7 Bay Area arts and entertainment events to check out this week, Oct. 18-24

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Taylor Iman Jones plays Mopsa in the new musical “Head Over Heels”, featuring the iconic songs by the all women band the Go Go’s. The musical is set for the pre-broadway premiere April 10th at the Curran Theatre in San Francisco, Calif., as seen on Wed. Mar. 28, 2018. Photo: Michael Macor / The Chronicle

The Chronicle’s guide to notable arts and entertainment happenings in the Bay Area.

Taylor Iman Jones performs in Napa on her day off from ‘Hamilton’

Longtime local theater fans might know Bay Area native Taylor Iman Jones from performances with American Conservatory Theater, Ray of Light Theatre, San Francisco Playhouse and Berkeley Playhouse. Even Johnny-come-latelies might still have caught her originating the role of Mopsa in “Head Over Heels” at the Curran or, most recently, in the dual role of Peggy Schuyler and Maria Reynolds in the Los Angeles run of “Hamilton.”

On her one night off per week from that last, ongoing project, she’s journeying to Napa County to be part of Broadway and Vine, a new outdoor concert series by Napa resident and Tony-nominated producer Jacob Langfelder.

Patrons can pair local wines and a three-course meal with the show, or they can simply take in Jones’ husky whisper, full-throttle belt, uninhibited emotion and warm, sincere stage presence, all in the open air under the setting sun.

Broadway and Vine presents Taylor Iman Jones: Doors 5:30 p.m.; concert 6:30 p.m. Monday, Oct. 18. $100-$1,000. Tre Posti, 641 Main St., St. Helena. Proof of vaccination required. www.broadwayandvine.org

— Lily Janiak

Alex Carlin and a friend have a grand time in Russia in the new documentary, “Alex in Russialand.” Photo: Alex Carlin

‘Alex in Russialand’ tells the story of a Bay Area rock musician in Russia

Alex Carlin is a rock musician from a Bay Area family noted for its contribution to theatrical arts — his mother, Joy Carlin, and sister, Nancy Carlin, are both highly respected stage actors. But Alex Carlin’s career is based in Russia, where he fronts the Alex Carlin Band, made up of himself and Russian musicians.

Carlin calls Russia “the wild, wild East” and “the new free world.”

The documentary, “Alex in Russialand,” tells the story of Carlin’s active Russian career, in which he averages more than 100 gigs a year. It’s a showcase for Carlin’s music and exuberant personality and a testament to the one-to-one diplomacy that a single individual of goodwill can accomplish.

Following the 40-minute documentary, which Carlin directed himself, Carlin plans to play a set of music from the film.

“Alex in Russialand”: 7 p.m. Monday, Oct. 18. $8-$13. The Roxie Theater, 3117 16th St., S.F. www.roxie.com

— Mick LaSalle

“Lyra” by the Living Earth Show and Post:Ballet Photo: Tricia Cronin

S.F. Performances’ Pivot Festival returns in a burst of innovation

Each year (pandemics permitting) San Francisco Performances assembles a brisk and delightfully bracing assemblage of new work and presents it under the rubric of the “Pivot Festival.” You never quite know what it will amount to, but it’s a sure bet that the results will be provocative.

This year’s festival, dubbed “Ghost Stories,” promises an especially piquant lineup of music and dance over five consecutive nights.

Vocalist and composer Theo Bleckmann is slated to return with a new creation titled “Elegy,” and the string quartet Brooklyn Rider will be joined by tenor Nicholas Phan in music by Nico Muhly. Violinist Jennifer Koh and pianist-composer Missy Mazzoli partner up for a program devoted to Mazzoli’s music, and two performances of “Lyra” by the Living Earth Show and Post:Ballet complete the vibrant stretch of work.

Pivot Festival: 7:30 p.m. Wednesday-Saturday, Oct. 20-23; 5 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 24. $45-$65. Herbst Theatre and Taube Atrium Theatre, 401 Van Ness Ave. S.F. 415-392-2545. www.sfperformances.org

— Joshua Kosman

The Del Sol String Quartet: (from left, violinist Benjamin Kreith, cellist Kathryn Bates, violist Charlton Lee, violinist Sam Weiser) Photo: Lenny Gonzalez

A new oratorio celebrates generations of Chinese immigrants

The government station on Angel Island ceased to be a way station for immigrants in 1940, but it remains a physical monument to a historical era during which more than a million people — most of them from China — passed through, or tried to pass through, on their way to the United States.

Now a new oratorio by Chinese-born composer Huang Ruo celebrates the memories of those migrants, many of whom languished for years in the station under brutal conditions.

“Angel Island” will have its world premiere in a series of three performances by the Del Sol Quartet and the contemporary music chorus Volti. The first is at the Presidio Theatre, but the latter two will take place, aptly enough, on Angel Island itself.

“Angel Island”: Del Sol Quartet and Volti. $20-$100. 8 p.m. Friday, Oct. 22. Presidio Theatre, 99 Moraga Ave., S.F. 11 a.m. and 2 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 23. Angel Island. www.delsolquartet.com

— Joshua Kosman

Vaho, who goes by one name (left), Aaron Royce Jones and Sophie Becker in “This Is Our Youth” presented by Lose Face Productions in association with the Manilatown Heritage Fund. Photo: Ella Sogomonian / Lose Face Productions in association with the Manilatown Heritage Fund

Compassionate look at helpless male losers in Lose Face Productions’ ‘This Is Our Youth’

In “This Is Our Youth,” playwright Kenneth Lonergan demonstrates an exquisite understanding of the helpless young male loser persona. “Listen,” Dennis tells Warren early in the 1996 play. “You’re a f—in’ idiot. You never have any money. Nobody can stand to have you around. And you can’t get laid.”

The pair truly are walking disasters, physically incapable of shutting up or not breaking things. Yet Lonergan also has deep compassion for them — Warren is more thoughtful than he lets on, and Dennis is realizing his effortless, Big Man On Campus days are numbered. Then there’s Jessica, who earnestly believes that “what you’re like now has nothing to do with what you’re gonna be like.” A decade from now, “Everything you think will be different, and the way you act, and all your most passionately held beliefs are all gonna be completely different, and it’s really depressing.”

The show is a treasure trove of character studies, and now young company Lose Face Productions presents it at the I-Hotel Manilatown Center. The one-named Vaho directs and stars, alongside Aaron Royce Jones and Sophie Becker.

“This Is Our Youth”: 7 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 23; 5 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 24. Through Oct. 31. $40. I-Hotel Manilatown Center, 868 Kearny St., S.F. https://loseface.brownpapertickets.com

— Lily Janiak

Jeanne Moreau and Jean Gabin in ‘Touchez Pas Au Grisbi’ (1954).

Jean Gabin headlines a great night of French film noir at the Roxie

For the better part of the past decade, Don Malcolm has been presenting programs of French noir at the Roxie Theater. These are revivals of national significance, because they’ve changed the way people think about the genre’s creation and development.

On Sunday, Oct. 24, Malcolm and the Roxie plan to present a Jean Gabin double feature. The first film is a great French noir from 1954 called “Touchez Pas Au Grisbi,” about an old gangster, on the edge of retirement, forced into the fight of his life. What’s fascinating about this Jacques Becker film is that it focuses on quotidian details, like teeth brushing and preparing an evening snack, rather than on the elements you expect in a gangster movie. It’s playing on the same bill with a rarely seen Gabin-Francoise Arnoul film, “People of No Importance” (1956).

Earlier in the day, starting at 2 p.m., the Roxie presents a double feature starring Jean-Paul Belmondo, “Web of Passion” (1959) and “The Cheaters” (1958). If you’d like to see all four films, admission is $20.

“Touchez Pas Au Grisbi.” 6:45 p.m., Sunday, Oct. 24. $14. At the Roxie Theater, 3117 16th St., S.F. (415) 863-1087. www.roxie.com

— Mick LaSalle

Artist Ashley Longshore’s show ‘The Prodigal Fun’ at Saint Joseph’s Arts Society through Oct. 29. Photo: Drew Altizer / Drew Altizer Photography / Photo – Drew Altizer

Ashley Longshore’s ‘The Prodigal Fun’ glitter-bombs Saint Joseph’s Arts Society

Pop artist Ashley Longshore loves color, sparkle and twisting familiar images into figures of irreverence. Now, Longshore comes to the Saint Joseph’s Arts Society with an exuberant, zany installation that turns the historic 1913 Romanesque Revival church into a carnival, celebrating everything from feminist icons to her love of dirty words.

Almost every room has been injected with Longshore’s bold aesthetic (the artist sent more than 70 pieces for exhibition) stretching from vestibule to steeple.

“Fear gets me out of bed and painting like a wild woman every morning,” said Longshore of her prolific output at the opening night celebration. “I was raised to be a little trophy wife in the South and always felt weird and different. A lot of my work is my exploration of what I really want my life to be and how I’m reacting to pop culture.”

The two-years-in-the-making show ranges from prints and paintings to an exclusive furniture collaboration with Saint Joseph’s founder and interior designer Ken Fulk. Antique chairs sourced by Fulk were restored and recovered with Fulk Inc. textiles: On the back of each is a screen print from a portrait by Longshore, including depictions of late Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and artist Yayoi Kusama. Don’t miss the two self-portraits in the tower room, perhaps the show’s most vulnerable and surprising works.

“Ashley Longshore: The Prodigal Fun”: 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday-Friday. Through Oct. 29. Free. Saint Joseph’s Arts Society, 1401 Howard St., S.F. 415-626-1089. saintjosephsartssociety.com

— Tony Bravo

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