Evolution isn't just a chapter in a biology textbook anymore, thanks to an unusual show called "The Mammoth Follies." The vaudeville-style performance features original songs, dances and comedy — all performed by enormous dinosaur puppets.
The traveling theater group Hudson Vagabond Puppets Inc. took "The Mammoth Follies" all over the country from 1984 to 1988. Now, the revamped show is back. The show aims to educate audiences of all ages about the age of the dinosaur, from different animal species to the various evolutionary periods, and is hosted by such characters as Willie Mammoth and the 11-foot-tall Tyrannosaurus Rex. Puppets range from handheld characters to full-body costumes that take three puppeteers to operate.
"The Mammoth Follies" will be performed at the Mountain View Center for the Performing Arts, 500 Castro St., on Friday, July 9, at 7 p.m. Tickets are $17 for adults and $14 for seniors, students and children ages 12 and under. Call 650-903-6000 or go to http://mvcpa.com .
William Trost Richards
As part of the Hudson River School painting style in the mid-1800s, William Trost Richards painted dozens of landscapes that depicted sweeping views with meticulous detail. But over his 50-year career as an artist, Richards ultimately developed a style all his own, through nature drawings, watercolors and oil studies.
Seventy-five of Richards' works are now on display at the Cantor Arts Center at Stanford University, demonstrating the various stages of Richards' career as an artist. The works include scenes of the American coast and the English seaside and castles, and sketches of rocks and plants. Each work is done with Richards' characteristic use of light and natural precision.
Admission to the museum is free, with the exhibition running through Sept. 26. Hours are 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday and 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Thursday. Guest curator Carol M. Osbourne will give a free lecture about Richards' work on June 24 at 6 p.m. in the center's auditorium. Call 650-723-4177 or go to http://museum.stanford.edu .
African Rhythms Trio
For Randy Weston, jazz is a part of the rich culture of Africa. In his music, the pianist and composer keeps the traditional sounds and rhythms of African music alive, and the result reflects his storied career as an influential artist in the genres of jazz, rhythm and blues, and the music of Africa and the Caribbean.
Performing with two longtime collaborators, percussionist Neil Clarke and bassist Alex Blake, Weston is part of the African Rhythms Trio. At Stanford University's Dinkelspiel Auditorium on Saturday, June 26 at 8 p.m., the African Rhythms Trio will perform as part of the 2010 Stanford Jazz Festival. The trio recalls jazz's African roots in its music, and at 84 years old, Weston still leads the trio with passion for his heritage and the musical possibilities of the jazz genre.
The concert will begin at 8 p.m. at Dinkelspiel Auditorium, 471 Lagunita Drive. Tickets are $34 general and $20 for students. The trio will also give an 11 a.m. presentation at Dinkelspiel on the history of African jazz; tickets are $10 at the door. Call 650-725-2787 or go to http://stanfordjazz.org .
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