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STOMP - Signals from the West - The California Noir-Off - November around the Bay

Steve McNicholas

This week on Open Air, KALW’s radio magazine for the Bay Area performing arts, host David Latulippe talks with Luke Cresswell and Steve McNicholas, the co-creators of the international percussion sensation STOMP, which is in town for eight performances only, this week through November 10, at American Conservatory Theater’s (A.C.T.) Geary Theater (415 Geary St.) in San Francisco. 

STOMP is a unique combination of percussion, movement and visual comedy, in which both household and industrial objects find new life as musical instruments in the hands of an idiosyncratic band of body percussionists. What began as a street performance in the UK, STOMP has grown into an international sensation over the past 20 years, having performed in more than 50 countries and in front of more than 24 million people. 

Also stopping by are choreographer Hope Mohr and dance artist Sofia Wang to share details about the 2019 Bridge Project, which culminates on November 8 and 9 in Signals from the West, as part of the international celebration of the 100th birthday of choreographer Merce Cunningham, widely considered to be one of the most influential choreographers of all time. 

Signals from the West is one of more than 100 events, presented from Los Angeles to Havana to New Plymouth, New Zealand, to celebrate the Cunningham Centennial. It is a bicoastal collaboration and co-production between Hope Mohr Dance, the Merce Cunningham Trust, ODC Theater and San Francisco Museum of Modern Art’s Open Space. Performances are at ODC Theater (3153 17th Street) in San Francisco, both nights at 8pm. 

From BATS Improv, we talk with musical director Joshua Raoul Brody  and company members Dan O’Connor and Dave Dennison about The California Noir-Off, a two-night festival of unscripted, improvised noir shows at the new Presidio Theatre (99 Moraga Ave) in San Francisco. 

BATS Improv (Bay Area Theater Sports) teams up with the company it spawned,  Impro Theatre from Los Angeles (formerly Los Angeles Theater Sports), to present full-length improvised plays that pay tribute to the Godfathers of California Noir: Dashiell Hammett and Raymond Chandler. 

On Friday, November 8 (8pm), BATS performs a one-act in the style of Dashiell Hammett, and five actors from LA play one in the style of Raymond Chandler. On Saturday, Nov 9 (8pm), Joshua Raoul Brody directs all nine actors in a two-act musical, set in a more general cinematic noir style. 

Plus, Open Air’s regular contributor and critic at large, Peter Robinson, recommends places to visit around the Bay Area during the month of November: the Rosie the Riveter Museum on Richmond’s waterfront; a ferry ride and a hike around Angel Island; and some whale watching. 

Open Air with host David Latulippe, heard live on Thursday, November 7 at 1pm. Listen now or anytime...