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Red Curtain Addict Top Picks: May 2018

May 2, 2018

It's officially May and we are excited to share our must-see performances in the Bay Area. We are so lucky to have such a rich music community making it hard to choose! From Broadway, music festivals, classical music and dance, we think you're going to like what you find. Scroll below to see our top picks for May...

May 1 - 27: SHN, The Color Purple

    • In 1986 Academy Award-nominated feature film, The Color Purple

    • The original Broadway production ran from 2005 to 2008

    • In 2006, it earned eleven Tony Award nominations

    • In 2016, it won the TONY AWARD(r) FOR BEST MUSICAL REVIVAL

This Pulitzer Prize-winning story is about a young woman's journey to love and triumph set in Georgia in 1910 - 1940. It's filled with jazz, gospel, ragtime and blues and I promise that by the end of the show this musical will have made you laugh a ton, cry, feel inspired and have you boogieing out the door. Trust me, it's quite the experience. I wouldn't necessarily suggest taking the kiddos to this one because it deals with some pretty rough situations but it's great to go with a group of friends, date or by yourself.

Addict Tip: A limited number of $40 rush tickets will be available for every performance beginning 2 hours prior to curtain at the SHN Orpheum Theater Box Office. Tickets are subject to availability. Cash only! 2 per person.


May 5 - 6: ODC, 'Uncertain Weather'

This work follows 3 young people (and a live dog) on a seamless journey through unpredictable weather - rainstorms and squalls, earthquakes, tsunamis, white-hot deserts, heat waves, fog, and sunny beach days - and the consequences of climate change.

The "canine companion" mentioned is a key performer and will be played by Bernardo, a 75 lb. Labradoodle. When he's not performing on the scene with some of the Bay Area's most talented young dancers, Bernardo works as a service dog, supporting individuals at hospitals, hospices and airports. The cast includes almost 60 young people between the ages of 8 to 19 years-old and they have spent a full school year rehearsing with ODC's professional choreographers.

Addict Insider: ODC School offers training in a wide range of dance forms to all ages and abilities in an effort to nurture creative artists, appreciative audiences and a healthy generative community. You can not only come and watch dance but you can learn dance yourself!


May 10 - 12: SF Symphony, Respighi's Pines of Rome

The San Francisco Symphony will be playing Pines of Rome (one of my personal favorites) this month! I think the best way to describe this piece is to compare it to Disney's Fantasia 2000! Why? Because it's featured in the film! So, if you love all the magical music from that movie - you will LOVE this! It was written by Respighi in 1924 as a tribute to his country's capital (Rome) featuring different scenes, settings and moments that were significant to the history of the Roman Empire.

The performance will also include Saint-Saens' First Cello Concerto played by the amazing Gautier Capucon. Saint-Saens' music is known for being very lyrical (meaning it's easy to follow) with lots of emotion that will suck you in every time. This concert is great for a date night or a relaxing night out with your friends.

Addict Insider: Want to find out more about the piece from a member of the San Francisco Symphony? Click HERE to listen in to our KFOG podcast with Mike "No Name" Nelson and Nick Platoff!



May 17 - 20, SF JAZZ, Amendola Vs. Blades + Two

Berkeley-based drummer, composer and bandleader Scott Amendola showcases his longstanding partnership with Bay Area Hammond B-3 organ star Wil Blades for an evening of greasy grooves and head-spinning musical telepathy, joined for this exclusive run by Tortoise guitarist Jeff Parker and Brazilian percussion genius Cyro Baptista.

I'm a huge fan of Wil Blades who plays the Hammond Organ. It's an instrument that was created by Bill Hammond. It's a small organ that was originally made for small churches that weren't able to afford the big pipe organs. I love how Will has re-invented it by infusing it was jazz! It's sound that is fresh, hip and easy to groove to.


May to August (some in September - October): Yerba Buena Gardens Festival

Yerba Buena Gardens Festival is kicking off their season this month! This festival is a local non-profit that will be presenting 6 months of admission-free performances reflecting the rich cultures and creativity of the Bay Area. All the concerts are outdoors and family-friendly. We like to pack a picnic, grab some wine and bask in the sun while watching the best of the bay!

All programs take place at the Yerba Buena Gardens, off Mission Street between 3rd and 4th Streets, San Francisco.

Want to see what's playing this weekend? CLICK HERE!

We hope this quick rundown of our Top Performing Concert Picks for May was helpful! Let us know your thoughts by leaving a note in the comments! Also, feel free to add any performance suggestions and/or questions for May.

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