This week, Nellie McKay comes to Palo Alto, 'Pear Slices' offers fresh new plays, local lounge lizard Bud E. Luv marks his 35th anniversary and a photo series matching native wildflowers with classical Indian dance moves.
The Pear Theatre's annual showcase of new works from members of The Pear Playwrights’ Guild takes audiences to a variety of times and places in nine new short dramas and comedies. Some plays look to history or speculate on the future, from a glimpse of the early days in the life of voting rights activist Fannie Lou Hamer to two pieces that ruminate on the implications of AI in our near future. Others bring twists on present-day life, such as a mediator's office where literary characters go to resolve their conflicts or a self-help seminar leader who can't actually seem to help herself when it comes to dishing the dirt on her ex.
April 20-May 14 at The Pear Theatre, 1110 La Avenida, Suite A, Mountain View. Tickets are $38. thepear.org.
Bud E. Luv's 35th anniversary
Well, ring-a-ding-ding — Bud E. Luv is now old enough to be president. The smooth, singing lounge lizard is celebrating 35 years on Bay Area stages, playing lounge-inspired covers of favorite songs and telling some — literally — unbelievable tales about his antics with the Rat Pack, back when he was just a tyke. Luv is actually the alter ego of Robert Vickers, who's marking his persona's milestone anniversary at a show at The Guild, featuring the Bud E. Luv Trio and Big Band.
April 21, 8 p.m. at The Guild Theatre, 949 El Camino Real, Menlo Park. Tickets are $28-$43. guildtheatre.com.
From soulful interpretations of standards to sharp social critique wrapped up in lively and bright original tunes, singer-songwriter Nellie McKay channels, in both her aesthetic and sound, midcentury chanteuses like Rosemary Clooney, Peggy Lee and Doris Day — in fact she's recorded a tribute album to Day. But she re-imagines that buttoned-up genre with an edge, particularly in her original songs. Her latest release, "Bagatelles," highlights standards such as "The Best Things in Life Are Free" and "How About You" in stripped-down arrangements featuring simply piano or ukulele that showcase her rich, silky vocals. McKay performs in a show presented by Earthwise Productions. With The Corner Laughers (featuring Karla Kane, a regular contributor to the Weekly).
April 23, 7 p.m. at Mitchell Park Community Center, 3700 Middlefield Road, Palo Alto. Tickets are $20. eventbrite.com.
The pandemic shutdown spawned many unique art projects; among them Berkeley-based landscape architect Barnali Ghosh found a new way to celebrate the beauty of native wildflowers she saw in her neighborhood. In images that recall the "celebrities as things" photo meme on Twitter, Ghosh made a series of self-portraits in which she wore sari fabrics and posed in classical Indian dance movements, re-creating the wildflowers' colors and shapes through her clothing and poses. The photos have been so well-received that she made the results into a calendar, as well as posters and art prints. Ghosh discusses her "Unfaithful Re/creations" photo series April 26 at an in-person talk for the California Native Plant Society.
April 26, 1 p.m. at Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District offices, 5050 El Camino Real, Los Altos. Admission is free. cnps-scv.org.
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