.Metro’s Winter Arts Guide

The 2024 season of arts and entertainment is bursting at the seams

There is no shortage of events taking place in the South Bay this season. Art galleries are full of paintings and sculptures. Dance and musical events light up theaters. Audiences burst with laughter at a comedian’s punchline. With so many events to choose from, San Jose doesn’t have to worry about sitting around the house with nothing to do. This year, there are many new faces in the arts making debuts in the region. There are even some events blurring the lines between art genres, taking collaboration to a whole new level. Music fills the air this winter and artists open up about their process. Below is an extensive list of what to do and where to go for cultural expansion and fun experiences.


Winter Arts Events: ART

CELAJE (CLOUDSCAPE)

Cantor Arts Center, Madeleine H. Russell Gallery | Now–May 19

music in the park san jose
music in the park san jose

Museum.Stanford.edu

Sofía Gallisá Muriente’s 41-minute video Celaje (Cloudscape) is an elegy; the Puerto Rican visual artist combines home movies, footage and sound recordings of the artist’s late grandmother, and footage filmed in post-Hurricane Maria and COVID-19 era Puerto Rico. Interested in contradictory and contested narratives and examining formal and informal archives, Murienta explores the confluence of recent natural disasters with Puerto Rico’s colonial histories and present. (SBB)

SYNESTHESIA: JAZZ AND PAINTING

SCU Presents | Music Recital Hall | Jan 26, 7:30pm

SCUPresents.org

Synesthesia: a blending of the senses in which the stimulation of one sense activates another. For jazz pianist and educator Bill Stevens, music has always had a color, especially since he lost most of his vision at 14—he describes “the melted butter hue of B flat” and “the ripe watermelon flesh of a muted string orchestra.” In this recital, Bill’s jazz trio will perform while his brother Mike, a visual artist, paints onstage, creating a synesthetic experience for the audience. (SBB)

WATERCOLOR IN LOVE

Gallery 9 Los Altos | Jan 30–Feb 25

Gallery9LosAltos.com

The oldest art gallery in Los Altos presents “Watercolor in Love,” an exploration of the vibrant relationship between artist and medium. Through this collection, Gallery 9´s featured artist Mami Weber invites patrons to witness the enchanting dance of colors and forms that emerges when she lets watercolor flow freely, allowing the artist’s role to become one of guidance, skillfully navigating the currents created by the collaboration between her hand and the unpredictable nature of watercolor. (SBB)

PAINTINGS BY KATHY SHARPE 

Gallery 9 Los Altos | Feb 27–Mar 31

Gallery9LosAltos.com

Inspired by nature and still life, Kathy Sharpe works in oils and watercolor. Her work is vibrant and brightly colored, full of flowers, fruit, gardens, twisting trees and the beautiful streets, balconies and plazas she encounters on her travels and at home in Carmel-by-the-Sea. (SBB)

DAY JOBS 

Cantor Arts Center, Pigott Family Gallery | Mar 6–summer

Museum.Stanford.edu

“Day Jobs” challenges the romanticized concept of the full-time artist alone in the studio, highlighting the intricate relationship between economic pursuits and creativity by examining the overlooked impact of day jobs on the visual arts. The exhibition includes more than 90 works by 36 established and emerging artists based in the United States, and is accompanied by commissioned essays and interviews from 24 pioneering artists whose day jobs altered their artistic trajectories in surprisingly profound ways. (SBB)

ROY HARRINGTON

Gallery 9 | Apr 2–28

Gallery9LosAltos.com

Roy Harrington’s work is mostly black-and-white photography of natural subjects taken all over the West but primarily the Sierra Nevadas, Point Lobos, Yosemite, Arizona, Nevada and Utah. Subject matter is mostly the natural world but includes charming imagery of trains. This photographer makes both small details and big landscapes majestic and the individual photographs invoke a sense of place. He is a member of Gallery 9. (LP)

RAGINI PRASAD

Gallery 9 | Apr 29–June 2

Gallery9LosAltos.com

Ragini Prasad works in paint on canvas. In earlier shows and her public murals her work showed Desi Indian motifs in a contemporary manner, and this year’s work is similar, but also including more California landscapes. Her pieces are so interesting, they feel traditional and modern, fun and serious, textured but also simple. A lot of the painting looks like mixed media or collage at a glance, and then draws you deeper. The use of color is impeccably warm and bold without feeling forced. (LP)


Winter Arts Events: COMEDY

BALKAN COMEDY SHOW

Art Boutiki | Feb 1, 7pm

ArtBoutiki.com

For one night only, Art Boutiki brings the best of Balkan-American comedy to San Jose with the Balkan Comedy Show. Featuring several Balkan comedians sharing their roots, the stories are relatable and the humor infectious. Lineup includes award-winning comic Arijana Ramic, whose charming yet devious comedy covers topics like growing up with Bosnian immigrant parents, Lulu Jovovich and her stories about an immigrant upbringing, interspersed with cynical observations, and George Dulcich, Ryan Radusinovic and Stanko Zovak, who round out the complete funny roster. This diverse comedy showcase promises plenty of cultural insights and hilarious anecdotes. (MY)

TIGER STYLE!

Mountain View Center for the Performing Arts | Apr 3–28

TheatreWorks.org

Tiger Style!  Is an East-meets-West satirical comedy about “tiger parenting.” Siblings Albert and Jennifer, two 30-something Ivy League grads with lots of accomplishments and trophies from childhood, experience a one-third life crisis that sees their lives unraveling. They blame their parents and run away to China on an “Asian Freedom Tour,” with hilarious results. Francis Jue and Emily Kuroda return to TheatreWorks for this fun farce reunion. (LP)


Winter Arts Events: DANCE

SALUTE TO BROADWAY

Fox Theatre Redwood City | Feb 3, 2pm, 7:30pm

PeninsulaLivelyArts.org

Peninsula Broadway Theater is bringing together some of the Bay Area’s finest dance and singing talent to present a show that runs through highlights from 100 years of musical theater favorites, including acts from The Music Man, Show Boat, Chicago, Phantom of the Opera, In the Heights, Oklahoma, Hairspray and more. As the dynamic performers leap from musical to musical, Broadway lovers can celebrate all their favorite tunes in one night. (SBB)

IMAGES 2024 

Louis B. Mayer Theatre | Feb 8–11

SCUPresents.org

Images 2024 will provide a tour of the immensely varied approaches to dance and choreography: the talented faculty and students of Santa Clara University have crafted a vibrant collection of choreographed pieces in a wide range of genres and styles. Each performance is a unique exploration of storytelling through choreography, offering a kaleidoscope of emotions, rhythms and visual spectacle. (SBB)

BAILA CONMIGO

Art Boutiki | Feb 16, 7pm

ArtBoutiki.com

Art Boutiki’s BAILA CONMIGO: an all-vinyl Cumbia dance party features the best in vintage and unreleased cumbia vinyl cuts. Sets will be curated by selectors Cristal Chains, Hija del Volcan and Dreamin Casually, with sounds spanning the Cumbia genre spectrum. Embrace the cultural celebration and bring abuelitas, aunties, y los tios tambien for an evening of vibrant beats and rhythms—this event is all ages with free admission. Art Boutiki will be transforming its space, maximizing the dance floor and ensuring limited seating for comfort. ¡Nos vemos! (MY)


Winter Arts Events: LITERATURE

LIFE IN THE FISHBOWL

Books Inc. | Feb 29, 6:30pm

BooksInc.net/Campbell

Called “a deep dive into the personal side of politics that no one talks about,” Life in the Fishbowl, Lessons to Help You Thrive and Survive in Public Office by Ron Gonzales and Guisselle Nunez sounds like a book that is in the right place at the right time. So many of our rising community stars consider either moving to a different level of public office or running for the first time. This event includes an interview with the authors on how the book came to be by a Professor Emeritus of SJSU in Political Science. (LP)

Artist Talk and Book Signing with Chukes

Triton Museum | Mar 30, 2pm

TritonMuseum.org

Chukes, a prominent African American fine artist originally from the Bay Area and now based in Southern California, utilizes his creations as educational tools, conveying essential narratives. The artist’s latest body of work is powerful and expressive, and delves into the significance of understanding history and truth. Join Chukes in an exclusive conversation hosted at the Triton Museum on March 30. The event includes a book signing for his work “Identity Theft,” offering viewers an opportunity to gain more insight into his thought-provoking art and artistic journey. The exhibition showcases paintings and sculptures, featuring new pieces from the “Identity Theft” series. (MY)


Winter Arts Events: MUSIC

CELEBRATING BLACK HISTORY MONTH

Mexican Heritage Plaza | Feb 3, 6pm

TabardTheatre.org

The East Side’s state-of-the-art performance, arts and cultural center the Mexican Heritage Plaza presents a concert in celebration of Black History Month. Featuring Dynamic Concert in Dynamic Miss Faye Carol, Chester Thompson, Ron E. Beck Soul Revue, Andre Thierry, Noah & the Arkiteks and Tshaka Campbel, this concert promises to be energetic and fun. Everything from jazz to blues, Kreole, soul and spoken word will be presented as part of this tributary evening featuring “some of the best artists in the Bay!” (LP)

LAMENTATION AND JOY 

Hammer Theater | Feb 3, 7:30pm

HammerTheater.com

The Cambrian Symphony, named “Best Discovery” of 2016-17 by San Francisco Classical Voice, and guest conductor Catalina Barraza-Gerardino have prepared an exciting program that includes Gabriela Lena Frank’s “Escaramuza,” a high-energy piece inspired by the kachampa music of Andean Perú, Manuel Ponce’s “Estampas Nocturnas,” strongly influenced by the harmonies and form of Mexican traditional songs, and Pyotr Tchaikovsky’s dramatic and triumphant Symphony No. 5. (SBB)

HERSHEY FELDER AS GEORGE GERSHWIN ALONE

Mountain View Center for the Performing Arts | Feb 7–11

TheatreWorks.org

Captivating audiences around the world, including on Broadway and in London’s West End, Hershey Felder tells the story of America’s great composer George Gershwin. Despite debuting 100 years ago, Gershwin’s immortal masterpiece “Rhapsody in Blue” still resonates with listeners far and wide. Gershwin called the piece “a musical kaleidoscope of America–of our vast melting pot, of our unduplicated national pep, of our metropolitan madness.” In his solo show, Hershey Felder brings Gershwin and his best-known hits to life. (SBB)

ZEPPARELLA

Fox Theatre | Feb 9, 8pm

FoxRWC.com

ZEPPARELLA is bringing their ultimate Led Zeppelin tribute to the Fox Theatre. Featuring vocalist Anna Kristina, guitarist Gretchen Menn, bassist Holly West and drummer Clementine, the band passionately recreates the iconic sound of Led Zeppelin onstage. A sight to be seen, ZEPPARELLA performances showcase even the most nuanced details of Zeppelin’s catalog and the improvisational brilliance that made their shows legendary, with plenty of magical improvisations to Zeppelin’s mighty songs along the way. Opening for the band are The Butlers—a San Francisco-bred rock band whose members span Jetboy, Death Angel, Exodus and more—delivering a raucous set of 70s rock jams. (MY)

FANTASIA 

St. Francis Episcopal Church | Feb 11, 3pm

SJCO.ORG

Boston-based conductor, violinist and composer Alyssa Wang makes her West Coast conducting debut with a versatile program that includes works by seminal 20th-century British composer Benjamin Britten, contemporary British composer Daniel Kidane, contemporary Bulgarian-British composer Dobrinka Tabakova and French composer Germaine Talliaferre, the only female member of the group of composers known as Les Six in the 1920s. Soloists include James Blanchard on flute and Matthieu Cognet on piano. (SBB)

OPERA RIGOLETTO

California Theatre | Feb 17–Mar 3

OperaSJ.org

Just as certain great Shakespearean soliloquies are to theater, the songs of Rigoletto are so deeply a part of the culture of opera that it’s impossible to think of the word without thinking of them. Any opera fan—or even just the opera-curious—has heard “La donna é mobile” and thought ‘Goodness, what the human voice can do!’ There’s nothing like experiencing Verdi sung live: the joy! The heartache! The betrayals! Rigoletto is humanity at its most tragically beautiful. (JI) 

VIVA ITALIA! 

McAfee Performing Arts Center | Feb 25, 3pm

SJWS.org

There’s that part of The Sopranos when Carmela gets really into Andrea Bocelli’s “Con te partiró” and simply cannot stop listening to it while weeping. It’s probably a good thing that Carmela didn’t discover Pasquale Esposito while she was in that phase because she certainly would have become obsessed. Esposito brings his delightful singing talents to Viva Italia!, during which he will perform classics from the world of Italian opera, as well as many Roman and Neapolitan folk favorites. (JI)

FROM SCREEN TO STAGE

California Theater | Mar. 23–24

SymphonySanJose.org

Classical composers have been seduced by the cinema, and Hollywood composers have been lured into the concert hall. The Symphony San Jose is celebrating symphonic/cinematic crossovers in both directions with works by Erich Korngold and Dmitri Shostakovich, internationally famous composers who experimented with composing for film, and a violin concerto by Danny Elfman, best known for his iconic scores for for films like Nightmare Before Christmas, Edward Scissorhands, Batman and Alice and Wonderland. (SBB)

MOZART REQUIEM 

Woodside Performing Arts Center | April 6–7

PeninsulaLivelyArts.org

Peninsula Ballet Theatre collaborates with the critically acclaimed Masterworks Chorale in a new dance and music presentation of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s epic “Requiem in D Minor.” The choral masterpiece will be conducted by Dr. Bryan Baker, and the dance will be choreographed by Gregory Amato, who has danced in 53 countries and performed for the Queen of England and two presidents. The program also includes J.S. Bach’s “Magnificat in D Major.” (SBB)

LIFE MOTIFS 

De Anza Visual and Performing Arts Center | Apr 13, 7:30pm

CambrianSymphony.org

Conductor Thomas Alexander takes the audience through this accessible program of music performed by the Cambrian Symphony Orchestra that includes Strauss, Rachel Portman and plenty of crowd-pleasing John Williams compositions. The Cambrian Symphony is a community orchestra that pairs long-time professionals and players with student mentees. (LP)

PASSIONATE PUCCINI

California Theater | May 11–12

SymphonySanJose.org

On the 100th anniversary of Giacomo Puccini’s death, Symphony San Jose pays tribute to the great Italian opera composer with highlights from Puccini’s early, middle and late career masterpieces. The program includes selections from Manon Lescaut, La Fanciulla del West, La Bohème, Madame Butterfly, Turandot and more. Two of opera’s leading soloists, Jenny Schuler and Ben Gulley will perform some of Puccini’s most memorable arias, duets and choruses, including “The Humming Chorus,” “O mio bambino caro” and “Nessun Dorma.” (SBB)


Winter Arts Events: THEATER

MISERY–THE PLAY

Lucie Stern Theater | Now–Feb 4

PAPlayers.org

Spine-tingling suspense awaits at the Lucie Stern Theater as William Goldman’s gripping adaptation of Stephen King’s novel takes center stage. Playing now until Feb. 4, Misery follows novelist Paul Sheldon, who is rescued from a car crash and wakes to the sight of his biggest fan, Annie Wilkes. What begins as devoted care quickly takes a dramatic, sinister turn once Annie discovers that her favorite writer’s latest novel threatens her beloved character. Witness the tension unfold as Paul fights for his life and makes a harrowing escape. New to the King masterpiece and die-hard fans of the tale alike will enjoy this cat-and-mouse narrative that promises to captivate until the final curtain. (MY)

A LITTLE NIGHT MUSIC

Saratoga Civic Theater | Jan 27–Feb 17

SouthBayMT.com

The winner of four Tony Awards with a score that includes Sondheim’s famous “Send in the Clowns,” A Little Night Music is a witty and moving masterpiece that has forever entranced the world of theater. Set in 1908 Sweden, the musical explores the tangled web of affairs centered around actress Désirée Armfeldt and the two men who love her. When both men—and their wives—join Désirée for a weekend in the country, the possibilities of new romances and second chances bring endless surprises. (SBB)

THE LION KING SING-ALONG

3Below Theaters & Cafe | Feb 3–4

3BelowTheaters.com

Millennial nostalgia is at an all-time high, which means that The Lion King sing-along comes at a perfect moment. One of Disney’s greatest animated features will air song lyrics on-screen to encourage audience participation, and what could be greater than singing “Be Prepared” in a crowd? Then there’s the opportunity to keep that circle of life spinning: folks who grew up with these songs can bring their own kids to experience the magic of the “Hakuna Matata” philosophy firsthand. (JI)

JERRY SPRINGER: THE OPERA 

3Below Theaters & Cafe | Feb 27–Mar 17

SanJosePlayhouse.org

This irreverent, hilarious, award-winning adults-only musical follows lurid television talk show host Jerry Springer to the afterlife and beyond. Featuring fetishists, wannabe strippers and dancing Klansmen, this high-energy production has a sung-through score that ranges from pop and classical to contemporary opera. It’s got comedy and tragedy, it’s got violence and vicious vocals and it’s got America’s “favorite” talk show facing his trickiest guest ever: the devil himself. (SBB)

E.T.–THE EXTRA-TERRESTRIAL

San Jose Center for the Performing Arts | Mar 9–10

SymphonySanJose.org

Enjoy an immersive fusion of film and live orchestral magic as Steven Spielberg’s heartwarming masterpiece E.T. The Extra Terrestrial plays on the big screen while Symphony San Jose performs the complete score by John Williams. The “E.T.” soundtrack is one of the most recognizable film scores of all time and one of the most celebrated—it’s one of only six scores to accomplish the feat of winning the Academy Award (Williams’ fourth), Golden Globe, Grammy and BAFTA. (SBB)


Events Galore!

Stratosphere, Forever to the Moon at Art Boutiki, Jan 27, 8pm

Monty Python and the Holy Grail at 3Below Theaters & Cafe, Feb 2–3

The Rocky Horror Picture Show at 3Below Theaters & Cafe, Feb 3, 11:30pm

For Peter Pan on her 70th Birthday at Pear Theatre, Feb 8–Mar 3

Chum – Phish Tribute at Art Boutiki, Feb 10, 8pm

Janice Carissa at Hammer Theatre Center, Feb 18, 2:30pm

Idiot Fish with Scratchy Fish at Art Boutiki, Feb 24, 8pm

Alessio Max at McAfee Performing Arts and Lecture Center, Mar 2, 7:30pm

Elite Comedy Fest at Fox Theatre, Mar 10, 8pm

SCU Student Ensemble at Mission Santa Clara, Mar 15, 7:30pm

Mandolin Madness at St Francis Episcopal Church, Mar 17, 7pm

HANGMEN at San Jose Stage Company, Apr 3–28

2024 Gala: The Greatest Show at Oshman Family JCC, Apr 6, 6pm

Jimmy Vaughan & the Tilt-a-Whirl Band at the Heritage Theatre, Apr 6, 8pm

Pavel Kolesnikov at Cubberley Community Center Theatre, Apr 7, 2:30pm

Trio wanderer at St. Francis Episcopal Church, Apr 20, 7:30pm

Stroll Down Penny Lane at Heritage Theatre, Apr 20, 7:30pm

The Music Man at Lucie Stern Theater, Apr 26–May 12

SJCO Chamber Music at St Francis Episcopal Church, Apr 27, 7pm

Federico Colli at Cubberley Community Center Theatre, May 4, 7:30pm

Fire / Light at McAfee Performing Arts Center, May 19, 3pm

Melisa Yuriarhttps://www.melisayuriar.com
Melisa is a features writer for Metro Silicon Valley, covering music, arts and entertainment in the Valley. Based in the San Francisco Bay Area, the journalist has bylines in Dancing Astronaut, Gray Area Magazine, Festival Insider and Saint Audio. She is a member of the American Copy Editors Society.

2 COMMENTS

  1. Under the heading “Events Galore!” towards the bottom of the page, please note that the Mar 2 performance at McAfee misspells the artist’s name as Alessio Max [sic]—his name is Alessio Bax. He’s a very distinguished concert pianist, having won the Gold Medal at the Leeds Competition in 2020, and the Hamamatsu in 1997; he’s on the faculty of the New England Conservatory. This will be his third appearance with Steinway Society – The Bay Area.

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