Arts & Entertainment

Jules Shear, who wrote hits for Cyndi Lauper and The Bangles, recorded his latest CD in his home studio in upstate New York. (Courtesy photo)

Versatile Jules Shear goes ‘Slower’ during COVID

Flames still flicker for old-school singer-songwriter

Jules Shear, who wrote hits for Cyndi Lauper and The Bangles, recorded his latest CD in his home studio in upstate New York. (Courtesy photo)
From left, Smuin performers Lauren Pschirrer, Brennan Wall and Tessa Barbour dance in Smuin’s “The Christmas Ballet,” the contemporary ballet troupe’s popular holiday show presented in three different online programs through Dec. 24. (Courtesy Ricardo Dyer)

Holiday events: Have yourself a streaming little Christmas

Pandemic-era shows offer holiday spirit to be enjoyed from home

From left, Smuin performers Lauren Pschirrer, Brennan Wall and Tessa Barbour dance in Smuin’s “The Christmas Ballet,” the contemporary ballet troupe’s popular holiday show presented in three different online programs through Dec. 24. (Courtesy Ricardo Dyer)
The Curran and Pomegranate Arts present performance artist Taylor Mac in “Holiday Sauce…. Pandemic!” <ins>(Courtesy Little Fang)</ins>

Taylor Mac’s wacky as ever in ‘Holiday Sauce … Pandemic!’

Wild, anything goes show glitters and dazzles online

The Curran and Pomegranate Arts present performance artist Taylor Mac in “Holiday Sauce…. Pandemic!” <ins>(Courtesy Little Fang)</ins>
Expansive views atop DAOU Mountain add to the enjoyment of the great wines. (Julie L. Kessler/Special to S.F. Examiner)

A plethora of pinot and plenty of pooches in Paso Robles

Getaway offers fine wine, dining and an encounter with dogs

Expansive views atop DAOU Mountain add to the enjoyment of the great wines. (Julie L. Kessler/Special to S.F. Examiner)
Stuart Schuffman (aka Broke-Ass Stuart) is observing a big birthday on Dec. 16. (Courtesy Dijon Bowden)

Broke-Ass Stuart turns 40 with virtual roast

Cool, creative friends gather online to celebrate, fundraise for ‘a voice for working people’

Stuart Schuffman (aka Broke-Ass Stuart) is observing a big birthday on Dec. 16. (Courtesy Dijon Bowden)
Artist and activist Miguel Gutierrez is the subject of the charming short film “My Neighbor, Miguel.” <ins>(Courtesy photo)</ins>

Miguel Gutierrez makes treasures from trash

Short film showcases quirky 72-year-old artist, AIDS activist

Artist and activist Miguel Gutierrez is the subject of the charming short film “My Neighbor, Miguel.” <ins>(Courtesy photo)</ins>
Winemaker Theresa Heredia has been at Gary Farrell Vineyards since 2012. (Courtesy photo)

Russian River Valley Neighborhood wines are notable

Gary Farrell releases are among the area’s most striking offerings

Winemaker Theresa Heredia has been at Gary Farrell Vineyards since 2012. (Courtesy photo)
Diego Luna and Sienna Miller star in “Wander Darkly,” a psychological romantic drama by Tara Miele. (Courtesy Lionsgate)

Tara Miele’s ‘Wander Darkly’ fascinates and frustrates

‘76 Days’ looks at COVID-19 crisis in Wuhan, China

Diego Luna and Sienna Miller star in “Wander Darkly,” a psychological romantic drama by Tara Miele. (Courtesy Lionsgate)
Lucas Hedges and Meryl Streep star in “Let Them All Talk.” (Courtesy HBO Max)

Amusing ‘Let Them All Talk’ tells of literary folks with things to hide

New Yorker readers will particularly enjoy Soderbergh’s latest

Lucas Hedges and Meryl Streep star in “Let Them All Talk.” (Courtesy HBO Max)
Violinist Lindsey Stirling’s online Christmas celebration is Dec. 12. <ins>(Courtesy Sydney Takeshta)</ins>

Lindsey Stirling prepared well for the holiday season

Violinist, band quarantined in July to create yuletide show

Violinist Lindsey Stirling’s online Christmas celebration is Dec. 12. <ins>(Courtesy Sydney Takeshta)</ins>
Lucky 13, a beloved dive bar on Market Street, had one last big party before it closed for good on Sunday. (Photo <a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/laughingsquid/" target="_blank">Scott Beale</a> / <a href="https://laughingsquid.com/" target="_blank">Laughing Squid</a>)

Last call at Lucky 13

By Sean McCourt Special to the S.F. Examiner As Johnny Thunders once…

  • Dec 8, 2020
Lucky 13, a beloved dive bar on Market Street, had one last big party before it closed for good on Sunday. (Photo <a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/laughingsquid/" target="_blank">Scott Beale</a> / <a href="https://laughingsquid.com/" target="_blank">Laughing Squid</a>)
Leigh Rondon-Davis and Kenny Scott are excellent in Shotgun Players’ “The Light,” a visceral show offering a rush for the audience. (Courtesy Nailah Harper-Malveaux)

Shotgun Players’ ‘The Light’ an intense theatrical experience

Pear, Perspective theaters present a double-bill of solo shows

Leigh Rondon-Davis and Kenny Scott are excellent in Shotgun Players’ “The Light,” a visceral show offering a rush for the audience. (Courtesy Nailah Harper-Malveaux)
A party for one at Thanksgiving will be duplicated at Hanukkah during this year of COVID-19. (Saul Sugarman/Special to S.F. Examiner)

Hanukkah 2020: Eight nights of solitude

My safe celebration will be similar to solo Thanksgiving observances

A party for one at Thanksgiving will be duplicated at Hanukkah during this year of COVID-19. (Saul Sugarman/Special to S.F. Examiner)
Robert Greenberg, center, and the Alexander String Quartet — from left, Zakarias Grafilo, Frederick Lifsitz, David Samuel and Sandy Wilson — appear in San Francisco Performances’ virtual Beethoven festival. (Courtesy San Francisco Performances)

SF Performances brings Beethoven’s 250th fest online

Music-lecture marathon features Alexander String Quartet, Robert Greenberg

Robert Greenberg, center, and the Alexander String Quartet — from left, Zakarias Grafilo, Frederick Lifsitz, David Samuel and Sandy Wilson — appear in San Francisco Performances’ virtual Beethoven festival. (Courtesy San Francisco Performances)
The Smashing Pumpkins’ 2020 recording is the 20-song “CYR.” (Courtesy photo)

Billy Corgan continues to confound expectations

Smashing Pumpkins release retro-sounding ‘CYR’

The Smashing Pumpkins’ 2020 recording is the 20-song “CYR.” (Courtesy photo)
Gary Oldman is excellent as the screenplay writer of “Citizen Kane” in David Fincher’s “Mank.” <ins>(Courtesy Netflix)</ins>

‘Mank’ glorious for movie buffs, good for everyone else

David Fincher at long last releases his homage to ‘Citizen Kane’

Gary Oldman is excellent as the screenplay writer of “Citizen Kane” in David Fincher’s “Mank.” <ins>(Courtesy Netflix)</ins>
Mads Mikkelsen stars in the entertaining “Another Round,” which celebrates the joy of drinking. <ins>(Courtesy Samuel Goldwyn Films)</ins>

‘Another Round’ amusingly addresses alcohol consumption

‘Mayor’ an engaging profile of the leader of Palestine’s Ramallah

  • Dec 3, 2020
Mads Mikkelsen stars in the entertaining “Another Round,” which celebrates the joy of drinking. <ins>(Courtesy Samuel Goldwyn Films)</ins>
Beautiful views of Lake Alisal can be enjoyed from Alisal Guest Ranch & Resort’s trail rides. (Julie L. Kessler/Special to S.F. Examiner)

The allure of Alisal Guest Ranch & Resort in Santa Ynez Valley

Enjoy the ultimate in a social distancing escape in Solvang

Beautiful views of Lake Alisal can be enjoyed from Alisal Guest Ranch & Resort’s trail rides. (Julie L. Kessler/Special to S.F. Examiner)
Mike McShane voices Scrooge in San Francisco Mime Troupe’s radio play “A Red Carol.” <ins>(Courtesy Karen Samski)</ins>

S.F. Mime Troupe tackles Dickens in ‘A Red Carol’

Radio play offers a new take on holiday classic

Mike McShane voices Scrooge in San Francisco Mime Troupe’s radio play “A Red Carol.” <ins>(Courtesy Karen Samski)</ins>
The versatile Dave Alvin’s recent recording is “From An Old Guitar: Rare and Unreleased Recordings” Photo (Courtesy Chip Duden)

Unusually, in 2020 Dave Alvin stayed home

Busy, blues rockabilly guitarist reflects rather than tours

The versatile Dave Alvin’s recent recording is “From An Old Guitar: Rare and Unreleased Recordings” Photo (Courtesy Chip Duden)