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Not Daddy Warbucks 

Kids are bad people, too

WED-SAT 11/19-22

Jim Grimsley's newest play for young audiences asks a question well beyond most adults: What is the meaning of peace if we have to kill for it? In answer, War Daddy describes an old war fought by kids. The conflict is set in an unnamed country; teenage soldiers have been forced to join opposing sides, and the action follows the two groups to their inevitable meeting.

The play's press materials quote Young Conservatory Director Craig Slaight rather naively saying, "From school shootings to out-and-out war, violence is an unfortunate fact of life for every child growing up today," as if kids facing injury and death were a new phenomenon. But playwright Grimsley's long pedigree, rich in awards, and director W.D. Keith's heavy acting chops look plenty able to pull the production away from such suburban assumptions and into real answers. The show begins at 7:30 p.m. at Zeum in the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, 221 Fourth St., S.F. Admission is $10-15; call 749-2228 or visit
-- Hiya Swanhuyser

That Doggy in the Window

DAILY 11/24-12/24

The "awws" from Market Street are almost deafening as the SPCA continues its "Holiday Windows" tradition, displaying adoptable dogs and cats starting at 10 a.m. in the big glass bays of Anthropologie, 800 Market S.F. Admission is free; call 434-2210.
-- Joyce Slaton

Alice Anew

SAT 11/22

You know how some grown women are crazy about Sanrio products? We know some 37-year-old men who hoard their Mr. Lunch pencils like gold. J. Otto Seibold, the creator of the inexplicably obsession-inducing Mr. Lunch supply line, is a local boy made good -- he's from Martinez. He's also the illustrator of Olive, the Other Reindeer, which became a TV special. At the moment, he's back on home turf to sign copies of his latest endeavor, Alice in Pop-Up Wonderland, a retelling of Lewis Carroll's famous stories from "down the rabbit hole." See him at 2 p.m. at the SFMOMA's MuseumStore, 151 Third St. (at Mission), S.F. Admission is free; call 357-4035 or visit
-- Hiya Swanhuyser

All Strung Out

SAT 11/22

Are the gods of holiday hell running you ragged? Take the kids to Jim Gamble Puppet Productions' Nutcracker and watch someone else's strings get pulled for a change. Marionettes enact the classic tale of Clara and the Nutcracker Prince, with effigies on strings playing characters from the Land of the Sweets: martial toy soldiers, bouncing Cossack acrobats, and more. The puppets perform at 1 p.m. at the Randall Museum Theater, 199 Museum (at Roosevelt), S.F. Admission is free-$6; call 554-9600 or see
-- Jack Karp


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  • Nevada City and the South Yuba River: A gold country getaway

    Nestled in the green pine-covered hills of the Northern Sierra Nevada is the Gold Rush town of Nevada City. Beautiful Victorian houses line the streets, keeping the old-time charm alive, and a vibrant downtown is home to world-class art, theater and music. The nearby South Yuba River State Park is known for its emerald swimming holes during the summer and radiant leaf colors during autumn. These days the gold panning is more for tourists than prospectors, but the gold miner spirit is still in the air.

    South Yuba River State Park and Swimming Holes:
    The park runs along and below 20 miles of the South Yuba River, offering hiking, mountain biking, gold panning and swimming. The Highway 49 bridge swimming hole is seven-miles northwest of Nevada City where Highway 49 crosses the South Yuba River. Parking is readily available and it is a short, steep hike to a stunning swimming hole beneath a footbridge. For the more intrepid, trails extend along the river with access to secluded swim spots. The Bridgeport swimming hole has calm waters and a sandy beach -- good for families and cookouts -- and is located 14 miles northwest of Nevada City. Be sure to write down directions before heading out, GPS may not be available. Most swimming holes on the South Yuba River are best from July to September, while winter and spring can bring dangerous rapids. Always know the current before jumping in!

    Downtown Nevada City
    The welcoming, walkable downtown of Nevada City is laid back, yet full of life. Start your day at the cozy South Pine Cafe (110 S Pine St.) with a lobster benedict or a spicy Jamaican tofu scramble. Then stroll the streets and stop into the shop Kitkitdizzi (423 Broad St.) for handcrafted goods unique to the region, vintage wears and local art “all with California gold rush swagger,” as stated by owners Carrie Hawthorne and Kira Westly. Surrounded by Gold Rush history, modern gold jewelry is made from locally found nuggets and is found at Utopian Stone Custom Jewelers (301 Broad St.). For a coffee shop with Victorian charm try The Curly Wolf (217 Broad St.), an espresso house and music venue with German pastries and light fare. A perfect way to cool down during the hot summer months can be found at Treats (110 York St.) , an artisan ice cream shop with flavors like pear ginger sorbet or vegan chai coconut. Nightlife is aplenty with music halls, alehouses or dive bars like the Mine Shaft Saloon (222 Broad St.).

    The Willo Steakhouse (16898 State Hwy 49, Nevada City)
    Along Highway 49, just west of Nevada City, is The Willo, a classic roadhouse and bar where you’re welcomed by the smell of steak and a dining room full of locals. In 1947 a Quonset hut (a semi-cylindrical building) was purchased from the US Army and transported to its current location, and opened as a bar, which became popular with lumberjacks and miners. The bar was passed down through the decades and a covered structure was added to enlarge the bar and create a dining area. The original Quonset beams are still visible in the bar and current owners Mike Byrne and Nancy Wilson keep the roadhouse tradition going with carefully aged New York steaks and house made ingredients. Pair your steak or fish with a local wine, such as the Rough and Ready Red, or bring your own for a small corkage fee. Check the website for specials, such as rib-eye on Fridays.

    Outside Inn (575 E Broad St.)
    A 16-room motel a short walk from downtown, each room features a unique décor, such as the Paddlers’ Suite or the Wildflower Room. A friendly staff and an office full of information about local trails, swimming and biking gets you started on your outdoor exploration. Amenities include an outdoor shower, a summer swimming pool and picnic tables and barbeques. Don’t miss the free vegetable cart just outside the motel in the mornings.

    Written and photographed by Beth LaBerge for the SF Weekly.

  • Arcade Fire at Shoreline
    Arcade Fire opened their US tour at Shoreline Amphitheater to a full house who was there in support of their album "Reflector," which was released last fall. Dan Deacon opened the show to a happily surprised early audience and got the crowd actively dancing and warmed up. DEVO was originally on the bill to support Arcade Fire but a kayak accident last week had sidelined lead singer Mark Mothersbaugh and the duration of the west coast leg of the tour. Win Butler did a homage to DEVO by performing Uncontrollable Urge.

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