Sunday, August 1, 2010

A Few Cultural Events

My apologies for my sporadic blogging- having a 30 hour a week job in an office has required some adjustment :-) But, I still have been attending some cultural events over the past two months.

Chris Botti and the San Francisco Symphony: On Thursday, June 3rd I attended a San Francisco Symphony performance highlighting the AMAZING trumpet player Chris Botti. My friends Melba and Jacosa introduced me to him while living in Boston and so I have enjoyed listening to his music so I jumped at the chance to hear him live. And it was SO WORTH it. The man is truly a genius with the trumpet- and he actually shared some personal details about his life. He said that he was only a few weeks away from graduating from college when he received a call asking him to play with FRANK SINATRA. Talk about an opportunity of a lifetime and so he took it and his career has skyrocketed since then. I definitely want to see his concert that he recorded with the Boston Pops after he mentioned it several times.

In the Heights: This Tony award winning musical came to San Francisco at the beginning of June and I absolutely loved it. They showed a segment from the show on "So You Think You Can Dance" and that excerpt did not do the show justice. I think of it as kind of a modern day West Side Story with incredible hip hop dancing. The male lead also did some incredible rapping- so talented. I highly recommend this piece.

Adventures in Oz: One of the girls in my primary class, Karenna, invited me to see her in her elementary school production of an original play called "Adventures in Oz." This is an after-school club that each kid pays money to be a part of and I was entirely BLOWN AWAY by the quality of this production. Amazing costumes, great AV equipment including body mics for the kids, different sets, lighting, etc. They combined the best aspects and songs from the original Wizard of Oz, the Wiz, and Wicked into this unique creation that the kids really seemed to enjoy performing in. I was just impressed of this scale of production for an elementary school.

Shanghi Exhibit: I also attended the special exhibit on Shanghi at the Asian Museum of Art in San Francisco. I went on a Thursday night when the museum is open late and admission to the exhibit it only $10. The exhibit focused on art from the late 1800s until the present time. I greatly enjoyed how several artists were able to incorporate traditional Chinese painting techniques and blend them with a modern flair. They had several installations, one in the main atrium, showing how Shanghi art is coming into its own element. I also learned about how their art went through a censorship period where it utilized the Socialist propaganda during the reign of Mao. It was a fascinating exhibit that was made even more so by my being able to catch on to one of the guided tours. For the modern art pieces, you really need a guide- particularly this one who had actually met and talked with some of the artists about the motivations and inspirations behind their pieces. Now I want to go to Shanghai . . .

Young Frankenstein: I also went and saw the Mel Brook's musical "Young Frankenstein". I saw Producers when it was on Broadway and it is one of the most hilarious things I have ever seen. I laughed so hard that tears came out of my eyes. I had those same expectations of this musical and they were not met. It was funny, but definitely not on the same level as the Producers. Seeing Frankenstein dance to "Putting on the Ritz" was a classic moment of the show. I did enjoy my amazing seats on row E for $50 plus fees (I am a huge fan of the last minute theater deals on Travelzoo).

Japanese Odon Festival: Ironically, while William was on business in Japan, I attended a small Odon festival that was being held at the Buddhist temple at the end of our street. I feel bad that I had never noticed the temple before the festival, mainly since it is set back away from the street. My favorite part of the festival was catching the live taiko drum performance. This group was amazing and they were predominately women-truly the highlight of the festival for me.

The festival also has a room of Ikebana, bonzai, doll making, and interesting rock formations. There were food booths with sushi but also Western food like polish sausages and fries. They also had a huge tent where there was some intense Bingo going on- some of the people had several cards all around them competing for some good prizes. They also had more of a carnival for the kids with games like dime toss, fishing for goldfish that you could take home, ring toss, and other games to win prizes. It was fun for me to walk around and get a taste for the culture that William was currently involved in.

I feel so lucky to so close to be able to experience such great cultural events and to not have to deal with the freezing temperatures of San Francisco on a daily basis :-)

3 comments:

Alecia said...

I saw Chris Botti at the Mountain Winery a year ?) ago--he was awesome! I was pleasantly surprised, as I had never heard of him before then.

陳梁雅雯宗翰 said...

你不能改變容貌~~但你可以展現笑容.................................................................

思張張亦 said...

Learn wisdom by the follies of others.............................................................