Daily Archives: April 5, 2012


The Berkeley Wire: 04.05.12

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Five kid-friendly Easter activities in and near Berkeley

Easter eggs
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Our friends at 510 Families have researched fun Easter activities you may want to do over the next few days in and around Berkeley:

Eggster Egghunt and Learning Festival  On the Cal campus, this free event put on by student volunteers will be from 10-3 pm on Saturday and features 40 learning activity booths in addition to an egghunt. Find the Eggster event in front of the Campanile.

Egg week at Habitot  For toddlers and preschoolers, the activities in Habitot’s art studio for the remainder of the week will be spring-themed. Habitot is best for kids 2-3 and admission is $9.75.

Spring Egg Hunt Extravaganza  On Saturday, Willard Park will host a bunny petting zoo and a mini-carnival for kids, along with an age-segmented egg hunt. … Continue reading »

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Shotgun Players’ “Voyage”: Lighting the fuse of revolution

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Shotgun Players likes to describe itself as “the biggest little theatre company in town,” and there’s no doubt that the company which calls the Ashby Stage home punches far above its diminutive weight.

Shotgun’s latest coup is to have secured the rights to Tom Stoppard’s “Coast of Utopia” trilogy. “Voyage”, the first in the series, opened on March 14 and has just been extended through April 29 — and it’s more than worth the price of admission.

Directed by Patrick Dooley, “Voyage” introduces us to the young, passionate, idealistic men and women who are as concerned with lighting the fuse of revolution as the flames of love.

Stoppard’s riff on pre-revolutionary Russia is mainly set on the estate of a high-ranking Russian family and proves an entertaining and well-executed journey through Russian aristocracy and intellectualism. … Continue reading »


In Tilden Park’s Jewel Lake: Spotting a rare river otter

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By Elaine Miller Bond

Camera in hand, Jen Joynt goes out to Bay Area parks, “looking for excitement.”

On a day last winter she started from the Tilden Nature Area, just looking for what she could see. She hiked up Wildcat Peak, where she found and photographed a pair of coyotes. As she headed back, she happened to meet birdwatchers she knew from previous outings. And they turned her afternoon of picture-taking into a brush with Tilden history: they asked if she had seen the otter.

“Oh no, I hadn’t seen the otter!”

Joynt’s mind went to the Tilden otters from two years ago — four of them observed for about a week in 2009. Prior to that, river otters had last been sighted in Tilden, according to park records, during the 1940s. … Continue reading »

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Musical Art Quintet: Blowing up the chamber music scene

Musical Art Quintet
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Sascha Jacobsen wasn’t trying to foment a string insurrection. The conservatory-trained bassist just wanted to play some music. As a regular participant in Classical Revolution, the organization that launched a national movement of chamber music jam sessions from San Francisco’s Café Revolution in 2006, he and Sri Lankan-born violist Charith Premawardhana were looking for material. The only piece that fit the ensemble on hand, a string quartet plus double bass, was Dvořák’s String Quintet No. 2 in G major, Opus 77. The group had a ball, and then looked around wondering what to play next. Jacobsen took matters into his own hands.

“I would work on something, print it out, and literally bring it down and throw it in front of whoever was there, and we’d sight read it,” Jacobsen recalls. “It wasn’t always successful. Some times we’d play a piece twice in a row to get it down. After a few months, I realized that we have a repertoire. I wasn’t trying to form a group, and it just worked out that way with the guys who had been there week after week.” … Continue reading »

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