Kudos: Theater, dance and competitive cocktails

The Examiner spotlights good people and good work on its daily Kudos page. Here’s a look at Bay Area residents who are serving their community, reaching milestones, making discoveries and celebrating accomplishments.

ERICA LEWIS-FINEIN

“Aurora Theatre Company does such great stage work and is run by a staff of amazing people; I am honored that they have asked me to join their family.”

Occupation: Public relations manager

Home: San Francisco

Achievement: The publicist, whose work in Bay Area arts marketing has focused significantly on local theater, recently was named in-house public relations manager for the Berkeley-based Aurora Theater Company.

LISS FAIN

“We’re premiering two dances at our home season, a full-company piece and a duet that are visceral, emotional and compelling.”

Occupation: Choreographer

Home: San Francisco

Achievement: The choreographer, who recently won a Fullbright-Hays fellowship, celebrates Liss Fain Dance’s 12th season with performances Sept. 11-13 at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco.

JOEL BAKER

“I’m excited to travel to New Zealand and be part of one of three U.S. teams. This competition is unique because we have to work creatively as a team.”

Occupation: Bar manager, Bourbon and Branch

Home: San Francisco

Achievement: The bartender was among finalists in the national 42BELOW Cocktail competition. Each winner heads to the fifth annual 42BELOW Cocktail World Cup, taking place in New Zealand Sept. 9-13.

GREGORY SHORT

“The 25th anniversary proves to the Bay Area that with exceptional cuisine and service, Masataka Kobayashi’s restaurant continues to flourish.”

Occupation: Executive chef, Masa’s

Home: San Mateo

Achievement: In honor of the restaurant’s 25th anniversary, Short has organized a star-studded culinary benefit for St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital Sept. 13.

Have a drink, save a tree

As the story goes, the bar at the Clift Hotel’s Redwood Room — which celebrates its 75th anniversary next month — was originally carved from  one enormous California redwood way back in the 1930s, when original architect Gustave Albert Lansburgh decided to adorn its Art Deco walls and columns with nothing but redwood.

Although the landmark location was redesigned in 2001 by Philippe Starck (with the Morgans Hotel Group), it still retains a foresty charm.

A private anniversary party and benefit event for Friends of the Urban Forest will take place Sept. 9 in the famed bar (495 Geary St.).

Nilsson movies focus on real city residents

A pre-opening party tonight for the world premiere of film director Rob Nilsson’s “9@Night” series is a benefit for San Francisco’s Tenderloin street ministry the Faithful Fools.

The party will feature wine tastings, gourmet treats, a live auction and the first presentation of the Edwin Johnson Unsung Hero Award.

Cannes and Sundance festival award winner Nilsson created the nine films in his “9@Night” series via long-term improvisational collaboration with Tenderloin residents.

Admission to the benefit is free. Auction items include a role in Nilsson’s upcoming film based on the life of artist Willem de Kooning. The event starts at 6:30 pm. today at the Delancey St. Foundation, 600 Embarcadero, San Francisco. For more information, visit www.faithfulfools.org or call (415) 474-0508.

The “9@Night” film series opens Friday at the Roxie Theater and runs through Sept. 5 before continuing at other independent theaters in the Bay Area.

Send us your good news

We want to hear from you about Bay Area residents’ accomplishments and achievements. Do you know someone who’s done something good? E-mail kudos@sfexaminer.com.

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