Best Bets: Omar Sosa, Anna May Wong, Betty Reid Soskin musical  

The Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence are pictured at their Easter celebration in Dolores Park on April 1, 2018. (Courtesy of Gareth Gooch,

Free fun, freaky Easter: For the 45th time, on Sunday, San Francisco’s beloved drag nuns, the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, are hosting their Easter Celebration in the Park.

The fun happens from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. in Mission Dolores Park, at 19th and Dolores streets, starting with a visit from the Easter Bunny and games with eggs for kids. Adult entertainment begins at noon, with emcees Honey Mahogany and Sister Roma and performances by Kat Robichaud, House of Pack, The Mabuhay Bitches, and Sugar Bear. Then there are the exciting Easter Bonnet, Foxy Mary, and Hunky Jesus costume contests; everyone is invited to enter.

The charitable sisters recommend arriving early and taking public transit to the popular event, which is co-presented by San Francisco Recreation and Parks, Love Dolores, JK Sound and Recology. While activities are free, the sisters will be collecting donations to assist them in continuing their mission to promote “human rights, respect for diversity and spiritual enlightenment.” Check in with them on Facebook

Omar Sosa celebrates his new documentary and accompanying soundtrack with a series of weekend shows at Yoshi’s nightclub in Oakland. (Courtesy DL Media)

Focus on Omar Sosa: Cuban-born pianist and composer Omar Sosa has been a steady and prolific part of the Bay Area music scene since the mid-1990s. Known for creating and embracing a stunningly wide range of jazz, Latin and African musical styles, and in settings ranging from solo piano to big band, Sosa has released more than 30 albums and has performed at intimate jazz clubs, folk joints and grand concert halls. He is so accustomed to working on new projects and recording new music that he admits in a recent interview that it feels strange to look back. But he’s doing it with the release of the new documentary, “Omar Sosa’s 88 Well-Tuned Drums,” and accompanying soundtrack.

The film, which recounts his life and his musical journeys as composer, musician and bandleader, is available on Video on Demand sites and will be released on Blu-Ray next month. The soundtrack will be released on Oakland-based Ota Records, Sosa’s longtime label, on Record Store Day April 20.

In the meantime, Sosa has a quartet of shows this weekend at Yoshi’s, 510 Embarcadero West, Oakland. Performances are 8 and 10 p.m. Friday and 7:30 and 9:30 p.m. Saturday. Tickets are $34-$84. Go to

Katie Gee Salisbury will read from her work at Book Passage in the San Francisco Ferry Building. (Courtesy Dutton)

A first in her field: Anna May Wong may not be a household word, even among film buffs, but fifth-generation Chinese American and first time-author Katie Gee Salisbury aims to rectify that with the biography “Not Your China Doll,” subtitled “The Wild and Shimmering Life of Anna May Wong.”

Long before Lucy Liu even saw her first movie, Wong was the first Asian-American to become a bona fide movie star, rising to prominence co-starring with Douglas Fairbanks in 1924’s “The Thief of Bagdad.” Wong (1905-1961), a great beauty, also played Tiger Lily in a 1924 film version of “Peter Pan.”

She then took off to Europe to make more movies, where she was typecast as a China doll or dragon lady. When she returned, she became an ardent proponent for fair treatment of Asian-Americans in Hollywood.

Salisbury presents and reads from her new book (Dutton, $32, 480 pages) at Book Passage in the Ferry Building in San Francisco at 5:30 p.m. Thursday. For more information, go to

Civil rights figure and retired park ranger Betty Reid Soskin (center) is flanked by cast members of a new musical that centers on her life and music. (Courtesy Alexa “LexMex” Treviño/San Francisco Bay Area Theatre Company)

Icon gets the musical treatment: East Bay icon Betty Reid Soskin was a popular park ranger who worked at the job until she was 100. She has been a civil rights champion who was part of the first Black family to settle in Walnut Creek in the 1950s. She ran a popular record store in Berkeley for years. And she was a songwriter who penned civil rights anthems and protest songs in her younger years.

Reportedly, those songs had been boxed up for some 40 years when a film crew working on a documentary about Soskin learned about them. The songs became a focus of the as-yet-unfinished documentary, and they are front and center in “Sign My Name to Freedom,” a new musical focusing on Soskin’s life.

The show, which takes its name from Soskin’s memoir, was written by San Francisco Mime Troupe playwright and actor Michael Gene Sullivan, who reportedly had full and active cooperation from Soskin along the way.

“Freedom” gets its world premiere Friday through April 13 at Z Space, 450 Florida St., San Francisco, presented by the San Francisco Bay Area Theatre Company. Tickets are $15-$65; go to

ODC Dance brings two programs with three premieres to its Dance Downtown series, through March 31 at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts Theater in San Francisco. (Courtesy Robbie Sweeny/ODC Dance)

Taking it ‘Downtown’: ODC/Dance’s annual spring mini residency at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, “Dance Downtown,” sounds as much like a celebration as a performance.

Back this week, the two-part program features three world premieres: company founder and artistic director Brenda Way’s “A Brief History of Up and Down,” described as her musings on “the evolution of beauty” in dance over five-plus decades; ODC associate choreographer Kimi Okada’s “Inkwell,” inspired by the iconic cartoons and illustrations of “Betty Boop” creator Max Fleischer and flavored with references to slapstick comedy, vaudeville, early cinema and jazz; and “goutte par goutte,” by guest artist Sonya Delwaide, influenced by ancient Greek philosophy and set to a contemporary score by Pulitzer Prize-winner Caroline Shaw and contemporary music composer Jarby McCoy. Dance Downtown also features a revival of ODC Fellow KT Nelson’s 2015 climate change-themed work “Dead Reckoning,” which she reportedly created after spending a sabbatical in Death Valley.

Performances are 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday, 8 p.m. Friday (part of the company’s annual spring gala) and 5 p.m. Sunday at the Blue Shield Theater, 700 Howard St., San Francisco. Tickets are $30-$100; go to 

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