The It List: Five things to do in Berkeley this weekend

PREPARE TO BE BEWITCHED   Thaisa Frank’s short fiction has been captivating readers for decades, even before the publication of her highly regarded and widely translated novel Heidegger’s Glasses. Now Frank has collected 61 old and new stories in Enchantment: New and Selected Stories, published this week by Berkeley’s Counterpoint Press. As Booklist puts it:”The title of this collection hints at its contents — delectable stories with touches of the surreal as well as many plot twists and surprises. From short-short story to novella, each narrative demonstrates mastery of the genre.” Frank will be reading from Enchantment at Mrs. Dalloway’s on College Avenue at 7:30 pm on Friday, July 13.

A SALUTE WOODY GUTHRIE  In 1988, Peter Glazer, the chair of UC Berkeley’s Theater, Dance, and Performance Studies, wrote a musical based on the life and songs of Woody Guthrie. Almost 25 years later, Woody Guthrie’s American Song has been performed hundreds of times, on stages from Seattle to New York. Glazer himself has directed the award-winning play 25 times and his latest interpretation is playing at the Freight & Salvage Coffee House until July 22. On Saturday, July 14, the 100th anniversary of Guthrie’s birth, Glazer and the cast from the musical will hold an open house from 1 to 5 pm and perform some classics like “This Land is Your Land.” There will also be a discussion of Guthrie with Glazer. The Freight is also displaying the first public exhibit of The Kids Write to Woody . . . Woody Writes Back, letters Woody Guthrie wrote in the summer of 1955 when he was bed-ridden with Huntington’s Disease at Brooklyn State Hospital. A few dozen children attending a summer camp outside St. Louis had sent post cards to Guthrie, and he answered each one individually.

CHILDREN RAISE VOICES IN SONG  For the past six days, top American and international youth choirs have been gathering in Berkeley as part of the Golden Gate International Choral Festival. Twenty choirs from 12 countries have collaborated, competed, had cultural exchanges, and performed. “In a world filled with borders, the Golden Gate Festival offers a rare opportunity for children to build bridges,” reads the festival’s website. On Saturday July 14, the festival will hold a grand finale concert featuring all 650 singers and highlighting the winners of the various competitions. It happens at Zellerbach Hall at 7 pm.

MARIA, I JUST MET A GIRL CALLED MARIA  Considered by some to be the greatest American musical ever written, West Side Story is being presented by the Berkeley-based Youth Musical Theater Company at the El Cerrito High Performing Arts Center. YMTC is producing the Leonard Bernstein/Stephen Sondheim show the way it thinks it ought to be done: with teenagers, who are at the heart of this story, played by teenagers, and the adults who surround their lives, played by adults. As they put it: “We, at YMTC, are thrilled to bring this profoundly moving story, based on Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet about the power of love between two teenagers in an atmosphere of racism, hate and violence.” The production features Joshua Herman as Tony, Sophia Sinsheimer as Maria, Marnina Wirtshafter as Anita, Andrew Humann as Riff, and Jarron Liclican as Bernardo, opens July 13, and runs for 6 performances only. Visit YMTC for details.

ART ON THE BIDDING BLOCK  Berkeley Art Center is currently showing work from over 70 outstanding artists in the exhibition COLLECT! that culminates in a gala at which guests can bid to acquire works of art by many talented artists. Participating artists include Hung Liu, Kim Anno, Eva Bovenzi, Robert Brady, Squeak Carnwath, Richard Lang and Judith Selby Lang, Tom McKinley, Jeannie O’Connor, and Katherine Westerhout. The Silent Auction gala is on Saturday July 14, 5-8pm. Visit Berkeley Art Center for details.

Don’t forget about these other weekend events, previously featured on Berkeleyside:

David Wilson talks about his new book, “Houses: Origins” at Berkeley Mills, July 14th
Trumpeter Billy Buss plays Jupiter on July 18th
“Juliet of the Spirits” plays at Pacific Film Archive on July 14th
Shotgun Players’ “Truffaldino Says No” plays at Ashby Stage through July 29th

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To find out about more events in Berkeley and nearby, visit Berkeleyside’s Events Calendar. And submit your own events — the calendar is self-serve and free.

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