Immerse yourself in the surreal, Lewis Carroll-inspired electronic music festival Beyond Wonderland, enjoy a concert by piano virtuoso Agustín Anievas, or check out an original theater production inspired by scraps of paper left in library books.
Who needs the swirling sands of Black Rock Desert or the bright lights of the Vegas strip when Burning Man and Sin City meet in the Silicon Valley? This weekend, Shoreline Amphitheater will be transformed into a heaving mass of humanity that thrums with the deep bass of house, trance and dubstep and glows with the power of pyrotechnics. It's all part of the Beyond Wonderland Festival, a two-day dance music and performance extravaganza organized by Insomniac Productions. Like Alice down the rabbit hole, revelers can wander from one surreal venue to the next. Explore the "Queen's Domain" where main stage musical acts take place, check out the Mad Hatter's Castle or take a breather in the Cheshire Woods.
Among the featured musical acts are electronic music giant Paul Oakenfold, French DJ/producer William Grigahcine aka DJ Snake, and 12th Planet, recently dubbed "Los Angeles dubstep god" by Rolling Stone Magazine.
But it's not all about the music; festival-goers come for the interactive art installations. Among the sculptures at this year's festival will be the rolling one-eyed monster and a garden of 30-foot-tall, illuminated tentacles that wiggle and sway.
Professional performers won't be the only ones in costume; feel free to get decked out in your best festival finery, provided you can dance in it. A portion of the proceeds will go to charity, so you can even feel good about your investment as you rock the night away.
Beyond Wonderland runs Sept. 20-21. For tickets or to learn more, go to beyondwonderland.com or call 800-653-8000.
Looking for live music of a more classical nature? Look no further than the Mountain View Center for the Performing Arts, where acclaimed piano virtuoso Agustín Anievas will perform on Saturday, Sept. 20. On the program are Schubert's "Impromptu in C Minor Op. 90 No.1," Beethoven's "Sonata No. 7 in D Major Op. 10 No. 3" and Chopin's "Andante Spianato and Grande Polonaise Brillante in E-flat Major Op. 22," among other works.
Known for his sensitive musicality as well as his virtuoso panache, Anievas is hailed as one of the greatest living pianists; his EMI recordings of Brahms, Chopin and Schubert are considered definitive American recordings. His performance in Mountain View is part of the Steinway Society's 20th Annual Piano Series, the Bay Area's most respected piano recital.
Originally from Mexico, Anievas was a child prodigy: At age 12 he became the youngest performer ever to be invited to play at his country's famed Palacio de Bellas Artes. Five decades later, he continues to tour as a soloist and orchestral musician, as well as to record -- most recently, he released his Schumann Fantasy and Chopin Études Opus 10 on the Newport Classic label.
This concert marks the first of seven in the Steinway Society series -- upcoming concerts feature other internationally-recognized talents including Russia's Denis Kozhukhin and Sofya Gulyak.
For tickets or more information, go to steinwaysociety.com or call 650-903-6000.
A Moment (Un)Bound
For something completely different, head to Redwood City's Dragon Theatre for an original production inspired by real notes and clippings left behind in library books.
Collaboratively written by Susie Danzig, Richard Newton, Bill Olson and Lessa Bouchard -- also an artist-in-residence of Palo Alto's Cubberley Studio Program -- "A Moment (Un)Bound" tells the story of two archivists struggling to determine which scraps to hold onto and which to let go. This production dabbles in fantasy at the same time as it probes deeper questions about the fleeting nature of stories. In addition to the original text, expect whimsical masks made from scraps of paper.
Collectively, this grassroots group of artists goes by the name Arc:Hive -- A Story Collective. Learn more about their productions and creative process at arc-hive.org.
"A Moment (Un)Bound" runs Sept. 19-28 with shows Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m., Saturday and Sunday at 2 p.m. For tickets or to learn more, go to dragonproductions.net or call 650-493-2006.