March 2020 | Arts, music & events calendar
See for yourself the Exploratorium After Dark. Photo courtesy of the Exploratorium.
Spring is in sight and we are looking forward to what arts, music and events are going to keep us busy in March. From Tony Award Winning Musicals to adult only nights at the Exploratorium, there's so much the Bay is going to be springing forward to get to. Keep reading on for what's happening now and what's coming up this March.
A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder is at 42nd Street Moon's Gateway Theatre through March 15. Photo courtesy of 42nd Street Moon.
The Exploratorium | After Dark (every Thursday) by Embarcadero
Things look different after dark. Lose yourself in over 650 interactive exhibits exploring perception, art, and science. Grab your friends and a drink and get immersed in everything from a pitch-black dome to a fog bridge, a large-scale kaleidoscope, dazzling light displays, mind-bending mirrors, and more. Or savor adults-only (18 and over) programming featuring unique guest speakers, great music, specialty films, and one-of-a-kind activities. It'll change how you think about the world around you. But don't take our word for it, see for yourself. Take BART to Embarcadero and walk 15 minutes or jump on a trolley to the Exploratorium. Tickets are $19.95 and can be purchased online.
Richmond Art Center | Art of the African Diaspora (through March 13) by Richmond
Art of the African Diaspora is a group exhibition featuring work by over 150 artists of African descent. The exhibition is held at the Richmond Art Center beginning January 14 and runs through March 13. This exhibition is accompanied by self-guided open studios and satellite exhibitions. Admission to the galleries is free and open to the public Tuesday-Saturday. Take BART to Richmond and walk 13 minutes to the Art Center.
42nd Street Moon | A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder (through March 15) by Embarcadero
A perfect blend of farce, romance, and treachery, A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder won the Tony for Best Musical in 2014, and 42nd Street Moon is proud to host the Bay Area professional premiere. When a commoner finds he's eighth in line for an Earldom, he begins fiendishly plotting to move to the top of the heap. With a sparkling score and a crack ensemble cast, this Guide is part comedy of manners and part music hall romp—you’ll be dying of laughter. Tickets run $31-$72 and can be purchased online. Take BART to Embarcadero and walk nine minutes to Gateway Theatre.
Catch Gloria at A.C.T.'s Strand Theater through April 12. Photo courtesy of A.C.T.
From the Gold Rush to the Earthquake: Selections from the Collection (through March 29) by Montgomery St
From the Gold Rush to the Earthquake: Selections from the Collection presents highlights from the California Historical Society’s holdings of paintings, photographs, manuscripts, and ephemera. Focusing on key topics in California’s late-nineteenth-century history, the exhibition features selected works from the Gold Rush, the exploration of the Sierra Nevada Mountains and coastal regions, the rise of agriculture and industry in the state, San Francisco’s Chinatown, and the city’s devastating 1906 earthquake and fires. For more information and tickets, visit the California Historical Society online. Take BART to Montgomery St and walk three minutes to the Historical Society.
Berkeley Rep | Culture Clash (Still) in America (through April 5) by Downtown Berkeley
The missionaries of mayhem are back with their unique brand of Chicano satire! Born here in the Bay and Los Angeles-based, Culture Clash first brought their dangerous and subversive version of documentary theatre to Berkeley audiences with Culture Clash in AmeriCCa, gleefully skewering American culture through the lens of the Latino experience. Culture Clash returns to Berkeley Rep for a downright hilarious update in Culture Clash (Still) in America from February 20-April 5. Tickets range from $30-$97 and are available online. Take BART to Downtown Berkeley and the stage just a few minutes away.
A.C.T. | Gloria (through April 12) by Civic Center/UN Plaza
A finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in 2016, this scalpel-sharp dark comedy explores how we cope with trauma and the tales we tell each other to escape. In the dog-eat-dog office of a New York magazine, twentysomethings Ani, Dean, and Kendra compete for a book deal to kick-start their careers. But after tragedy strikes, which one of them will write the story? Tickets range from $25-$65 and can be purchased online. Take BART to Civic Center/UN Plaza and walk one minute to A.C.T.'s Strand Theater.
See the work of quiltmaker, Rosie Lee Tompkins at BAMPFA through July 19. Photo courtesy of BAMPFA.
BAMPFA | Ron Nagle: Handsome Drifter (through June 14) by Downtown Berkeley
Ron Nagle has made stunning, entirely unique small sculptures since the 1960s, producing a body of work that is as original as it is mischievous. He mixes allusions to modernism, middlebrow culture, and the specific pop sensibility of Northern California in exquisitely formed works that are often no bigger than a few inches. This exhibition marks his first survey in the Bay Area in over twenty-five years. Tickets range from $5-$20 and can be purchased at the door. Take BART to Downtown Berkeley and walk three minutes to the Berkeley Art Museum Pacific Film Archive (BAMPFA).
BAMPFA | Rosie Lee Tompkins: A Retrospective (through July 19) by Downtown Berkeley
Rosie Lee Tompkins (1936–2006) is widely considered one of the most brilliant and inventive quiltmakers of the late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries. Her reputation has grown to the point where her work is no longer considered solely within the context of quilting but celebrated among the great American artistic achievements of our time. Rosie Lee Tompkins: A Retrospective is the largest and most comprehensive exhibition of the artist’s work to date, featuring approximately eighty quilts, pieced tops, embroideries, assemblages, and decorated objects. It reveals Tompkins to be an artist of extraordinary variety, depth, and impact. Tickets range from $5-$20 and can be purchased at the door. Take BART to Downtown Berkeley and walk three minutes to the Berkeley Art Museum Pacific Film Archive (BAMPFA).
Harry Potter and the Cursed Child (EXTENDED through August 2) by Powell St
Based on an original new story by J.K. Rowling, Jack Thorne and John Tiffany, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, a new play by Jack Thorne is coming to San Francisco’s Curran. With record-breaking productions currently running in London and New York, as well as the February 2019 opening of the first Australian production in Melbourne, the San Francisco production will mark the fourth engagement of the smash hit play, as well as its West Coast premiere in North America. Tickets can be purchased online and start at $59. Take BART to Powell St and walk seven minutes to the theater.
The St. Patrick's Day Parade is Saturday, March 14. Photo courtesy of BART.
A.C.T. | Toni Stone (March 5-29) by Powell St
Pam MacKinnon directs the extraordinary, real-life story of a Bay Area athlete, the first woman to play professional baseball. Toni Stone dreams of nothing but baseball. But to become the first woman to play professionally with men as a member of the Negro League’s Indianapolis Clowns, she must confront hostile crowds, ruthless team owners, and players who slide spikes first. As she negotiates life’s challenges and opportunities on and off the field, Toni stays true to herself and reaches for who she can be. Toni Stone will be at A.C.T.'s Geary Theater March 5-29, just eight minutes from Powell St. Tickets are available online and range from $11-$110.
San Francisco St. Patrick's Day Parade (POSTPONED) by Montgomery St, Powell St, & Civic Center/UN Plaza
Editor's Note: As of 3/7/2020, this event has been postponed. For more information, please click here.
Reel with laughter and revelry at the 169th Annual San Francisco St. Patrick's Parade on Saturday, March 14 beginning at 11:30am. The parade starts at the corner of Second and Market Streets and makes its way down to Civic Center Plaza where the celebration will continue with the annual festival. Take BART to Montgomery St, Powell St, or Civic Center/UN Plaza for the best views of the parade. Keep your eye out for BARTy, the BARTmobile, who will be in the parade with BART Staff and their families.
California Symphony | Fate & Future (March 14-15) by Walnut Creek
Wracked with doubt after his poorly received Fourth Symphony, it took Tchaikovsky ten years to start work on his next one. Today, the Fifth is his most often performed and beloved symphony. Using a recurring melody to represent the idea of fate, the theme threads to through the entire piece, transforming from dark and menacing in the first movement to joyous and triumphant by the fourth and final movement. As part of the future and a world premiere, Composer Katherine Balch hand selected the three voices for this work, which is based on Les Illuminations by French poet Rimbaud. Balch’s narrative intertwines the original French words with the English translation. Performed by the California Symphony, Fate & Future is at the Lesher Center for the Arts March 14-15, 10 minutes from Walnut Creek station. Tickets are available online and start at $44.
The Macy's Flower Show preview begin March 20 and the show officially opens on March 22. Photo courtesy of Macy's.
Richmond Art Center | Over and Under (March 17-May 20) by Richmond
Over and Under is an exhibition informed by the interchange of ideas and material, the crisscrossing of bodies and objects, and the weaving of histories and personal narratives. Much like warp and weft threads interlace to form a visible pattern through the weaving process, each work hints at deeper implications sitting just beneath the surface. Over and Under opens at the Richmond Art Center March 17 and runs until May 20. Admission to the galleries is free and open to the public Tuesday-Saturday. Take BART to Richmond and walk 13 minutes to the Art Center.
Shotgun Players | Henry V (March 19-April 19) by Ashby
For centuries Henry's words of inspiration “once more unto the breach” have been used to rally the spirits of those facing overwhelming odds. Henry V is a riveting, meta-theatrical exploration of what it means to be accountable to each other as leaders and citizens. Henry V opens at Shotgun Players' Ashby Stage on March 19 and tickets are available online. Take BART to Ashby and walk four minutes to the stage.
Macy's Flower Show (March 20-April 5) by Powell St
Dive into the vibrant colors of deep-sea florals and stunning marine life at Macy's upcoming Flower Show, Voyage to Oceanum. Visitors to Macy’s Union Square will embark upon an exciting under-the-ocean odyssey, discovering long-lost treasures and breathtaking aquatic beauty along the way. The second chapter in a trilogy of fantasy fiction tales with R.H. Macy IV, this new exhibition takes place after the events of last spring’s Journey to Paradisios, where Macy's imagined an otherworldly paradise of lush flora and beautiful blooms. The Macy's Flower Show previews are March 20-21 and the show officially opens on March 22 until April 5. Macy's Union Square is just a four-minute walk from Powell St.
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