Oakland Museums brings back utterly timely ‘Black Males’

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The acclaimed video installation ‘Black Males’ in Oakland, a dance about gender equality, and a Bay Area bluegrass icon top my Weekend Top 10 list.

1 “Question Bridge: Black Males”: This innovative, immersive video installation received raves when it came to Oakland Museum of California in 2012, and now it is back at a moment when it could not be more relevant. The exhibit created by Chris Johnson and Hank Willis Thomas uses videos of more than 150 African-American men across the country to simulate a wide-ranging and honest discussion on topics ranging from family to inter-racial love to economics and history. Essentially, you feel like these men are letting you into their lives for a moment, and it’s a revealing journey.

Details: Sept. 29-Feb. 25; $6.95-$15.95; museumca.org.

2 James Graham Dance Theatre: Bay Area dance companies are tackling some hot-button issues of late. Several troupes took part in the immigration-themed Transform Fest at Yerba Buena Center of the Arts; aerial dance troupe Flyaway Productions will mount the feminist “The Right to be Believed” next month in Berkeley; and this weekend, James Graham Dance takes on gender equality with a new evening-length work “Alpha Mouse.”

Details: 8 p.m. Sept. 28-30, 7 p.m. Oct. 1; ODC Theater, San Francisco; $20-$35; jamesgrahamdancetheatre.com.

3 Kathy Kallick: The Bay Area singer-songwriter and musician has spent years delivering first-rate traditional bluegrass to loyal fans who can’t get enough of it. She brings her talented band to two Bay Area shows this weekend.

Details: 7 p.m. Sept. 29 at Foothill Presbyterian Church, San Jose; $20; www.foothillpc.org; 8 p.m. Sept. 30 at Freight & Salvage, Berkeley; $22-$26; 510-644-2020, thefreight.org.

4 Aftershock — Silicon Valley Dance Festival: Ziru Dance hosts the second annual fest featuring several Bay Area choreographers and companies representing everything from modern and contemporary to hip-hop and more.

Details: 8 p.m. Sept. 29-30, 11 a.m. Oct. 1; Menlo Atherton Center for the Performing Arts, Atherton; $10-$75; www.zirudance.com.

5 “Blasted”: Shotgun Players presents the shocking and controversial first play by Irish writer Sarah Kane, who developed a cult following for her often violent expressionistic plays, especially after she committed suicide in 1999. “Blasted” features such things as rape, mutilation, racism and homophobic outbursts and more; needless to say, it is not for everyone.

Details: Through Oct. 22; Ashby Stage, Berkeley; $25-$40; www.shotgunplaters.org.

6 Iliza Shlesinger: The 2008 “Last Comic Standing” winner sure doesn’t seem to be hurting for ambition. She’s hosted the syndicated dating show “Excused” and the TBS game show “Separation Anxiety,” created and starred in the comedy mini-series “Forever 31” on ABC Digital and recently converted her podcast “Truth and Iliza” into a late-night talk show on the Freeform cable network. Oh yeah, and she still does her sharp stand-up routine, which she is bringing to San Jose Improv this week.

Details: Five shows Sept. 28-30; $30-$60; sanjose.improv.com.

7 Heart by Heart: This tribute act was founded by bassist Steve Fossen and drummer Michael Derosier, who made up the rhythm section of the real Heart back in its 1970s heydey. They’ve added singer Somar Macek, singer/musician Lizzy Daymont and guitarist Randy Hansen, best known for his long-running Hendrix tribute show, to the mix. The band comes to Pleasanton’s Firehouse Arts Center this weekend for two shows.

Details: 8 p.m. Friday-Saturday; $30-$40; 925-931-4848, www.firehousearts.org.

8 Fabulous Folk: That’s the title of a concert Sept. 29 featuring young and talented Celtic/folk acts Erica and Friends, featuring singer Erica Hockett, and singer/musician Lee Corbie-Wells. Expect a mix of traditional jigs, reels, folk, pub songs, ballads and more when the two acts play Art Boutiki in San Jose.

Details: 7:30 p.m.; $10-$12; www.artboutiki.com.

9 Michael Carbonaro: The magician and actor built a “hidden-camera-in-a-convenience-store” gag on “The Tonight Show” into a reality show, “The Carbonaro Effect,” now in its third season on truTV. He’s bringing a live version of the show to City National Civic in San Jose on Sept. 30.

Details: 8 p.m.; $49.50-$149.50; sanjosetheaters.org.

10 Carlos Mencia: The controversial comedian has repeatedly drawn fire for such things as remarking that “black people can’t swim” shortly after Hurricane Katrina decimated New Orleans. In other words, if you are looking for a night of “what-will-he-say-next” entertainment, head to Tommy T’s in Pleasanton, where Mencia plays this weekend.

Details: Five shows Sept. 29-Oct. 1; $30-$40; 925-227-1800, www.tommyts.com.

Contact Randy McMullen at rmcmullen@bayareanewsgroup.com. Follow him on Twitter.com/randymac57.





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