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Monday, March 14, 2016

Pop-Up Magazine Tickets Go On Sale at Noon Tuesday

Posted By on Mon, Mar 14, 2016 at 5:31 PM

click to enlarge POP-UP MAGAZINE
  • Pop-Up Magazine
The live, never-recorded-for-posterity touring show of multimedia performances produced by a team that mostly overlaps with California Sunday Magazine, Pop-Up Magazine returns to Davies Symphony Hall Tuesday, April 12 and hits Oakland's Paramount Theater Wednesday, April 13.

Tickets go on sale tomorrow, Tuesday, March 15, at noon.

Like a TED Talk without the pedantic bloviating, Pop-Up Magazine brings together writers, filmmakers, voices from the radio, and other contributors, combing their eclectic stories into an evening of highbrow entertainment. And all of it will be new to your ears.

"Everything we put on stage is original for that night," says co-founder Douglas McGray. "So nothing is a compendium, nothing has been aired. Some people are producing stories that are special for the night, some people are taking stuff from a book in progress or a film in progress and adapting it for the night. Sometimes pieces you see on stage may have another life."

While certain stories might make their way into California Sunday sometime down the line, Pop-Up Magazine has evolved into a way to bring disparate media together. No stock photography or lame PowerPoints here!

"It's very magazine-like, different from piece to piece," McGray says. Pop-Up might have an illustrator design a story and narrate it, or combine work from two contributors — as is the case with Claire Hoffman and Miwa Matreyek, for their story on what McGray describes as "about an especially unlikely idea for a huge amusement park" — or the producers might simply art-direct a story the way a standard magazine might.

"We want everything on the stage to be really beautiful," McGray says.

Production has moved in a more cinematic direction, too — so if it's been a few years since you last saw a Pop-Up performance, it's probably time to check back in.

"We started mixing more music into the show," McGray says. "Most of the pieces have an original score, so when you’re in the audience, you’re hearing someone narrate the story and you’re seeing photos and hearing a band playing like a movie soundtrack as they perform."

While McGray declined to pick a personal favorite from among this year's clutch of contributors, he did recall one story from years past that embodied the spirit of the event: Jenna Wortham's account of a man who sustained a series of brain injuries that left him unable to form new memories. (To execute it, Wortham collaborated with a shadow theater company from Chicago, Manual Cinema.)

"It was a really intimate story about this guy and how his life had changed," McGray says, "but there was something interestingly universal about it: He was a more extreme version of all of us."

Pop-Up Magazine, Tuesday, April 13 at Davies Symphony Hall and Wednesday, April 14, at the Paramount Theater.

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About The Author

Peter Lawrence Kane

Peter Lawrence Kane is SF Weekly's Arts Editor. He has lived in San Francisco since 2008 and is two-thirds the way toward his goal of visiting all 59 national parks.


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