Update, 10.22.11: This just in from Lisa Carlson: Thursday night at Rita Moreno’s one-woman show about her extraordinary life as a performer at the Berkeley Rep, about 10 minutes into her opening, we had a strong earthquake, around 3.9, the second one of the day here — an aftershock, we were told. Loud and deep. I was sitting high up in the mezzanine, 5th row back, with three friends, George, Beth, and her husband David, and we all held hands when the quake shook us to the core. I thought this was it! We were just under those rafters… Really, if this was gonna be the end, so be it. Way to go, Lordie! Rita Moreno, exquisite and polished, sensitive and contained, and without hesitation, at age 80 – paused and asked the audience if we wanted to evacuate – or should she go on. We all applauded and yelled, “Go on!” that the show must go on, indeed. Then the stage manager’s voice came on over the loudspeaker and asked us one more time to say what we wanted. Only about three people in the full theater left at that moment. The rest of us clapped and cheered, “Go on!” What an elegant beginning!
Update, 11:02pm: The Thorsen House — which is above the epicenter of Berkeley’s fourth quake today,is an architectural gem which is lovingly tended to by its group of fraternity student residents. However it is need of significant seismic retrofitting. See article on the house and its inhabitants.
Update, 10:50pm: USCG has downgraded the 8:16pm quake to a magnitude 3.8. Its exact location was 2307 Piedmont Avenue which is on the east side of the street at Bancroft Way, just south of International House. It was 2 miles east of Berkeley and had a depth of 6 miles. The building at 2301 Piedmont is the architecturally significant Thorsen House, designed in 1909 by Greene & Greene, currently owned by the Sigma Phi Society.
Another quake was felt in Berkeley tonight. The early estimate from USGS was that the 8:16 p.m. quake with an epicenter at the International House on the Cal campus had a magnitude of 3.9.
For the several thousand (including Berkeleyside) in the Greek Theater, the quake struck just a couple of minutes before Paul Simon took the stage. The crowd cheered the quake.