• Performance
    Apr 27, 2014 12:00pm – 2:00pm
    FREE with RSVP
    YBCA Forum
    FREE with RSVP »

    Families (mother, father, sister, brother, grandparent, uncle, aunt, caretaker) are invited to an afternoon of music-making through a fun exploration of the blues as a foundation of American music. Local favorite, bassist Marcus Shelby will lead interactive improvisational games, rhythm explorations, ring shouts, poetry recitals, work songs, and more. Appropriate for all ages and skill levels, participants are welcome to bring their own instruments or, just come as is! Refreshments will be provided.

    Marcus Anthony Shelby is an accomplished teacher, composer, arranger, and bassist who is currently the Artistic Director and leader of The Marcus Shelby Orchestra, The Marcus Shelby Hot 7, and The Marcus Shelby Trio. Shelby was awarded a 2009 Black Metropolis Research Consortium Fellowship in Chicago to conduct research for his commission to compose “Soul of the Movement.” As a 2006 Fellow in the Resident Dialogues Program of the Committee for Black Performing Arts at Stanford University, Shelby conducted research for his commission to compose “Harriet Tubman.” Shelby has had the honor of arranging for and conducting the Count Basie Orchestra featuring Ledisi, performing and recording with Tom Waits, and receiving the City Flight Magazine 2005 award as one of the “Top Ten Most Influential African Americans in the Bay Area.” Shelby is also very active in music education and currently teaches at Rooftop Alternative School in San Francisco, and the Stanford Jazz Workshop at Stanford University. In March 2013, San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee appointed Shelby to the San Francisco Arts Commission.

    Photo: Peter Varshavsky

  • Community Program
    Opera Parallèle: Kurt Weill’s Mahagonny Songspiel and Francis Poulenc’s Les mamelles de Tirésias
    Apr 25, 2014 8:00pm
    Apr 26, 2014 8:00pm
    Apr 27, 2014 2:00pm
    $35 to $90, with a 10 percent discount for YBCA members and student
    Yerba Buena Center for the Arts Theater
    Buy tickets »

    A boat that travels on dry land… Steampunk… A man giving birth to over 40,000 babies in a single day! Join Opera Parallèle on an unforgettable journey, as a theater troupe of desert wanderers sings the jazz-infused melodies Kurt Weill’s Mahagonny Songspiel. They’re searching for paradise—and that now-rarest of commodities, water—in a shattered world. Along the way, they discover not paradise, but an audience for their performance of Poulenc’s outrageously surreal satire Les mamelles de Tirésias. Brian Staufenbiel’s scenic concept seamlessly melds the two works into one extraordinary operatic experience, under the brilliant musical leadership of Nicole Paiement. Be there!

    Image courtesy Fortunato Depero.

  • Community Program
    Smuin Ballet: XXCENTRICS Spring Dance Series
    May 2, 2014 8:00pm
    May 3, 2014 2:00pm
    May 3, 2014 8:00pm
    May 4, 2014 2:00pm
    May 7, 2014 8:00pm
    May 8, 2014 8:00pm
    May 9, 2014 8:00pm
    May 10, 2014 2:00pm
    May 10, 2014 8:00pm
    May 11, 2014 2:00pm
    Yerba Buena Center for the Arts Theater
    Buy tickets (through Smuin Ballet) »

    The program features one act of Michael Smuin’s ebullient Dancin’ With Gershwin, a gleeful romp through Broadway’s most beloved numbers. It includes vocal and instrumental recordings by artists like Peter Gabriel, Marilyn Monroe, Sting, and Michael Feinstein, performing such classics as “Summertime,” “Do it Again,” and “The Man I Love.”

    Val Caniparoli, presents his World Premiere Tutto Eccetto il Lavandino (everything but the kitchen sink). Marrying his trademark style and physicality with the music of Antonio Vivaldi, Caniparoli’s newest work celebrates the versatility of the Smuin dancers, blending high energy athleticism with wit and reflective beauty.

    Amy Seiwert introduces her World Premiere ballet But now I must rest. Drawing her inspiration from the lush music of Cesária Évora, the world renowned Cape Verdian “barefoot diva” known as “The Queen of Morna,” Seiwert weaves a tapestry of grounded contemporary movement with themes of longing, love, history, and hope.

    More information: 415.912.1899 or

    Photo: Patrick Fraser

  • Community Program
    Chitresh Das Dance Company: Pancha Jati
    May 3, 2014 3:00pm
    May 3, 2014 8:00pm
    May 4, 2014 2:00pm
    YBCA Forum

    Think you’ve seen Indian dance? Think again. Pandit Chitresh Das continues to challenge the perception of India’s classical dance tradition with his new work, Pancha Jati. His choreography and music composition for his all-female, kathak dance company draws from India’s ancient rhythmic energy, juxtaposing the raw power of percussive footwork and drums with movement that is both austere and lush.

    Accompanied by world-class musicians: vocalist Debashis Sarkar, sitarist Jayanta Banerjee, tabla player Biplab Bhattacharya, and taval player Jim Santi Owen.

    Photo: Margo Moritz

  • Community Program
    YBCAway: Morgan Bassichis
    May 5, 2014 8:00pm
    The Garage, 715 Bryant St.
    Buy tickets (through Ticketfly) »

    When the Baba Yaga Eats You Alive
    A new solo-in-progress written and performed by Morgan Bassichis

    Inspired by Slavic and Jewish folktales, When the Baba Yaga Eats You Alive is about anxious stepsisters, depressed goats, two-faced beauty queens, and drunk angels trying not to be someone else's dinner.

    More info »

    YBCAway in 13-14 is made possible through the generous support of The Kenneth Rainin Foundation, Surdna Foundation, and Panta Rhea Foundation.
    More about YBCAway »

  • Performance
    May 10, 2014 12:00pm – 3:00pm
    By Invitation Only
    YBCA Forum

    Experienced young jazz musicians (ages 15-21) are invited to explore the ground-breaking legacy of 1960s innovations in jazz and its impact on today’s improvisational music through this hands-on workshop led by Myra Melford, Lisa Mezzacappa, and Darren Johnston. Activities will include improvisation games and strategies, followed by a rehearsal of a composition by a master jazz musician of that era. Participation by invitation only. Friends and family are welcome to observe. Refreshments provided.

    Photos: Julie Caine and Martin Phillips

  • Performance
    May 16, 2014 7:30pm
    May 17, 2014 7:30pm
    $30 in Advance / $35 at the Door; Senior, Teacher, Student: $25 in Advance / $30 at the Door; YBCA Member: $25 / YBCA:You FREE
    Yerba Buena Center for the Arts Theater
    Buy tickets »

    Mike Daisey is the preeminent monologist in the theater today, hailed by The New York Times as a “master storyteller” and “one of the finest solo performers of his generation,” and referred to by many as a modern-day Mark Twain. In American Utopias he explores how we create public spaces in which we act out our dreams of a better world. Daisey takes us everywhere to pursue the story: from Disney World and its nostalgic theme park perfection, to the drug-fueled anarchic excesses of Burning Man, to Zuccotti Park, where in the unlikeliest place the Occupy movement is born. Gunplay, giant glittery dildos, raving animatronic presidents, and brutal police actions come together to paint the landscape of our American dream.

  • Community Program
    Alonzo King LINES Ballet Spring Season
    May 21, 2014 5:30pm
    May 22, 2014 7:30pm
    May 23, 2014 8:00pm
    May 24, 2014 2:00pm
    May 24, 2014 8:00pm
    May 25, 2014 5:00pm
    Yerba Buena Center for the Arts Theater
    Buy tickets »

    On the heels of a sold-out Paris season, San Francisco based Alonzo King LINES Ballet returns to the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts Theater with a stunning world premiere set to music that spans the globe. The deft 11-member company will also reprise a trilogy of iconic sections from King’s body of work. The retrospective includes pieces danced to music of jazz legend Pharoah Sanders as well as to the heart-piercing melodies of bassist Edgar Meyer. King’s visionary choreography, brought to life by the extraordinary LINES Ballet dancers, is “a discovery absolutely worth making.”

    Opening Night Gala
    Wed, May 21, 5:30 PM

    Join us for our Spring Gala, hosted by Alonzo King and Honorary Chair Linda Ronstadt, on May 21, 2014 at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts beginning at 5:30 PM. This spectacular evening includes cocktails, dinner, and a live auction of unique experiences. After a world premiere performance, join the LINES company members for a dance party with entertainment provided by DJ Masonic (aka visionary composer Mason Bates). Gala tickets are available through LINES Ballet »

    Opening Night Performance and After Party
    Wed, May 21, 8 PM

    Celebrate into the night with LINES Ballet dancers and artists at the Opening Night Performance and After Party. Begin the evening with refreshments in the YBCA Lobby and then head into the theater for the premiere performance of our spring season. Following the performance, step across the courtyard and into the nightclub-styled atmosphere of the YBCA Forum, where you can join the LINES company members on the dance floor. Enjoy desserts, libations, and the musical musings of DJ Masonic, as he spins the hottest beats alongside live musicians.

    Thu, May 22: Post-Performance Talk with Alonzo King
    Fri, May 23: Post-Performance Book Signing with Alonzo King
    Sat, May 24, Matinee Performance: Post-Performance Talk with Alonzo King

    For more information about the Spring Season, visit

    Photo: RJ Muna

  • Performance
    May 31, 2014 1:00pm – 2:30pm
    Grand Lobby

    Spring: Water Ritual celebrates the regenerative power of the ocean as the energizing force behind life and the cycle of rebirth. Myths and rituals about the ocean are abundant where Dohee Lee grew up, on Jeju Island in Korea. This ritual honors all of our ancestors who came to this land and the waterways that connect us through different places and times.

    ARA Gut (Ritual of Ocean) is a cycle of three work-in-progress pieces created and performed by San Francisco performance artist Dohee Lee, presented by YBCA. Lee’s performance rituals aim to heal the urban disconnect between nature and human. The project utilizes the mudang’s (Korean shaman) ancient vocation as communal healer to create a new role for the modern shaman in the Bay Area. All ARA Gut performances are community rituals. They are free and the public is invited to participate.

  • Performance
    Jun 7, 2014 5:30pm – 8:00pm
    YBCA Forum
    Buy tickets »

    Through a duo performance, featuring clarinetist Ben Goldberg, and recorded clips, Myra Melford takes us on an aural journey of her own musical lineage—from her primary mentors such as Don Pullen, Henry Threadgill, and Erwin Helfer to other inspirations of jazz innovators such as Randy Weston, Andrew Hill, Ornette Coleman, John Coltrane, Cecil Taylor, and others.

  • Community Program
    American-Orient Performance Art
    Jun 7, 2014 6:45pm
    Jun 8, 2014 12:45pm
    Yerba Buena Center for the Arts Theater

    Famous Cantonese Opera actress and music director, Ms. Eva Tam, will hold her annual Chinese Opera showcase on Saturday, June 7th at 6:45 PM & Sunday, June 8th at 12:45 PM in the YBCA Theater. Ms. Tam plays the male role in Chinese Opera and has been teaching percussion, operatic singing and stage movements in Bay Area for decades. A consummate professional, Ms. Tam will open the show with a special performance of the butterfly piano. Please enjoy.

    Tickets are available for purchase at the Washington Bakery & Restaurant located at 733 Washington Street in the heart of San Francisco’s Chinatown. To reserve tickets, please call Tilly Tsang at 415.509.8828.

  • Community Program
    The 36th Annual San Francisco Ethnic Dance Festival
    Jun 14, 2014 1:00pm
    Jun 14, 2014 7:00pm
    Jun 15, 2014 1:00pm
    Jun 21, 2014 2:00pm
    Jun 21, 2014 8:00pm
    Jun 22, 2014 2:00pm
    Jun 28, 2014 2:00pm
    Jun 28, 2014 8:00pm
    Jun 29, 2014 2:00pm
    Yerba Buena Center for the Arts Theater
    Buy tickets »

    The World United Through Dance
    An unparalleled series of inspiring performances is in store at the 36th annual San Francisco Ethnic Dance Festival, highlighting the rich cultural and artistic diversity of the Bay Area. This year’s Festival includes 11 world premieres and features dances from Bali, Bolivia, Brazil, China, Congo, Hawai`i, India, Lebanon, Mexico, Okinawa, Peru, the Philippines, South Africa, Tahiti, and the continental U.S. Each weekend’s program is different, and includes nine to ten dance performances in each show, with numerous cross-cultural, collaborative, and transitional pieces.

    This year’s Festival includes a special weekend of performances (June 14–15) where audiences can watch all eight classical Indian dance forms on one stage for the first time in the United States.

    Weekends two, three, and four of the Festival are at the YBCA Theater. For more information about the opening weekend of the Festival, click here.

    Photo: RJ Muna, Pictured: Natyalaya

  • Community Program
    Lamplighters Musical Theatre: The Pirates of Penzance
    Aug 14, 2014 8:00pm
    Aug 15, 2014 8:00pm
    Aug 16, 2014 2:00pm
    Aug 16, 2014 8:00pm
    Aug 17, 2014 2:00pm
    Yerba Buena Center for the Arts Theater

    Let out a lusty “AAAARGH!” It’s time to carouse to one of the most popular comic operas of all time. This beloved tale of tender-hearted pirates with a soft spot for orphans and poetry, a squadron of bumbling British bobbies, a bookish Major-General well-versed in everything but military matters, and his bevy of beautiful maiden daughters, was the first Gilbert & Sullivan work to premiere in the United States, and marked the brilliant launch of the duo’s international career. With Sullivan’s rousing score and Gilbert’s hilarious lyrics, and peppered with unforgettable melodies and tongue-twisting songs such as I Am the Very Model of a Modern Major General and Poor Wandering One, this show is guaranteed fun for the entire family!

    Full details at or 415-227-4797.

    Photo: Kersti Malvre Fine Art Photography

  • Community Program
    Lamplighters Musical Theatre: Champagne Gala & Auction
    Nov 2, 2014 4:00pm
    Palace of Fine Arts Theater

    The Lamplighters present the most uproarious fun(d)raiser in town! A full-length original satire set (mostly) to the music of Arthur Sullivan, a Lamplighters Gala is a guaranteed afternoon of hilarity. Last year’s — Upside-Downton Abbey, or, the Lass that Loved a Chauffeur — was one of our most successful ever, joining the ranks of brilliant award-winning Lamplighters Galas past. This is definitely an event not to be missed! Our fundraising Gala performance also includes raffle, silent auction, and post-performance champagne reception with the cast.

    Full details at or 415-227-4797.

    Photo: Lamplighters Musical Theatre

  • Community Program
    Lamplighters Musical Theatre: Candide
    Jan 30, 2015 8:00pm
    Jan 31, 2015 2:00pm
    Jan 31, 2015 8:00pm
    Yerba Buena Center for the Arts Theater

    Come along for the ride on this madcap odyssey around the world, set to the sublime music of that quintessential modern American master, Leonard Bernstein, and the brilliant lyrics of Richard Wilbur and Stephen Sondheim (among others). As classic in the realm of operetta as West Side Story is in the realm of American musical theatre, our production presents this masterpiece in the complete British Royal National Theatre version as adapted for the stage by Trevor Nunn and John Caird. Join young Candide, his beloved Cunegonde, the absurdly optimistic philosopher Pangloss, and a virtual clown car of other eccentric characters on their picaresque journey in search of the meaning of life. Along the way, enjoy such timeless masterpieces as The Best of All Possible Worlds, Glitter and Be Gay, I Am Easily Assimilated, and Make Our Garden Grow.

    Full details at or 415-227-4797.

    Photo: David Allen

  • Community Program
    Lamplighters Musical Theatre: The Grand Duke
    Apr 25, 2015 8:00pm
    Apr 26, 2015 2:00pm
    Yerba Buena Center for the Arts Theater

    In this ultimate topsy-turvy farce, Gilbert presents a world turned upside-down when a theatrical troupe deposes the ruler of a tiny European Duchy and proceeds to squabble over which “role” in the government each leading actor should “play,” with uproarious unforeseen consequences. Sullivan's varied and original score includes an astonishing variety of musical styles, from Viennese waltz to uproarious Parisian can-can dance numbers. This Jewel Box Production promises to be a must-see event for Gilbert & Sullivan aficionados and lovers of comic musical theatre alike.

    Full details at or 415-227-4797.

    Photo: Joanne Kay


April 2014