Oakland band Skip the Needle will perform in a virtual concert to benefit the Ivy Room nightclub in Albany. (Photo courtesy of Skip the Needle)

Local News Matters Arts & Entertainment newsletter

End your week with a bit of culture to unwind and refresh. Sign up for our surprising and inspiring options in our weekly newsletter, delivered on Thursdays with news about Bay Area arts and entertainment.

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.

They’re crushing it: #WomxnCrush Music, a feminist nonprofit aimed at promoting women musicians and songwriters, is kicking off a nationwide virtual concert tour this week with a streaming show featuring three female Bay Area acts performing a benefit for an iconic, women-owned East Bay music club. At 6:30 p.m. Aug. 6, you can log on to watch Oakland rock/funk band Skip the Needle (featuring one-time “Tonight Show” band bassist Vicki Randle and powerhouse singer Kofy Brown), East Bay folk/pop/Latin band Coraza and funk/R&B singer Melissa Jones. The recommended $20 donation will go toward the Ivy Room, Albany’s beloved down-and-dirty music club and bar co-owned by Bay Area music veterans Lani Torres and Summer Gerbing. Like most venues, it’s suffering from a lack of live-music income. You can access the show and get more information at www.womxncrushmusic.com.


By Jupiter! Coming to you via live freestream from Rockport, Maine, it’s the Jupiter Quartet performing the world premiere of composer, violinist and native Californian Michi Wiancko’s “To Unpathed Waters, Uncharted Shores.” The presenting organization is Bay Chamber Concerts, which co-commissioned the new work in celebration of its 60th anniversary and is pairing it with a performance of Beethoven’s String Quartet No. 15 in A-minor, Op. 132, in observance of the 250th anniversary of the luminous Ludwig’s birth. Wiancko’s new work has a decidedly environmental theme and may put listeners in mind of deserts, forests, coastlines and glaciers, but with references to extreme weather events related to climate change. Tune in at 4:30 p.m. Aug. 6 at www.baychamberconcerts.org.


David Boyll stars as a famous TV wellness expert in the comedy “Quack,” streaming via Shotgun Players on Aug. 6-9 and Aug. 15-15. (Photo by Caroline Boyll/Shotgun Players)

• Dr. ‘Quack’ will see you now: If there was ever someone due for a comeuppance, it’s Dr. Irving Baer, an egotistical anti-vaxxer who happens to be one of the most popular TV health and wellness experts going. He’s the villain in Eliza Clark’s comedy “Quack,” which gets a short virtual run Aug. 6-9 and Aug. 14-15 via Berkeley’s Shotgun Players. The show, which debuted in Los Angeles in 2018, spoofs the wellness industry as well as the all-consuming lure of fame, but seems more concerned with generating giggles than pondering the ills of society. This production is directed by Shotgun company member Brady Brophy-Hilton, and stars David Boyll as the nefarious Dr. Baer. You can access the show at 7 p.m. each night at shotgunplayers.org. Tickets are $8-$40; and there is an online discussion after each performance. 


• Where classical meets jazz: On Aug. 6, the San Francisco Symphony will launch the second of the four videos in its CURRENTS digital series, programs of enlightening talk and music curated and hosted by that guy across the bay, Michael Morgan, the Oakland Symphony music director. Each of these videos, which will be followed five days later by the release of an accompanying podcast, focuses on how classical music intersects with and amplifies other musical cultures. Episode 2 is titled “Bay Area Blues Notes,” and the topic is jazz. Morgan’s talk will be amplified by Bay Area saxophonist Jason Hainsworth and pianist Tammy Hall, with assistance from S.F. Symphony musicians Mark Inouye (trumpet) and Scott Pingel (bass) and drummer Ed Stephan. Their collaboration will focus, in part, on music by Miles Davis and John Coltrane. You can access it beginning at 10 a.m. Thursday at www.sfsymphony.org/currents, where all four of the videos will be available through the summer.


• Chew on this: Nothing says summer like piling your kids or friends in the car and heading to the drive-in theater to watch people get messily devoured by sharks. Fortunately, coronavirus pandemic notwithstanding, we in the Bay Area can still do this. Yes, it’s Shark Fest time at the West Wind Drive-In theaters in Concord, San Jose and Sacramento. From Aug. 7-16, the theaters will show double features including such fin-tastic classics as “Jaws,” “The Meg,” “Deep Blue Sea,” “47 Meters Down” and more. The digital theater chain also has information on how you can enter a “Baby Shark” dance contest to win tickets, as well as suggestions for shark-appropriate snacks, costumes and car decorations. General admission tickets for shows are $8.25, $1.75 for kids ages 5-11. Get tickets, showtimes and more information at www.westwinddi.com.