things to experience

By Staff Together

March is a wonderful month if your name isn’t Caesar. There’s a great deal going on in the Bay Area art scene and whether you tastes run high, Garry Winogrand at SF MOMA, or low, Tom Cruise grinning his way through – God bless new technology - Top Gun 3D, there’s something for everyone. The point is to get out of the apartment and experience it all. If all you do is sit around, play video games and stream movies you might as well live in one of the thousands of hick towns that dot this great North American continent, and for a lot less money we might add. Instead, you live in the Bay Area and so live like your life’s worth something and take in all this overpriced coastal village has to offer: the art shows, the drag queens, the tribute bands, the pristine prints of off-beat movies and comedy so new that you won’t see the punch line coming. Go to as many of the events listed below and then tell us what you thought. We might give you the prize for the most cultured person in the Bay Area.

Wayne Thiebaud, Sierra Cloud
Do you like tiny things? Do you like well-known artists? Do you like staring at tiny things by well-known artists? If so, the Small Gems group show currently up at the Crown Point Press in San Francisco is for you. This collection of smaller works by big names artists is more than meets the eye—literally. Take an eyeful of these petit creations by artists such as Robert Bechtle, Sol Lewitt and William T Wiley. Not recommended for the near-sighted. By Will Buhler

Crown Point Press, 20 Hawthorne St, San Francisco 94105. (415) 974-6273

The Beginning of a Bad Party
The Pacific Film Archives Alfred Hitchcock retrospective offers a long list of cinematic classics. If you haven’t seen Vertigo, Rear Window or Psycho then I’m suspending your invitation to my next dinner party. Still, if you want to be a good guest, you’ll not only see those necessary classics, but also Hitchcock’s 1948 Rope, his radical experiment in both simplifying and complicating film language. The suspense of two men committing a murder in the minutes before a dinner party is heightened not just by house guest Jimmy Stewart’s unrelenting suspicion that something has gone terribly wrong with this party, but also by Hitchcock’s continuous long takes. The film takes incredible risks in creating dramatic tension, both homoerotic and homicidal, with not a single cut in sight for relief. By Bennet Rust

PFA Theater, 2575 Bancroft Way, Berkeley 94720. (510) 642-5249

Garry Winogrand
Who doesn’t love a little tongue in cheek humor, a little social commentary, a few photographs that give us a momentary glimpse into the past? SF MOMA is gearing up for maybe the most exciting exhibit of the year: the Garry Winogrand show. It’s difficult to find an artist that so many people are in awe of, but Winogrand seems to have captivated everyone who counts (other great artists, collectors, critics and art enthusiasts) and the rest of us who don’t. You shouldn’t miss a chance to see Winogrand’s justly famous street photos of New York in the 1960’s or some of his odder work, such as his series The Animals, photographs of animals at the zoo. Opening March 9th and playing until SF MOMA’s two-year closure starting June 2nd, don’t miss a chance to see highbrow art without all the conceptual red tape. By Zoe Kravitz

SF MOMA, 151 Third St (between Mission and Howard), San Francisco 94103.

Natural CGI
56 Up is the eighth film in director Michael Apted’s ongoing documentary series about a group of people he has been filming since they were seven years old and checks in with every seven years, hence the titles 7 Up, 14 Up, 21 Up, 28 Up, etc. It started out as a simple sociological experiment: fourteen children chosen from a variety of social classes around England to document how they feel and think about the world. They are now, obviously, fifty-six. They live as the series argues they were destined to, with opportunities predetermined by their birthright. We get to see them age and grow and change every seven years. They are just people and subject to society’s sculpting hand as much as any of us. The superficiality of the enterprise, simply documenting, is what allows for truly humane revelatory moments to occur. When we see it unfold up on screen the effects are more magnificent than the most advanced CGI. By Shou Yuan

California Theater, 2113 Kittredge St. Berkeley 94704. (510) 848-0620

Opera Plaza, 601 Van Ness Ave San Francisco 94102. (415) 771-0183

The Real Purple One
Who are The Purple Ones? And why are they playing the Red Devil? Deep questions usually remain unanswered, but in this case the Purple Ones are a ten-piece Prince tribute band and the Red Devil Lounge is one of the best places to hear live music. So, if you despair at Prince concerts when he plays an entire set of B-sides or insists on playing the whole of his latest album or just tootles on his bass while his band does all the heavy work, then the Purple Ones are for you. They’re going to play the hits you know and love: “Kiss,” “Purple Rain,” Let’s Go Crazy,” “Pop Life.” One of the vocalist is even somewhat of a Prince look a like, so sit back and take a trip in that little Red Corvette this March 8th starting at 9pm. This is going to be a grown folks party, so bring your ID’s and sing-along like it’s 1999. I’m sure the Purple Ones won’t mind. By Natasha

The Red Devil Lounge, 1695 Polk St. San Francisco 94109.

Join the Tradition!
Cynic Cave @ Lost Weekend VideoSan Francisco is a breeding ground for new stand-up, but you wouldn't know it from all the touring comics that headline at Cobb's or the Punchline. To find the raw, new voices coming out of the Bay Area, you need to get to the smaller venues. The Cynic Cave show at Lost Weekend Video in the Mission is a shining example of the type of place where anything might happen in a set. Hosted by Bay comic staples George Chen and Kevin O'Shea, Cynic Cave brings new comics from all over the country (well, LA and New York) and blends them in with fine local comedians. The venue (the cozy basement of a member based video store) feels intimate and safe, a good place to hear material that’s fresh and alive. It's not always smooth, but for the adventurous comedy connoisseur there’s nothing like seeing the birth of a punch line. By Jane Harrison

The Cynic Cave, 1034 Valencia St, San Francisco 94110. (415) 643-3373

Who wouldn’t want to learn how to be a drag queen for just 22 dollars? Join Peaches Christ and her special guest, Latrice Royale, for a pre-show extravaganza at the Castro Theatre as they celebrate the most groundbreaking drag documentary ever made. It’s a flawless match: Paris is Burning is the mother of all drag movies, and Royale has become the drag mother of a new generation of queens since appearing on Season 4 of Rupaul’s Drag Race. The show features a live performance from the legendary Royale, a ball presentation starring some of the Bay Area’s own vogue luminaries in the underground ball scene, and much more. Audience members are encouraged to wear “anything realness” for a fashion contest wherein which the realest look wins. So join drag mom Royale as she “schools the children” at tonight’s class: Drag 101. Many lessons will be taught, but most importantly Royale promises to teach you how to read! By Nicole Fraser-Herron

Castro Theater, 429 Castro Street (at Market), San Francisco (415) 621-6120

That smile in 3D!
Imagine yourself comfortably tucked into a luxurious seat with a couple of hundred perfect strangers staring at the visage of a young, supple Tom Cruise coming out of the screen, as if he is performing a special dance for you and only you. If that takes your breath away, then the news is good, Top Gun 3D is flying into town and right out at you. Word of warning: even in 3D, Goose still dies. By Kevin Lawrence

AMC Metreon, 101 Fourth St, San Francisco 94103. (888) 262-4386

©CCA Arts Review

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