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Hit List: Best Music, Art & Culture

In Culture, Music
TOTALLY JACKED: Three Bad Jacks play The Caravan this week.

TOTALLY JACKED: Three Bad Jacks play The Caravan this week.

This week’s Hit List features an international man of comedy, a primer on heavy metal music, Three Bad Jacks and a brand new local production of one of the ballet’s best known stories.

The Laramie Project
Wed, 8pm, Free
Nitery Theater, Stanford
In 1998, Matthew Shepard, a gay college student from the University of Wyoming, was kidnapped, beaten and left for dead. The senseless hate crime served as the impetus for The Laramie Project—originally produced by Moisés Kaufman and the Tectonic Theater Project. The play synthesizes more than 200 interviews conducted in the university’s surrounding college town of Laramie. The play explores how the local community reacted to the murder and paints a picture intolerance as well as understanding in rural America. The capstone project of two soon-to-be-graduating students, the production is free and open to the public. (NV)

Sugar Sammy
Thu, 8pm, $16+
Rooster T. Feathers, Sunnyvale
When it comes to taking his stand-up to the next level, Canadian-born Samir Khullar—b.k.a. Sugar Sammy—has a winning strategy. Fluent in English, French, Punjabi and Hindi, Sammy has found success deploying his multilinguistic comedy for crowds in North America, Europe and Asia. Speaking four languages not only helps Khullar spread his brand of comedy; it informs his jokes as well, with many of his bits revolving around the politics of language and what it means to be a Canadian-Indian living in the province of Quebec, where laws sometimes require French to be used instead of English. (NV)

Pear Slices
Thu, 8pm, $28+
The Pear Theatre, Mountain View
The Pear Theatre is hosting its annual showcase of original short plays by local playwrights. The Pear Slices festival runs Thursday through Sunday to the end of May—with all eight plays performed each evening. This year, there’s a hardboiled detective noir sendup, Deuce Cooper: The Bloomfield Case, by Pear veteran Paul Braverman; Elyce Melmon probes the divide between an artist mother and her captain of the tech industry son in For Art’s Sake; and two sisters must deal with the death of their brother while sorting through his belongings in Leah Halper’s Meantime In Between Time. (NV)

Three Bad Jacks
Fri, 10pm, $10
The Caravan, San Jose
Three Bad Jacks are bringing their greaser style back to San Jose. The rockabilly band recently caught some flak for their liberal use of pyrotechnics at a club in Phoenix, so The Caravan should be safe this time. Luckily the music is pretty great on its own. For the most part, Three Bad Jacks belt out a stock rockabilly sound that fans of the genre have come to expect. However, songs like “Noah and Jacob’s Song” prove the band can also deliver more folky music as well. The band will mostly play material from their most recent album Pictures and Memories from Home. (YK)

Fri, 7:30pm, $7+
Hammer Theatre, San Jose
The recently reopened Hammer Theatre Center—now operated by San Jose State University’s College of Humanities and the Arts—will officially debut its brand new, state-of-the-art Meyer Constellation Sound System during this production of Felix Mendelssohn’s Elijah. The oratorio follows the life of its titular character, the biblical prophet Elijah, from his dialogues with God to his glorious ascent to heaven. This multimedia operatic staging will feature contributions from the university’s Opera Theatre program, the SJSU School of Music & Dance, SJSU Choir, and the Department of Digital Media Art. The ensemble will be led by the nationally acclaimed baritone Eugene Brancoveanu. (NV)

Anjunabeats Presents
Fri, 9pm, $40
City National Civic, San Jose
British record label Anjunabeats has been curating its roster of trance and house DJs for going on 20 years. The label is currently promoting a handful of its artists with a North American tour, which stops in San Jose this Friday. Headlining the upcoming show: Andrew Bayer, Ilan Bluestone and Jason Ross. Fans of up-and-comer Ross will be waiting for him to drop his aggressive new original mix “Onyx.” Bayer and Bluestone are likely to play their collaborative trance effort “Destiny.” Followers of Bayer’s solo work will no doubt be listening for songs from of his 2015 EP Do Androids Dream. (YK)

The History of Metal
Sat, 8pm, $15
Theatre on San Pedro Square, San Jose
Get some music education with “The History of Metal.” The show will be put on by School of Rock, a music education program aimed at youth in San Jose. The show will feature aspiring musicians paying tribute to metal greats like Black Sabbath, Slayer and Metallica. This will be part of the school’s effort to give young musicians a platform to play songs they love for a crowd. The show will also feature tributes to a range of other metal-associated acts, such as nu metal bands Slipknot and Korn, as well as hard rock and proto-metal groups like Led Zeppelin and Motorhead. (YK) 

Swan Lake
Sat, 2pm, $15+
California Theatre, San Jose
The New Ballet School and the Palo Alto Philharmonic team up on this production of the classic Tchaikovsky ballet. A tragic and haunting tale about the transformative power of love and the pain of rejection, the New School will actually stage two productions—a full version and an abridged version. The latter, titled “My Very First Ballet: Swan Lake,” is intended for younger audiences and will begin at 11am. Both productions will be performed by studio company dancers Brennan Wall, Ryan Preciado, Jonah Corrall, Alexsandra Meijer, Mesa Burdick, Jonah Corrall and Christopher Lee. (NV)

Sun, 6:30pm, $10+
The X-Bar, Cupertino
Nashville emo outfit Daisyhead blend infectious guitar work with highly introspective lyricism. Touring behind their sophomore full-length—last month’s In Case You Missed It—Daisyhead has a cache of fresh material to play. With songs like “Dark Circus,” the band toggles between biting self-reflection and explosive self-flagellation. The title track from their new album demonstrates lead singer Michael Roe’s highly expressive range, as well as the band’s classic dual-guitar assault, which washes easily from mathy verses of melodic tangles into punchy power chord choruses. Sunday Drive, Can’t Complain, Quigs, Humboldt and Paper Skins share the bill. (YK)

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