April arts, music and events calendar

Spring is in the air, so we hope you’ve said goodbye to any winter blues and hello to enjoying more sunshine and adventures outdoors! Easter and Earth Day are around the corner, and local celebrations for both are in store. The Bay also has some important festivals coming up — one for international cinema, and another to honor Cesar Chavez. For a unique museum or dance experience, check out this month’s kimono-related exhibit or a ballet performance inspired by singer Bjork’s music. Read our April calendar for details on these BARTable events and more!

The Unreachable Stars (April 4) at Walnut Creek

Jeremy Stolle from Broadway’s “Phantom of the Opera” stars in “The Unreachable Stars” with Heather Lundstedt O’Neil and Joseph Paul Rykert. The Stars play hit Broadway, pop and adult contemporary songs while switching between various instruments throughout the show. The performance will bring laughter, love and a few surprises. Tickets range from $50-$65 and can be bought online. Take BART to Walnut Creek and walk 11 minutes to Hofmann Theatre.

Photo courtesy of Wag Hotel - San Francisco’s Facebook page.

10th Annual Easter Egg Hunt for Dogs (April 6) at 16th St. Mission

For those who want to treat their furry friend to some treats and a fun adventure, look no further! Wag Hotels’ 10th annual Easter Egg Hunt for Dogs will be coming back to San Francisco and will benefit Humane Society Silicon Valley. Dog parents can enjoy local vendors while their pups sniff out over 1,000 eggs filled with treats and valuable prizes. Pawticipants are encouraged to come dressed in Easter attire — such as bunny ears and pastel colors. Tickets range from $7-$10 and can be bought online. Take BART to 16th St. Mission and walk 10 minutes to Wag Hotels at 25 14th St.

Open Studios in the Mission (April 6-7)

The Mission District in San Francisco is home to many artists, and on April 6 and 7 there will be open studios all over the neighborhood for the public to visit. Some participating studios are 1890 Bryant Street Studios, ActivSpace and Alley Cat Gallery. Come check out some art, get inspired, and support local artists. Admission is free.

Macy’s Flower Show 2019 (Ends April 7) at Powell Street

To usher in Spring, Macy’s will have its annual flower show in its marquee store in San Francisco. This year’s show – “Journey to Paradisios” — will explore heavenly flora and beautiful blooms, and visitors will embark on a space odyssey to a colorful paradise. Sci-fi inspired floral scenes and out-there alien creatures will make an appearance. Visit Macy's Union Square Visitor's Center and show your BART ticket, clipper card or mention "BARTable" and enter contest to win a $500 Macy's gift card. Admission is free. Take BART to Powell Street and walk 5 minutes to Macy’s Union Square.

Photo courtesy of San Francisco Ballet’s blog.

Space Between (Ends April 9) at Civic Center/UN Plaza

Space Between is comprised of three different sections: “Rodeo: Four Dance Episodes,” “Liam Scarlett World Premiere,” and “Björk Ballet.” For “Rodeo,” Justin Peck, who recently won a Tony Award for his choreography for Carousel, created an athletic, high-energy interpretation of Aaron Copland’s iconic music. British choreographer Liam Scarlett created a brand-new work, which will be unveiled at the “Liam Scarlett World Premiere.” Arthur Pita channels the magic and mischief of singer Björk’s music in this crazy glamorous “Björk Ballet” that The Guardian called “a ridiculous amount of fun.” Tickets range from $39-$375 and can be bought online. Take BART to Civic Center/UN Plaza and walk 9 minutes to the War Memorial Opera House.

SFFilm Festival (April 10-23)

The longest-running film festival in the Americas is right here in the Bay Area — the SFFILM festival. SFFILM believes in film’s power to change the world, and each year it brings an epic showcase of cinematic discovery and cutture to the Bay. There will be 163 films, 12 world premieres and over 200 filmmakers. The annual lineup features marquee premieres, international competitions, new media work, live performances and artist talks. Tickets are $8-$150 and can be bought online. Check website for location details of each event.

The Importance of Being Earnest (April 12-May 12) at Downtown Berkeley

Oscar Wilde’s most popular play has been entertaining theatre-goers for over a century, and it’s coming to the stage at Aurora Theatre Company. Ernest is the irresistible bad boy of London society, and everyone is in love with him. The problem is — Ernest doesn’t exist. He and his lover are tangled in a web of lies, and Wilde fills the story with delicious bon mots and unlikely situations. The London Telegraph described the story as “the most perfect comedy in the English language.” Tickets can be bought online. Take BART to Downtown Berkeley and walk 2 minutes to Aurora Theatre.

Live music, a huge trivia game and tons of laughs for all ages are BARTable.  It's all happening at Downtown Berkeley's Walk to What's Next Campaign Launch Party on Friday, April 12, 4-8:30pm.  The event is free for all ages.  Take BART to Downtown Berkeley and walk 1-2 minutes to the plaza above the station.

Cesar Chavez Holiday Parade/Festival (April 13) at 16th St. Mission

Cesar Chavez was a labor leader and civil rights activist who made the farm workers’ struggle a moral cause with nationwide support. There will be a parade and festival in San Francisco on April 13 honoring his life and work. The parade will begin at 11am at Dolores Park, and the street fair will be held from 11am to 6pm at Lower 24th St. — Treat to Bryant. Visitors can enjoy sidewalk sales, arts and crafts, music, dance and a classic car show. Admission is free. Take BART to 16th St. Station and walk 15 minutes to Dolores Park.

Ambitious Becky Sharp may not have been born with wealth or status, but she’s determined to attain both—at any cost. Armed with fierce wit and calculating charm, Becky forges her own path through London’s high society, dealing herself into a game she was never invited to play. A classic 19th-century novel that pops with 21st-century spirit.  Tickets range from $15-$125 and can be purchased online.  Take BART to Powell Street and walk 7 minutes to A.C.T.'s Geary Theater at 415 Geary Street.

Photo courtesy of City of Oakland Earth Day.

City of Oakland Earth Day (April 20)

The modern environmental movement is said to have started on Earth Day in 1970. According to Earth Day Network, “more than 1 billion people now participate in Earth Day activities, making it the largest civic observance in the world.” Oakland’s 25th annual Earth Day will be held on Saturday, April 20, and thousands of volunteers will join the effort. The annual event is the city’s largest community volunteer event, and there will be a variety of activities and sites including litter pickup, graffiti removal, wedding, planting, and habitat restoration in parks, creeks and streets throughout Oakland. All tools are provided. To register as a site coordinator or volunteer, visit the Oakland Earth Day website.

Earth Day SF (April 20) at 16th St. Mission

Saturday, April 20, 2019 will mark the 49th year of Earth Day in San Francisco. The theme for this year’s event is “Celebrate the Green New Deal” and will feature talks, demos and workshops throughout the day with topics including conversation, climate change, recycling and the intersection of politics, technology and the environment. There will also be musical performances, speakers, sculptors, painters, a fashion show, chef zone and kids zone. Admission is free. Take BART to 16th St. Mission and walk 12 minutes to Valencia St. between 19th St. and 20th St.

Courtesy of Aurora Theatre Company.

Actually (Ends April 21) at Downtown Berkeley

Princeton freshmen Amber and Tom spend a drunken night together. Soon after, they find themselves testifying at a sexual misconduct hearing. The two students — one black and one white — share their stories, leaving the audience wondering how to find certainty and justice when there are three sides to every story. “Actually” investigates the hot-button topics of gender and race politics, and Theatremania describes it as “crafted with compassion, intelligence and insight.” Tickets can be bought online. Take BART to Downtown Berkeley and walk 2 minutes to Aurora Theatre.

110 in the Shade (April 24-May 12) at Embarcadero

At turns introspective, romantic, and joyously hopeful, 42nd Street Moon's "110 in the Shade" is a poignant look at romance in a drought-stricken Depression-era town. Sharp-witted but insecure, rancher’s daughter Lizzie is resolving herself to live out life as a spinster until charming stranger Starbuck comes to town with the promise to make it rain, encouraging Lizzie to dream beyond her own view of herself. Meanwhile, the town Sheriff must deal with the con-man as well as coming to terms with his own past. This beautiful show boasts a book by N. Richard Nash (based on his acclaimed play "The Rainmaker") and a score by Harvey Schmidt and Tom Jones (best known for the longest-running musical in history, "The Fantasticks"). Tickets are $30-$75 and can be bought online.  Take BART to Embarcadero station and walk 9 minutes to Gateway Theatre at 215 Jackson Street.

Dance Series 02 (April 26-May 5) at Montgomery St.

Master dance maker and former Smuin Choreographer-in-Residence Amy Seiwert is returning for a quarter-century celebration featuring her signature choreography. Seiwert has pushed the boundaries of dance by collaborating with artists of other disciplines and experimenting with all of its various forms and expressions from a classical base. She is now Artistic Director of Sacramento Ballet, and will return to help Smuin celebrate this milestone anniversary. The San Francisco Chronicle has described her as “keeping founder Michael Smuin’s legacy of unabashed showmanship alive.” Tickets are $34-$81 and can be bought online. Take BART to Montgomery St. and walk 5 minutes to Yerba Buena Center for the Arts.

Far, Far Better Things (April 26-May 19) at North Berkeley

Geetha Reddy’s new play is inspired by Dickens’ “A Tale of Two Cities,” and tells the story of two women — a Latina domestic worker and a young South Asian doctor — separated by class, race and the unspoken rules of modern womanhood. “Far, Far Better Things” shows these two women as they strive to balance their responsibilities to their children, to themselves and to each other. Tickets range from $10-$30 and can be bought online. Take BART to North Berkeley and walk 28 minutes to Live Oak Theater, or take a bus, cab or rideshare.

Laney College Career Technical Education Open House (April 27) at Lake Merritt 

Come visit more than 18 departments that prepare students for careers in industry. Meet teachers, students, and see demonstrations of what you will learn in these programs. You can find out about how long the training takes, the salaries in the field, and the career opportunities. The event will have sessions on how to register at the college and how to sign-up for financial aid. The CTE Open House will take place on Saturday, April 27, from 10am to 2pm. Take BART to Lake Merritt and walk two minutes to the campus.

Every year this gem of a San Francisco neighborhood hosts a festival, one that has been going on for over 100 years!  Take BART to Glen Park station on Sunday, April 28 from 10am to 4:30pm for live music, entertainment, booths, dancing and great food.  While you're there, take some time to stroll and discover this charming area in SF with its picturesque streetscapes and village vibe.  Free.  Visit here for more info.

Photo courtesy of Asian Art Museum.

Kimono Refashioned (Ends May 5) at Civic Center/UN Plaza

Kimono Refashioned takes a look at kimonos — their materials, forms, techniques and decorative motifs — and how they have inspired designers for more than 150 years. The Asian Art Museum, in partnership with the Kyoto Costume Institute, present this exhibition which focuses on the ways that kimono structure, fabric and concept have influenced Western garments. The exhibition features over 35 garments that show how kimono continue to be an inspiration for contemporary designers in Japan and beyond. Tickets are $20-$25 and can be bought online. Children under 12 and members have free admission. Take BART to Civic Center/UN Plaza and walk 5 minutes to the Asian Art Museum.

Press Here, The Musical (Ends May 12) at Downtown Berkeley

Audience members will get to take an ever-changing, magical journey with actors in this original production of Press Here the Musical, inspired by Hervé Tullet's award-winning picture book, Press Here. Colorful dots will cavort and juggle onstage and the power of imagination and interactivity will be shared. Recommended for ages 3 to 103. Tickets range from $17-$28 and can be bought online. Take BART to Downtown Berkeley and walk 2 minutes to the BACT Berkeley Center, The Osher Studio.

Gold: The Midas Musical (Ends May 12) at Downtown Berkeley

Princess Lydia is motherless, and turns to her father for love. Instead of treating her kindly, King Midas grows meaner, more distant, and greedier by the day. However, he learns a valuable lesson about family when the gods grant him the power to turn everything into gold. The Bay Area Children’s Theatre is offering a modern musical re-telling of the Greek legend of King Midas, recommended for ages 8 and up. Tickets are $17-$28 and can be bought online. Take BART to Downtown Berkeley and walk 2 minutes to the BACT Berkeley Center, The Osher Studio.

Photo courtesy of the Curran’s website.

The Jungle (Ends May 19) at Powell Street

The Jungle is a short-lived, self-governing society that emerged within a refugee camp in Calais, France. The residents there are resilient, hopeful — they enjoy freshly-baked naan and milky chai together and have created a world with warm hospitality, amidst squalor and danger. This intimate and critically acclaimed production puts the audience directly into the subject matter of those who have inhabited this desolate patch of land in France. To accommodate the performance’s unique staging, the Curran will be transformed and reduced to an intimate 600 seats. Tickets can be bought online. Take BART to Powell Street and walk 7 minutes to the Curran.

Hans Hofmann: The Nature of Abstraction (Ends July 21) at Downtown Berkeley

Hans Hofmann was one of the most significant figures of postwar American art, and played a pivotal role in the development of Abstract Expressionism. This exhibition presents a fresh, eye-opening look at Hofmann’s prolific and innovative artistic practice. It brings together nearly seventy works that span all of Hofmann’s career; there will be paintings and works on paper from 1930 through the end of Hofmann’s life in 1966. Numerous masterworks from BAMPFA’s distinguished collection, along with many seldom-seen works from both public and private collections across North America and Europe will be on display. Admission tickets range from $11-13. Admission is free for BAMPFA members; UC Berkeley students, faculty, staff; 18 and under; one adult per child 13 and under; and artists in the BAMPFA collection/MATRIX.

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