If you could ask anyone to pick the best acts from the West Coast hip-hopinspired performance scene, you'd ask Marc Bamuthi Joseph. "You're extraordinarily talented and award-winning in every aspect of hip-hop theater. So which dance, spoken word, and theater people will thrill me the most?" you might say. His response would be, and is, the Left Coast Leaning Festival. Curated by a man who knows, the festival features three evenings of thought-provoking, innovative work by artists at the tip-tops of their various games. Local dance company ODC/Dance makes an appearance, alongside local theatrical superduo Denizen Kane and Sean San José. From farther off come the lyrical Holcombe Waller and his dance-inflected indie-folk show, and Rennie Harris, who's been compared to Alvin Ailey and Bob Fosse. If you wish to be truly happy, Joseph might tell you to find a way to see the collaboration between Chinaka Hodge, playwright and force of nature, and Ambrose Akinmusire, who's one of those Berkeley Highgrown jazz megaprodigies. We suggest you heed his call.
Dec. 3-5, 8 p.m., 2009