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Arts & Culture

Comedian Jesús U. BettaWork: Sights & Sounds

Photo courtesy Jesús U. BettaWork"

Sights & Sounds is your weekly guide to the Bay Area arts scene. Comedian Jesús U. BettaWork calls his act 100 percent "real fruit comedy," and he co-hosts The Komedy Kiki monthly at The Stud bar in San Francisco. He told KALW’s Jen Chien about three fantastic arts events happening around the Bay this week.

Photo by Russell J. Young

La Muerte Baila — a comedic, musical take on the afterlife — is full of traditional folklorico dance and music. It follows los muertitos (the dead) on El Día de los Muertos when they return to the land of the living and La Muerte gets a day off. The show is presented by San Jose theater company, Teatro Visión, which has been putting on an annual Día de los Muertos show for five years now. The show was written by Rebecca Martinez and the ensemble and will be performed in Spanish with English supertitles at the Mexican Heritage Plaza in San Jose.

Jesús: "I believe La Muerte Baila specifically will be presented entirely in Spanish with English supertitles which is fabulous! ¡Es fabuloso, por supuesto que sí! Because it's not something we see too much of in the Bay Area. I think it'll be a fabulous slice of cultural community in the South Bay."

SF Dance Film Festival is a weekend-long celebration of dance-based films, including documentaries on breakdancing by hip-hop artist Nas and on the drag ballet company, Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo. The festival also features experimental short films about memory and poetry and, of course, dance, such as https://vimeo.com/167238294">And So Do I by Jana G. Younes and Jens Bjerregaard, and https://vimeo.com/195025413">Ghost Story by Sarah Elgart. Films will be screening at Brava Theater Center, Variety Preview Room, and the Catharine Clark Gallery.

Jesús: "I hear dance film festival, I'm like, I am on board! Because dance, there really is no limit to it, to how it can be presented, to how it can be manifested."

The Castro Theatre is showing a double-feature on Sunday of classic '70s flicks starring Jessica Harper: Suspiria and Phantom Of The Paradise. Phantom of the Paradise is a Brian dePalma musical/rock opera/horror/comedy film that’s a little bit of a twist on the Phantom of the Opera and 1970s pop culture.  Suspiria is the classic Dario Argento horror movie that follows a new student at a mysterious ballet academy that turns out to be a lot more sinister than it appears. This year is also the 40th anniversary of the release of Suspiria and the Castro will screen a new 4K restoration of the film.

Jesús: "That's what I enjoy doing for my alone time: I like to go the Castro Theatre and then just kind of find a little corner somewhere and just enjoy the film. And if I get a little too scared, these horror flicks are gonna give me an excuse to scream and jump into the bear's sitting next to me arms so, again, it's a win-win situation."