By Galen Barbour
If the much needed rain is keeping you indoors this week, here are a few upcoming artistic events around the Bay Area to wet your mind and give you something to look ahead to. Grab your umbrella and explore all the winter art the bay has to offer in the coming days...
15th Annual SF Sketchfest (Through Jan. 24th)
If you haven’t checked out or heard of the most exhaustive stand-up festival in the country, its probably fair to assume that you owe it to yourself to do so.
Sketch Fest has earned itself a seat in the entertainment world as a sort of watering hole and incubator for veteran and aspiring talent alike in the comedy community.
What sets Sketch Fest apart from other comedy collaborations is infidelity. You have something for the older crowd (Dave Barry?! Jeff Goldblum?!), bumping elbows with upshots like Jaime DeWolfe of Snap Judgment and Paul F. Tompkins (Bojack Horesman) all rolled into a program that’s as unconventional as it is impressive. Acts run the gamut from mock-presidential debates to a 25th anniversary Lost Boys reunion and screening of Hook (RU-FI-OOOO).
Below are some shows at Sketch Fest you don't want to miss...
"Bawdy Story Telling" (Wednesday):
Feat, Jaime DeWolf and Kate Gill, Kate Willett and Rachael Lark.
Where?: Eureka Theatre
All ages, $20.
"Presendtial Debate" (Friday)
The Write-In Candidates with James Adomian, Matt Besser, Paul Gilmartin, Mary Houlihan, Brian Huskey, Dan Van Kirk and moderator Tom Shillue from Fox News Channel’s “Red Eye.”
Where?: Cobb’s Comedy Club
All Ages, $20.
"The Black Version" (Saturday)
An all African-American cast of seasoned improv specialists from the world-famous troupe The Groundlings asks the audience to suggest a popular film title and then performs the "black version" of that movie.
Where?: Brava Theatre 2781 24th ST.
All Ages, $25.
Fortunately, there is no lack of entertainment outside of Sketch Fest as this week hosts an array of exciting new releases.
"The Nether" (A play running through March 5th)
It's fair to say that in the age where tech trends change weekly it's difficult, if not impossible to see what the future looks like when caught in the eye of the storm.
In “The Nether” screenwriter Jennifer Haley paints a near future where the Internet is a immersive digital universe where one can live out their deepest darkest fantasies through virtual anonymous characters.
The story follows a detective on the trail of a Pedophile who’s frequented a virtual child trafficking website, picking apart this darkly possible future as she goes.
Where?: The San Francisco Playhouse
Click here to learn more about the play.
The Firehouse Art Collective
Berkeley’s Family-friendly art co-op opens its doors to patrons for an evening of art and community. It's free, and open to all ages. Click here for dates and times.
"YBCA Third Thursdays" (Thursday)
SOMA opens its doors to the community for "Third Thursday." With free admission and discount vouchers to surrounding galleries and shops in an ongoing outreach to the community it serves.
This month MOAD (Museum Of African Diaspora) will host "Documenting the Diaspora": A Tanzanian-Korean & Afro-Viking Go Home, followed by discussions and commentary by the film makers themselves.
In addition, YBCA will be hosting, amongst others, The Sprawl. An immersive multi-media installation of how propaganda is altered by social media.
When?: Jan 20th, 12-8pm
Where: YBCA, MOAD, CMA
All Ages Free
Click for more info.
Experimental Animator Ben Ridgeway, presents his mind-blowing geometric animations for Oddball’s monthly visiting artist program.
WHEN: JAN 21st
WHERE: 275 Capp Street, San Francisco, CA 94110
ALL AGES. $10 RSVP, limited seating.
Learn more here.
"Nightlife at California Academy of Sciences" (January 21st)
This week "Nightlife" takes us into the inner workings of our Brain and Body. An in-depth look at the mechanics of our mind and body and how everything from food and environment can influence how we think and act.
Where?: Cal Academy of Science
Oakland Museum of California (Friday 5-9pm)
Oakland Museum beckons you to start the week off right with half price admission, drink specials and extended hours along with DJ Sweaterfunk for a night of grooves and new concepts.
Where?: Oakland Museum of California
More info here.
"Noir City" at Castro Film Fest (January 22nd - 31st)
Thursday marks kick off of the re-known Castro Theatre Noir Films Festival which typically holds off until the rainiest part of the year to dump on us silver screen wonder both new and aged. The theme of Noir City 14 is "The Art of Darkness" and features 25 films about the pressures and pain of being an artist. Click here for more info.
Where?: The Castro Theater
All ages, prices vary.