This week, catch electric jazz band Charged Particles at Palo Alto's Rinconada Library, a production of "Puss N' Boots" and San Francisco Mime Troupe's newest show, "Freedomland."
How best to tackle the pressing issue of police brutality in America? How about through performance art? That's right: San Francisco Mime Troupe's newest show, "Freedomland," takes on the nation's glorification of violence, police militarization, the dynamics of the drug trade and the experience of growing up black in America. Don't think Marcel Marceau; this company uses "mime" in the sense of mimicry and satire. Packing humor as its weapon, "Freedomland" aims to entertain as well as to address serious social ills. The show comes to the south field of Palo Alto's Mitchell Park, 600 E. Meadow Drive, on Wednesday, July 15, at 7 p.m. and returns on Sunday, Aug. 23, at 4 p.m. Admission is free. For more information, go to sfmt.org or call 415-285-1717.
The beauty of nature and the joys of art meet in Creative Ecology, a new series offered by the Palo Alto Art Center. On Saturdays, July 11, 18 and 25, from 10 a.m.-noon, artist Linda Gass will lead a free series of art and science activities for participants of all ages at Cooley Landing at the end of Bay Road, East Palo Alto. Go to tinyurl.com/pj4eote or call 650-329-2366.
With a sound that incorporates Latin, classical and funk, electric jazz band Charged Particles aren't afraid to cross stylistic barriers. The internationally acclaimed trio -- two of whom are on the faculty at Stanford University -- will give two free concerts this week: one at Palo Alto's Rinconada Library, Wednesday, July 15, at 3:30 and one at the Mountain View Public Library, Thursday, July 16, at 2:30 p.m. Go to chargedparticles.com or call 650-851-9143.
If you liked "Breaking Bad," you'll love "Lo Speziale." The 18th-century comedic opera by Joseph Haydn gets a modern twist in this production at Redwood City's Dragon Theatre, 2120 Broadway St., from July 10-26. Come ready for serious parody; this tale of love triangles in the drug industry will be sung in the original Italian with supertitles. Go to dragonproductions.net or call 650-493-2006.
'Puss N' Boots'
Curiosity may have killed the cat, but he's got nine lives. In Peninsula Youth Theatre's production of this classic tale, the crafty feline is back, working his wiles to secure wealth and a princess for his not-so-clever master. The show runs July 11-19 at the Mountain View Center for the Performing Arts, 500 Castro St. Tickets are $16-$20. Go to pytnet.org or call 650-903-6000.
No audience, no big build-up to a performance, just a chance to sing great choral works. Starting this week, Schola Cantorum will offer Summer Sings: six Mondays when members of the public are invited to join in an evening of song. Each night features a new score and conductor. Summer Sings takes place Mondays, July 13-Aug. 17, at 7:30 p.m. at the Los Altos United Methodist Church, 655 Magdalena Ave., Los Altos. General admission is $13; students are free. Go to scholacantorum.org or call 650-254-1700.