The Bay Area is a hub of artistic expression, attracting artists, writers and musicians from around the globe to live, work and create. We highlight some of the offerings here.
• Cue the music AND the lights: Ravishing French classical music with a glittery light show? Yes, please. Throw in the wonderment of childhood, wherein a homework-loathing kid’s cranky fit sets off a magical explosion of talking animals, fairy characters and dancing furniture. What we’ve got is the San Francisco Symphony’s semi-staged performances of Maurice Ravel’s “L’Enfant et les sortileges” (The Child and the Magic Spells), mounted over three days this weekend at Davies Hall. Conducted by Martyn Brabbins and starring the stunning mezzo-soprano Isabel Leonard as The Child, this fantasy opera takes place on a program that also includes music by Debussy, Faure — and more tunes from Ravel. 8 p.m. June 27 and 29, 2 p.m. June 30, 201 Van Ness, San Francisco; $35-$156; 415-864-6000, www.sfsymphony.org.
• San Francisco Pride: With this being the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall uprising — considered the birth of the modern LGBTQ movement — expect this weekend’s San Francisco Pride events to be even more spirited than usual. There are celebrations June 29-30 around Civic Center Plaza and the world-famous parade Sunday morning along Market Street. Even if you don’t plan on going, be aware that the events draw hundreds of thousands of people and traffic in the city will be a mess all weekend, particularly Sunday. Check out the event’s website for pertinent details: http://www.sfpride.org. Meanwhile, the Frameline LGBTQ film festival runs through this weekend as well, with screenings in San Francisco, Oakland and Berkeley: www.frameline.org.
• Hootie and the Blowfish: Who would have thought 25 years ago that a reunion of this pleasing country-pop outfit would be the talk of the 2019 summer concert season? But the band is indeed back together after a 10-year split, and people are loving it — starting with singer Darius Rucker’s warm and engaging vocals, which sounded deliciously retro even when the world was first hearing them. Hootie and Co. play the Toyota Amphitheatre in Wheatland on June 28 and the Shoreline Amphitheatre in Mountain View on June 29; $19.50-$158.50; www.livenation.com.
• “The Year of Magical Thinking”: Joan Didion’s 2005 memoir, penned after the sudden death of her husband and illness of their daughter, was a National Book Award winner and remains to many as one of the finest observations of grieving ever written. Now the stage adaptation is getting its Bay Area premiere at Berkeley’s Aurora Theatre with one of our favorite stage actors, Stacy Ross, portraying Didion. The play runs through July 21; tickets are $35-$70; 510-843-4822; www.auroratheatre.org.
• Charlie Chaplin Days: The Niles Essanay Silent Film Museum outside Fremont, once the East Bay capital of an important segment of the film industry, hosts this celebration of all things Chaplin on June 28-30, with film and rare footage screenings, presentations, contests, memorabilia on display, and more. Plus, if you’ve never been, the museum is worth a visit in its own right. Single-event and and weekend passes to the event run $8-$49; nilesfilmmuseum.org.