Weekend Roundup: Symphony’s Oktoberfest; Mill Valley Film Festival

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The San Francisco Symphony hosted its first ever Oktoberfest last week and it was a sensational event with fun had by all. Chaired by Libby Leffler Hoaglin with Priscilla B. Geeslin as Honorary Chair, the event began at 6 p.m. with a festive biergarten for VIP ticket-holders. The party was inside Davies Symphony Hall in a rehearsal space shared by the Symphony and SF Opera. The room was transformed by Blueprint Studios into a beer garden with twinkling lights, circular chandeliers hanging with ribbon, wooden picnic tables, and carousal horses. Guests, wearing dirndls and lederhosen, sipped an assortment of Anchor Steam beer and nibbled on salty pretzels with three different dipping sauces. At 7 p.m., resident conductor Christian Reif led a concert featuring Bavarian waltzes and polkas, rollicking opera arias, and traditional drinking songs with the San Francisco Symphony and guest vocalists soprano Julie Adams, mezzo-soprano Daniela Mack, baritone Edward Nelson, and tenor David Blalock. It was a shorter performance with no intermission and everyone in the audience drank beer from plastic sippy cups during the show. Afterward, guests were invited back to the beer garden for bratwursts, potato salad, strudel, and a polka dance party with a live band. It was a fantastic evening—next year’s event should not be missed!

The 40th annual Mill Valley Film Festival is underway in Marin. The opening night gala took place on Thursday, October 5 and featured special guests Kristin Scott Thomas, Joe Wright, Jason Wise, and Peter Marshall. Last night there was a tribute to actress Holly Hunter who was honored for her contributions to the art of acting. The festival runs until October 15, so there is still time to purchase tickets, view screenings, attend one of the Q&As, or enjoy a musical performance. Other celebrities who are being honored include Jason Clarke, Margot Robbie, Andrew Garfield, and Sean Penn.

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Sobia and Nadir Shaikh proved that there ain’t no party like a house party on Saturday night when they invited SF’s most elite to the Shaikh Shack for a spirited affair. Ken Fulk’s team filled the house with gorgeous blooms and guests were able to make a bouquet and take it home as a party favor. There was also a floral photo wall, where everyone from Allison Speer to Brenda Zarate snapped photos to share on Instagram.

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