August Cultural Currents: Saturday Fights at the Fairmont Sunday in the Park with George

While many Bay Area sports fans were glued to television sets broadcasting the World Cup in Moscow last month, another live world class event was being staged at San Francisco’s legendary Fairmont Hotel on Nob Hill.For the second time this year, Hard Hitta Promotions in association with Ambition Empire Promotions sponsored “Fight Night at the Fairmont,” hosted by Karim “Hard Hitta” Mayfield.  There were six bouts with the main event featuring local knock out artist Willie “The Thrill” Shaw Jr. The co-main event featured #2 world ranked middleweight Raquel “The Pretty Beast” Miller. Both easily prevailed in fights. The Fairmont is rated a AAA, Four Diamond Hotel, which has been featured in many TV shows and films (including The Rock). This historic landmark in will again host a “Black Tie” night of championship boxing in its Grand Ballroom this November.


Meanwhile, the Fairmont’s famed Venetian Room will again be the venue for the upcoming Bay Area Cabaret series, now in its 15th year. The new season featuring Broadway and jazz vocalists gets underway on Sunday, September 30, 2018 at 7:00 pmwith the San Francisco solo concert debut of Tony, Emmy and Golden Globe award-nominee Matthew Morrison (Glee, Hairspray, South Pacific, Finding Neverland).


A not-to-missed production of Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine’s enchanting Sunday in the Park with George at The San Francisco Playhouse.

George in this case, is that celebrated pointillist, Seurat, who many credit with inventing a “new way of seeing.”Artistic Director Bill English, puts it this way:

“This is a show I have always cherished and yet been terrified to bring to the stage because it feels so personal.” He adds that the story exposes the vulnerability of art and how that deeply affects the artists who create it. “Sunday in the Park with George examines how artists struggle to balance their passion for storytelling with the desire for intimacy, and is more resonant than ever, reminding us how essential art and artists are to a free and compassionate society.”

In the final days before the completion of his masterpiece, A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte, Georges Seurat is torn between making meaningful art and maintaining a relationship with his lover, Dot. One of the most acclaimed musicals of our time, Sunday in the Park with George won the Pulitzer Prize and was nominated for 10 Tony Awards including Best Musical.

Now through September 18th.


Finally, another must see is “Something in the Air,” at Modernism Gallery through  September 8th, featuring classic and recent work done by San Francisco-based artist and illustrator, Mark Ulriksen.

A boxing aficionado as well as an avid fan of other sports, Ulriksen’s work is best known for his work for The New Yorker, where he has been a regular contributor since 1993, with more than 55 magazine covers to his credit.

Mark’s varied interests are often the subjects of his acrylic or gouache paintings, be they politics or dogs, people or sports. He covered the 2008 Masters and 2015 British Open for Golf Digest and has created murals for United Airlines and the Chicago Bears that grace the walls of the United Club at Soldier Field. His dog prints adorn the halls of Kaiser Permanente hospitals throughout the San Francisco Bay Area. He has been the regular illustrator for the San Francisco Jazz Festival and the recipient of numerous awards, including Gold and Silver medals from the NY Society of Illustrators. His 2006 New Yorker cover parody of the film Brokeback Mountain was named the year’s top magazine news cover by the Magazine Publishers of America. Ulriksen’s work is in the permanent collection of The Smithsonian and the Library of Congress.

Mark now balances his time between illustration assignments, gallery work and private commissions, primarily family portraits and dog portraits. He has also been profiled in Bay Crossings.