31 Things to Do This August: Marin City’s 80th Anniversary, Curtain Theater Returns to the Mill Valley Amphitheater, and Outside Lands at Golden Gate Park

Plus, the Lion King comes to San Jose, music at Old St. Hilary’s in Tiburon, Faith Ringgold opens at the DeYoung, the Petaluma Music Festival and many other summertime events around the bay.

It’s been 80 years since Marin City’s World War II-era founding as a place to call home for wartime shipyard workers and arrivistes during the Great Migration. The year-long celebration unfolds in August and September to celebrate the community’s history, culture and art and share the untold story of African American perseverance in Marin.

Opening August 20, The Legacy of Marin City, 1942–1962, at Marin Center’s Bartolini Gallery considers the memorabilia of Black shipyard workers with a virtual reality experience, soundtrack listening stations, and historical knowledge around housing discrimination, through October 20.

A second exhibit, The Housing History, 1942–1962, at Marin Civic Center Board of Supervisors 3rd Floor & 1st Floor lobbies, tells the story of Frank Lloyd Wright protégé, Aaron Greene, who architected Marin City‘s Golden Gate Village and looks at the continual fight for housing rights and equality through community artifacts and artwork and at discriminatory issues such as redlining and whitewashing, opening August 20.

Called part play, part musical, The Joseph James Experience dives into the life and the impact of his activism of Marin City’s own Joseph James, a Marinship shipyard worker who helped end discrimination in his union, opening August 20.

Over Labor Day Weekend (Sept 3–5), join in a ribbon-cutting for the opening of the Marin City Historical and Preservation Society, walk a car show, drop in and listen at a music festival with blues, jazz, zydeco, soul, and gospel music, and join in a homecoming/revival celebration of the town.

On September 10, go for a Sail on the Matthew Turner, to honor our Marin ancestors who helped build the 93 ships that set sail from the Marinship shipyard.

Aug 1  Two Gentlemen of Verona

Directed by Steve Beecroft, a Shakespearian comedy thought to be his first, considers love, redemption and betrayal, and other soon-to-be hallmarks of The Bard’s style, and is performed outside at Mill Valley’s Old Mill Park Amphitheatre, through September 5.

Aug 2 Mohsin Hamid

The author of The Reluctant Fundamentalist returns to discuss his latest novel, The Last White Man, where Kafka’s The Metamorphosis is reimagined in a tale of love, loss, and rediscovery.

Aug 3 The Lion King

The winner of six 1998 Tony Awards features a score with Elton John and Tim Rice’s songs and has ten productions running concurrently across the globe, including this one, in San Jose, through August 21.

Aug 4 The Gold Rush

Presented free on an outdoor screen in downtown Berkeley, Charlie Chaplin’s hapless prospector tries his luck in the frozen north but it is the pair of dancing rolls that got everyone talking when this film premiered in 1925. 

Aug 5 Outside Lands

Green Day might be the headliner but a multi-day music and food fest at Golden Gate Fields includes Post Malone, SZA, Phoebe Bridgers, Lil Uzi Vert, and Mitski, among many, many others, through August 7.

Aug 6 Petaluma Music Festival

Jackie Greene and Anders Osborne headline a day of music, food, and fun, with 14 bands on four stages, brews from Lagunitas Brewing and Two Rock Brewing Company, and more. 

Aug 6 Shrek

The 2001 movie based on the 1990 William Steig book considers a green ogre and his donkey sidekick in a tale which involves one grumpy princess, a swamp, and a special appearance by Robin Hood, presented in a drive-in format. 

Aug 7 Jim Gaffigan

The affable star of “The Jim Gaffigan Show” makes a stop in Saratoga on The Fun Tour – interpret as you see fit. 

Aug 8 Hooray for Hollywood

Featuring 15 performers and a full band of brass, strings, and percussion, a century of movie themes, from “The Wizard of Ozto “The Greatest Showman,” from Ritchie Valens to Prince, are brought to the stage at Jack London State Historic Park, through August 14.

Aug 9 Little Feat

Bill Payne is still at the keyboards and sings vocals for a band he helped form in 1969; though the band’s incredible live album, “Waiting for Columbus” was first recorded in 1977, their new tour carries the same name. 

Aug 9 Chef Henna Patel

The Greens Guest Chef Summer Series returns and the current James Beard nominee for Best Chef in California and chef and co-owner of San Francisco’s Besharam will prepare dishes inspired by her native Western India. 

Aug 10 Hella Feminist

Combining art and historical artifacts to explore feminism’s diverse stories in the Bay Area, an exhibition divided into three sections, Mind, Body and Spirit, includes newly commissioned works rooted in the idea that discrimination against all elements of identity (gender, class, race, sexual orientation, physical ability, education, age, etc.) is interlinked, through January 8, 2023. 

Aug 11 Mosquito Supper Club

Chef Melissa Martin, who launched her career in the Bay Area but earned a James Beard award this year for her New Orleans-based restaurant cookbook, Mosquito Supper Club: Cajun Recipes from a Disappearing Bayou, returns to San Francisco for an August residency at Turntable by Lord Stanley. 

Aug 12 Foodieland Night Festival

Over 150 food trucks park on the Alameda waterfront to feed all the families and their friends who drop by to play games, shop and oh, boy oh boy, eat, through August 14. 

Aug 13 Bobby Tessel

Marin Comedy Show presents an evening of laughs featuring L.A. comedian Bobby Tessel and the Standup Comedy Amateur Showcase in Novato.

Aug 13 We Are As Gods

Filmmakers David Alvarado and Jason Sussberg take a look into Stewart Brand who is not only the creator of The Whole Earth Catalog, but was an influential member of Ken Kesey’s “The Merry Pranksters,” and founder of the modern environmental movement; followed by an in-Person Q&A with the filmmakers. 

Aug 13 Wine Country Distillery Festival

Marin’s Alamere Spirits and Petaluma’s Griffo Distillery are just two of the craft distillers and artisan vendors at a day-long event dedicated to showcasing Northern California’s burgeoning spirits industry. 

Aug 13 Gravenstein Apple Fair  

Sonoma’s heritage apple is at the heart of a community-based fair which showcases local music on multiple stages, food (caramel apples – yes!), arts and crafts booths and specialty and local products from Sonoma’s farmers, through August 14.

Aug 14 Caroluna

The summer music series presented by Belvedere-Tiburon Landmarks Society at Old Saint Hilary’s continues with a lyric soprano performing opera arias and art songs by Mozart, Puccini, Debussy, and more.

Aug 15 Crash Test Dummies

Celebrating 30 years in the music business, the band best known for their debut album, “The Ghosts that Haunt Me” stops by the Great American Music Hall.

Aug 16 Faith Ringgold

Bringing together more than 50 years of work including her experimental story quilts and paintings of her renowned American People and Black Light series, a retrospective of an American artist traces the artist’s evolution that expanded to consider the the political and social changes taking place in the United States throughout her life, through November 27. 

Aug 17 Terra Incognita

Three decades of Oakland-based artist David Huffman’s Traumanauts (characters who traverse the galaxy) series explores science fiction, formalist abstraction and social justice movements of the late 20th century in a range of media including large-scale canvas, works on paper, ceramics, video and printmaking., through August 21. 

Aug 18 Put Your Phone Down!

A new generation of comics, including Mike Evans Jr., Jackie Keliiaa, and Dara M. Wilson sling jokes as presented by Rightnowish, KQED’s arts and culture podcast, with in-person and livestream options.

Aug 19 Ferry Fridays

The back plaza of San Francisco’s Ferry Building hosts La Cocina businesses every third Friday through September which this month are Marin Country Mart’s @elhuaracheloco and @estrellitas.snacks, which is a regular at the Alemany Farmer’s Market, plus live music, mural paintings and more.

Aug 20 An Andalusian Evening

Jubaea Estate in the Mayacamas mountains hosts one in a series of Great Places / Great Spaces events from the Sonoma Valley Museum of Art to browse the art, architecture, and design in open studios while savoring Mediterranean hors d’oeuvres paired with Jubaea Cabernet Sauvignon. 

Aug 20 Art Auction

Bolinas Museum is hosting a series of events for its 30th Annual Benefit Art Auction, including the popular auction, online and in the galleries, and experiences, including a Last Call Cocktail Party on September 10, through September 11.

Aug 21 120th Anniversary Party

The Outdoor Art Club of Mill Valley marks a milestone by throwing a free community party with music, wine, beer, food, and tours of its historic Bernard Maybeck-designed clubhouse and gardens. 

Aug 22 Coco

The Rafael is screening a month of Pixar movies, from “Wall-E” and “Up” to “Monsters, Inc” and “Soul.” Amidst the month’s offerings is a movie about a young musician who uncovers some of the mysteries of his ancestors by taking a magic journey to a foreign land.

Aug 23 Ramses

Exploring the life and accomplishments of Ramses the Great, over 180 objects in Ramses the Great and the Gold of the Pharaohs demonstrates the opulence and power of ancient Egyptian civilization while a virtual-reality offering, Ramses and Nefertari: Journey to Osiris, takes you on a tour of two of the Egyptian king’s most impressive monuments, Abu Simbel and Nefertari’s Tomb, through February 12, 2023. 

Aug 24 Consolidated Mess

Inspired by the Hamilton Airfield historical archives, Oakland’s Lexa Walsh will consider the complexities of war and will be open for “office hours” during the first five weeks of the project’s construction, through November 6. 

Aug 25 Seen & Unseen

In the first exhibit of her work in more than 20 years, experimental photographer Imogen Cunningham’s images are the focus of this exhibit in Sonoma that includes street portraits from San Francisco’s Haight-Ashbury district and Paris, as well as family photographs, portraiture and abstract still lifes, through August 28. 

Aug 26 Here and There Festival

A roaming festival of songwriters curated by Courtney Barrett includes Japanese Breakfast, Chicano Batman, and Julia Jacklin at Stanford’ Frost Amphitheater. 

Aug 27 Colbie Caillat

The two-time Grammy award winner perhaps best-known for her breakout hit “Bubbly” in 2009 and “Brighter than the Sun” in 2011 visits Santa Rosa with Nick Davisson and Ellie James along for the ride. 

Aug 27 Napa/Nola

Charles Krug Winery hosts a day of classic New Orleans music (featuring Raw Oyster Cult, Rebirth Brass Band, Big Chief Monk Boudreaux and others) and Cajun-ish food like a coastal shrimp salad, lobster roll and avocado fries. 

Aug 28 Autumn Moon Festival

Grant Avenue between California and Broadway in San Francisco’s Chinatown will be filled with arts, crafts and food vendors (mooncakes!), live music, a special fire dragon and a closing ceremony; nearby Portsmouth Square Park will also host a music festival, presented by the Chinese Culture Center.

Aug 29 Brainstormer Trivia

Join Quizmaster Rick Tosh and pit your wits against friends for a six-round trivia contest that you just know will show off your knowledge of pop culture, movies, sports, science and more at Novato’s Hopmonk Tavern.

Aug 30 Summer Camp at Hotel Zeppelin

While it is closed for renovations, Bernal Heights Michelin one-star restaurant Marlena is popping up at a Union Square hotel to explore new menu concepts in cocktails (an R2-D2 blends Cava with pineapple and mezcal) as well as shareable plates that highlight summer’s bounty (kampachi crudo with pluots or fresh pea panna cotta with chive tuile). 

Aug 31 Zarna Garg

The TikTok sensation (over 100 million views) is known for her warmth, ability to see humor in everyday conversations and interactions and clean (no potty mouth) shows.


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Christina Mueller

Christina Mueller is a long-time Bay Area food writer. She hails from the East Coast and has spent way too much time in South America and Europe. She discovered her talent as a wordsmith in college and her love of all things epicurean in grad school. She has written for Condé Nast Contract PublishingSunset, and the Marin Independent Journal, among others. She volunteers with California State Parks and at her child’s school, and supports the Marin Audubon SocietyPEN America, and Planned Parenthood. When she is not drinking wine by a fire, she is known to spend time with her extended family.