An expansive off-site program begins in late May with an installation at Crissy Field of eight massive sculptures by Mark di Suvero and a series of collaborations with Bay Area museums and institutions over the course of the next two-and-a-half years.
Neighborhood Watch: Dogpatch
As of April 6 there’s one more reason to hop on the T-Third Muni Metro line: the Museum of Craft and Design, 2569 Third St. A showcase for contemporary practices in craft and design, the new cultural hot spot is located in the historic American Industrial Center building in the heart of Dogpatch. Inaugural exhibitions include “Michael Cooper: A Sculptural Odyssey, 1968-2011,” “Arline Fisch: Creatures from the Deep,” and “Rebecca Hutchinson: Affinity.” While you’re in the neighborhood check out the tasting room at Dogpatch WineWorks, 2455 Third St. or order up a couple of scoops of Burnt Sugar ice cream at Mr. and Mrs. Miscellaneous, 699 22nd St. at the corner of Third.
Playoff Hockey Time
Are You Listening?
They are the Olympians of the spoken word. The apostles of street creed. They are Youth Speaks. From April 12-May 11 listen as hundreds of young writers, emcees and performers from throughout the Bay Area and Northern California compete in the 17th annual Youth Speaks Teen Poetry Slam. Grand Slam finals are on May 11 at Nourse Theatre.
A Whole Lot of Shakin' Going On
April 18 is the 107th anniversary of the 1906 earthquake and fire. If you’re an early riser, head to Lotta’s Fountain. At 5:12 a.m. civic leaders and history buffs will gather at Lotta’s Fountain, corner of Market and Kearny streets, for an annual commemoration. There’s a few other events slated as well. On Saturday, April, 13 the Chinese Historical Society of America’s Second Saturday program will tell the story of post-earthquake Chinatown. Across town on April 18 in Golden Gate Park the California Academy of Sciences will raise funds for their conservation and sustainability programs at Big Bang: Party After Dark. Retro-soul crooner Mayer Hawthorne will headline the night with a live DJ set, presented by Another Planet Entertainment. On April 20 join Robin Marks on a special edition of her Discovery Street Tours. The tour begins in Dolores Park not far from the fire hydrant that is painted gold every year in honor of its role in supplying water to douse the fires raging through San Francisco. She’ll talk about what geologists learned from the quake and the science of seismology in “San Francisco Rocks” starting at 1:30 p.m.
San Francisco’s colorful Japantown will burst into full bloom on the weekends of April 13-14 and 20-21, when members of Northern California’s Japanese American community gather to present the 46th annual Cherry Blossom Festival. Anyone with a yen to experience a bit of Japan won’t want to miss this vivid and varied cultural festival, which celebrates the rich culture and heritage of Japanese Americans. The five-acre Japan Center, at Post and Buchanan streets, and the adjacent blocks of Japantown will be filled with hundreds of performers and reverberate to the sound of taiko drums. Classical and folk dancers will perform both weekends, climaxing with the parade on Sunday, April 21.
Thank you, Dr. Oppenheimer
In the late 1960s Dr. Frank Oppenheimer had an idea that blossomed into the Exploratorium at the Palace of Fine Arts. On April 17 some 40 years later the Exploratorium will open in its new waterfront home on Pier 15. Offering 600 exhibits, the world’s foremost interactive science museum also features 1.5 acres of free, outdoor space including a public plaza, promenade, views, outdoor exhibits, two cafes, food carts and a store. The indoor and outdoor spaces are divided into six galleries: West Gallery – Human Behavior; Central Gallery – Seeing & Listening; East Gallery – Living Systems; South Gallery – Maker Culture in The Tinkering Studio; Outdoor Gallery, and perhaps the most anticipated of all, the Bay Observatory, an all-glass gallery offering a “lens” to observe the science of the bay.
Ebert Would Have Loved It
The numbers are staggering: 158 films, 180 filmmakers and industry guests, 51 countries represented, one international premiere, five North American premieres and three U.S. premieres. The late Roger Ebert would have loved the breadth and scope of the 56th San Francisco International Film Festival, April 24-May 9. Among this season’s honorees are director Philip Kaufman and inventor Ray Dolby. The highly anticipated Big Nights series includes “What Maisie Knew” starring Julianne Moore on opening night; “Inequality for All,” on May 4featuring local economist Robert Reich, and “Before Midnight,” the third film in Richard Linklater’s romantic trilogy starring Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy on May 9.
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