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‘Testmatch’ @ A.C.T. - French Film Noir Series - Symphonia Caritas - SFSYO Conductor Daniel Stewart

Kevin Berne

This week on Open Air, KALW’s radio magazine for the Bay Area performing arts, host David Latulippe talks with actors Meera Rohit Kumbhani (pictured, left) and Avanthika Srinivasan (right), cast members of the world premiere of Testmatch, which runs at A.C.T.’s Strand Theater through December 8. 

Testmatch, by playwright Kate Attwell’s, is A.C.T.’s Artistic Director Pam MacKinnon’s directorial debut at the Strand Theater. The play combines two contrasting, time-traveling stories about cricket, a game of strict rules and hidden violence. In the first story, tensions in the locker room rise during a match between rival women’s teams from England and India, as secrets spill about player’s relationships, influencers, and the integrity of the sport. Then in 1800 (or so), Abhi, the Number One Sepoy of the East India Co., struggles to force two bungling, cheating British administrators - absorbed in setting down the rules of cricket -  to focus on the famine they have created outside the compound walls.

We talk with curator-programmer Don Malcolm of The French Had a Name for It- 6, the annual French Film Noir Series, running from Thursday, November 14 through Monday, November 18 at the Roxie Theatre (3117 16th St.) in San Francisco. The sixth edition of the series explores “Darkness in the Sixties”, and shows a total of 15 rare French noirs, all from the 1960s. On the program are movies with big names such as Jean Gabin, Alain Delon, Michèle Morgan, and Yves Montand, but also a noir-edged film by Nouvelle Vague key figure Jean Luc Godard, titled Le Petit Soldat

From Symphonia Caritas, we talk with music director Paul Schrage about the orchestra’s benefit concert for The Gubbio Project, on Tuesday, November 19 (6:30 pm) at Heron Arts (7 Heron St.) in San Francisco. Joining him from Gubbio is executive director Shannon Eizenga. 

Symphonia Caritas gives free symphony concerts in partnership with well-established nonprofits, like The Gubbio Project in San Francisco’s Tenderloin. Through its program Sacred Sleep, Gubbio provides an average of 320 individuals per day with a safe, clean place to sleep on the pews and mats of two Tenderloin churches from 6 am – 2 pm, Monday through Friday. 

The concert program includes Wagner’s Siegfried Idyll;  ...and fall, by local composer Eric Choate (soloist: tenor Chris Oglesby, SF Opera Adler Fellow); and Mozart’s Symphony 39

Plus, we talk with conductor Daniel Stewart, who joins the San Francisco Symphony as Resident Conductor and Wattis Foundation Music Director of the San Francisco Symphony Youth Orchestra (SFSYO) this season. He is the first SFSYO alumnus in the ensemble's history to do so. 

On Sunday, November 17 (2pm) Stewart conducts the SFSYO at Davies Symphony Hall, in a program that opens with Agnegram, a complex, jazz-inflected composition by Michael Tilson Thomas. Also, selections from Prokofiev’s ballet music for Romeo and Juliet, along with Grieg’s Piano Concerto, with 2019 SFS Youth Orchestra Concerto Competition winner, Roger Xia, as soloist. 

Open Air with host David Latulippe, heard live on Thursday, November 14 at 1pm. Listen now or anytime...