Best Bets for the Weekend

Meredith Heuer

Daniel Handler (aka Lemony Snicket)

The Bay Area is a hub of artistic expression, attracting artists, writers and musicians from around the globe to live, work and create. We highlight some of the offerings here.

• Into the ‘Mystic’ – again: Bay Area pianist and composer Gregory Taboloff, who had the privilege of performing his own Piano Concerto No. 1, “The Mystic,” at the Lesher Center in Walnut Creek in 2017, is now bringing his musical baby to San Francisco. With conductor David Ramadanoff leading an orchestra of professional musicians from around the Bay Area, Taboloff will reprise the performance of his concerto at the Herbst Theatre Sunday afternoon on a program that also includes Mozart’s Overture from “The Magic Flute” and Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 3 in C minor. The concert is at 3 p.m. at 401 Van Ness Ave. Tickets, $45-$75, are available at 415-392-4400 or

• Lemony Snicket’s REAL alter-ego: The San Francisco writer famed for his “A Series of Unfortunate Events” books for children is also an accomplished author of adult fiction. His latest, “Bottle Grove” (Bloomsbury Publishing, $26, 227 pages) is about as wacky as they come, a wild comic plunge into the modern San Francisco scene that pillories both the tech boom whirlwind and the fading fortunes of the city’s privileged gentry. You can hear Daniel Handler read from it at 7 p.m. Thursday at City Lights Books, 261 Columbus Ave., San Francisco, and at 7 p.m. Friday at Copperfield’s Books, 140 Kentucky St., Petaluma. If you miss him this weekend, he also has appearances lined up at Books Inc. in Berkeley on Sept. 12, Book Passage in Corte Madera on Sept. 18, the Mechanics’ Institute in San Francisco on Sept. 19, the Commonwealth Club in San Francisco on Sept. 23 and Rakestraw Books in Danville on Sept. 26.

• SFJazz: It’s hard to think of a venue that hosts hundreds of concerts year round as having a “season,” but this gorgeous facility with its world-class sound does indeed kick off its 2019-20 campaign this week with two stellar artists. The stunningly talented young singer Veronica Swift performs with the Emmet Cohen Trio at the Joe Henderson Lab, Sept. 5-8 ($35) while legendary pianist Ahmad Jamal holds forth at the Miner Auditorium on the same dates ($40-$110). Don’t wait too long to snag tickets, because they are going fast;

• Women who rock: OK, maybe the band Heart has turned out its share of cheesy hits over the years, but lead singer Ann Wilson can still belt out a full-throated rock song with the best of them. Heart heads to the Concord Pavilion on Friday to headline a fun triple bill that also includes the snarling icon Joan Jett and her band The Blackhearts as well as the 30-year-old raspy, sassy rocker Elle King. Music starts at 7 p.m. Tickets are $29.50-$129.50;

Terry Baum stars in “HICK: A Love Story, The Romance of Lorena Hickok & Eleanor Roosevelt,” which will be performed several times at the San Francisco Fringe Festival. (Photo courtesy of San Francisco Fringe Festival)

• S.F. Fringe Festival: You just never know what you’ll encounter at this weird, wacky and wonderful collection of low-fi stage performances that range from delightful to demented; inspired to, well, icky. But if you love the immediacy and urgency of live performance, it doesn’t get much more elementary than in the scores of shows presented at the Exit Theatre complex Sept. 5-14. Most performances cost $10-$16; see the schedule, score tickets and find more information at

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