Worth A Look


Worth A Look this week: the San Francisco Jewish Film Festival comes to town; a two-day flood of blues and barbecue coming to Redwood City; Foothill Music Theatre puts on a Broadway classic.

Film: Jewish film festival

The San Francisco Jewish Film Festival returns to Palo Alto starting July 26 at the CineArts at Palo Alto Square with 27 films ranging from "The Secret Life of Uri Geller Psychic Spy?" to "The Village of Peace," a documentary portrait of African-Americans who left their home in Chicago in the late 1960s to form a thriving community and refer to themselves as African-Hebrew Israelites.

This film series explores the multifaceted experience of the Jewish diaspora in fiction and documentary. Follow the corn-fed tradition of American football through "Touchdown Israel," a film about the 11-team Israel Football League, or revisit the Golden Age of Yiddish cinema through the beautifully restored print of "Mamele," made for the film's 75th anniversary, starring Molly Picon, a Yiddish Mary Martin.

Additional films include "The Sturgeon Queens," "The Green Prince," "Regarding Susan Sontag," "Watchers of the Sky," "Run Boy Run," "Havana Curveball" and "Comedy Warriors, " a film about five severely injured Iraq and Afghanistan veterans who bring their life-altering experiences onstage, performing fiercely funny stand-up gold.

The Palo Alto screenings take place July 26-31 at CineArts at Palo Alto Square, 3000 El Camino Real, Palo Alto. Call 650-493-0128. General admission tickets are $14; students and seniors, $13. Complete schedules and information on festival passes and voucher packs are available at sfjff.org.

Music: Blues and BBQ

Get ready to boogie at the 9th annual Redwood City PAL Blues, Arts and BBQ Festival, coming to Courthouse Square in downtown Redwood City on July 25 and 26.

This two-day extravaganza features some of the Bay Area's finest blues musicians and finger-lickin'-good barbecue. Blues harmonica player Rod Piazza and the Mighty Flyers headline this year's event, which includes live music and a family area with an arcade for children in addition to food and beverages. Performers include Golden State Lone Star Revue with Anson Funderberg, Little Charlie Baty and Mark Hummel; Deeva and the Blazers; Chicago- and Memphis-style blues; blues belter Ms. Taylor P. Collins and her seven-piece band; Tebo, performing a tribute to legend Howlin Wolf; Danny Caron's Good Hands Organ Trio; Aki Kumar Blues Band; Rick Estrin and the Nightcats. The festival opens on Friday from 5 to 8:30 p.m. and runs through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. at Courthouse Square, 2200 Broadway, Redwood City. Free. More information is available at redwoodcitypal.com/blues/.

Theater: Bali Ha'i

Rogers and Hammerstein's "South Pacific" takes center stage through Aug. 10 when the Foothill Music Theatre offers a three-week run of the award-winning classic musical.

Based on James A. Michener's 1927 Pulitzer Prize-winning book "Tales of the South Pacific," the musical features iconic hits including "Some Enchanted Evening," "Younger Than Springtime," "There Is Nothing Like a Dame," "Bali Ha'i" and "I'm Gonna Wash That Man Right Outa My Hair."

Just as relevant today as when it first thrilled audiences in 1949, "South Pacific" candidly explores racism and vividly captures the emotions of the war: intensity and boredom, optimism and desperation, and prejudice and acceptance.

Directed by Milissa Carey, with musical direction by Mark Hanson and choreography by Michael Ryken. Madison Genovese stars as "Nellie Forbush," and Daniel Cameron performs as "Emile de Becque." Bay Area opera singer Stephen Boisvert returns to Foothill in the role of "Luther Billis."

Look for City of Palo Alto's own Doug Brees, a city business analyst, in the role of Commander William Harbison of the U.S. Navy.

"South Pacific" runs through Aug. 10, Thursdays at 7:30 p.m.; Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m.; Sundays at 2 p.m. in the Smithwick Theatre, Foothill College, 12345 El Monte Road, Los Altos Hills. Tickets are $10-$28, and can be purchased online at FoothillMusicals.com or by calling 650-949-7360. Parking in student parking lots 1, 2, or 5 (use Lot 5 for no-stairs access) is $3.

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