Issue:  Vol. 47 / No. 46 / 16 November 2017

Fine Arts - Teotihuacan holiday

Wonder is difficult to come by these days, but it's right there in full view in "Teotihuacan: City of Water, City of Fire," a new exhibition at the de Young Museum which brings the ruins of a long-ago, not-so-far-away, exotic culture back from the dead. Many of us have been hungering for this kind of show, a large-scale voyage deep into the past more easily found at New York's Metropolitan Museum than in San Francisco of late. (read more)

Music - MTT: VIP

San Francisco Symphony Music Director Michael Tilson Thomas, more simply and famously known as MTT, recently announced the end of his illustrious tenure with the treasured organization. He is stepping down in June 2020 at the end of the 2019-20 season, marking both his 75th birthday and 25th year at the helm. The news sends shock waves throughout the tight-knit community of Northern California music-makers and devoted fans, but it is hardly surprising after so many award-winning and innovative years leading the great orchestra. (read more)

Film - Dahmer Dearest

Serial killers are currently at risk of being displaced in our nightmares by mass shooters, whose work is more public and performative, with a cumulative scare index boosted by the spread of panic through multiple warm-blooded mammals. (read more)

Out There - Artistically engaged: a datebook

It's not unusual for Out There to spend five nights out of seven attending cultural events, as we did last week. (read more)

Out & About - Arts events

Add some arts to your life. (read more)

Theatre - Happily ever after – kinda, sorta

"Welcome to library school." Has a deadlier sentence ever opened a play? But fear not, for those words are something of a joke even if we don't yet know what that joke is. In "Le Switch," the thirtysomething David is a professor of library sciences who thinks of himself as a queer outlier, and yet wears suspenders unironically, as his sister points out, and has a collection of books that he prizes for their never having been opened. (read more)

Theatre - Bedeviled bargaining

Even the devil needs his diversions. When not manipulating situations to further the careers of his "wards," he's busy writing Yelp reviews. "Rule number one is listen to the milk," he admonishes after an unsatisfactory visit to a coffee shop. But Brenn's current obsession is an artist named Hunter, and he vicariously feeds off the creative talents he himself does not possess while Hunter increasingly bristles at this demanding presence in his life. (read more)

Film - Fighting ignorance with science

Since its commercial inception in the late 1940s American television has been great at fudging the line between truth and hype, news and corny kitsch. (read more)

Film - Riot act

Reinforcing an old adage that truth is both stranger and more compelling than fiction, the riveting new documentary "LA 92" arrives Friday in Bay Area theaters. (read more)

Books - John Singer Sargent's painted ladies

Does any artist evoke the "Gilded Age" of late 19th-early 20th century America better than John Singer Sargent (1856-1925)? Most of Sargent's extraordinary portraits capture his subjects' assurance that their privileged positions will insulate them from life's pain. (read more)

Music - See-through 'Lulu'

It often has been said that Berg's Lulu was asking for it. Performers of the role – many of whom volunteer that singing Lulu has, for various reasons, changed them – wave off that allegation when they even acknowledge it. Lulu is an archetype who has a way of showing up when summoned. She's back to remind us that our day is, once again, hers, and that unconsidered submission to Eros is the path to soul death. (read more)

Music - More tea dance tunes

After pulling off a retirement stunt that would make Cher blush, LCD Soundsystem returns with the illusory American Dream (DFA/Columbia). (read more)

Television - Counting up LGBTQ representation

There's good news, bad news, and worse news this week. (read more)

Kelly Reichardt's inner landscapes

Kelly Reichardt, like caviar, is an acquired taste. An indie auteur filmmaker, she's been called the poet of open spaces and silence (read more)

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