Monday, February 27, 2017

"The Christians" at San Francisco Playhouse through March 11

Pastor Paul (Anthony Fusco) with his congregation.

While Pastor Paul’s church has grown into a megachurch during the last decade, he's also experiencing a personal crisis of faith. This prompts him to share a shocking revelation during a sermon, which challenges the core beliefs held by the congregation. 

Making its Bay Area premiere at the San Francisco Playhouse, with Anthony Fusco in the lead role, this provocative play by Lucas Hnath examines faith in America and its ability to bring people together or tear them apart. Directed by Bill English.

L-R: Pastor Paul (Anthony Fusco) gets ready to start his service alongside Associate Pastor Joshua (Lance Gardner), Elder Jay (Warred David Keith) and Paul's wife, Elizabeth (Stephanie Prentice). Photos: San Francisco Playhouse

A congregant, Jenny (Millie Brooks), takes issue with Pastor Paul's (Anthony Fusco) sermon.

Photos courtesy of the San Francisco Playhouse.

“The Christians” through March 11. $35-$125. San Francisco Playhouse, Inside the Kensington Hotel, 450 Post St., S.F. (415) 677-9596,

-Stephanie Wright Hession

Saturday, February 25, 2017

“Monet: The Early Years,” opens today at the Legion of Honor, S.F.

The first major exhibition in the United States focused upon the beginning of Claude Monet’s career, “Monet: The Early Years,” features approximately 60 portraits, still lifes and landscapes from the Musée d’Orsay in Paris, the National Gallery of Art in Washington D.C., the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York and other public and private collections. 

Created by Monet during a 14-year period starting in 1858 with the first painting he exhibited at the age of 17, these particular paintings offer insight into his growth and development as an artist. Through his observation of how light interacted with surfaces and the exploration of painting textures, Monet began to discover and solidify a revolutionary style of painting, which would help fuel the Impressionism movement.

“Photograph of the young Monet,” (1865) by Étienne Carjat

The exhibition ends with works completed in 1872, the same year that he would join fellow artists including Edgar Degas and Camille Pissarro for their first exhibition together in Paris. The group garnered the name Impressionists, after art critic Louis Leroy wrote in a review that the paintings were simply "impressions." 

“View Near Rouelles,” (1858), oil on canvas, Claude Monet. Marunuma Art Park. 

“Luncheon on the Grass, Central Panel,” (1865-66), oil on canvas. Musée d’Orsay, Paris

“Adolphe Monet Reading in a Garden,” (1866), oil on canvas. The Larry Ellison Collection.

“Jean Monet Sleeping,” (1868), oil on canvas. Ny Carlsbery Glyptotek, Copenhagen. 

“La Grenouillère,” (1869), oil on canvas, Claude Monet. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. H.O. Havemeyer collection.

“On the Bank of the Seine, Bennecourt,” (1868), oil on canvas. Claude Monet. Art Institute of Chicago. Potter Palmer collection.

“The Pointe de Hève at Low Tide,” (1865), oil on canvas. Claude Monet. Kimbell Art Museum.

“Quai du Louvre,” (1867), oil on canvas. Claude Monet. Collection Gemeentemuseum Den Haag, The Netherlands.

“Monet: The Early Years.” Through May 29. $35 adults; $30 Seniors 65 +; $26 Students, $20 Youth ages 6-17, free children five years and younger, to museum members and to the general public on the first Tuesday of every month. 9:30 a.m.-5:15 p.m., Tuesday-Sunday. Legion of Honor, 100 34th Ave., Lincoln Park, S.F. (415) 750-3600,

-Stephanie Wright Hession

"Cary Leibowitz: Museum Show" at the Contemporary Jewish Museum, S.F. through June 25

The first solo museum exhibition and career survey of his work,“Cary Leibowitz: Museum Show,” features almost 350 scribbled, painted text-based pieces created throughout the last three decades. 

With this retrospective, Leibowitz, also known as Candyass, examines identity, queer politics and more from the viewpoint of a gay, Jewish person. 

“Attention All Art Critics,” (1990). Latex on wood panel by Cary Leibowitz. Courtesy of the artist and Invisible-Exports, NYC. 

“Modern Art 5 Cents,” (1995), latex paint on wood panel by Cary Leibowitz. Courtesy of the artist and Invisible-Exports. 

“Don’t Hate Me Because I’m Mediocre,” (1992), latex paint on wood panel by Cary Leibowitz. Courtesy of the artist and Invisible-Exports. 

"Cary Leibowitz: Museum Show." Through June 25. $12-$14, free for 18 years old and younger. 11 a.m.-5 p.m., Friday-Tuesday; 11 a.m.-8 p.m., Wednesdays and Thursdays. Contemporary Jewish Museum, 736 Mission St., S.F. (415) 655-7800,