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California Symphony Live Season Opener - Marga Gomez: ‘Spanking Machine’ - ‘Dear San Francisco’ @ Club Fugazi - Peter Robinson

Donato Cabrera conducting the California Symphony by Kristen Loken.jpg
Kristen Loken
/
California Symphony

This week on Open Air, KALW’s radio magazine for the Bay Area Performing Arts, guest host JoAnn Mar talks with conductor Donato Cabrera, about this weekend’s opening of the new live concert season of the California Symphony, in Walnut Creek. Also, comedian Marga Gomez about her return to The Marsh SF with live performances of Spanking Machine; a conversation about the new show Dear San Francisco at Club Fugazi in North Beach. Plus, Peter Robinson talks about the 700th Anniversary of Dante’s death.

This week on Open Air, KALW’s radio magazine for the Bay Area Performing Arts, guest host JoAnn Mar talks with conductor Donato Cabrera, about this weekend’s opening of the new live concert season of the California Symphony, in Walnut Creek. Also, comedian Marga Gomez about her return to The Marsh SF with live performances of Spanking Machine; a conversation about the new show Dear San Francisco at Club Fugazi in North Beach. Plus, Peter Robinson talks about the 700th Anniversary of Dante’s death.

After more than a year of offering only virtual performances, the California Symphony returns live to the concert podium at the Lesher Center in Walnut Creek with two concerts featuring Polish-American pianist Adam Golka, playing Beethoven’s heroic Emperor Concerto (Piano Concerto No. 5 in E♭ major, Op. 73).

Also on the program: Sinfonia by Marianna Martines (1744 - 1812), who was a contemporary of Mozart and a student of Haydn, and received more acclaim than perhaps any other female composer of her time.

Ralph Vaughan Williams’ rarely performed Symphony No. 5 concludes the concert.

We talk with comedian Marga Gomez, who returns to The Marsh San Francisco for live performances of Spanking Machine, her by turns funny, intense, and heart-rending memoir of growing up brown and queer in Washington Heights.

Childhood pranks, Devil Dogs, sadistic nuns on poppers, assault, and suppressed memory play their parts in Gomez’s shift across gender, latitudes, and generations. With this show, which runs September 17 - October 23, live theater returns to The Marsh SF for the first time after the pandemic.

We talk with Shana Caroll, one of the creative forces behind Dear San Francisco: A High-Flying Love Story, which opens on September 22 (ahead of the official world premiere on October 12) at Club Fugazi, the former home of Beach Blanket Babylon in North Beach.

Dear San Francisco combines all kinds of Circus Arts, choreography, spoken word, video projections, shadow play, and original music, to tell the story of San Francisco, from the Gold Rush and 1906 earthquake to the beat poetry and the mysterious fog, in a series of tableaus (acts) - including hoop diving, Chinese pole, Korean plank, hand-balancing, juggling, and “hand-to-trap” (a form first created by Shana Carroll) - performed by an international cast of world-class acrobats.

Plus, Open Air’s regular contributor and critic at large, Peter Robinson, talks with George Hammond, moderator of Humanities West, about the celebration, on October 22, of the 700th anniversary of Dante’s death, in the form of lectures about Dante’s poetry, his connection to Italian opera, and his influence on Italian culture. The event takes place at The Commonwealth Club of California.

Open Air with guest host JoAnn Mar, heard live on Thursday, September 16 at 1pm, to be archived thereafter at this very location until the Internet dies. Listen now or anytime…  

Niels Swinkels is a freelance journalist, musicologist, sound engineer, and radio producer. Born and raised in the Netherlands, he studied English and Musicology at the University of Nijmegen. Before moving to San Francisco, he was the Arts Editor, and Senior Classical Music & Opera critic for Brabants Dagblad, a Dutch daily newspaper. In addition to producing KALW’s Open Air, a weekly radio magazine for the Bay Area Performing Arts, he is also a wine guy at Trader Joe’s Nob Hill in San Francisco...