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Susan's City Scene
July 13, 2013, 05:00 AM By Susan Cohn Daily Journal

ARE YOU A GUITAR HERO? The San Francisco Symphony holds a Guitar Hero competition one hour prior to its Video Games Live! concerts July 25 and 26 at Davies Symphony Hall. The competition winner plays on stage with the Symphony.

VIDEO GAMES LIVE! WITH THE SAN FRANCISCO SYMPHONY AT DAVIES SYMPHONY HALL. Video Games Live!, a multimedia concert experience featuring music and scenes from the most popular video games of all time, comes to San Francisco for two shows with the San Francisco Symphony July 25 and 26 at 7:30 p.m. at Davies Symphony Hall. The Orchestra performs music to scenes from games including Final Fantasy, Skyrim, Chrono Cross, Shadow of the Colossus, Super Mario Brothers and a special 25th anniversary Zelda celebration. Video Games Live! incorporates interactive segments where audience members come up and compete while the Orchestra plays the game music in synchronization with the visuals on screen.

BEFORE AND AFTER THE SHOW. All Video Games Live! ticketholders are invited to participate in a Guitar Hero competition beginning one hour prior to each concert. The winner will play a song on stage with the Orchestra. There is also a pre-concert costume contest with the winner selected just prior to the show. All ticketholders are invited to a meet and greet with game industry luminaries after the show. Tickets for an “Ultimate Gamer” VIP experience at Davies Symphony Hall prior to the concert are sold separately.

EMCEE TOMMY TALLARICO. Video game composer Tommy Tallarico, who created Video Games Live!, serves double-duty as the emcee and a guitarist. Tallarico has worked on more than 250 games, including the Earthworm Jim series, Color a Dinosaur, Treasures of the Deep, Messiah, MDK, Wild 9, Unreal, Spider-Man (2000), RoboCop versus The Terminator, Maximo, Pac-Man World, Prince of Persia, Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater and Advent Rising.

TICKETS. Tickets $30-100 at or (415) 864-6000, and at the Davies Symphony Hall Box Office, on Grove Street between Van Ness Avenue and Franklin Street in San Francisco.


FROM HOLLYWOOD SQUARES TO FEINSTEIN’S AT THE NIKKO. American comedy writer, actor and songwriter Bruce Vilanch checks into Feinstein’s at The Nikko for one night only, to dispatch updates on his bizarre career behind and before the footlights. Six-time Emmy Award-winner Vilanch is best known to the public for his four-year stint as a celebrity participant on Hollywood Squares; behind the scenes he was head writer for the show. Since 2000, Vilanch has been the head writer for the Oscars, is a featured writer for the Tonys, Grammys and Emmys and has more than a few stories to tell. Thurs. July 18 at 8 p.m. Nikko Hotel. 222 Mason St., San Francisco, just off Union Square. Intimate 140-seat cabaret setting. Tickets at (866) 663-1063 or


FREE SAN FRANCISCO SYMPHONY CONCERT AT DOLORES PARK. Pack a picnic basket, bring your friends and family and join the San Francisco Symphony at its annual free concert in Dolores Park (at 18th and Dolores streets in San Francisco) 2 p.m. Sun., July 21. Conductor Teddy Williams leads the Symphony in a program that includes selections from Tchaikovsky’s The Sleeping Beauty and Romeo and Juliet; Copland’s Fanfare for the Common Man; and John Williams’ The Cowboys. Concert is approximately one hour.


SEE THE SUPER-YACHTS AT AMERICA’S CUP PARK. The America’s Cup Park, at Piers 27/29, is the newest free public access park along San Francisco’s Embarcadero, open daily through the summer. A fleet of 13 yachts ranging in size from 85 feet to 300 feet will be berthed off the eastern seawall, with the first arriving in July and more coming over the course of the summer. Many of them are entered in the America’s Cup Superyacht Regatta, scheduled Sept.9, 11, and 13. The America’s Cup Park hosts a wide range of activities throughout the Summer of Racing, including The Flying on Water exhibition, an interactive experience that includes a virtual cinema where you can experience what it’s like to race aboard a flying, foiling AC72. The Kids’ Zone features a grinding challenge, photo opportunities and face painting. Information at (415) 412-4642.


SAN FRANCISCO OPERA HOSTS FREE CONCERT IN GOLDEN GATE PARK. San Francisco Opera invites you to Opera in the Park, its free annual concert at Sharon Meadow in Golden Gate Park on Sunday, Sept. 8 at 1:30 p.m., celebrating the opening of its 91st season. Enjoy arias al fresco with stars from the fall operas, accompanied by the San Francisco Opera Orchestra, conducted by Music Director Nicola Luisotti. You can pack your own picnic, or food and beverages will be available for sale.

Susan Cohn is a member of the American Theatre Critics Association and the San Francisco Bay Area Theatre Critics Circle. She may be reached at



Tags: francisco, concert, symphony, games, video, writer,

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