The It List: Five things to do in Berkeley, weekend May 19-21

Think bluegrass is all grizzled banjo players? Think again. The young 35 Years of Trouble (is that their combined age?) are performing at the Berkeley Bluegrass Festival on Saturday. Photo: 35 Years of Trouble

BLUEGRASS FESTIVAL The second Berkeley Bluegrass Festival fills the Freight & Salvage all weekend, with nighttime concerts and free workshops during the day. Free instrumental workshops are being offered for guitar, banjo, fiddle, bass, mandolin and dobro, and there are also a family square dance, jam sessions (including one just for youth), and singing sessions. Among the performers at the evening concerts are Robbie Fulks, Laurie Lewis & the Right Hands, 35 Years of Trouble, The Bow Ties, Lonely Heartstring Band, Keith Little & Little Band, Bean Creek, and many more. See festival site for workshop schedule. Concerts are Friday, May 19, 8 p.m., Saturday, May 20, 7 p.m., Sunday, May 21, 6:30 p.m., Freight & Salvage Coffeehouse, 2020 Addison St.

MFA GRADUATE EXHIBITION Six graduating students from UC Berkeley’s MFA program are shown at BAMPFA in the 47th annual MFA Exhibition through June 11. The six promising new artists are Takming Chuang, Lucas DeGiulio, Behnaz Khaleghi, Shari Paladino, Jovi Schnell, and Andrew Wilson. A number of previous students exhibited at the MFA show have gone on to international recognition after first being shown at BAMPFA. “We are excited to present new works by these remarkable artists, who have shown such incredible creativity and accomplishment during their time at Cal,” said BAMPFA Director and Chief Curator Lawrence Rinder. “Our annual commitment to showcasing the work of UC Berkeley’s exceptionally talented MFA graduates reflects the continuing vitality of BAMPFA’s relationship to its vibrant university community.” Open 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sunday. BAMPFA, 2155 Center St.

OPTIONS RECOVERY GALA Options Recovery Service celebrates its 20th anniversary with a Roaring Twenties-themed gala at International House on Saturday. Martin Sheen – President Bartlett for West Wing fans – is the guest host. Tickets need to be purchased in advance. In addition to Sheen, former mayor Tom Bates, former state senator Loni Hancock, and Superior Court Judge Gregory Syren will be honored at the gala. Doors open at 5 p.m., Saturday, May 20, International House, 2299 Piedmont Ave.

LITTLE HAM This weekend is your last chance to see the Black Repertory Group’s production of Langston Hughes’ Little Ham, a romantic urban comedy set in 1920s Harlem. “We find a resilient community optimistic about money to be made and thriving on the hustle for money. An occasional ‘hit’ is the only economic opportunity for the Harlem residents who parade through Paradise Shining Parlor and Tiny’s Beauty Shop.” The production is a highly of BRG’s 52nd season. Friday, May 19, 8 p.m., Saturday, May 20, 3 p.m. and 8 p.m. Birel L. Vaughn Theater, 3201 Adeline St.


HIMALAYAN FAIR Founded in 1983, Berkeley’s annual Himalayan Fair brings dance and music performances as well as over 100 vendors, who come from as far as Kathmandu. Among the highlights this year are classical Odissi dance by Jyoti Kala Kandir, Bollywood dances, and world music from Ancient Future and Sukhawat Ali Khan. There’s also momos freshly made by the Tibetan community plus authentic Nepalese and Indian food. The fair runs on Saturday, May 20 from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Sunday, May 21 from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., Live Oak Park, 1300 Shattuck Ave.

Don’t forget these other events covered on Berkeleyside:

A must see: Dorothea Lange’s remarkable photographs at OMCA
‘The Events’ by Shotgun Players: A forceful, humanitarian tour de force
Berkeley’s 1951 Coffee hosts fundraiser to expand support for refugees
Masters among us: Rajeev Taranath