Arts & Events

Around and About: Fresh Voices, Bloomsday and More

By Ken Bullock
Tuesday June 15, 2010 - 01:25:00 PM

San Francisco Cabaret Opera, whose Goat Hall home base on Potrero Hill is undergoing renovations this year, is presenting its innovative Fresh Voices program of new short operas at Live Oak Theater in Berkeley this week.This one, the tenth in the series, is called Fresh Voices X. 

Two programs, X at the Heart of America and X in the Soul of Europe & Beyond, will be presented over four evenings by the Goat Hall company, anchored by Harriet March Page and Mark Alburger. They feature 22 singers, including, from these parts, Eliza O'Malley, Jo Vincent Parks and others.They're sure to be lively, entertaining and challenging productions. 

At 8 p.m. onThursday, June 17th and Saturday, June 19th, From the Heart of America will include : TRIFLES, from Susan Glasspell ( composed by John G. Bilotta), GEORGE BUSH: THE LAST 100 DAYS (Chris Whittaker); LIFE IS FINE (Edward Knight, with lyrics from Langston Hughes); THE BLOODY CHAMBER (Daniel Felsenfeld/Isabella Gold) and JOB: A MASQUE (Mark Alburger). 

On Friday, June 18 (8 p. m.) and Sunday, June 20th (7 p. m.): THE HUNGER ART (composed by Jeff Myers/Royce Vavrek); MEDEA ALONE (David Garner); THERESA KREN (Mark Nairns); LETTERS FROM LINDA (Alden Jenks/Frank Polite); SUTTER CREEK (Robert Denham). 

Live Oak Theater, Shattuck at Berryman. $15-$25. (415) 289-6877; 


Contra Costa Civic Theater winds down its 50th season with the cranked-up Broadway musical BARNUM, opening Friday at 8 at their theater, at Moeser Lane, El Cerrito, running Fridays & Saturdays at 8, Sundays at 2 through July 18. $15-$24. 524-9132; (As part of the 50th year festivities, CCCT has posted a 5-minute video documentary on CCCT's history, from its founding by Louis and Bettianne Flynn and friends, at: CCCT will also host a Cast Reunion party 

for all (and family and friends) who've played a part in any CCCT production, 2-5 p.m. July 31, at the theater. 


Aurora Theatre opens Stephen Karam's SPEECH AND DEBATE, Thursday at 8, in which a drama geek, a "queeny boy" and a budding high school reporter join forces to out the truth, through video blogs. Featuring a 90s pop beat. Thurs.-Sun. through July 18.$34-$56. Addison, off Shattuck. 843-4822; 


And for music, dance and theater lovers: a rare Bay Area appearance of artists from the ancient, classical Noh theater of Japan: Theatre of Yugen presents Shinosuke Okura, Noh drummer (designated Intangible Cultural Property by the government of Japan), giving a lecture/demo on Noh music and philosophy, "What Is Noh?"this Sunday, 2-4 p.m., followed by a workshop (with flute player Narumi Takizawa) from 4-5. On Monday, 7-9 p. m. Kanze Noh actor Masashi Nomura (son of Noh actor Shiro Nomura) will conduct a workshop in Noh movement and singing, All will be held at Noh Space, Project Artaud, 2840Mariposa St. in San Francisco's Mission/Potrero. (Lecture/demo: $20. Workshops, $50 each.Progressive discounts for taking two or all three:) Next Wednesday, June 23, Yugen will perform excerpts from MOON OF THE SCARLET PLUMS, a modern Noh piece telling the story of Crazy Horse, featuring Nomura, Okura, Takizawa, Native American performers and Theatre of Yugen actors. (Okura has spent much time playing with Native American musicians, and is associated with AIM founder Dennis Banks.) Nomura will dance a shimai from the Noh play TAKASAGO, and Yugen actors will perform the Kyogen comedy THE MELON THIEF. Koret Auditorium, San Francisco Main Library, Grove Street, off Hyde and Market. Free, (415) 621-0507; 


From "Stately, plump Buck Mulligan ..." to "yes I said yes Iwill Yes"—and all that goes between--James Joyce's ULYSSES, charting the wanderings of Leopold Bloom through Dublin, takes place over the course of a day: Bloomsday, June 16. 

This Wednesday (tomorrow), Wilde Irish, our local Gaelic thespians, will celebrate their Seventh Bloomsday in Berkeley, at 7:30 p. m. (doors will open at 7) at the Berkeley City Club, 2340 Durant Avenue. 

Passages from this modern classic will be read, recited, acted out and sung, with some music besides. 

(Celtic Jazz singer Melanie O'Reilly, from Ireland, and pianist Frank Martin will be featured.) 

Joyce's humor, lyricism, his grand manner and penetrating gaze into what goes on, around, over, under and back of the ordinary, will be played with the resonance of the Old Tenor's lilting voice. 

Admission will be $15, minus $3 for seniors, students and Theatre Bay Area members. A $20 ticket will entitle its holder to some "Wine of the Country," in Joyce's phrase, neither white, red nor rose'. 644-9940 or