Monday, June 02, 2008
The Black and White Ball
The San Francisco Symphony's huge fundraiser in the Civic Center neighborhood returned after three years in a somewhat condensed form.
Previous editions sprawled all over the Civic Center Plaza, City Hall, Bill Graham auditorium and the Performing Arts Center...
...but this year's version had bands, food and drink along Van Ness Avenue between McAllister and Grove...
...along with various dance bands in Davies Symphony Hall and different levels of the Opera House and the Veterans Building.
In the basement cafe of the Opera House, Marcus Shelby's Jazz Orchestra made an appearance with the singer Faye Carol (above)...
...whose reputation in the Bay Area is almost as legendary as her Ming the Merciless fingernails.
At midnight, everyone gathered outside on Van Ness Avenue and waited for the "Midnight Surprise" while the Extreme Action band paraded through the crowd to the stage waving big disco flags.
The surprise turned out to be a short, spectacular fireworks show that sounded as if a bomb had gone off.
It was fabulous enough that the organizers are going to be hard-pressed to top it in 2011 when the orchestra celebrates its 100th anniversary.