July arts, music, events calendar

Andy Warhol - From A to B and Back Again, now at the SFMOMA through September 2. Photo courtesy of SFMOMA.

It's the first full month of summer and it's hard to believe that we are already half way through 2019. Summer is the best time to explore all that the Bay has to offer. From fairs to the theater, there's a little something for everyone. Here are July happenings that are only a BART ride away. 

The final days of the long standing Alameda County Fair are upon us. Visit the Fair now through July 7. Photo courtesy of the Alameda County Fair. 

Alameda County Fair (through July 7) at Dublin/Pleasanton

Funnel cakes, carnival games, kettle corn, petting zoos and more! The Alameda County Fair is here — perfect for fun in the sun and warm summer evenings. Tickets range from $10-$15, with discounts and deals on certain days. Check the Fair website for more information. Take BART to Dublin/Pleasanton and catch the WHEELS Fair Shuttle (Route 52) to the fairgrounds.

Hairspray (July 6 - August 11) at 16th St. Mission

The sixties are back, and Baltimore teen Tracy Turnblad wants nothing more than to dance on the “Corny Collins Show.” In the process, she manages to dethrone the reigning Teen Queen, win the affections of heartthrob Link Larkin and integrate a TV network. Bay Area Musicals closes their fourth season with this fun and catchy musical, which runs until August. Tickets are available online and range from $20-$100 each. Take BART to 16th St. Mission and walk less than a minute to the Victoria Theatre.

Macbeth (July 13-28) at Civic Center/UN Plaza

A murderous king, a plotting wife, the throne of Scotland. Macbeth ascends the throne racked with guilt from his actions, in another classic story of a good man driven to evil actions. African-American Shakespeare Company Artistic Director L. Peter Callender directs this adaptation of Shakespeare’s oft-performed play, re-envisioned in modern verse by Migdalia Cruz. General admission tickets are $35 and can be purchased online. Take BART to Civic Center/UN Plaza and walk 10 minutes to Taube Atrium Theatre.

Femme it Forward (July 20) at Concord
A Livenation series hitting the Concord Pavilion with a multi-format of female curated lineups spotlighting the entertainment industry's most creative and accomplished female visionaries; featuring Monica, Brandy, Mya, Keri Hilson, Amerie and Lil Mo, immersive activations, panel discussions and comedy as it hits the Bay Area stage.  Tickets can be purchased online.  Take BART to Concord and catch the Free Shuttle to the Concord Pavilion.

A one-woman play for the ages. A Year of Magical Thinking now through July 21. Photo courtesy of Aurora Theatre. 

Hans Hoffman: The Nature of Abstraction (through July 21) at Downtown Berkeley

This exhibition brings together almost 70 works across Hoffman’s prolific career as a student, artist, teacher and mentor whose influence bridged two world wars and pan-Atlantic avant-gardes. The Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive (BAMPFA) holds the world’s most extensive museum collection of Hoffman’s paintings, and this collection provides new insight to his experimental approach to painting and the expressive potential of color, form and space. 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. Take BART to Downtown Berkeley and walk three minutes to BAMPFA.

The Year of Magical Thinking (through July 21) at Downtown Berkeley

California author Joan Didion has experienced no shortage of grief, which she beautifully pens about in her memoir, later adapted into a one-woman play, “The Year of Magical Thinking.” After losing her husband and the illness of their daughter, Didion creates delusions of “magical thinking” to protect herself from the “vortex” of what reality is. Stacy Ross performs in the Bay Area premiere of this play directed by Nancy Carlin and hosted by the Aurora Theatre Company. Tickets can be bought online. Take BART to Downtown Berkeley and walk two minutes to Aurora Theatre.

Berkeley Rep's "Aztec" (through July 21) at Downtown Berkeley

This musical comedy follows an unlikely duo of Colombina (a fierce female warrior) and Pepe (a not-so-fierce clown) as the Aztecs mount a scrappy resistance against their Spanish oppressors. Written by the ever-clever John Leguizamo, “Aztec!” is an energetic musical fusion of salsa, Latin boogaloo, hip-hop, gospel, funk and merengue, and an inspired mash-up of Elizabethan dialect and modern slang that celebrates, elevates and commemorates Latinx culture. Come an hour before the show for a celebratory outdoor bar, complete with margaritas, Tecate, lemonade and tortilla chips. Tickets range from $40 to $105 and can be purchased online. Take BART to Downtown Berkeley and walk three minutes to Berkeley Repertory Theatre.

Oakland Art & Soul Festival (July 27-28) at 12th Street Oakland City Center

Noted as an Oakland must-see by The New York Times, this festival brings two straight days of live music and dance to the heart of Oakland. Headliners for both days are Grammy Award winners — Estelle on Saturday and Fantastic Negrito on Sunday. Regular presale tickets are $12 for one day, $18 for two, and can be purchased online. One day tickets are also sold at the door. Take BART to 12th Street Oakland City Center and walk less than 1 minute to the festival entrance gates at 14th Street and Broadway.

The snake tattoo scaling up on the arm of your barista may have been influenced by Japanese woodblock prints. Find out more at Tattoos in Japanese prints now through August 18. Photo courtesy of the Asian Art Museum. 

Tattoos in Japanese Prints (through August 18) at Civic Center/UN Plaza

From ink on paper to ink on skin — the tattoos on characters in Japanese woodblock prints have influenced real-life tattoo trends. More than 60 prints by Utagawa Kuniyoshi and others are on display at the Asian Art Museum, illustrating how large-scale, densely composed pictorial tattoos emerged in 19th-century Japan in tandem with woodblock prints depicting tattooed heroes of history and myth. Tickets can be bought online. Take BART to Civic Center/UN Plaza and walk five minutes to the Asian Art Museum.

Andy Warhol — from A to B and Back Again (through September 2) at Montgomery Street

Brightly colored screen prints of Campbell’s soup and Marilyn Monroe are only a few works by one of America’s most iconic artists, Andy Warhol. This Warhol retrospective is the first organized in the U.S. since 1989, and occupies three full floors of the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, including a dozen works unique to the museum. Tickets can be bought online. Take BART to Montgomery Street and walk six minutes to SFMOMA.

California Historical Society Exhibitions (ends Sept. 8) at Montgomery

Mark Ruwedel: Westward the Course of Empire is a collection of photos by Rudwedel that chronicle the fates of abandoned or incomplete rail lines as they fight with nature and alter the landscape. The exhibit “Overland to California: Commemorating the Transcontinental Railroad” explores how rail access to California stimulated population and industry growth, as well as its reputation as a tourist destination and a land of opportunity. The gallery is closed Mondays, and admission ranges from $5 to $10. Take BART to Montgomery and walk three minutes to 678 Mission St.

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