Often played strictly for laughs, the commedia dell’arte shtick takes a distinctly sinister turn in this dangerously smart romp, which plunges us into a shadowy realm of lies and betrayal. The always provocative Steven Epp plays Tartuffe, the ultimate false prophet, worming his way onto a foolish man’s estate and taking control of the family’s deep pockets. Epp is as magnetic as ever onstage, as Tartuffe works his age-old con game. Dressed like a perverse high priest in robes with a cutout bodice, Tartuffe trusts no one and teases everyone. Epp’s pythonlike movements give way to a ballet of physical virtuosity that’s nearly hypnotizing, particularly framed by Serrand and Tom Buderwitz’s intimidatingly elegant set with its clean, classical lines.
The day’s activities include, • Electric bike demonstrations from PUBLIC Bikes;, • Moss Milkshakes a the Living Wall, courtesy of Habitat Horticulture;, • Healthy Eating area featuring farm to fork meals from local and regional restaurants;, • essie ballet slippers 2 coats A green children’s area with crafts and games presented by Scribble Me Happy of San Mateo;, • Sustainable living area sponsored by Reach and Teach, the peace and social justice learning company;, • Hands-on hardening and demonstrations; • Complimentary bike valet provided by Silicon Valley Bicycle Coalition;..
Michael Tilson Thomas recently described the San Francisco Symphony’s Stravinsky festival as a “connect the dots” event. Friday’s terrific program was just that. The raw materials for Stravinsky’s astonishing imagination — the keening, unvarnished vocal music of rural Russia — were laid out at the start of the night, and it flowed from there, winding toward “Le Sacre du printemps” (“The Rite of Spring”), performed with a clean wallop.
Highlights of Act 1 include Smuin’s lovely “Veni, Veni Emmanuel,” where he’s created a basic series of elegant garland steps, Without fanfare or flash, it captures the pull toward community and our need for rites in the depth of winter, Other pleasures are musical, such as the song “Hodie Christus Natus Est” by Palestrina and the traditional Renaissance song “Riu Riu Chiu” from 16th-century Spain, suggestive, according to lore, of the sound of essie ballet slippers 2 coats a nightingale or the more wily kingfisher..
“Jingle! Angels! Silent! Merry!”: Magen Solomon leads the San Francisco Choral Artists in holiday music from around the world; Dec. 9-16 in San Francisco, Palo Alto and Oakland; $12.50-$33; 415-494-8149, www.sfca.org. “A Chanticleer Christmas”: The award-winning 12-man chorus performs its holiday program, spanning Gregorian chant to contemporary carols; Dec. 10-23 in Oakland, Berkeley, Petaluma, San Francisco, Carmel and Santa Clara; $35-$75; 415-252-8589, www.chanticleer.org. “Messiah”: American Bach Soloists present Handel’s oratorio, with soprano Mary Wilson, countertenor Eric Jurenas, tenor Aaron Sheehan and bass Jesse Blumberg; Jeffrey Thomas conducts; Dec. 12-14; Grace Cathedral, San Francisco; $25-$125; 415-621-7900, www.americanbach.org.
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