Worth a Look: bluegrass, Noël Coward and klezmer music

This week's A&E highlights

This week, attend a bluegrass jam and concert, enjoy a Noël Coward comedy at Gunn High and dance the night away at the Yiddish Culture Festival.


Kathy Kallick Band

In the world of contemporary American folk music, Kathy Kallick is a household name; the Grammy Award-winning musician has topped the bluegrass charts repeatedly in recent years. Critics describe her music as warm, poignant and passionate.

This Saturday, Nov. 1, she brings her band to the Peninsula for an evening of original and classic bluegrass tunes. The Kathy Kallick Band features vocalists and instrumentalists on guitar, fiddle, bass, banjo and mandolin. They'll be playing songs from their most recent album, "Time," as well as those from "Between the Hollow and the High-Rise." Expect an all-ages crowd, a friendly vibe and songs that vary from upbeat and humorous to bittersweet and soulful.

Two free bluegrass jams begin at 5 p.m., one for for novices and one for experienced players. Doors open at 7 p.m. and the concert kicks off at 7:30 p.m. at the Mountain View First Presbyterian Church, 1667 Miramonte Ave. Tickets are $20 in advance or $25 at the door, half-price for teens and students and free for children under 13. For tickets, go to rba.org or call 866-468-3399. To learn more, go to kathykallick.com.


'Hay Fever' at Gunn High School

A master of the comedy of manners, British playwright Noël Coward had a genius for sending up the trivial concerns of the English upper classes. Among the best of his bitingly witty scripts is 1924's "Hay Fever."

Next week, the theater department at Gunn High School takes on this gem of a play, which centers on retired actress Judith Bliss, her novelist husband, David, and their grown children. Set at the Bliss country estate, the satire features an elaborate plot and mocks the self-absorption of the Bliss family through the eyes of a series of house guests.

The show opens with a gala on Nov. 6 at 6 p.m. and runs Nov. 7, 8, 13, 14 and 15 at 7:30 p.m., Nov. 12 at 4 p.m. and Nov. 15 at 2:30 p.m. at Gunn High School's Studio Theatre, 780 Arastradero Road. Palo Alto. Tickets are $20 for the gala, $10 general and $8 for students. For tickets or more information, go to gunntheatre.org.


Yiddish Cultural Festival

This weekend, Palo Alto's Oshman Jewish Community Center (3921 Fabian Way) hosts the annual Yiddish Culture Festival: two days of music, dance, poetry and celebration of eastern European culture. The festival's headliner this year is klezmer clarinetist Joel Rubin, who will perform alongside the Bay Area-based Veretski Pass klezmer trio. There are many ways to experience the festival: Musicians and singers can take master classes with klezmer teachers, while those interested in dance can learn new steps. Lecturers on Yiddish literature and poetry will give talks, and kids age 6-12 can sample everything from music to language as part of a special youth program.

The festival begins Saturday night at 8 p.m. with a klezmer concert and dance party and continues through Sunday evening. Festival passes are $65-$85. Individual event tickets are $15-$25, with discounts for teens and kids. For more information, go to klezcalifornia.org or call 415-789-7679.

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Short story writers wanted!

The 33rd Annual Palo Alto Weekly Short Story Contest is now accepting entries for Adult, Young Adult (15-17) and Teen (12-14) categories. Send us your short story (2,500 words or less) and entry form by March 29. First, Second and Third Place prizes awarded in each category.

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