Arts season kicks offStudents may go back to school in August nowadays, but autumn is still the time when many arts groups roll out their new seasons. Conductors raise batons, curtains go up and dance troupes twirl across the stage.
In this annual fall arts preview, we've listed a multitude of Midpeninsula arts groups and venues, together with out-of-town artists who regularly perform in the Palo Alto area. (A longer list is online at www.PaloAltoOnline.com.) Take your pick from film festivals, Haitian paintings, newly discovered Mozart pieces, Israeli musician David Broza, bluegrass by the Punch Brothers, and a new theatrical take on a Truman Capote story ... for starters.
Museums and collections
Displays of contemporary art have been refreshed for fall at the Cantor Arts Center. Since 1999, the center has reported adding some 750 works of modern and contemporary European and American art to its collection. Now some of these works are taking the gallery stage.
Titled "Go Figure," the first new contemporary-art show features artistic explorations of the human body. Twenty-five paintings and sculptures come from artists including Robert Arneson, Terry Allen, Richard Shaw and Viola Frey.
A second show, "Extreme Makeover," opens Dec. 15 and includes works by Joan Brown, Manuel Neri, Isamu Noguchi and Jules Olitski.
At the Palo Alto Art Center, a new speakers' series starts this fall, organized with Palo Alto's Cubberley Artists. Next up on Oct. 14 is "Animation: Bringing Together Artistic Talent and Storytelling" with artists Patricia Hannaway and James Buckhouse.
The art center will have its fall exhibitions up starting Sept. 25. Art includes paintings from Haiti and Colette Campbell-Jones' photographic essay about miners in South Wales.
This private Menlo Park grouping of 20th-century art contains hundreds of works by some 220 artists. The public can sign up for free noon tours; the next ones are set for Oct. 21 and Nov. 18. 650-854-5160, aacollection.com
Cantor Arts Center
Galleries and gardens, talks and tours give insight into many artists and artistic traditions. Besides its new contemporary-art displays, the Cantor also hosts a show this fall of Jean-Dominique Burton's photos of Vodoun practitioners. It opens Oct. 13. Lomita Drive and Museum Way, Stanford. 650-723-4177, museum.stanford.edu
Computer History Museum
The museum will debut its 2,000-square-foot exhibit "Revolution: The First 2,000 Years of Computing" in January. 1401 N. Shoreline Blvd., Mountain View. 650-810-1010, computerhistory.org
Los Altos History Museum
Exhibits include "Touching Lives: The Duvenecks of Hidden Villa," opening Jan. 20. 51 S. San Antonio Road, Los Altos. 650-948-9427, losaltoshistory.org.
Museum of American Heritage
Besides hosting classes and workshops, this historic building also houses exhibits. Opening Dec. 3: "The Cabinet of Curiosities," with curiosities gathered by community members. 351 Homer Ave., Palo Alto. 650-321-1004, moah.org
Palo Alto Art Center
Exhibitions, education programs, talks <0x2014> and the Great Glass Pumpkin Patch starting on Sept. 28. Lecturers from the Djerassi Resident Artists Program include media artist Katri Haarde and choreographer Keith Hennessy on Sept. 23. 1313 Newell Road, Palo Alto. 650-329-2366, cityofpaloalto.org
Palo Alto Junior Museum and Zoo
Exotic and native animals keep company with science and math exhibits. 1451 Middlefield Road, Palo Alto. 650-329-2111, cityofpaloalto.org
One could refer to the October-November exhibition at the Community School of Music and Arts as "Thoroughly Modern Karimi." Prints and paintings by Pantea Karimi include the watercolors "Add as Friend," with a blue Facebook "f" floating in repeating patterns; and "SkypeMe," where winged beings fly around Skype logos.
Karimi says in an artist's statement, "To me, symbols are universal, poignant visual communication tools transcending language, culture, and borders." She's scheduled to give an artist talk at the Mountain View school on Oct. 8.
Meanwhile, a new exhibition at Smith Andersen Editions in Palo Alto has a particularly cooperative spirit. Called "FIVE From Folsom Street," it features about 40 collages produced in group studio sessions by five San Francisco artists: Theophilus Brown, Matt Gonzalez, Kathryn Kain, Glenna Putt and Gustavo Rivera.
"This collage collective fosters friendship and fresh perspectives on found materials," an exhibition press release reads.
Several area galleries are listed below. Various local city halls, businesses and schools also display visual art.
Allied Arts Guild
Galleries, studios and shops include the Portola Art Gallery, and the studio/gallery of jewelry maker Davide Bigazzi. An open house is set for Oct. 23. 75 Arbor Road, Menlo Park. 650-322-2405, alliedartsguild.org
Anita Seipp Gallery at Castilleja School
Professional artists and Castilleja students show artwork in changing exhibitions throughout the year. 1310 Bryant St., Palo Alto. 650-328-3160, castilleja.org
Art For Well Beings
Palo Alto artist Judy Gittelsohn's art center hosts art classes for students with and without special needs. 2460 Park Blvd., No. 3, Palo Alto. 650-776-8297, artforwellbeings.org
Bryant Street Gallery
Modern and contemporary works, exhibitions and custom framing. 532 Bryant St., Palo Alto. 650-321-8155, bryantstreet.com
Palo Alto public-art commissioner Nancy Coleman exhibits digital art with ceramics by Kiyoco Michot from Sept. 21 through Oct. 16. 320 S. California Ave., Palo Alto. 650-326-1668, galleryhouse2.com
Paintings and drawings by Palo Alto artist Naomi Mindelzun through Sept. 26; Japanese ceramics and glass art by Shigemi Sanders in October; and etchings by Judy Miller Johnson in November. 143 Main St., Los Altos. 650-941-7969, gallery9losaltos.com
The Great Frame Up
This framing shop also displays art, with watercolors by Judy Sherman on exhibit through Oct. 30. 1047 El Camino Real, Menlo Park. 650-323-1097, menlopark.thegreatframeup.com
In addition to its Japanese prints, antiques and folk art, Kimura also offers custom framing. 482 Hamilton Ave., Palo Alto. 650-322-3984, kimuragallery.com
Phyllis and Harvey Koch Art Gallery
Exhibitions planned this season at the Oshman Family Jewish Community Center include "Jewish Witness to a Polish Century," with elderly Jews' photos and stories, through Nov. 29. 3921 Fabian Way, Palo Alto. 650-223-8700, paloaltojcc.org
Little House Gallery
Little House Activity Center hosts art lectures and monthly exhibits of various artistic media. 800 Middle Ave., Menlo Park. 650-326-2025.
Lyons Ltd. Antique Prints
Vintage prints with images of the ocean and marine life are featured through Sept. 30. 10 Town and Country Village, Palo Alto. 800-LYONS-LTD, lyonsltd.com
Mohr Gallery at the Community School of Music and Arts
The gallery's stated goal is "to bring an eclectic mix of fine art" to the school and surrounding Silicon Valley. 230 San Antonio Circle, Mountain View. 650-917-6800, arts4all.org
Mountain View Center for the Performing Arts
Visual art joins the stages here; shows are in the lobby, open Monday, Wednesday and Friday from noon to 1 and one hour before each public performance. Artists include Los Altos Hills photographer Bob Kahn, April 12-June 13. 500 Castro St., Mountain View. 650-903-6000, mvcpa.com
The Nature Gallery
Minerals, fossils and amber shine in the form of carvings, jewelry and sculpture. Fine art and jewelry made from amber, fossils and minerals are the focuses here. 87 Town & Country Village, Palo Alto. 650-327-8700, nature-gallery.com
Pacific Art League
Artists displaying work this season include painter Mei-Ying Dell'Aquila this month and nature photographer Joe Decker in November. 668 Ramona St., Palo Alto. 650-321-3891, pacificartleague.org
Contemporary art by such artists as Janis Joplin, Grace Slick, Markus Pierson, Dr. Seuss and Chuck Jones. 603 Santa Cruz Ave., Menlo Park. 877-778-7546, peabodygallery.com
RS Gallery and Framing
Besides hosting the occasional exhibition, the shop also sells antiquities and vintage posters. 628 Emerson St., Palo Alto. 650-322-3330, rsgallerypa.com
Ceramics, jewelry, art glass, carved animals and other items, many crafted by locals. 441 University Ave., Palo Alto. 650-321-1099, shadylanegallery.com
Smith Andersen Editions
The latest exhibition at this fine-arts press is "FIVE From Folsom Street," a show of about 40 collages by a quintet of San Francisco artists, up through Oct. 13. 440 Pepper Ave., Palo Alto. 650-327-7762, smithandersen.com
Stanford Art Spaces
Real-yet-surreal photos by Ken Holden, animal-inspired paintings by Gianna Marino, and abstracts by Pat Sherwood and Neal Boor through Oct. 28. Paul G. Allen Building, Stanford. 650-725-3622, cis.stanford.edu/~marigros
Movie posters and memorabilia are ready for their close-ups in an annex to the main lobby, often open before and after 7:30 p.m. films. 221 University Ave., Palo Alto. 650-324-3700, stanfordtheatre.org
Thomas Welton Stanford Art Gallery
While this space often displays work by Stanford students, other exhibitions this season include "The Art of Dislocation" by visiting British faculty member Faisal Abdu'Allah, opening Sept. 28. 419 Lasuen Mall, Stanford. 650-723-2842, art.stanford.edu
Fourteen artists own and operate this 38-year-old gallery, with water-media paintings by Barbara von Haunalter featured in September. 315 State St., Los Altos. 650-941-5789, viewpointsgallery.com
Do you call him a fiddler or a violinist? Either way, the New York City composer Mark O'Connor <0x2014> known for his distinctive blend of American folk, jazz and classical <0x2014> has a lot of big music names calling him. They include the cellist Yo-Yo Ma and the soprano Renee Fleming, who have both recorded his compositions.
This season, O'Connor heads for Palo Alto twice with San Francisco's New Century Chamber Orchestra. On Nov. 19 at the First United Methodist Church, he's scheduled to solo with the group in a program that includes his work "Strings and Threads."
On May 20 at the same venue, the orchestra will give a world premiere to a new O'Connor piece that it commissioned from him.
In other local news, the Music@Menlo chamber-music festival is expanding beyond summer with a new "Winter Series" that starts in the fall. Scheduled players include the Emerson String Quartet on Oct. 3, and pianists Alessio Bax, Anne-Marie McDermott and Wu Han on Jan. 16. All concerts are at Menlo-Atherton High School's new theater.
Below, many music groups that regularly perform in the Palo Alto area are listed. After that, we've rounded up some of the local venues for live tunes, including bars and cafes.
The Aurora Singers
This community chorus gives a holiday (Dec. 18) and spring concert each year at Unitarian Universalist Church, where it rehearses. 505 E. Charleston Road, Palo Alto. aurorasingers.net
Bay Choral Guild
The Los Altos group sings classics and new works, performing locally at St. Mark's Episcopal Church, 600 Colorado Ave., Palo Alto. The March concerts focus on music by West Coast composers, including Eric Whitacre, Frank Ferko and Trevor Doherty. baychoralguild.org
California Bach Society
This 30-voice chamber chorus focuses on Renaissance and Baroque classics. Based in Palo Alto, the group starts its season with a program of Purcell and Handel on Oct. 23 at St. Patrick's Seminary, 320 Middlefield Road, Menlo Park. 415-262-0272, calbach.org
California Pops Orchestra
The Palo Alto-based Pops play "shows," not "concerts," and they focus on having a good time. The music comes from Broadway, Hollywood, Big Band, TV, pop, jazz and comedy. 650-856-8432, californiapopsorchestra.com
California Youth Symphony
The young players in this Palo Alto group perform at Foothill College and other Peninsula and South Bay locations. 441 California Ave. #5, Palo Alto. 650-325-6666, cys.org
Cantabile Youth Singers
Children ages 4 to 18 sing in five choirs for different ages and levels, performing in joint and separate concerts. 953 Industrial Ave., Suite 122, Palo Alto. 650-424-1410, cantabile.org
Cantate Dolce Children's Chorale
This new children's choir is for Menlo Park-area kids in grades 3, 4 and 5. Director Maureen H. Fromme plans to have the kids sing and perform folk and world music, new works and classics. Based at Bethany Lutheran Church, 1095 Cloud Ave., Menlo Park. bethany-mp.org/kidschoir
Chamber Music San Francisco
As part of the February-May series in Palo Alto, pianist Louis Lortie plays the complete Chopin etudes on March 14. Concerts are at the Oshman Family Jewish Community Center, 3921 Fabian Way, Palo Alto. 415-759-1756, chambermusicsf.org
El Camino Youth Symphony
This student symphony is made up of several orchestras and ensembles, including flute and percussion ensembles. 4055 Fabian Way, Palo Alto. 650-213-7111, ecys.org
Foothill Symphonic Winds
Students and community members play new and classical works in Foothill College's symphonic band. The opening concert is Dec. 12 at Cubberley Theatre, 4000 Middlefield Road, Palo Alto. windband.org/foothill
Fortnightly Music Club
Founded in 1908, the club presents free Sunday concerts October through May, with performances by members and guests. The season starts Oct. 10 at the Palo Alto Art Center, 1313 Newell Road, Palo Alto. fortnightlymusicclub.org
Performs folk and modern music in Yiddish, Hebrew, English and Ladino. Based at Congregation Beth Am, 26790 Arastradero Road, Los Altos Hills. 650-321-4262, hashirim.org
A new Eli Armer composition joins the Palo Alto-based quartet's repertoire this season; the group will perform it with Jerome Simas on clarinet in May. Concerts in Palo Alto and San Jose. 650-224-7849, ivesquartet.org
Jazz Concert Series
Concerts and events this season at the First Congregational Church include a guitar master class and performance by Alex De Grassi on Nov. 7. (Call 650-776-7899 to register for the class.) 1985 Louis Road, Palo Alto. fccpa.org
The early English opera "Venus & Adonis" by John Blow is on the program for Oct. 8, when this San Francisco choral and instrumental group performs at St. Patrick's Seminary, 320 Middlefield Road, Menlo Park. 415-265-2948, magnificatbaroque.com
The chamber orchestra's Oct. 24 concert in Los Altos includes Handel's "Water Music." The group is based at Foothill College, 12345 El Monte Road, Los Altos Hills. mastersinfonia.org
Menlo Park Chorus
This community group has a varied repertoire and rehearses at the Burgess Recreation Center, 701 Laurel St., Menlo Park. 408-314-7589, menloparkchorus.org
Big-name chamber musicians perform at this mostly summer festival along with students and up-and-comers. Concerts are in Palo Alto and Atherton, with the festival based at Menlo School, 50 Valparaiso Ave., Atherton. 650-330-2030, musicatmenlo.org
New Century Chamber Orchestra
Mark O'Connor is the featured composer this season. Other soloists include the classical bassist Edgar Meyer, set to perform with the group Sept. 24 at First United Methodist Church, 625 Hamilton Ave., Palo Alto. 415-357-1111, ncco.org
Palo Alto Chamber Orchestra
The youth orchestra's season includes a Dec. 18 concert marking Beethoven's 240th birthday with the "Pastorale" Symphony (No. 6). While this and other concerts are at Los Altos High School, PACO is based at 4000 Middlefield Road #M1, Palo Alto. 650-856-3848, pacomusic.org
Palo Alto Philharmonic
The Oct. 30 concert includes "A Field in Pennsylvania" by Palo Alto composer Nancy Bloomer Deussen. Performances are in various halls; the Oct. 30 one is at Cubberley Theatre, 4000 Middlefield Road, Palo Alto. paphil.org
Peninsula Symphonic Band
This woodwind, brass and percussion band is planning a Nov. 21 concert to pay tribute to the late Norbert Molder, the group's longtime conductor who died in July. Rehearsals and concerts at Gunn High School, 780 Arastradero Road, Palo Alto. 408-910-1830, psbpaloalto.com
The Los Altos symphony collaborates with the Stanford Symphonic Chorus for its annual holiday concerts at Stanford University's Memorial Church on Nov. 19 and 21. 650-941-5291, peninsulasymphony.org
Peninsula Women's Chorus
The world-premiere piece "The Jumblies" by Judith Shatin is part of the group's December concerts. The Palo Alto chorus performs in various locations, including St. Mark's Episcopal Church at 600 Colorado Ave. in Palo Alto on Dec. 5 and 11. 650-327-2095, pwchorus.org
Peninsulaires Barbershop Chorus
This men's barbershop group holds regular concerts. P.O. Box 255, Mountain View. 650-618-8600, barbershop-harmony.org
Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra
New works by Mozart? Robert Levin is featured on fortepiano, playing recently discovered Mozart fragments that Levin arranged. The Sept. 28 concert is at Menlo-Atherton High School, 555 Middlefield Road, Atherton. philharmoniabaroque.org
This Mountain View-based quartet of French horn players frequently puts on local concerts and workshops. 650-969-4242, quadre.org
This San Mateo boys' chorus often gives local concerts. 650-342-8785, ragazzi.org
Redwood Bluegrass Associates
Palo Alto's Tuttle family performs with singer AJ Lee on Oct. 23, kicking off the 20th season of local bluegrass concerts held by RBA. Shows are at the First Presbyterian Church at 1667 Miramonte Ave., Mountain View. 650-691-9982, rba.org.
Saint Michael Trio
Besides holding Peninsula and South Bay concerts, the trio is in residence at Menlo College, 1000 El Camino Real, Atherton. saintmichaeltrio.com
San Francisco Chamber Orchestra
The season includes a Feb. 19 concert with new silent-film music by Donald Sosin, accompanying the 1922 Harold Lloyd short "Now or Never." Local concerts are at St. Mark's Episcopal Church, 600 Colorado Ave., Palo Alto. Orchestra contact: 415-692-5297, sfchamberorchestra.org
San Francisco Early Music Society
The German theorbo <0x2014> a stringed instrument <0x2014> is the focus of an April 15 concert featuring Hopkinson Smith. The Berkeley-based society gives local concerts at First Lutheran Church, 600 Homer Ave., Palo Alto. SFEMS contact: 510-528-1725, sfems.org.
The chorus joins The Whole Noyse (which plays modern versions of 16th-century instruments) for a Renaissance program on Oct. 17. The chorus often performs in Palo Alto and is based at 2218 Old Middlefield Way, Suite G, Mountain View. 650-254-1700, scholacantorum.org
Soli Deo Gloria
On May 21, the chorus takes on "Bach's ultimate choral work," the Mass in B minor. Based in San Francisco, SDG performs locally at First Lutheran Church at 600 Homer Ave. in Palo Alto. 888-SDG-SONG, sdgloria.org
Stanford Jazz Workshop
Summertime tunes swing in concerts and workshops, played by students and pros at Stanford University. 650-736-0324, stanfordjazz.org
Stanford Music Department
Bassist Buster Williams is featured Nov. 10 with the Stanford Jazz Orchestra; electronic music, classical recitals, choral sing-alongs and others are also planned at Stanford University. 650-725-ARTS, music.stanford.edu
Chamber and jazz ensembles founded by Palo Alto violist and composer Mimi Dye. 650-380-0962, topazmusic.org
This chamber-music trio has a self-professed love of "unusual and exotic classical music." An Oct. 17 concert is planned at the Oshman Family Jewish Community Center, 3921 Fabian Way, Palo Alto. Trio contact: triojubilee.com
Twilight Concert Series
The City of Palo Alto hosts a free outdoor summer concert series in parks and other spots around town. 650-463-4940, cityofpaloalto.org
World Music Day
The free outdoor music festival that brings myriad musicians to downtown Palo Alto is scheduled for its third year. Organizers are looking ahead to June 19, 2011. pamusicday.orgSome of the Palo Alto area's other venues for live music include:
The CoHo Stanford Coffee House
Indie rock, comedy, jazz, folk, a cappella, hip hop and other kinds of music. Josh Zaldana performs acoustic pop, folk and rock on Sept. 22. 459 Lagunita #1, Stanford University. 650-721-2262, coho.stanford.edu
Community School of Music and Arts
Stanford Lively Arts musicians and CSMA faculty and students give regular free concerts. Vocalist Shubha Mudgal sings Hindustani classical music on Oct. 19, kicking off the season. 230 San Antonio Circle, Mountain View. 650-917-6800, arts4all.org
Dana Street Roasting Company
Live music of many types, including a ukulele play-along and sing-along on the second Monday of the month. 744 W. Dana St., Mountain View. 650-390-9638, danastreetroasting.com
In between slices, musicians jam in bluegrass, klezmer and Balkan, old-time and Irish sessions. 3163 Middlefield Road, Palo Alto. 650-494-2928, fandangopizza.com
Mountain View Center for the Performing Arts
Events this season include "A Multicultural Celebration" with African drums, classical guitar and folkloric dance on Oct. 3; and the Oakland Interfaith Gospel Choir's holiday concert on Dec. 17. 500 Castro St., Mountain View. 650-903-6000, mvcpa.com
Oak City Bar and Grill
While Marqs in Menlo has closed, some of the musicians made their way to the nearby Oak City. Regular performers include the College of San Mateo Big Band and jazz pianist Marty Williams. 1029 El Camino Real, Menlo Park. 650-321-6882, oakcitybarandgrill.com
Oshman Family Jewish Community Center
Besides hosting author talks, classes, films and athletics, the JCC presents concerts; this season includes kids' musician Elana Jagoda on Nov. 14 and Israel's David Broza on Dec. 18. 3921 Fabian Way, Palo Alto. 650-223-8700, paloaltojcc.org
Red Rock Coffee
Open-mic nights for adults and kids are regularly scheduled, along with performances by musicians of many stripes. Folk-pop songwriter Andrew Plan plays the cafe on Oct. 22. 201 Castro St., Mountain View. 650-967-4473, redrockcoffee.org
Texting meets classical mythology this season at the Palo Alto Children's Theatre, as Palo Alto author Betsy Franco teams up with the troupe to produce the first stage production of her young-adult novel "Metamorphosis, Junior Year."
The protagonist is high school junior and artist Ovid, who, as Franco puts it, "records his classmates' dramas as modern-day Roman mythology" and uses mythology to clear up his own issues. Performances are set for March 3-12, 2011.
Meanwhile, the Pear Avenue Theatre in Mountain View kicks off its season with an unusual pairing of plays performed in repertory (the same stage setting and lead actors in both productions). Tony Kushner's "Angels in America (Part One): Millennium Approaches" opens tonight, with Thornton Wilder's "Our Town" opening Sept. 24.
The Pear also brings its annual batch of new short plays to the stage in Pear Slices 2011 in April.
Other world premieres include TheatreWorks' "A Christmas Memory," based on the Truman Capote short story. It opens in December, with book by Duane Poole, music by Larry Grossman and lyrics by Carol Hall. Then, in March, the new Rajiv Joseph psychological thriller, "The North Pool," takes the TheatreWorks stage.
Bus Barn Stage Company
"Smokey Joe's Cafe" (through Oct. 2), "A Tuna Christmas," "Sylvia," "Camping With Henry and Tom," "Moon Over Buffalo." 97 Hillview Ave., Los Altos. 650-941-0551, busbarn.org
"Love Song" (through Oct. 3), "The Turn of the Screw," "Private Eyes," "Bad Dates," "Tongue of a Bird," "A Streetcar Named Desire," "Sister Cities," "Stones in His Pockets." 535 Alma St., Palo Alto. 650-493-2006, dragonproductions.net
Foothill College Theatre Arts Department/Foothill Music Theatre
"The Winter's Tale," "Working." 12345 El Monte Road, Los Altos Hills. 650-949-7360, foothill.edu/theatre
Los Altos Youth Theatre
Young theater artists put on three shows every year at the Bus Barn Theatre, 97 Hillview Ave., Los Altos. 650-947-2796, ci.los-altos.ca.us
Palo Alto Children's Theatre
Mainstage season: "Cinderella," "Madeline's Christmas," "Ferdinand the Bull," "Metamorphosis," "Charlotte's Web," "Lord of the Flies." 1305 Middlefield Road, Palo Alto. 650-463-4930, cityofpaloalto.org
Palo Alto Players
"Dead Man's Cell Phone" (through Sept. 26), "Sunset Boulevard," "Shadowlands," "Altar Boyz," "Blithe Spirit." 1305 Middlefield Road, Palo Alto. 650-329-0891, paplayers.org
Pear Avenue Theatre
"Angels in America," "Our Town," "CTRL + ALT + DELETE," "No Good Deed," "Death of a Salesman," "Pear Slices 2011," "A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court," "A Raisin in the Sun." 1220 Pear Ave., Unit K, Mountain View. 650-254-1148, thepear.org
Peninsula Youth Theatre
"The Wizard of Oz," "Annie Get Your Gun," "My Son Pinocchio: Gepetto's Musical Tale," "Stuart Little" and "Stories on Stage" short shows for kids. Performs at the Mountain View Center for the Performing Arts; based at 2500 Old Middlefield Way, Mountain View. 650-988-8798, pytnet.org
Stanford University Department of Drama
Shows around campus include: "No Child ..." "All's Well That Ends Well," "The Body and What It Carries," "The Diaspora Project," "Major Barbara." Based at 551 Serra Mall, Memorial Hall, Stanford. 650-723-2576, stanford.edu/dept/drama
"The Light in the Piazza" (through Sept. 19), "Superior Donuts," "A Christmas Memory," "The 39 Steps," "The North Pool," "Snow Falling on Cedars," "[title of show]." Shows at the Lucie Stern Theatre, 1305 Middlefield Road, Palo Alto; and at the Mountain View Center for the Performing Arts, 500 Castro St. Company contact: 650-463-1950, theatreworks.org
West Bay Opera has woven together its upcoming season from premieres <0x2014> of a sort. While its first opera, Verdi's "La forza del destino," had its world premiere in 1862, October 2010 marks its premiere on the West Bay stage.
Also new to the Palo Alto-based company this season: Puccini's "Turandot" in February and Henry Purcell's "Dido and Aeneas," paired with Manuel de Falla's "La vida breve," in May.
San Francisco Opera Guild, Peninsula chapter
Preview lectures for San Francisco Opera productions are given by various musicologists. Timothy Flynn speaks on "Madama Butterfly" on Oct. 5. Local talks are at First Presbyterian Church of Palo Alto, 1140 Cowper St. sfopera.com
This mostly student group performs light operas from Gilbert and Sullivan on campus, with "Princess Ida" scheduled for January. ASSU-Tresidder Memorial Union, Stanford. stanford.edu/group/savoyards
West Bay Opera
"La forza del destino," "Turandot," "Dido and Aeneas," "La vida breve." Performances at the Lucie Stern Theatre, 1305 Middlefield Road, Palo Alto. 650-424-9999, wbopera.org
San Francisco's Smuin Ballet brings new choreography to the Peninsula with its Mountain View performances, with new works by Amy Seiwert and Amy London in December and a world premiere by Trey McIntyre in February 2011.
Also included in the February program is "Bluegrass/Slyde," a work choreographed by the late company founder Michael Smuin and set to bluegrass music by bassist Edgar Meyer and banjo player Bela Fleck.
Ballroom dancing parties
Drop-in lessons in such styles as the waltz, fox trot and swing are followed by dance parties. Peninsula nights include Fridays and Saturdays at the Cubberley Pavilion, 4000 Middlefield Road, Palo Alto. cubberleyballroom.com
Bay Area English Regency Society
The group hosts Palo Alto dance parties with live music on the second Friday of the month at St. Mark's Episcopal Church at 600 Colorado Ave. baers.org
Mountain View Center for the Performing Arts
Besides its regular visits by Smuin Ballet, the center hosts companies including Dancers Group and ZiRu Productions (Nov. 5-6) and contemporary-dance company TDC (Jan. 29-30). Two "Nutcrackers" are planned: Pacific Ballet's (Nov. 26-28) and Western Ballet's (Dec. 3-5). 500 Castro St., Mountain View. 650-903-6000, mvcpa.com
Raices de Mexico
This dance company offers Mexican folklore classes for children, teens and adults. P.O. Box 50101, Palo Alto. 650-322-1501
Red Thistle Dancers
This Scottish dance and music troupe periodically performs, rehearsing at the Cubberley Community Center, 4000 Middlefield Road, Palo Alto. redthistledancers.org
The San Francisco company has December 2010 and February 2011 performances scheduled at the Mountain View Center for the Performing Arts, 500 Castro St., Mountain View. Company contact: 415-556-5000, smuinballet.org
Zohar Dance Company
Performances and classes at Zohar feature modern dance, ballet, jazz, tap and musical theater. Cubberley Community Center, 4000 Middlefield Road, Suite L-4, Palo Alto. 650-494-8221, zohardancecompany.org
The works are new, but they also look back. This season's theme for Stanford Lively Arts is "Memory Forward," with many premieres falling under that header.
Stanford composer Jonathan Berger, for example, will see his piece "Memory Slips" premiere in the U.S. on March 4, performed by Trio Voce (violin, cello, piano). The work is said to explore "aspects of musical memory from personal and scientific perspectives."
In dance, the Butoh company Sankai Juku will perform its newest evening-length work, "Tobari (As if in an inexhaustible Flux)," on Nov. 9. The piece looks at cycles of birth, death and rebirth.
The whole season leads up to a May 14 performance by Seattle sound sculptor and inventor Trimpin. The evening will bring a world premiere, Lively Arts-commissioned piece: "The Gurs Zyklus (The Gurs Cycle)," about the Gurs camp where many Jews from Trimpin's German hometown were sent during World War II.
Many local bookstores <0x2014> and Stanford University <0x2014> host author talks and readings, including: Kepler's Books, 1010 El Camino Real, Menlo Park (650-324-4321, keplers.com); and Books Inc. at 74 Town & Country Village, Palo Alto (650-321-0600) and at 301 Castro St., Mountain View (650-428-1234, booksinc.net).
French Film Club of Palo Alto
Friday-night French movies (all with English subtitles), served with aperitifs, a French buffet, dessert and discussion. Scheduled for Oct. 8: the 1986 film "Jean de Florette." Films shown at the Palo Alto Art Center, 1313 Newell Road. frenchfilmclubofpaloalto.org
Silicon Valley Jewish Film Festival
The Cupertino-based festival has five screenings in Palo Alto this fall, starting with "Zrubavel" on Oct. 16. Made by Ethiopian Israelis, the film is about family and assimilation and will be screened at the Oshman Family Jewish Community Center, 3921 Fabian Way, Palo Alto. Festival contact: 408-899-6013, svjff.org
Stanford Lively Arts
Artists this season include the Punch Brothers, Shubha Mudgal, Midori, Chanticleer, Toshi Reagon, eighth blackbird, the Mingus Big Band and the St. Lawrence String Quartet. Performances happen around campus; Lively Arts is based at 425 Santa Teresa St., Stanford University. 650-725-ARTS, livelyarts.stanford.edu
United Nations Association Film Festival
The theme of this year's festival, which runs Oct. 22-31, is "Population-Migration-Globalization." Opening night in Palo Alto starts with "Climate Refugees," a film about people losing their homes to "climatically induced environmental disasters." Other screenings in East Palo Alto and Stanford. 650-724-5544, unaff.org