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November Arts

An Artistic Feast

It's colder out and the Halloween buzz is over, which makes November the perfect month to rush into a theater or museum. Or maybe you're the type to shake off the fall chill with a little booze? Instead of your regular dive, go have a drink and check out a comedy show at Cobb's or a live art session at 111 Minna. Either way, it's time to warm up with November arts.

November 4th to 7th: Michael Ian Black
Cobb's Comedy Club; see website for times, $22.50
You know him as the witster wise guy from VH1's “I Love the...” series, and from his role in the cult film Wet Hot American Summer, but Michael Ian Black also does stand-up. In fact, Black started as a sketch comedy writer before turning to acting, and then decided to give stand-up a try. Well, Black is back with his stand-up and will grace San Francisco with his dry, bizarro humor when he returns to Cobb's Comedy Club early this month.

November 14th to March 13th: Curious George Saves the Day
Contemporary Jewish Museum; see website for times
Illustrator H.A. Rey and author/artist, Margret Rey (1906-1996) published over 30 books, but are best known for their seven books starring the courageous and cute monkey we all know as Curious George. The latest exhibit at the Contemporary Jewish Museum exhibits their iconic work, with 80 original drawings of that clever little monkey.

After fleeing their home just hours before the Nazis' marched on Paris in 1940, the Reys made their way to New York with a suitcase full of monkey drawings. Some say their close encounter with a horrible fate explains why the Curious George always has a thrilling, narrow escape. Documents and photographs from the Reys' escape from Nazi Europe will also be on display, adding depth to this unique vintage art exhibit.

November 16th: 50th Sketch Tuesday
111 Minna Gallery; 6pm
Each month, local artists gather at 111 Minna Gallery for the epic, free, live art event called Sketch Tuesdays. The public is welcome to get inspired and join in on the draw-a-thon, or just have a drink and watch as pen takes page.

From very established to emerging hopefuls, each artists gets their sketch on, using different mediums to create one-of-a-kind pieces that they sell on the spot. This is a unique opportunity to start collecting artwork for crazy low prices (Typically $6 to $30). That time of year is coming, and original art sure would make a great Christmas present — we're just saying. And while you're there, check out the November exhibit by Japanese artist, Toshio Saeki.

November 16th to January 15th: Coraline
S.F. Playhouse; see website for times
From children's book to cult movie, and now to the stage — can one creepy character really do it all? We'll see as Coraline, the musical, makes its West Coast premier this month at S.F. Playhouse.

Adapted from the children's book by Neil Gaiman, Coraline is a bored, neglected girl is left to wander the depths of her imagination. There she finds the perfect “Other Mother” and “Other Father,” but her fantasy world soon unravels. Of course, throughout it all are the edgy, rock tunes, scored by Stephin Merritt of The Magnetic Fields.

November 18th: Arianna Huffington: Beyond the Post
Commonwealth Club, 6:30pm
Arianna Huffington is huffing and puffing about America and the extinction of our middle class. As co-founder and editor-in-chief of The Huffington Post, Huffington possesses one of the most influences voices in online media.

While the Huffington Post is more than just a political blog now, Huffington's strongest interests still lie in politics. Her latest outcry comes from her book, Third World America: How Our Politicians Are Abandoning the Middle Class and Betraying the American Dream. Activist, journalist and author of Stuffed and Starved, Raj Patel will serve as moderator.

November 18th to January 6th: Peek Gallery Premier Show: 33 1/3
Peek Gallery in The Summit, Opening reception Nov. 18th from 7pm – 10pm
The Mission's latest hot spot, The Summit, is adding a gallery onto their purpose as a neighborhood restaurant/work-space/hipster mecca. The Summit encompasses so much because it's founded on Ray Oldenburg's third place theory that says a third place is an important community space that cultivates creative and engaged interactions in a society.

Thus, on November 18th, the coffee-shop-and-then-some expands with the inaugural show, 33 1/3: Album Art in the Third Space. The show features over 40 record albums from the private collections of such names as house music legend Mark Farina and Cool Chris, owner of Groove Merchant. The show's title refers to the rotations per minute of vinyl records, but cleverly also goes along with the third place concept behind The Summit.

November 19th to November 21th: 12th Annual SF Hip Hop Dance Festival
Palace of Fine Arts, Friday & Saturday at 8pm, Sunday at 2pm & 7pm, $40
For the past 12 years, the best hip hop dance companies from around the world have gathered in San Francisco to perform at the Annual SF Hip Hop Festival. The event was founded by Artistic Director Micaya, and was the first festival to exclusively recognize hip hop dance companies.

The festival is broken down into two heats of dance troupes: Program A and Program B. Program A will kick things off on November 19th and Program B is scheduled for November 20th. Both programs will be performed in the finale show on November 21st. Among the twenty-two hip-hop companies are B-Boy Ynot & BailRok from Las Vegas, Pro Phenomen from France and, of course, San Francisco's very own, Funkanometry.