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Wanda’s Picks for April 10

April 10, 2009

by Wanda Sabir

On the fly

Tomorrow, April 11, 7 p.m., is the final round of the poetry competition for the Youth Speaks’ Brave New World Poetry Slam for the San Francisco team members. Tomorrow is where it is at for National Poetry Month, 7 p.m., at the San Francisco Opera House. “Lydia” closes at the Marin Theatre Company Sunday, April 12. The reviews of the Octavio Solis play are great! I like his writing. The last play I saw of his was at Thick House, the play about the boxer starring L. Peter Callender.

Merrill D. Jones’ first play, “Mrs. Streeter,” won the Larry Neal Award for Dramatic Writing in 2006. It’s playing at the Black Repertory Theatre through April 25.
Merrill D. Jones’ first play, “Mrs. Streeter,” won the Larry Neal Award for Dramatic Writing in 2006. It’s playing at the Black Repertory Theatre through April 25.
I haven’t gotten over to Cutting Ball to see “Thom Pain” and of course I can’t say enough about “Mrs. Streeter” at Black Rep in Berkeley. Did you catch my interview Friday with playwright Merrill D. Jones and cast members? If not, listen on-line at Wanda’s Picks Radio. Recovery Theatre has an event next week, as does Tanya Windham at the Lesher Center for the Arts in Walnut Creek. The two plays at Brava look really good. I don’t know how I am going to get to everything this weekend. I am trying to pace myself.

“The Kite Runner” is opening soon – or perhaps has opened – at San Jose Rep. I missed “Dreaming Awake: Excerpts from a Lucid Mind” last week at Laney, Destiny Arts’ celebration of 20 years.

Wanda’s Picks Radio

Guests are Rhodessa Jones and Idris Ackamoor of “The Love Project,” plus their Medea Project: Theatre for Incarcerated Women in the Diaspora – South Africa; “Mrs. Streeter” playwright Merrill D. Jones and members of the cast: Kimberly Smith as Mrs. Streeter, Jeffery Tyler Moon as Jeffery Streeter and Clint Cartridge as Charles Streeter; Buford Powers, singer-composer; and India Cooke, musician, educator at Mills College featuring artists in her 10th year of the “Patterns: Music and Related Arts in the African American Tradition” April 14, 16 and 21. The lectures are at 9:30 to 10:45 a.m. in the Music Building Ensemble Room on the Mills College Campus, 5000 MacArthur Blvd, Oakland. Oh, it’s free too. Two of the artists are with her today in the studio: San José’s Ambassador of Jazz Eddie Gale, trumpeter (April 14) and Brenda Schuman-Post, oboist, documentarian (April 21) – not in that order.

Folks should get up to Juvenile Hall this morning to support David who has an arraignment at 8:30 this morning. He is the only child being tried on felony charges in the Oscar Grant III protests of Jan. 7. There are three people still being charged; the rest of those arrested have had charges dropped or reduced. I had David on the air Wednesday, April 8.

Desley Brooks’ Easter Extravaganza

Saturday, April 11, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Arroyo Viejo Park, 7701 Krause, Oakland, is an Easter Extravaganza sponsored by Councilperson Desley Brooks. Featured is celebrity Easter Bunny comedian Mark Curry, along with carnival rides, egg and candy hunts for children ages 4 to 12, and a Schools Out Resource Fair and a screening of the movie, “Happy Feet.”

Healing the Heart Forgiveness Ritual

Naa Dodua, Rev. Stephen Lee and Rev. Rashida Lee host a “Healing the Heart Forgiveness Ritual,” Saturday, April 11, 2 to 4 p.m., at Rising Hope Spiritual Wellness Center, 3005 Van Buren St., Alameda, (510) 523-6525.

The ritual is a free flowing journey to self-healing of the heart. There will be “The Washing,” a bowl of water for simply cleansing and releasing; “Meditation,” soft meditation music and readings to soothe the spirit; “The Burning Bowl,” releasing and letting go of old pain and unwanted stuff; “Lighting of the Candles,” giving light to a new way; and donation: love offering.

‘Black Hawk Jazz Club 1959′

San Francisco Recovery Theatre presents a view of historic San Francisco night life with a night of musical theater featuring “The Spot” by Geoffrey Grier and “Paradise Revisited” by Larry Americ Allen, winners of the 2009 Tenderloin Black Theater festival, starring Nicole Harley, Eric Ward, Ed Gillies, Stefon Williams, Vernon Maderas and Anthony Haynes.

Geoffrey Grier’s Recovery Theater brings the old Black Hawk jazz club back to life with shows April 17 through May 9 and a gala reception after the May 9 matinee featuring musicians who performed at the original Black Hawk.
Geoffrey Grier’s Recovery Theater brings the old Black Hawk jazz club back to life with shows April 17 through May 9 and a gala reception after the May 9 matinee featuring musicians who performed at the original Black Hawk.
Shows are April 17, 18, 24, 25, May 1, 2 and 8 at 8 p.m. and May 9, a 4 p.m. matinee. All shows are $20, although no one will be turned away for lack of funds, at 134 Golden Gate Ave., downstairs. For information, call (415) 643-6011.

‘A Night of Jazz at the New Black Hawk’ Fundraiser

“A Night of Jazz at the New Black Hawk” is a fundraiser reception that features musicians who performed at the original Black Hawk Jazz Club. It follows the matinee on May 9, at 7:30 p.m., 134 Golden Gate St. in San Francisco. Featured artists are Eddie Duran on guitar, Dean Reilly on bass, Benny Barth on drums and special guest artists to be announced. Tickets for the fundraiser are $25 in advance or $30 at the door. For information, contact Elaine Zamora at (415) 292-6459. Seating is limited. Order tickets early. All May 9 proceeds benefit the programs and projects of the North of Market/Tenderloin Community Benefit District: www.nom-tlcbd.org and www.sfrecoverytheatre.org.

Cutting Ball

“Thom Pain (based on nothing)” plays now through May 9; added performances are April 23-25, April 30-May 2 and May 7-9 at 8 p.m. and April 26 and May 3 at 5 p.m. at the Cutting Ball Theater in residence at Exit on Taylor, 277 Taylor St. in San Francisco. For tickets, which are $15-$30, and more information, visit www.cuttingball.com or call (800) 838-3006; discounts are available for students and seniors.

5th Annual CubaCaribe Festival of Dance and Music

This year CubaCaribe celebrates its fifth anniversary of the festival with three consecutive weekends of thought provoking workshops, lectures and performances April 17 through May 3 at the Dance Mission Theater, 3316 24th St. at Mission, San Francisco.

Omo Ache
Omo Ache (above), Kenny Washington and Jeff Chambers will perform at the CubaCaribe’s fifth anniversary festival.
Weekend one performances are Friday and Saturday, April 17-18, at 8 p.m., and Sunday, April 19, at 2 and 7 p.m. The 2:00 Sunday family matinee features special guests Muriel Johnson and more. The festival commemorates the vital performance arts that emerged as landmarks in the Cuban social landscape since the 1959 revolution and features special guest artists Juan Carlos Blanco and Omo Aché (Afro-Cuban folkloric dance) from San Diego, Las Que Son Son (Cuban reggaeton and mambo), Chancleteros (Cuban Chancleta dance from eastern Cuba), Napoles Ballet Theatre directed by Luis Napoles (Afro-Cuban modern), and Jeff Chambers and Ramón Ramos Alayo (fusion jazz and Afro-Cuban modern duet).

Kenny Washington scatting with Jeff Chambers on bass
Kenny Washington scatting with Jeff Chambers on bass
Weekend two performances are Friday and Saturday, April 24-25, at 8 p.m., and Sunday, April 26, at 2 and 7 p.m. The festival honors the acts of creative tenacity, devotion, adaptation and transgression that fueled cultural continuity and revitalization in the five centuries since colonization in the Americas and features Alafia (Afro-Haitian dance), Jeff Chambers and Kenny Washington (jazz bass and vocal duet), De Rompe y Raja (Afro-Peruvian dance), Paul Flores (spoken word), Jaranón y Bochinche (Afro-Peruvian dance), Los Lupeños de San José (Mexican folkloric dance), Eddie Madril of Four Winds (Native American dance), Mind Over Matter (hip-hop), Rica Salsa (Latin dance) and Urban Jazz Dance (modern).

Weekend three performances are Friday and Saturday, May 1-2, at 8 p.m., and Sunday, May 3, at 7 p.m. Featured this week are Alayo Dance Company (Afro-Cuban modern dance), Emese (Afro-Cuban folkloric dance) and El Wah Movement (Haitian folkloric dance).

Performance tickets are $18.50 in advance online, www.brownpapertickets.com or $22 for phone and door reservations, (415) 273-4633. Tickets for children 12 and younger are $12 on all shows. There are family matinees on Sunday, April 19, 2 p.m., when tickets are $10 for children 12 and under and $15 for adults.

A special three-ticket festival package is $50, one per weekend. Advance online purchase is highly recommended; shows sell out. Special events include parties, lectures, workshops and more. Parties are Saturday, April 18, 9:30 p.m., with Dos Four y los Mios; Saturday, April 25, 9:30 p.m., with DJ Juan Data and DJ Alfie; and Saturday, May 2, 9:30 p.m., with DJ Waltdigz.

Lectures are Friday, April 10, 8 p.m., with Roberto Borrell, and Saturday, May 2, 5 p.m., with Michael Spiro. Workshops are Ramón Ramos Alayo: Cuban popular dance; Juan Carlos Blanco: Afro-Cuban dance; Temiscocles, Fuentes: Cuban popular and vodú dance; Rogelio Kindelán Nordet: Afro-Cuban drum; Tania Santiago: Afro-Brazilian dance; Djenane St. Juste: Afro-Haitian dance; and Yismari Ramos Tellez: Cuban popular dance. Find more details on parties, lectures and workshops at www.cubacaribe.org or email cuba.caribe@yahoo.com.

Bay View Arts Editor Wanda Sabir can be reached at wsab1@aol.com. Visit her website at www.wandaspicks.com for an expanded version of Wanda’s Picks, her blog, photos and Wanda’s Picks Radio. Her shows are streamed live Wednesdays at 6-7 a.m. and Fridays at 8-10 a.m. and archived on the Afrikan Sistahs’ Media Network, www.WandasPicks.ASMNetwork.org.

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