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7 live shows and fests to see this weekend

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There’s a lot of cool shows and festivals to catch this weekend in the Bay Area. Here’s a partial rundown.

Classical picks, ‘Elixir,’ Nakamatsu, trumpet time

A Donizetti classic, a piano recital and trumpet concerto top our look at performances classical music fans should know about.

Livermore Valley Opera: A shy country boy buys a quack doctor’s love potion, hoping to capture the heart of the girl he fell in love with at first sight. In “The Elixir of Love,” Nemorino’s attraction to the beautiful Adina buoys Donizetti’s comic opera on music of melodic seduction. Livermore Valley Opera, which closed its 30th anniversary season earlier this year with a terrific production of “Otello,” returns this weekend to launch its 31st with this joyfully light-hearted comedy. The cast features tenor Christopher Bozeka as Nemorino, soprano Elena Galvan as Adina, and bass-baritone Samuel Weiser as the wily Dr. Dulcamara. Alexander Katsman is the conductor, and Robert Herriot directs.

Details: 7:30 p.m. Oct. 1 8; 2 p.m. Oct. 2 and 9; Bankhead Theatre, Livermore; $20-$98:

Steinway presents Nakamatsu: Award-winning pianist Jon Nakamatsu returns to San Jose for an in-person recital presented by the Steinway Society. Appearing in the Hammer Theatre Center, he’ll perform a program featuring Brahms’ Op. 5 Sonata No. 3 in F minor — a youthful work composed on the brink of Brahms’ transition from upstart to stardom — along with works by Chopin and Alban Berg. Live-stream tickets are also available.

Details: 7:30 p.m. Oct. 1, Hammer Theatre Center, San Jose; $60-$80 live performance, $40 live-stream;

Symphony San Jose: the orchestra (formerly Symphony Silicon Valley) launches its 20th anniversary season with a concert featuring Norwegian trumpet soloist Tine Thing Helseth, who joins conductor Andrés Cárdenas and the orchestra in Henri Tomasi’s Trumpet Concerto. Also on the program: Rimsky-Korsakov’s “Russian Easter Overture,” Ravel’s “Le Tombeau de Couperin,” and Robert Schumann’s “Symphony No. 3, “Rhenish.”

Details: 8 p.m. Oct. 1, 2:30 p.m. Oct. 2; California Theatre, San Jose; $55-$115;

— Georgia Rowe, Correspondent

Have you heard? The end is near

There is no shortage of scary topics these days for comedians who excel at coaxing nervous laughter from their audiences — ecological collapse, war and violence, social media addiction, the price of movie tickets.

Fortunately, we have in our midst must just the comedian to capitalize on these dark times — which most decidedly deserve to be laughed at. The comedian is Alicia Dattner, whose new show, “Are You Dressed for the Apocalypse?,” is playing at The Marsh Berkeley.

We don’t want to give anything away (except that the world, technically, hasn’t ended yet) so we’ll just refer to what the organizers tell us: the show addresses “climate change, Instagram, and Flamin’ Hot Cheetos” and is “raw, uncensored, apocalyptic, non-dual, post post-feminist ukulele comedy at its finest.”

The Bay Area actor, playwright and comedian has performed at comedy clubs across the country and her solo shows — including “The Oy of Sex” and “The Punchline” — have been hits in the Bay Area, New York, and elsewhere. She’s also the author of a mock self-help book, “Getting (Expletive) Done.”

Details: 7 p.m. Saturdays and 5 p.m. Sundays through Oct. 23; 2120 Allston Way, Berkeley; $20-$100;

— Randy McMullen, Staff

Glass Pumpkin Patch returns

Do you smell that? The aroma of pumpkin spice wafting through the air? It seems the fall season is upon us, and some familiar fall events are popping back as well. One such event, in particular, is returning with high anticipation.

The Great Glass Pumpkin Patch, Northern California’s largest and most celebrated glass pumpkin sale and exhibit, is returning to Palo Alto for its 27th year. The free outdoor event event can be counted on draw more than 5,000 people to the grounds of the Palo Alto Art Center with its extensive offering of more than 10,000 unique pumpkins, gourds, and autumnal keepsakes. These beautiful works are all available for purchase, and since they come in countless arrays of colors and sizes, it shouldn’t be hard to find one that’ll fit right in with your home decor.

The two-day event also features glass-blowing demonstrations and a tasty array of food trucks selling a varied selection of food and drinks. It’ll be fun for the whole family, and it’ll also benefit the hard-working community of glass-blowing artists that make this wonderful event possible. Lastly, it’s a great way to usher in the fall season. Let the festivities commence!

Details: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Oct. 1-2; Palo Alto Art Center, 1313 Newell Road, Palo Alto; free admission;

— Brittany Delay, Staff

An ‘Indecent’ opener

San Francisco Playhouse is kicking off its new season by recalling a 1920s controversy that shook Broadway to its core.

We’re talking about Paula Vogel’s 2015 play “Indecent,” which recounts the furor that shook Broadway in 1923 when playwright Sholem Asch’s play “God of Vengeance” opened on Broadway. The play is about a Jewish brothel owner attempting to whitewash his business by feigning respectability within the Jewish faith. Although many warned Asch that the play, which included scenes dealing with prostitution and lesbianism, was inviting trouble, he kept promoting the work until it opened on Broadway. Soon after the entire cast, management team and owners of the theater were indicted on obscenity charges.

“Indecent,” by award-winning playwright Paula Vogel (who touched on other hot-button issues with “How I Learned to Drive”), recalls the Broadway controversy that erupted over the play, the artists who risked their careers (and lives) to perform it and the combination of money and politics that help govern what is considered fit for public entertainment. SF Playhouse, in collaboration with the Yiddish Theatre Ensemble, is presenting the Bay Area premiere of the play, directed by Susi Damilano and featuring a klezmer-fueled score performed live.

Details: Through Nov. 5; 450 Post St., San Francisco; $15-$100;

— Bay Area News Foundation

New look at Bay Area food pioneer

Oscar-winning documentary maker Ben Proudfoot has comes up with another winner in “The Best Chef in the World,” his delightful short on the late Sally Schmitt who, along with her husband, Don, started one of the world’s best-known restaurants, The French Laundry in Yountville.

With his trademark captivating style, Proudfoot lets his subject relate her story as she reflects on the roots of a Napa Valley institution that was later taken over by star chef Thomas Keller. Schmitt, who died earlier this year at the age of 90, isn’t as well known as Keller and other California restaurateurs such as Alice Waters, but Proudfoot’s 21-minute short makes a fine case for her being recognized and remembered as a powerful but under-the-radar force in the culinary movement.

Just be sure to eaten before viewing because the film contains visually appealing dishes certain to stimulate those taste buds.

Details: Available on YouTube.

— Randy Myers, Bay Area News Foundation


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