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This week in Arts and Life: April 6 – April 12


James McAvoy and Jessica Chastain in “The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby.” (Courtesy of The Weinstein Company, Sarah Schatz)

From Noah Baumbach’s “While We’re Young” to the Ram’s Head Theatrical Society’s production of the hit musical “Hairspray,” the coming week is chock full of can’t-miss art. Here are our carefully curated selections for what to listen to/view/watch this week in arts and life.


With the Aquarius closing up shop for the summer — the theater is currently undergoing extensive renovations and is closed indefinitely — the pickings are expectedly slim in the immediate Palo Alto area. Unless you’re willing the shell out the cash for the Bradley Cooper/Jennifer Lawrence stinker “Serena” or “The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel” (yes, there are two) then it’s probably best to look for entertainment elsewhere this week.

Fortunately, there are a number of other solid flicks currently tumbling around for your viewing pleasure.

Hop on over to Netflix — or iTunes if you’re not a subscriber — to check out Ned Benson’s fascinating twin portraits of a marriage “The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby: Him” and “The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby: Her.” Also available on VOD is Lone Scherfig’s “The Riot Club,” a rowdy crowd-pleaser about a bunch of misbehaving Brits including the much-adored Sam Claflin (Finnick Odair in Lionsgate’s “The Hunger Games” franchise). Debuting to generally favorable reviews at the Toronto International Film Festival, “The Riot Club” is definitely worth checking out.

Also, if you’re willing to wait it out until this Friday, Noah Baumbach’s simply exceptional “While We’re Young” is currently set to arrive at the Guild Theatre by end of week (though the art-house theater’s line-up is notoriously finicky). Packed with some amazing actresses and actors — including Naomi Watts and Adam Driver — “While We’re Young” is both hilarious and undeniably sharp. Be sure to check out Staff Writer Raymond Maspons’s review of the film later this week.


This Friday, April 10, will see the premiere of Ram’s Head Theatrical Society’s production of “Hairspray.” Inspired by the campy 1998 film, written and directed by the contentious John Waters, “Hairspray” is an upbeat, family-friendly musical that is a must-see for any aspiring theatergoer. Performances will be held in Memorial Auditorium on April 10, 11, 16, 17, 18 at 8:00 p.m. Tickets can be bought online, or in White Plaza from 11:00 a.m.-1:30 p.m. on weekdays.

In other news, Rainn Wilson is coming to campus. That’s right, the comedic genius from “The Office” is coming to Cemex Auditorium with Soulpancake, an organization which the actor co-founded with friends Joshua Homnick and Devon Gundry in 2008. The media company intends to “make stuff that makes you think, laugh and cry.” He’ll be speaking from 7:30-9 p.m. this Friday, April 10.


There will be plenty of classical music on campus and in the Bay Area this weekend, starting with the Australian Chamber Orchestra. This stellar group will be debuting a new piece at Bing Concert Hall, this Friday at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are being sold for $15 to $30 with a SUID.

Stanford’s resident St Lawrence String Quartet will be performing at Bing from 2:30-4:30 p.m. on Sunday, and tickets will be available to students with an SUID starting at $15.

If you can make it up to the city this weekend, Joshua Bell and the San Francisco Symphony will be performing at Davies Symphony Hall, Thursday through Sunday. Tickets can be bought online, starting at $71.

Finally, here are some album releases we’re looking forward to: Pokey LaFarge’s “Something in the Water,” Waxahatchee’s “Ivy Tripp” and Young Fathers’ “White Men Are Black Men Too.”

Visual Arts

This coming Wednesday, “Plus One: Pop Duplications,” a new Cantor exhibition featuring the aesthetics of the 1960s Pop Art movement, will be open to the public. The exhibition focuses on reproductions of works by Jasper Johns, Roy Lichtenstein, Claes Oldenburg, Robert Rauschenberg, Wayne Thiebaud and Andy Warhol, artists whose work reflects the mechanical nature of mass culture.

On Thursday, a panel of three scholars — Attiya Ahmad, Dominic Brookshaw and Nasrin Rahimieh — will be discussing the interplay between poetry and photography in the Cantor exhibition “She Who Tells a Story.” The talk will be held at the Cantor classroom from 4:30 p.m.-6:00 p.m.

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