A season of plenty: Autumn arts on the Midpeninsula | News | Almanac Online |


A season of plenty: Autumn arts on the Midpeninsula

Take a peek into what's coming up in local exhibits, concerts, events and more

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What do Willie Nelson, stunt dogs, emergency preparedness and man-eating musical plants have in common? They're all a part of the local arts scene this fall.

Whatever your particular interests, it's time once more to check out our annual picks for things to see, hear and experience on the Midpeninsula this September, October and November.

Exhibitions and fine art

'The Blue Marble: Art for The Environment'

Where: Pacific Art League, 668 Ramona St., Palo Alto.

When: Sept. 6-25.

Monday-Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Opening reception Friday, Sept. 6, 5:30-8 p.m.

Info: Go to PAL.

Following last autumn's successful "cause-based exhibit," which supported wildlife advocacy, Pacific Art League (PAL) is this September returning to an environmental theme with "The Blue Marble: Art for the Environment." Seven Bay Area artists (Barbara Boissevain, Sukey Bryan, Steve Curl, Joe Decker, Michele Guieu, QT Luong, and Hannah Rothstein) will exhibit work celebrating the beauty of the planet Earth. The exhibition will also aim to raise awareness of pressing environmental issues and of steps locals might take to help.

Rothstein's ironic "National Parks 2050" series, for example, mimics the classic look of vintage National Parks posters with updates to show how climate change will impact many of the country's beloved landmarks. "Visit melted permafrost, snowless peaks and vanished tundra," reads a poster for Alaska's Denali National Park. The effect is both grimly humorous and harrowing.

"Each of these works aims to make climate change feel immediate and close to home in a way data and scientific reports cannot. With my art, I want to help society connect to science, and harness the power of imagery to have an emotional impact," Rothstein told the Weekly. "It's my hope viewers of these works will be galvanized to take action, whether that's in their everyday lives, by calling their congresspeople, or by organizing in the name of the environment."

Partnering with PAL are local environmental and science organizations including NASA, The Sierra Club and Environmental Volunteers.

The exhibition is also a kickoff for a new program PAL is starting this autumn: "Art Hikes For Kids," open to youth from underserved communities.

"So often kids don't get the chance to experience the beautiful natural environment so close to the urban sprawl of Silicon Valley," PAL CEO and Executive Director Jon Graves stated in a press release. "The Santa Cruz Mountains offer an exceptional diversity of hiking trails and views across the stunning landscape rolling to the Pacific, and we want to give kids who have never been into this magical environment the chance to hike and breathe and also to capture their reactions to the experience, through art."

Other exhibitions worth a look:

● "Seascapes and Landscapes in Pastel," Portola Art Gallery (September). Jan Prisco, artist; Portola Art Gallery.

● "Encounters: Honoring the Animal in Ourselves" (Sept. 14-Dec. 29) and The Great Glass Pumpkin Patch (Sept. 28-29) at the Palo Alto Art Center; PA Art Center.

● Lynda Benglis at Pace Gallery (through Oct. 23); Pace.

● "Left of Center: Five Years of the Anderson Collection" (Sept. 20-Sept. 20, 2020), Jim Campbell (Sept. 5-Aug. 3, 2020) and "Process and Pattern" (through Feb. 17, 2020) at Anderson Collection; Anderson Collection.

● "The Melancholy Museum: Love, Death, and Mourning at Stanford" (Sept. 18, ongoing), "West x Southwest: Edward Weston and Ansel Adams" (Sept. 26-Jan.6, 2020) and "Jordan Casteel: Returning the Gaze" (Sept. 29-Jan. 5, 2020) at the Cantor Arts Museum; Cantor Arts Center.

● "Kids and Art Exhibition" (Sept. 29), "Cats: From Artistic Expression to Devotion" (Nov. 4-11) at Cubberley Artist Studio Program; CASP.

● "Our Community Prepares" at the Los Altos History Museum (Oct. 17-Jan. 19, 2020); LAHM.

● "Bauhaus Centennial: Taking Shape" (Through Sept. 16) at Art Ventures Gallery; Art Ventures.

● "The Dream" (September), "Voice Crossing" (October) and "Strands that bridge" (November) at the Art Kiosk; Art Kiosk.



David Crosby and Friends

Where: Fox Theatre, 2215 Broadway St., Redwood City.

When: Wednesday, Sept. 4, at 8 p.m.

Cost: $53-$106.

Info: Go to Fox Theatre.

Music legend David Crosby rolls into Redwood City with his "Sky Trails Band" (James Raymond on keys, Mai Leisz on bass, Steve Di Stanislao on drums, Jeff Pevar on guitar and Michelle Willis on keyboards and vocals) for a performance at the Fox Theatre on Sept. 4 (for an interview with Crosby, go to Palo Alto Online). Locals can also catch Marwan Khoury (Oct. 4) and Three Dog Night (Oct. 24), among others, at the historic venue this fall.

Other concerts worth a listen

● From Stanford Live (Bing Concert Hall, Frost Amphitheater and others): The National (Sept. 1), Mumford & Sons (Sept. 18), Lucibela (Sept. 27), Hanggai (Sept. 28), St. Lawrence String Quartet (Sept. 29), Trey McLaughlin & The Sounds of Zamar (Oct. 1), "Triptych (Eyes of One on Another)" (Oct. 3), "From the Middle Kingdom to the Wild West: A Symphonic Concert" (Oct. 6), "Rob Kapilow's What Makes It Great?" (Oct. 10), Willie Nelson (Oct. 12), Max Richter with the American Contemporary Music Ensemble (Oct. 13), Brad Mehldau & Ian Bostridge (Oct. 16), Chucho Valdés (Oct. 18), Terry Riley and Gyan Riley (Oct. 19), Daniel Pearl World Music Days Concert (Oct. 23), Joshua Bell (Nov. 1), Jon Batiste (Nov. 2), The King's Singers (Nov. 10), Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra (Nov. 13), Nella (Nov. 14), Allison Miller (Nov. 15), Alicia Olatuja (Nov. 16), Musica Nuda (Nov. 17) and "Harlem 100" (Nov. 20); Stanford Live.

● From the Oshman Family JCC: Shulem (Sept. 22), Taimane (Oct. 26), Keren Peles (Nov. 5); Oshman Family JCC.

● Shoreline Amphitheatre presents: Korn with Alice in Chains (Sept. 4), Kidz Bop (Sept. 8), Cake with Ben Folds (Sept. 13), Zac Brown Band (Sept. 20), Bryan Adams (Sept. 21), Bob Seger (Sept. 26), Florida Georgia Line (Sept. 27), Game of Thrones Live Concert Experience (Oct. 3), The Alchemy Tour (Oct. 11); Shoreline Amphitheatre.

● From Earthwise Productions at the Mitchell Park Community Center and Palo Alto Art Center: John Santos Sextet (Sept. 13), Sun Kil Moon (Sept. 27), Molly Tuttle (Sept. 30), Amendola/Dunn/Greenlief (Oct. 11), Tom Harrell Quartet (Oct. 24); Earthwise.

● From the Community School of Music and Arts: Axel Schmitt (Sept. 14), Marian Concus and Joshua Horowitz (Sept. 29), Floboe Productions Studio (Oct. 12), Juanito Pascual Trio (Oct. 26), Rontgen Piano Trio (Nov. 23); CSMA.

● Filoli's "Bluegrass at the Barn" series: Goat Hill Girls (Oct. 13), Wildcat Mountain Ramblers (Oct. 20), Stringed Allstars (Oct. 27); Filoli.

● Redwood Symphony's fall concerts (Sept. 28, Oct. 27, Nov. 23); Redwood Symphony.

● Palo Alto Philharmonic's fall concerts (Sept. 7, Oct. 19, Nov. 9); Palo Alto Philharmonic.

● Schola Cantorum's "Schola Swings" concerts (Oct. 26-27); Schola Cantorum.

● California Bach Society's fall concert in Palo Alto (Oct. 5); Cal Bach.

● New Esterházy Quartet's fall concerts in Palo Alto (Sept. 15, Nov. 24); New Esterhazy Quartet

● San Francisco Early Music Society presents: The Costanoan Trio (Sept. 20) and Aquila & Tres Hermanicas (Nov. 22) in Palo Alto; SFEMS.

● At the Menlo-Atherton Performing Arts Center: Tall Men Group (Sept. 14); "Bird with Strings" (presented by The Palo Alto Jazz Alliance, Oct. 12, PA Jazz).



TheatreWorks' golden season continues

Where: Mountain View Center for the Performing Arts, 500 Castro St.

Info: Go to TheatreWorks.

It's a big year for TheatreWorks Silicon Valley. Not only is it the 50th anniversary season, it's also the last with founder Robert Kelley serving as artistic director, plus the organization is still riding high from its recent Tony Award for regional theater. This autumn, TheatreWorks is featuring the screwball comedy/thriller "The 39 Steps" (running through Sept. 15; check Palo Alto Online for a review) and "Mark Twain's River of Song," featuring traditional tunes (Oct. 2-27).

Other upcoming productions

● From Palo Alto Players: "Bright Star" (Sept. 13-29); "A Christmas Story, The Musical" (Nov. 9-24); PA Players.

● From The Pear Theatre: "An Ideal Husband" (through Sept. 15); "Sweat" (Oct. 18-Nov. 10); The Pear.

● From Los Altos Stage Company: "Admissions" (Sept. 5-29); "Little Shop of Horrors" (Oct. 25-Nov. 3), "Miracle on 34th Street" (Nov. 21-Dec. 22); LASC.

● From Dragon Theatre: "Hickorydickory" (Sept. 6-29); "Anne of the Thousand Days" (Nov. 1-24); Dragon Theatre.

● From Broadway by the Bay: "Into the Woods" (Nov. 8-24); BBB.

● From West Bay Opera: "Nabucco" (Oct. 18-27); WBO.

● From Upstage Theater: "Radium Girls" (Oct.18-20); Upstage Theater.

● From Wise Owl Players: "Deleted" (Sept. 14-15); MVCPA.


More miscellaneous highlights

Author events are plentiful on the Peninsula. Below are just some of the literary events on offer, plus a smattering of circus arts, dance, films and more.

Authors, talks and storytelling

● At Books Inc. (Palo Alto and Mountain View): Mike Chen (Sept. 4), Meg Waite Clayton (Sept. 9), Jane Solomon (Sept. 14), Cara Wall (Sept. 19), Anita Felicelli (Sept. 26), Rainbow Rowell (Oct. 4), Flynn Coleman (Oct. 16); Books Inc.

● Presented by Keplers: Esther Wojcicki (Sept. 9), Emma Donoghue (Sept. 11), Madeline Miller (Sept. 13), Naomi Klein (Sept. 27), Dave Barry and Adam Mansbach (Oct. 21), Richard Dawkins (Oct. 26) ; Keplers.

● At Stanford: David Guttenfelder "A Rare Look - North Korea and Cuba" (Oct. 30), Aleesa Alexander on "Black Codes: The Art of Post-Civil Rights Alabama" (Nov. 18); Stanford Events.

● At the Oshman Family JCC: Adeena Sussman (Sept. 10), TEDxPaloAltoSalon (Sept. 21), Sarah Hurwitz (Sept. 23), Julie Hirschfeld Davis and Michael D. Shear (Nov. 4), Margaret O'Mara (Nov. 13); Oshman Family JCC.

● Menlo Park Library's Storytelling Festival (Sept. 7-Oct. 2); Menlo Park.

Dance and circus arts

● At Stanford Live: "Gravity & Other Myths" (Oct. 11-12), "Minorities" (Nov. 1-3); Stanford Live.

● At the Oshman Family JCC: Cirque Mei (Sept. 18), "Stunt Dog Experience" (Nov. 23); Oshman Family JCC.

● At the Dragon Theatre: "Cosmos" (Oct. 10-11);

Dragon Theatre.

● Zoppe Italian Family Circus in Redwood City (Oct. 10-Nov. 3); Zoppe.


● At the Mountain View Center for the Performing Arts: Broad Comedy (Sept. 5); MVCPA.

● At the Dragon Theatre: stand-up comedy show (Sept. 18); Dragon Theatre.


● The Silicon Valley Jewish Film Festival (Palo Alto and Saratoga, Oct. 27-Nov. 17); SVJFF.

● The United Nations Association Film Festival (Palo Alto, East Palo Alto, Stanford and San Francisco, Oct. 17-27); UNAFF.

● Tuolumne River Film Festival (Sept. 7, Atherton); Tuolumne River Trust.

● From Bravemaker: "The Edge of Success" (Sept. 12), "For They Know Not What They Do" (Oct. 16); Bravemaker.

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The 34th Annual Palo Alto Weekly Short Story Contest is now accepting entries for Adult, Young Adult and Teen categories. Send us your short story (2,500 words or less) and entry form by April 10, 2020. First, Second and Third Place prizes awarded in each category.

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