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Bay Area highlights this week cover film, ballet, theater and jazz

There’s so much on this week that our preview is being presented in two parts - here’s the first.

Jeremy Irons
Photo: Sven Banziger, courtesy of San Francisco Film Society

The 57th San Francisco Film Festival enters its second week with more attractions than even the most devoted film enthusiast could hope to take in.

Amongst the highlights is a special award night featuring the presentation to British actor Jeremy Irons of the Peter J Owens award. The evening will include a clip reel of Irons’ career highlights, an onstage interview, and the screening of Reversal of Fortune, the adaptation of Alan Dershowitz's account of the Claus von Bülow case, in which Irons starred with Glenn Close. See more via this link.

For a full list of this week’s screenings, visit http://www.sffs.org/festival-home/attend/calendar, and for more information about the Festival and the SF Film Society, visit www.sffs.org. The Festival ends on May 8, with a screening of Alex of Venice at the Castro Theatre.

The last two productions in San Francisco Ballet’s current season take the form of two triple bills. The first runs from April 29 to May 10, and features the return of Serge Lifar’s elegant neoclassical showpiece, Suite en Blanc, Helgi Tomasson’s The Fifth Season, and Hummingbird - a world premiere by Artist in Residence at The Royal Ballet - Liam Scarlett.

For more information on the program and tickets, visit the San Francisco Ballet website.

The final program opens on May 1 - running to May 11 - featuring works by the two 20th century masters of choreography - George Balanchine and Jerome Robbins. The Balanchine works are Agon - one of Balanchine’s classic ‘black and white ballets’ on which he collaborated with Igor Stravinsky - and Brahms-Schoenberg Quartet, an abstract work set to Schoenberg’s orchestration of Brahms’ G minor piano quartet. The Robbins piece is his pulsating, high-energy representation of city life, Glass Pieces.

Visit the San Francisco Ballet website for further information.

We'll feature more on these performances later in the week.

Theresa Rebeck’s Seminar is the new production opening at the San Francisco Playhouse this week. Directed by Amy Glazer, Seminar, is described as a “biting Broadway comedy about power, sex and art”. The action revolves around a 10-week private writing class, attended by four aspiring novelists, led by a legendary - and verbally abusive - author, named Leonard.

Described by Time Out New York as “Sexy, savvy, and uproarious!” Seminar stars Charles Shaw Robinson as Leonard, with Lauren English, Natalie Mitchell, Patrick Russell and James Wagner. Performances start on April 29 and run until June 14. We’ll take a closer look at Seminar in next week’s events roundup, but for further information and tickets, visit the San Francisco Playhouse website.

SFJAZZ presents four performances this week by its Resident Artistic Director and violinist, Regina Carter, in a show entitled Southern Comfort - described by the East Bay Express as "A tour de force...melody from the British Isles, rhythms from the Caribbean and West Africa, lilt from the Cajun South, and persuasive swing from uptown Saturday night."


Southern Comfort takes us back to rural Alabama, where Carter’s grandfather was a coal miner, and celebrates the “joyous music” with which she was surrounded as a child - music which “soars” according to Time Out New York.

Appearing with Regina Carter are Marvin Sewell (guitar), Will Holshouser on the accordion, bassist Jesse Murphy and Alvester Garnett on drums, and the shows run in the Miner Auditorium from May 1 to 4. For further information, visit www.sfjazz.org