MAMA AFRICA Mama Africa! Presents an array of African women drummers and musicians separately and together in a Saturday benefit at Ashkenaz for Born to Drum Women’s Drum Camp, a summer program featuring many of the night’s artists. Among the artists performing will be Jamaica-born Afia Walking Tree, Ouida Lewis, Ghanaian Adwoa Kudoto and her daughter, Sena Kugbega, Congolese Mabiba Baegne, Nikki Campbell, and Sistahs of the Drum. The 11th annual Born to Drum is a four-day weekend in July at Anthony Chabot Regional Park’s Bort Meadow, near Hayward. The women’s drumming benefit is also part of Ashkenaz’s celebration of Women’s History Month. Saturday, March 18, 7:30 p.m., Ashkenaz, 1317 San Pablo Ave.
EMERGENCY PREPAREDNESS FAIR Berkeley’s third annual Emergency Preparedness Fair will be at LeConte Elementary School on Saturday. You’ll find family-friendly activities, tips and information, on-site training, and interactive demonstrations of available safety resources. There will be a showcase of emergency vehicles, prizes, kids activities, and more. As one of the organizers told Berkeleyside, “Yes, it really is possible to have Fun at an Emergency Preparedness Fair. Where else can you climb on a fire engine? How many times can you “Stop, Drop & Roll” with total strangers? Where else can you take out some frustrations by discharging a fire extinguisher?” The free, bilingual fair runs from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, with free car parking and a free bike valet service at LeConte Elementary School, 2241 Russell St.
ALVIN AILEY The annual residency of the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater is one of the highlights of the Cal Performances season. The four performances this weekend (Friday and Saturday night, and matinees on Saturday and Sunday) have a mix of new and recent works, as well as Ailey classics, including the 1960 “Revelations.” Here’s what the Financial Times had to say about that early Ailey work: “Restraint and release, spirituality and energy: they are all there in Ailey’s masterpiece, Revelations.” Friday, March 17, 8 p.m., Saturday, March 18, 2 and 8 p.m., Sunday, March 19, 3 p.m., Zellerbach Hall.
BRITISH REVUE For the eighth straight year, on Saturday the Freight hosts an invasion of British rock, this time dedicated to the work of David Bowie. Each of the five performing groups – The BBC (Berkeley Blues Coalition), The Lillies, The Whitecliff Rangers, Livewater, and Supermoon – will play at least three Bowie tunes, as well as music of their choosing. If you want to drown your sorrows at Bowie’s death just over a year ago, the Freight sounds like a vital destination. Saturday, March 18, 8 p.m., Freight & Salvage, 2020 Addison St.
LONGEST FILM TITLE? On Sunday afternoon, you can see Les Yeux ne veulent pas en tout temps se fermer ou Peut-être qu’un jour Rome se permettra de choisir à son tour at BAMPFA (translation: Eyes Do Not Want to Close at All Times, or Perhaps One Day Rome Will Permit Herself to Choose in Her Turn). The film by Jean-Marie Straub and Danièle Huillet is an adaptation of a 17th century play by Corneille, itself based on imperial Roman power struggles. According to BAMPFA, the directors “dutifully place their actors in the appropriate togas and forum setting, but then quickly destroy all tropes of the historical movie.” The showing will be introduced by composer and Stanford lecturer Erik Ulman. Sunday, March 19, 1:30 p.m., BAMPFA, 2155 Center St.
Don’t miss these other events featured on Berkeleyside:
Erica Deeman’s ‘Silhouettes’ at BAMPFA makes a powerful impression
Berkeley Rep’s ‘Roe’ is an exciting exploration of Roe v. Wade and its aftermath
Big Screen Berkeley: ‘Love and Taxes’
New Orleans grooves: Macy Blackman and the Mighty Fines play Berkeley