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    2021 Fall Arts and Entertainment

    After numerous shutdowns last year due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Bay Area museums, theaters, concert venues, and more have been reopening, such that this fall’s offerings are some of the most highly anticipated in recent history. Here are just a few of them to consider:

    San Francisco Lesbian/Gay Freedom Band
    Autumn Notes in the Park: Fall Community Concert
    September 25, 1 pm @ Golden Gate Park

    The San Francisco Lesbian/Gay Freedom Band is elated to invite you to their first in-person concert in over 18 months! After a year and a half of virtual rehearsals and online concerts, they will present Autumn Notes in the Park live and in person at the Golden Gate Park Music Concourse. This free hour-long outdoor performance will feature a number of dynamic and celebratory pieces, spanning from pop tunes and marches, to several fun symphonic numbers.

    Gold Over America Tour
    Tuesday, September 28, 7:30 pm
    @ Chase Center

    The Gold Over America Tour starring Simone Biles is a dynamic celebration of powerful female athletes who have united to represent women’s gymnastics and inspire the next generation of female athletes. The all-star team of gymnasts include Biles, and 2021 Olympic teammates Jade Carey, who won gold in floor exercise, Jordan Chiles and Grace McCallum, who won silver for team competition, and MyKayla Skinner who won silver in vault.

    California Academy of Sciences
    NightLife: Culture Clash
    September 30, 6 pm

    Immerse yourself in the Bay Area’s Asian American community with an evening of music, storytelling, and fashion. Throughout the night you will have the opportunity to watch performances from a cadre of talented Asian American music makers, including rapper-by-night-scientist-by-day Ruby Ibarra; pop, R&B, hip hop, and electronic music artist Ashley Mehta; rapper and multiinstrumentalist Rocky G; plus sets from DJ Presto, DJ Toy, and The Les.

    Discover the rich histories, invaluable wisdom, and inspiring style captured in Chinatown Pretty, a storytelling project that documents senior citizens’ street style in Chinatowns across North America.

    Immersive Van Gogh Exhibit
    Through November 21 @ SVN West San Francisco

    The West Coast premiere of the Immersive Van Gogh Exhibit from creators of the blockbuster show in Paris seen by over 2 million visitors and still wowing crowds in Toronto has brought the art of Vincent to life in San Francisco. Experience art like never before—lose yourself in 300,000 cubic feet of flawless projections animating Vincent van Gogh’s oeuvre. Wander through entrancing, moving images that highlight brushstrokes, detail, and color—truly illuminating the mind of the genius.

    SF Symphony Reopening Night
    October 1, 7 pm

    It’s a new season at the San Francisco Symphony! Join Music Director Esa-Pekka Salonen, Collaborative Partner Esperanza Spalding, Alonzo King LINES Ballet, and the San Francisco Symphony for an inspiring celebration. Be a part of this one-of-a-kind San Francisco event, featuring a pre-concert sparkling wine promenade, concert, and festive after-party.

    Nam June Paik
    Through October 3 @ SF MOMA

    A mesmerizing riot of sights and sounds, Nam June Paik brings together more than 200 works by the visionary experimental artist who bridged art, music, performance, and technology in groundbreaking ways, and whose influence is still felt in the art, pop culture, music, and film of today.

    One of the first truly global and transnational artists, Paik foresaw the importance of mass media and new technologies, coining the phrase “electronic superhighway” in 1974 to predict the future of communication in an internet age. This exhibition—the artist’s first-ever West Coast retrospective—celebrates Paik’s collaborative approach that transcended genres and traditions, while also highlighting the artist’s innovative, playful, and profoundly radical work.

    October 14–30 @ San Francisco Opera

    Disguised as a guard, one woman infiltrates a nightmarish detention center to unravel the mystery of her activist-husband’s disappearance.

    Enter into a modern-day reflection of incarceration with director Matthew Ozawa’s brand-new production of Beethoven’s only opera, starring Elza van den Heever, Russell Thomas, and Greer Grimsley. Music Director Eun Sun Kim conducts the triumphant score, a precursor to Beethoven’s later work, the Ninth Symphony.

    Outside Lands 2021
    October 29–October 31 @ Golden Gate Park
    Plus Outside Lands Night Shows from October 27–October 31

    The popular annual music festival in Golden Gate Park returns for three days of music on Halloween Weekend plus a series of Night Shows starting on October 27. For the primary three-day festival, the headliners are:

    Friday – The Strokes, Tyler, The Creator, and the Glass Animals
    Saturday – Lizzo, Vampire Weekend, Zhu, and Young Thug
    Sunday – Tame Impala, J Balvin, Rüfüs Du Sol, Kehlani

    Judy Chicago: A Retrospective
    Through January 9, 2022 @ the de Young Museum

    The Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco is celebrating pioneering feminist artist Judy Chicago with a retrospective spanning from her early engagement with the Californian Light and Space Movement in the 1960s to her current body of work, a searing investigation of mortality and environmental devastation, begun in 2015. The exhibition includes approximately 130 paintings, prints, drawings, and ceramic sculptures, in addition to ephemera, several films, and a documentary. Together, these works of art chart the boundary-pushing path of the artist named Cohen by birth and Gerowitz by marriage, who, after trying to fit into the patriarchal structure of the Los Angeles art world, decided to change her name and the course of history.

    Organized on the heels of the 40th anniversary of Chicago’s landmark installation The Dinner Party, in San Francisco, and opening in conjunction with the 100th anniversary of women’s right to vote across the United States, Judy Chicago: A Retrospective pays homage to an artist whose lifelong fight against the suppression and erasure of women’s creativity has finally come full circle.

    Soundwave NEXT: Translocality
    October 21–February 22, 2022

    Translocality is a series of soundwalks to take place throughout the Bay Area, curated by a group of 9 artists and collectives. Soundwave is proud to announce the following artists: Dario Slavazza; Dylan Marx; John Patrick Moore; Lalin St Juste; LeeAnn Perry; Liar Liar Theater: Akaina Ghosh, Jacob Ritts, and Madison Wetzell; Rumi Koshino and Fereshteh Toosi; Travis Santell Rowland/Qween; and Tyler Holmes.

    Soundwalks will be featured in Golden Gate Park, the SF AIDS Memorial, Sutro Baths, and more. To participate in the soundwalks, download the Echoes App at the Soundwave website.

    The Hip Hop Nutcracker
    November 10, 7:30 pm @ Oakland’s Paramount Theatre

    A holiday mash-up for the whole family, The Hip Hop Nutcracker is back and better than ever. Directed and choreographed by Jennifer Weber, The Hip Hop Nutcracker is a contemporary dance spectacle set to Tchaikovsky’s timeless music. A unique and joyful event, this evening-length production is performed by a supercharged cast of a dozen all-star dancers, a DJ, a violinist, and MC Kurtis Blow, one of hip hop’s founding fathers, who opens the show with a short set.

    Just like the original, in The Hip Hop Nutcracker, Maria-Clara and the Nutcracker Prince go on a dream adventure battling a gang of mice, visiting the land of sweets and learning the lessons of the holiday season. Innovative digital graffiti and visuals transform the landscape of E.T.A. Hoffmann’s beloved story from traditional 19th Century Germany to the vibrant, diverse sights and sounds of contemporary New York City. 

    Through this re-mixed and re-imagined version of the classic, the dynamic performers of The Hip Hop Nutcracker  take us on a journey that celebrates love, community, and the magic of the holiday season.

    Published on September 23, 2021