Falling . . .
A season's worth of arts and entertainment
By Davina Baum and Sara Bir
Ahh, fall. It makes you think of art, does it not? And there's no shortage of culture in the North Bay for you to run out and plunge yourself into. So dive in!
Sausalito Art Festival
Sausalito Art Festival
This most celebrated of events has art enthusiasts flocking to little Sausalito over Labor Day weekend, reveling in both the magnificence of the city and the beauty of the art that bedecks it. This year, the festival's 50th anniversary will be celebrated in style, with 20,000 works of art in one place, as well as 30 performers on three stages. Entertainment includes the revered New Orleans funkster Dr. John, the Blind Boys of Alabama, and the local, hard-working Jerry Hannon Band. Aug. 31-Sept. 2. Downtown Sausalito. $5-$20. 415.331.3757. www.sausalitoartfestival.org.
Sonoma County Reads!
The Grapes of Wrath is a long book--455 pages, to be exact. So start now. And why? Well, besides being a hallmark of modern American literature, The Grapes of Wrath is the book at the center of Sonoma County Reads!, a month-long literary event that encourages library usage, promotes good reading habits, and builds community togetherness. The Sonoma County Library has purchased 1,000 copies of the book, so getting your hands on one should not be a problem. Then, as you read, participate in a variety of related activities, including book discussions, movie screenings, and sing-alongs. Information on the related events will be posted at www.sonomalibrary.org.
Marin Poetry Center Summer Traveling Show
So why is this thing listed here if it's a summer traveling show? I'll tell you why: Autumn begins on Sept. 23. So in the late summer/early fall, gather with lyrically minded poets as they share eclectic verse in one of the largest poetry reading series to be found. Hear what your neighbors--from workshop addicts to accomplished and well-published writers--are feeling. Call 415.893.1447 or visit www.marinpoetrycenter.com for times, dates, and locations.
Charles M. Schulz Museum
If you ain't heard already, there is now a big, shiny new museum for the millions of "Peanuts" fans in the world. Remember when the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame opened up in Cleveland and there was all this hype, and then it turned out to be pretty lame and not worth the price of admission? Well, here's to hoping that Snoopy won't let us down. Remember: The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame does not have a 51' by 57' labyrinth in the shape of Snoopy's head, nor does it have an ice rink next door (maybe it should). After opening with many bangs, now you can pop into the Charles M. Schulz Museum and see for yourself (though you might want to wait a few months until the fuss dies down). 2301 Hardies Lane, Santa Rosa. 707.579.4452.
Sonoma Valley Museum of Art
Aug. 31-Oct. 20, "Story Cloths of Bali" presents the endangered art form with over two dozen Indonesian embroidered story cloths. Then, Oct. 30-Nov. 3, the SVMA, in cooperation with the La Luz Center of Sonoma, shows "Dia de los Muertos," commemorative altars celebrating departed family members in the tradition of the Mexican Day of the Dead. Local Latino families and organizations will create the altars in the museum. 551 Broadway, Sonoma. 707.939.SVMA. www.svma.org.
Napa Valley Opera House Cafe Theatre
Shiny and newly renovated, the Napa Valley Opera House has launched right into an impressive fall season of events, held in the cabaret-style seating of its Cafe Theatre. Spend intimate evenings with classical guitarist Paul Galbraith (Sept. 6); Haiku Tunnel monologist Josh Kornbluth (Sept. 7); viola, flute, and harp Marin Trio (Sept. 15); opening night of the San Francisco Comedy Competition (Sept. 17); mezzo-soprano Elena Bocharova (Sept. 21); the Banana Slug String Band (Oct. 13); as well as others too numerous to mention. Whee! Check out this exciting new/old venue. Napa Valley Opera House, 1030 Main St., Napa. 707.266.7372. www.napavalleyoperahouse.org.
Jazz on the River
Kick back on the Russian River for two days of world-class hot and cool jazz. Al Jarreau, Boney James, Peter White, Rick Braun, Joey DeFrancesco, the Benny Barth Trio, Julia Fordham, David Sanchez, and 14-year-old Julian Lage will play, along with Cedar Walton's tribute to Art Blakey. Sept. 6-7. Johnson's Beach on the Russian River, Guerneville. $37.50-$180. 510.655.9471. www.jazzontheriver.com
Marin Shakespeare turns out a leather-clad version of the sinister, witchy, and Scottish mainstay of the Bard's oeuvre as the closer in its 2002 season. Sept. 6-28 (call for specific dates and times). Forest Meadows Amphitheater, Grand Avenue and Acacia, Dominican University, San Rafael. $22 general; $20 senior; $12 18 and under. 415.499.4488. www.marinshakespeare.org.
Occidental Arts & Ecology Center
Learn how to enrich and simplify your life through the OAEC's events and classes. Sept. 6-8, nationally renowned seed-saving expert Doug Gosling leads "Seed Saving: From Seed to Seed," an intensive residential course. Sept. 13-15, "Creative Inspiration in Nature" shows how to draw inspiration from nature and become more expressive artistically. The one-day "Cooking from the Garden" on Sept. 22 takes you through the center's garden and then into the kitchen to create a lunch and dinner. Sept. 28-Oct. 11, get a handle on the basics of sustainable living in "Permaculture Design." On Sept. 8, the OAEC leads its Green Building Tour, with an emphasis on natural building elements and recycled materials. The Center invites the public for a tour on Sept. 15, or stop by for open house on Oct. 11. Occidental Arts and Ecology Center, 15290 Coleman Valley Road, Occidental. 707.874.1577. www.oaec.org.
Film Night in the Park
Summer's niftiest film series, held on grassy knolls in various Marin County parks, stretches on into fall. It's like a drive-in without the car! Which makes it more difficult to neck, as they say, but this is more for families than it is for horny teenagers. Films remaining in the series include Shrek, The Wizard of Oz, Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, North by Northwest, The Parent Trap, Tootsie, and Chicken Run. Sept. 6-28. $5 adults; $2 children. 415.453.4333. www.filmnight.org.
Petaluma Art in the Park
Walnut Park gets arty for two days with many marvelous media by lots of local artists, with watercolor, oil, sculpture, ceramics . . . you know, all the regular stuff. Sick the kids on the playground, and get some of your holiday shopping out of the way. Sept. 7-8, 1-4pm. Walnut Park, Petaluma Boulevard and D Street, Petaluma. 707.769.0429. www.petaluma.org.
Napa Valley Open Studios Tour 2002
Tool around Napa Valley's art scene and get an up-close look at artists in their natural habitat: their studios. Painters, sculptors, photographers, ceramists, and craftspeople alike throw open their doors to inquisitive tourists and locals. The Napa Valley Museum is hosting its Open Studios Tour Exhibition Sept. 13-Oct. 6 to showcase works by participating artists, so you can go and sneak a look before striking out. Sept. 28-29 and Oct. 5-6, 10am-5pm. Free. 707.257.2117.
Bring a Buddy
The "Bring a Buddy" workshop goes down in September when Guerneville artist Inya Laskowski gives participants a minitour of her "Western States Small Works" show. Then you and your buddy will embark on your own artwork. Buddies ages five to 105 are welcomed with open arms. $25 for you and buddy; $5 each additional buddy (limit four per group). Then take a few moments to visit the sculpture garden in the courtyard, where works by Ned Kahn and Edwin Hamilton will astound you. Saturday, Sept. 14, 2-4pm. Sonoma Museum of Visual Art, 50 Mark West Springs Road, Santa Rosa. 707.527.0297. www.lbc.net.
Mill Valley Fall Arts Festival
After 46 years in the business, this festival has it down. Over 140 artists and craftspeople gather in the shade of Old Mill Park to show their wares. Music plies the ears, food and drink ply the stomach, art plies the eyes (and perhaps the wallet). Sept. 14-15. Old Mill Park, Mill Valley. 415.381.8090. www.mvfaf.org.
30th Annual Trade Feast
The Marin Museum of the American Indian hosts Trade Feast, an event grown out of a long-standing tradition of California indigenous peoples who gathered every year to exchange foods, tools, supplies, songs, stories, and dances. Trade Feast, which brings together contemporary and traditional artists, dancers, weavers, and many different tribes of Native Americans, deviates little from this pattern. Children's activities include baking bread, beading necklaces, and playing traditional games. Munch down on fry bread and meet actor and artist Michael Horse, who has appeared in Twin Peaks and the 1980 remake of The Lone Ranger. Sept. 14-15. Miwok Park, 2200 S. Novato Blvd., Novato. $5. 415.897.4064. www.marinindian.com.
River Appreciation Festival 2002
Love your river at this benefit for the Friends of the Russian River's Riverkeeper Project, the Environmental Center of Sonoma County, and the Russian River Environmental Forum. Come for a late summer afternoon at Hop Kiln Winery and hear guest speaker Rick Dove of the Waterkeeper Alliance. Suck back world-class wine and munch on barbecue, wander through informative booths, and bid on items in a silent auction. Sunday, Sept. 15, 3-6pm. Hop Kiln Winery, 6050 Westside Road, Healdsburg. $35. 707.578.0595.
Heritage Homes of Petaluma Biennial Tour
Experience Petaluma's rich and diverse agricultural heritage (the berg was known as the "world's egg basket," yo) with the Heritage Homes of Petaluma Tour. Walk through a two-story Spanish revival and a miniature Tudor cottage, as well as other notable abodes in Petaluma's historic downtown. Saturday, Sept. 15. $25 advance; $30 day of tour. 707.769.0429. www.petaluma.org.
San Francisco Comedy Competition
Hundreds audition, few are chosen. Only 30, to be exact. And even if it is called the San Francisco Comedy Competition, that does not mean it all happens there. Comedians who are actually funny go through six-minute sets, with celebrity judges scoring the results. This year the Napa Valley Opera House (Sept. 17, opening night), the Marin Civic Center (Sept. 20), and the Luther Burbank Center (Oct. 5) all host installments. www.sanfranciscocomedycompetition.com.
Sonoma County Book Fair
Book nerds, literati snobs, and nice, normal people who just plain like to read can congregate at the third annual Sonoma County Book Fair in Santa Rosa's Old Courthouse Square. Over 2,500 people attended last year to check out readings, vendors, and storytelling. Guest writers this year include Joelle Fraser, Dorothy Allison, Robert Mailer Anderson, and Sandro Meallet. Saturday, Sept. 21, 10am-3pm, Old Courthouse Square, Santa Rosa. 707.544.5913.
Sebastopol Sustainability Conference
The inaugural year for what could become an annual event, the Sustainability Conference and Festival aims to inform the community on the many aspects of sustainability. Speeches, booths, performances by poets and musicians, gardening demonstrations, an art exhibit, a sustainable film series, and workshops for all ages are slated for the festival. Those interested in pitching in with the creation of the festival are invited to show up each Sunday until the event in the Sebastopol Plaza from 1-2:30pm for a planning committee meeting. The Festival itself goes down on Sept. 21 with a benefit concert, and Sept. 22 with the conference. 707.829.7153.
Petaluma Poetry Walk
Walk and wax poetic in downtown Petaluma. Workshops, readings, neat storefronts to look at, and hella poetry! Sunday, Sept. 22, noon-8pm. Downtown Petaluma. Free. 707.769.0429.
Literary Arts: A Writer's Sampler
Wielders of ye mighty pen, hone your noble craft with spirited, homework-free sessions with some of the area's premiere instructors. Join writers Susan Bono, Daniel Coshnear, Robert Pimm, Michele Anna Jordan, John Fox, and Clara Rosemarda in helping focus your skills. Bring a pen and notebook and your wonderful little imagination. Mondays, Sept. 23-Oct. 28, 7-9pm. Sebastopol Center for the Arts, 6780 Depot St., Sebastopol. $15 per class; $65 for all six classes. 707.829.4797.
Art for Life Art Auction & Preview
The region's finest contemporary artists come together and donate unique and beautiful works whose sale helps raise funds for Face to Face/Sonoma County AIDS Network. Since 1988, Art For Life not only has raised over $1 million for AIDS services to the community, but it has also provided a showcase for the Bay Area's finest artists. Come by the auction preview to view all 250 submissions and plan your bidding strategy, then show up at the auction to see the action. Preview: Sept. 26-28, noon-5pm (noon-6pm, Sept. 27.) Free. Auction: Sept. 29, 2-6pm. $50. Friedman Center, 4676 Mayette Ave., Santa Rosa. 707.544.1581. www.f2f.org.
Camera Art 4 Photography Festival
Art photographers will share art, ideas, and philosophies with the community at the Camera Art 4 Festival, which welcomes all photographic media, including digital images and experimental forms. Guest speakers will be Amy Saret of the Saret Photographic Gallery in Sonoma, and John LeBaron, retired Santa Rosa Junior College professor. Sept. 28-29, 10am-5pm. Montgomery Village Court Mall, Santa Rosa. 707.539.1855.
Sausalito Floating Homes Tour
Nope, these are not houseboats: a floating home is a legally permitted structure with no means of self-propulsion that occupies a permanent berth (hey, you don't gotta pay property tax with these things!). Float through this self-guided tour of 20 buoyant abodes. Featured are the "Train Wreck," built from an antique Pullman car, and "Absolute Magic," with two stories filled with the owners' contemporary art collection. Docents will be floating about, too, to describe the history of these overlooked waterfront curiosities. Sunday, Sept. 29, 11am-4pm. $25. 415.332.1916. www.floatinghomes.org.
Sonoma County Harvest Fair
Pie, potbellied pigs, potted plants, painted pumpkins--Sonoma County residents enter a cornucopia of homemade and homegrown goodies at the Harvest Fair (and don't worry, not all of them begin with p). A 10-K run, grape spit, pumpkin toss, craft boutique, and lovable livestock give an active person plenty to stay occupied. Entries close on Sept. 5, so if you want to participate and not just look, pick up a guide book soon (try a Sonoma County library). Oct. 4-5, Sonoma County Fairgrounds, Santa Rosa. $5 general; $2 children. 707.545.4203. www.harvestfair.org.
Savage Jazz Dance Company
The explosive, dynamic dance company led by artistic director Reginald Ray-Savage comes up from Oakland to perform Lullaby, set to the music of George Gershwin. A live jazz orchestra will perform with the company. Oct. 12-13. $21-$25. Spreckels Performing Arts Center, 5409 Snyder Lane, Rohnert Park. 707.588.3434. www.rpcity.org/performingarts.
ARTrails Open Studios Tour
Hit the road and scope out Sonoma County artists from the Russian River to Petaluma. You know the jig: get your map, jump in the car, hang out at a friendly artist's studio, and nosh on crackers with Brie. Maybe you can even buy something. ARTrails' opening reception gala gives you a chance to preview work of participating artists while you drink wine out of plastic cups and listen to live music. Ah, culture! Opening Night Gala: Friday, Oct. 4, 5-8pm. Old Town Furniture, 7th and Wilson streets, Santa Rosa. $5. ARTrails: Oct. 12-13 and Oct. 19-20, 10am-5pm. Free. 707.579.ARTS. www.artrails.org.
Di Rosa Preserve Director's Cut Auction
Award-winning independent filmmaker Les Blank is documenting the di Rosa Preserve's 2,000-work strong collection of Bay Area art through interviews and intuitive cinematography. To raise funds for both the preserve and Blank's documentary, the preserve is holding "Director's Cut," a silent and live auction that marks the culmination of a special three-month exhibition. Enjoy dinner, dancing, and a 15-minute clip of Blank's film-in-progress, Absolute Native Glory. Saturday, Oct. 12. Di Rosa Preserve, 5200 Carneros Highway, Napa. $150. 707.266.5991. www.dirosapreserve.org.
Santa Rosa Symphony
The Santa Rosa Symphony hits the big one (or a big one--75!) this year. Help the symphony celebrate harmonious longevity as its 2002-2003 season begins with a bang. Composer John Adams will guest conduct the symphony with his Century Rolls, with SRS conductor Jeffrey Kahane at the piano. Works by Copland and Rachmaninoff--plus preconcert dinners under a grand tent outside--add to the ambiance. October 12- 14. Luther Burbank Center Arts, 50 Mark West Springs Road, Santa Rosa. $30-$55. 707.546.8742. www.santarosasymphony.com.
Russian River Chamber Music
Join RRCM for its 11th season, with ensembles from Boston, Germany, Russia, and beyond. This year's season kicks off with the Autyn Quartet, featuring Ukranian cellist Natalia Khoma for Schubert's Quintet in C Minor. Saturday, Oct. 12, at 7:30pm. Healdsburg Community Church, 110 University, Healdsburg. Call for prices. 707.524.8700.
Halloween & Vine Original Folk Art Show
It's all Halloween all the time at Madonna Estate Winery's Folk Art Show, quite possibly the only exclusively Halloween-themed folk art show on the West Coast. Celebrate fall with spooky, folky stuff, and skilled folk artists. Saturday, Oct. 19, 9am-3pm, Madonna Estate Winery, 54000 Old Sonoma Road, Napa. 707.255.8864.
Halloween LesBiGay Comedy Night
Oooh! Scary lesbians! Threatening gay men! But combining humor with all that terror will lighten the mood, for sure. Suzanne Westenhoefer, a funny, funny lesbian, will make you scream--with laughter! She was the first lesbian to have her own HBO comedy special (eat that, Ellen) and has been seen at all the right places, including Comedy Central and The Roseanne Show. A costume contest with celebrity judges brings you, the audience, in on the action. Don't forget your fangs! Oct. 25. Luther Burbank Center, 50 Mark West Springs Road., Santa Rosa. $20-$35. 707.546.3600.
On Nov. 1, poetry comes to town. Famous poetry, that is. Poetry in the form of the two men who are considered tops in their field, the superstars of American letters. They are, of course, Billy Collins and Robert Hass, who have managed the herculean (and controversial) task of making poetry popular. At this Copperfield's Books Readers Series event, these two titans of the word will wax lyrical on all matters. Luther Burbank Center, 50 Mark West Springs Road, Santa Rosa. 707.546.3600. www.lbc.net.
Marin Theatre Company
A '50s hit musical with a score by Leonard Bernstein, Wonderful Town (Nov. 7- Dec. 8) follows two small-town Ohio girls as they cut loose in New York City. Also look for MTC's January production, a world premiere Tennessee Williams play. Marin Theatre Company, 397 Miller Ave., Mill Valley. 415.388.5208. www.marintheatre.org.
It's that cute sneer that gets you, the idea that she's right with you in thinking that most of the world exists in a state of complete absurdity. It's her role to expose the absurdity. And she does, and it's funny. Gen X's favorite comedian, actress, and reluctant celebrity comes to the Luther Burbank Center to set you afire. Nov. 16, Luther Burbank Center, 50 Mark West Springs Road, Santa Rosa. 707.546.3600. www.lbc.net.
The acclaimed Shanghai Ballet tiptoes into town on Nov. 17 at the Marin Civic Center. The Chinese company, organized in 1979, performs classical and folk ballets. For this performance--its only in the Bay Area on this tour--the Shanghai Ballet will perform its much-lauded work The White-Haired Girl, a Maoist-period work adapted from the opera of the same name. Marin Center, 10 Avenue of Flags, San Rafael. $18-$45. 415.472.3500. www.marincenter.org.
From the August 22-28, 2002 issue of the North Bay Bohemian.