After working in marketing for 20-some years, Michelle Jader was ready for a life change. In 2007 she started studying fine-art painting at the Academy of Art University, and now she's a full-time artist.
Appropriately, the San Francisco artist's current solo exhibition at the Bryant Street Gallery in downtown Palo Alto is called "Ready or Not." She explores the notion of diving into a new phase of life through her bright oil paintings depicting gymnasts and dancers, and people flying through the air over trampolines.
"Transitions ... include the sense of falling, lack of control and the feeling that anything is possible," Jader wrote in an artist's statement. "We're vulnerable in these moments and despite our efforts, our actions seem to be more public than other times in our lives. To capture these feelings, images are painted on semi-transparent, acrylic panels."
"Ready or Not" is on display at 532 Bryant St. through the end of March. The gallery is open Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., and Thursdays until 7 p.m. Go to http://www.bryantstreet.com or call 650-321-8155.
Redwood Bluegrass Associates
The latest in a series of regular concerts hosted by the Redwood Bluegrass Associates in Mountain View features a local fiddler making a homecoming: Menlo School graduate Brittany Haas. Now a five-string fiddle player living in Nashville, Haas also plays with the chamber-grass band Crooked Still and an "all-girl old-time band called The Fundies" as well as teaming up with Lauren Rioux in their fiddle duo.
Rioux, who is from Maine, is a member of Darol Anger's Republic of Strings and other groups. She and Haas share a love for Appalachian music
The Mountain View concert is scheduled for this Saturday, March 24, at the First Presbyterian Church at 1667 Miramonte Ave. Also featured are the musicians Chris Stuart and Janet Beazley from the band Backcountry.
The evening begins with a 5 p.m. pre-show jam session, with doors opening at 7 p.m. and the show starting at 8 p.m. Pies, cookies and other refreshments will be on hand. Tickets are $18 in advance and $20 at the door. For more information, go to http://www.rba.org or call 650-691-9982.
Armed with a new book and two new albums, Doctor Noize is coming back to Palo Alto. He's also known as Stanford music graduate Cory Cullinan, a children's musician who grew up in Los Altos.
Doctor Noize has been on call a lot lately. Besides releasing the book-and-CD combo "The Return of Phineas McBoof" and the educational album "Grammaropolis," Cullinan has been scoring some of his songs for full orchestra. He recently performed with the North State Symphony and the Juneau Symphony.
On Sunday, April 1, Cullinan is scheduled to play a 3:30 p.m. concert at the Cubberley Community Theatre at 4000 Middlefield Road. His one-man band generally grows during the course of a show, as kids get invited to join in and even help record songs on stage. As for Phineas McBook, he's a monkey with a band and a plan.
Tickets to the April 1 show are $10. For more, go to http://www.doctornoize.com or call the Palo Alto Children's Theatre at 650-463-4970.
It's not as cute as it sounds. In some criminal circles, a "cat's paw" is a pawn in a scheme that isn't very nice. In the William Mastrosimone play of the same name, a "cat's paw" is indeed a pawn, and a tense cat-and-mouse game is being played between an environmental terrorist and a journalist. There's a bombing; there are victims; and there are serious ethical questions.
The story unfolds starting this weekend in the small Dragon Theatre in downtown Palo Alto, presented by Dragon Productions. Jeffrey Hoffman directs the play, which runs March 24 through April 15 at 535 Alma St. (Opening night is already sold out.)
Performances are Thursday through Saturday at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 2. Tickets are $25 general, $20 for seniors and $16 for students. For more information, go to http://www.dragonproductions.net or call 650-493-2006.