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Best of the Bay Area performances this weekend

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If you’ve not yet seen Bauer at the San Francisco Playhouse, you have less than two weeks in which to catch up with a hugely powerful production from which you're not likely to walk away unmoved. An episode from the life of one of the most respected creators of ‘non-objective art’ of the last century, the play deals with the enigma of Rudolf Bauer having simply laid down his brushes, never to return to his art - a truly compelling piece of theater.

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Bauer, by Bay Area playwright, Lauren Gunderson, is produced by Playhouse directors, Bill English and Susi Damilano, directed by English, and stars Ronald Guttman as Rudolf Bauer, Stacy Ross as Hilla Rebay - his former lover and Guggenheim curator - and Susi Damilano as his wife.

Bauer runs at the San Francisco Playhouse until April 19. For further information and tickets, visit www.sfplayhouse.org - and don’t forget the retrospective on Bauer’s work at the Weinstein Gallery, which you’ll almost certainly want to visit once you’ve seen the play.

Hope Mohr Dance presents its seventh home season at ODC Theater this week, with a program which features three world premieres - Route 20, a trio; ridetherhythm, a work for dancers and actors; and Notes Toward a Supreme Fiction, a full-company work set to a live jazz score.

Route 20 is described as “a piece showcasing high-stakes partnering for three dancers .... the performers must navigate a minefield of improvised partnering moments -- moments in which the outcome is unknown -- within the context of set choreography”.

ridetherhythm represents a series of investigations into the relationship between the spoken word and movement. It features a mixed cast of actors and dancers, including Megan Brian, director of Public Programs and Education for SFMOMA, as a mad linguistic scientist commenting on the action.

Notes Toward a Supreme Fiction, the full-company premiere, is a collaboration with jazz trumpeter Henry Hung, alongside Noah Phillips and Eric Garland, in which the dancers create sound through microphones placed strategically throughout the performing space. The musicians then interpret the dancers' sounds through the processing of electronic effects and further improvisation.

Hope Mohr Dance's seventh Home Season, which is produced in association with ODC Theater, runs from April 10 - 13, 2014. Tickets may be purchased online at odcdance.org/buytickets.php or by calling 415-863-9834, Monday through Friday from 12 - 3pm.

SFJAZZ presents a family matinee on April 12 at 11.00 am, featuring Linda Tillery & The Cultural Heritage Choir, in an interactive morning of singing, clapping and dancing, celebrating the music at the root of jazz. A presentation drawing on the age-old play songs and rhymes of African-American children, it will bring to life the rhythms and vitality of jazz, showing how to approach singing with your ears, eyes and heart.

This will be followed at 12.15 pm by a Family Workshop - an interactive experience with members of the Cultural Heritage Choir - with more singing, clapping and moving to the sounds of African-American roots music.

The Family Workshop is free to matinee ticket holders, and as capacity is limited, reservations will be given on a first-come-first-serve basis on Saturday morning, at the SFJAZZ Education table in the lobby, starting from 10.00 am.

For more information, visit www.sfjazz.org.

Coming Live from the Met on Classical KDFC this week is a production of Andrea Chénier, Giordano’s passionate melodrama of the tragic love story of a dashing poet and an aristocratic lady, set in the time of the French revolution.

Patrica Racette - as the aristocratic Maddalena whose life is overturned by the uprising - and Marcelo Álvarez - as the real-life poet executed by revolutionary forces - both sing their first Met performances in these roles. Željko Lučić sings the role of Carlo Gérard, a servant who becomes a leader of the insurrection.

For conductor Gianandrea Noseda this production represents his first company performances of Andrea Chénier as well. He recently led the acclaimed new production of Borodin’s Prince Igor for the Metropolitan Opera, which he created with director Dmitri Tcherniakov.

Andrea Chénier will be broadcast live in the Bay Area on Saturday, April 12, at 10.00 by KDFC. For tuning frequencies, visit the KDFC website, where you can also listen to the broadcast online.

For more information on this season’s performances of Andrea Chénier, please visit the Met’s website at http://www.metopera.org.

On Saturday evening, the San Francisco Symphony presents another of its film nights, in which the Orchestra accompanies the screening, in a live performance of the score. The film this time is that masterpiece of the silent screen, Charlie Chaplin’s City Lights. Hailed by filmmakers, actors and critics as one of the greatest films ever made, City Lights was written and directed by Chaplin, who stars alongside Virginia Cherrill, the blind girl with whom his character, a tramp, falls in love.

City Lights is at Davies Symphony Hall on April 12 at 8.00 pm, with Richard Kaufman conducting the San Francisco Symphony. For more information, and tickets, please visit the Symphony website where you can also watch a video clip of the film.

On Sunday, pianist Garrick Ohlsson joins 16 members of the San Francisco Symphony in an afternoon of chamber music at Davies Symphony Hall. Described as “music musicians love to play”, the program features Mozart’s Quintet in E-flat major for Piano and Winds, Janáček’s String Quartet No 1 - Kreutzer Sonata - the Shostakovich Piano Trio No 2 in E minor, and Brahms’ String Quintet in G major.

For tickets and further information, please visit the San Francisco Symphony website.

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