The It List: Five things to do in Berkeley, weekend of May 5-7

Caleb Cabrera as The Boy, Julia McNeal as Claire, in Shotgun Players’ The Events. Photo: Cheshire Isaacs

THE EVENTS We’d probably all like to live in a world where the issues explored in the Shotgun Players’ The Events didn’t happen. But it’s part of art’s power to examine the seemingly inexplicable. Playwright David Greig wrote The Events as his response to the mass killings in Norway by Anders Breivik in 2011. It centers around Claire, a woman of faith who leads a community choir. A young man Claire barely knows turns a gun on “foreigners” to leave his mark on the world. Claire is determined to understand why: what made “The Boy” perpetrate this act? What shaped him? Directed by Susannah Martin, the Shotgun’s production features a different live local choir each production night. The Events is in previews through Wednesday, where Shotgun’s policy is pay what you can. Friday and Saturday, May 5-6, 8 p.m., Sunday, May 7, 5 p.m., Shotgun Players, 1901 Ashby Ave.

ANDREW MCMAHON Singer/songwriter Andrew McMahon had a chart hit with his first album, “Andrew McMahon in the Wilderness” (which is also the name he performs under), in 2014. This year, he released “Zombies on Broadway,” and he’ll be performing at the UC Theatre on Saturday night (he’s at the Fillmore, and sold out, on Sunday). Mid-career, McMahon survived cancer, and his Dear Jack Foundation has raised more than $500,000 towards research and awareness for blood disease and young adult cancer. Fifty cents of every ticket for the UC Theatre gig will go to the foundation. Saturday, May 6, 7:30 p.m., UC Theatre, 2036 University Ave.

BAHA SPRING TOUR Berkeley Architectural Heritage Association’s spring house tour is Sunday, featuring the work of John Hudson Thomas, as well as the residential work of several of his contemporaries. The 11 open houses include work by Thomas, Bernard Maybeck, Julia Morgan, Albert Farr, Walter Ratcliff and Harris Allen. All are in the Claremont Park neighborhood, where tourgoers will also have the chance to visit several creekside gardens. Tickets can be bought online or from the booth, which will be at the intersection of The Uplands, Encina Place, and Parkside Drive from noon on Sunday. Sunday, May 7, 1-5 p.m., Claremont Park.

WILLARD PLANT SALE Since spring has sprung, you should be feeling itchy in your green fingers. Willard Middle School’s Growing Leaders program’s annual plant sale on Saturday should satisfy that itch and more. They’ll be selling plant starts, including tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, squash, basil and more. And, if you’re more of a browser than a gardener, there’s wood-oven fired pizza, music, games and garden tours. Saturday, May 6, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., enter on Telegraph Avenue, between Derby and Stuart.


ELMWOOD BLOCK PARTY The Elmwood Business Association is holding its annual block party this weekend, with live music, chalk art, a scavenger hunt and a free The Muppet Movie screening (plus plenty of special sales at many of the participating merchants). The party will be from noon to 5 p.m. on both Saturday and Sunday, with the free movie at noon on Saturday at the Rialto Cinemas Elmwood. Saturday and Sunday, May 6-7, noon to 5 p.m., College Avenue, between Webster and Russell.

Don’t forget these other events covered on Berkeleyside:

Big Screen Berkeley: ‘Olli Mäki,’ ‘Celluloid Man,’ ‘Rare Noir’
Getting real about the world with Irene Sazer