Hard-Hitting Entertainment

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.

This piece is called Bushed, originally created for Newsweek but unpublished.


Published: August, 2018


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 sponsored “Fight Night at the Fairmont,” which was hosted by Karim “Hard Hitta” Mayfield.


There were six bouts, with the main event featuring local knockout artist Willie “The Thrill” Shaw Jr. The co-main event featured number-two world-ranked middleweight Raquel “The Pretty Beast” Miller. Both easily prevailed in fights.


The Fairmont is an AAA-rated Four Diamond Hotel that has been featured in many TV shows and films (including The Rock). This historic landmark will again host a night of championship boxing in its grand ballroom this November.


For more information, see www.hardhittapromotions.com.


Fairmont Hosts Bay Area Cabaret

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 at 7 p.m. with the San Francisco solo concert debut of Tony, Emmy and Golden Globe award nominee Matthew Morrison (Glee, Hairspray, South Pacific, Finding Neverland).


For more information, see www.bayareacabaret.org.


Sunday in the Park With George at the S.F. Playhouse

San Francisco Playhouse is currently presenting a not-to-missed production of Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine’s enchanting Sunday in the Park With George. George in this case is the celebrated pointillist Seurat, whom many credit with inventing a “new way of seeing.”


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.


“This is a show I have always cherished and yet been terrified to bring to the stage because it feels so personal,” said San Francisco Playhouse Artistic Director Bill English, who added that the story exposes the vulnerability of art and how that vulnerability affects the artists who create it.


The show is playing now through September 18. For more information, see www.sfplayhouse.org.


New Mark Ulriksen Exhibit at Modernism Gallery

Finally, another must see is Something in the Air, an exhibition at Modernism Gallery through September 8 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 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 New York 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.


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


For more information, see www.modernisminc.com.


Follow Paul Duclos’ Cultural Currents online with his blog at: www.duclosculturalcurrents.com