Since its formation in 2006, the San Francisco-born chamber music group known as Classical Revolution has performed Bach, Beethoven and Tchaikovsky in bars, backyards, art galleries, coffee shops and even a furniture store. Now, after surviving two years of the pandemic—and witnessing all of its attendant trends—the nomadic ensemble can cross “plant shop” off its list of unlikely venues.
Since Classical Revolution forged a collaboration with local businessowner and artist Naz Khorram last winter, the group has been playing chamber music on Sunday nights at Khorram’s hip Mission Street plant shop and wine bar, Arcana.
Both the plants, audience members and musicians seem to be vibing.
“I think our audiences really appreciate the surroundings and the environment of being amongst so many plants,” said Classical Revolution founder Charith Premawardhana. “I know people say that plants can hear music, so there might be some reciprocity there where we're giving the plants some good vibrations, and they may be giving us some good oxygen and so forth.”
Khorram says a lot of their customers joke with them and say, “your plants look so happy; we bet that the music had something to do with it.”
Hosting classical music on Sundays, however, is just one part of Khorram’s plan to build a creative community and a sustainable business within the Mission. Arcana hosts a “psychedelic jazz night” on Thursdays, Fridays are dedicated to jazz and blues, and Saturday nights are a rotation of genres from rock ‘n’ roll to Brazilian jazz to Baltic music. Natural wines and plant-based bites complement the greenery and musical soundscapes in the high-ceilinged, hybrid venue.
Khorram says creating a space for local musicians to perform goes “hand-in-hand” with Arcana’s mission of being a sustainable enterprise for food as well as culture in the city.
“Living in dense, chaotic cities, we just forget about how important it is to be surrounded by nature,” said Khorram. But “good music, good plants” and good food can help ground us.
— Christina J. Campodonico
2512 Mission St.
Sundays, 6 p.m. | Suggested Donation: $5-$20
Magic Theater, Landmark Building D, Fort Mason Center, 2 Marina Blvd.
Saturday, March 12, 8 p.m. | $20+
Actor, writer, director and frequent Spike Lee collaborator, Roger Guenveur Smith (Do the Right Thing, School Daze, Malcolm X, Summer of Sam), teams up with San Francisco’s Magic Theatre for the first full run of Otto Frank—a new one-man show by Smith about the father of Anne Frank. Following in the footsteps of his critically acclaimed solo shows on historical figures, A Huey P. Newton Story and Rodney King, Smith tackles the fraught and complex legacy of Otto Frank as the steward of Anne’s memory. A live score by Marc Anthony Thompson provides the sonic backdrop to the performance, which follows Otto as he navigates the tragic loss of his daughter and tragedies across the ages. The show runs through March 27. (CJC)
Golden Gate Bandshell, Music Concourse, Golden Gate Park
Saturday March 12, 12 p.m. | Donations Encouraged
Sunset Piano (the artistic duo behind the wildly popular Flower Piano musical art installations scattered throughout Golden Gate Park) spearheads a musical benefit for humanitarian relief in Ukraine. Sunset Piano all-star musicians, traditional Ukrainian dancers, Ukrainian singer Anytchka and poets contribute their talents to the event. Donations benefit World Central Kitchen, which provides meals for first responders and those who’ve been displaced and injured during the unfolding armed conflict in the region. The performance is free but donations are encouraged. (CJC)
Between Stairwells 15 and 20 at Ocean Beach
Through Oct. 31 | Free
Spring has finally arrived and with it comes the start of beach bonfire season, which is a go as of March 1. Through the end of October, beachgoers can now warm up to one of Ocean Beach’s 16 cozy fire rings, provided they follow all the rules for responsible spark setting. Groups of 25 or more must obtain a permit, and all groups should be prepared to extinguish the fire with a bucket of water by 9:30 p.m. But there’s plenty of fun to be had for those who ignite responsibly. (CJC)
Regency Ballroom, 1300 Van Ness Ave.
Saturday, March 12 | $30
Kristine Flaherty, better known to her fans as K. Flay, may not be as infamous as Elizabeth Homes, but she did manage to actually graduate from Stanford. What’s more, after receiving her twin degrees in psychology and sociology, rather than turning her attention to building a world-conquering startup (yawn) she decided to fuse grungy guitar riffs with introspective flows about depression and debauchery. She’s since been profiled by Rolling Stone, GQ and many other prominent arbiters of culture—all while making badass music and avoiding federal charges. She comes to San Francisco behind her latest full-length, Inside Voices / Outside Voices. (NV)
2nd & Market Street
Saturday, March 12, 11:30 a.m. | Free
Celebrate an explosion of Irish pride as it wends its way from Downtown San Francisco to City Hall in honor of St. Patrick’s Day. A post-parade party at the United Irish Cultural Center (2700 45th Ave.) features lively Irish dancing, four bars and live Irish music. (CJC)
780 Valencia St.
Saturday, March 12, 4 p.m.
In honor of Women’s History Month, an art show featuring more than 200 female artists is opening at The Drawing Room this Saturday. The local art gallery recently moved to a giant new space on Valencia Street in the Mission District. The show’s opening aligns with Valencia Street Art Corridor, where the lively, illuminated commercial strip fills with vendors, music, art and more. (CC)
SFJAZZ Center, 201 Franklin St.
Saturday, March 12 @ 7:30 p.m. | $25+
Growing up on Venezuela’s southern Caribbean island of Margarita, Marianella Rojas dreamed of belting out R&B and pop hits like her sheroes Christina Aguilera, Mariah Carey and Celine Dion. But while studying at Boston’s Berklee College of Music she reconnected with her roots and forged a striking new sound blending folkloric Venezuelan idioms with flamenco. The dark-horse winner of the 2019 Latin Grammy for best new artist, Nella is making her Miner Auditorium debut focusing on songs from her second album Doce Margaritas (Sony Music). Sleek and sensuous, her music goes down easy with side effects that can include euphoria and hip gyrations. (AG)
Heron Arts, 7 Heron St
Saturday, March 12 | By Appointment
Augustine Kofie's art often crosses the line from street art into a kind of spacial architecture. Yes, Kofie's artworks could fit easily on the wall of a busy street corner, but they also belong in the world's finest modern art museums—which brings us to Kofie's new exhibit. "Rotationships" is classic Kofie—a play on the word "relationships," and a play on Kofie's previous work, which has evolved for this exhibit into collage-like abstractions with lettering, numbers, and other detritus from old packages that become something new in Kofie's hands. Rotating and reimagining parts of packages from the 1950s to the 1980s, Kofie turns fading words, photos, and paper stock into orbits of connecting symmetry. The exhibition runs through April 9. (JC)
Roxie Theater, 3117 16th St.
Monday, March 14, 7 p.m. | $15
Shot in 2014, this 2020 Sundance award-winning documentary takes an intimate look into the lives of a Ukrainian family of five as they live through the still ongoing armed conflict on Ukraine’s eastern border known as the War in Donbass. A film within a film within a film, the documentary follows single mother Anna and her four children as they make home movies while confined to their basement. Anna learns to edit, her eldest daughter studies cinematography and the other children pick up musical instruments as war rages and seasons pass outside their makeshift bomb shelter. All proceeds benefit Razom Emergency Repsonse. (CJC)
Save The Date: The Week Ahead
The San Francisco Standard, 2505 Mariposa St.
Thursday, March 17, 6:30 p.m. | Free
Women are hysterical. Not in the misogynistic, Freudian sense—but straight up funny as hell. We intend to prove it at the third installment of our very own community culture series, The Standard Salon. Laugh out loud with five of the Bay Area's favorite female comics: Pam Benjamin, Heather Rogue, Nicole Tran and Tammy Tea Love (above). Experience hysterical women (but in the non-patriarchal context)! Enjoy bites and drinks by women-owned businesses. (MM)
The Standard Staff can be reached at [email protected]