The It List: Five things to do in Berkeley, weekend of Sept. 22-24

Sunset as seen from Aquatic Park. Photo: Devin Kinney.

AUTUMN EQUINOX GATHERING Friday is the autumnal equinox. From here on in, the days will be growing shorter and the nights will be getting longer, at least until the Winter Solstice on Dec. 21. Mark the changing of the season at a gathering at the Solar Calendar at Cesar Chavez Park. It goes from 6:15-7:15, with the sun setting at 7 p.m. Tory Brady of the Exploratorium will lead the festivities.

Sister Act. Photo: Ben Krantz Studio.

AMEN SISTER! SING IT LOUD Berkeley Playhouse is celebrating its 10th season with the opening Friday, Sept. 22, of Sister Act, a “toe-tapping, gospel-infused, feel-good musical based on one of the biggest film comedies of the 1990s.” When Dolores Van Cartier, who loves to spend her nights dancing at discos, sees a crime, police place her into protective custody in a convent. Being in close proximity to nuns, Dolores finds “self-worth, confidence, and a community she never expected to be a part of, as she leads the church choir of sisters to heavenly new heights, transforming the church into a revitalized home of celebration, song, and community spirit.” Alan Menken, the composer of Little Shop of Horrors and Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, wrote the music. The play opens Friday and runs through Oct. 22. Tickets are $25-$40. The play is at the Julia Morgan Theater, 2640 College Ave.

FASHION SHOW ON FOURTH STREET Let’s face it. Berkeley is not known for its fashionable residents. From our beloved tie-dye to our boxy Eileen Fisher to our jeans and Birkenstocks, residents’ clothes are decidedly on the casual side. But maybe that will change (a bit) after Saturday when Fourth Street hosts a fashion show featuring the hottest fall and winter clothes and accessories from various boutiques. At 5 p.m. and again at 7 p.m., models will strut down a 75-foot catwalk in the center of the street. They will be wearing fabulous outfits, along with Venetian masks and costumes from the store, Castles in the Air. Fourth Street talent will do the models’ hair and makeup. After the shows, the stores will hold one-hour pop-up sales, guests can eat at various food booths, and dance to music. Goodie bags will also be auctioned off to benefit the Berkeley Food & Housing Project. Look here for a list of stores and sales.

IMMIGRANTS MADE THIS COUNTRY There are lots of wonderful art openings in Berkeley this weekend. The Berkeley Art Center is celebrating the opening of the show With Liberty and Justice for Some. Curated by Bay Area artist Monica Lundy and the gallerist, Walter Maciel, the exhibition features more than 140 portraits of immigrants in various media. “Back when Donald Trump was still the President-elect, long before his executive order became a flashpoint for pro-immigrant rallies at airports across the nation, Lundy, like many in her artistic community, felt both helpless and determined to do something” Lundy and Maciel asked artists in California to make 8 x 8-inch portraits of individuals, both famous and unknown, who came to the United States as immigrants. Lots of notable subjects are included, such as the actors Bela Lugosi and Marlene Dietrich, the entertainer Grace Jones, former Secretary of State Madeline Albright, Architect I. M. Pei, the founder of Pennsylvania, William Penn, and the artists Eva Hesse, David Hockney, Louise Bourgeois, Mark Rothko, and Enrique Chagoya. The opening reception is Saturday, Sept. 23, from 6-8 p.m,, but that is preceded by a 4 p.m. talk by immigrants, including some from the Yazidi community in Iraq. The show, which was previously in Los Angeles and San Francisco, runs through Oct. 8. The Berkeley Art Center is at 1275 Walnut St.


GILMAN ART WALK On Sunday, Sept. 24, from noon until 5 p.m., the Gilman district will turn into the East Bay’s capital of art. Galleries along the street will open their doors and artists will be available to talk to visitors about their work and vision. Twenty-three local businesses will be turned into pop-up art venues, hosting works of numerous artists. There will be musical performances, food, and lively conversations. Some of the artists who will be exhibiting include Ari Targownik and Jane George at the Makers Workspace Gallery, and Mojgan Saberi, Jeff Cohen, William Cricket Ulrich, Merryl Berner Cicourel, Ana Maria Gower, Carol Jenkins, Kristina Lim, Ned Axthelm, at Firehouse Art Collective, among others. The DJ Apollo will also be performing at Firehouse from 2-4 p.m. Whole Foods will provide happy hour drinks.

Don’t miss these other fabulous events previously featured on Berkeleyside:

Berkeley Old Time Music Convention
“Ain’t Too Proud,” the Berkeley Rep musical of The Temptations
“Luna Gale” at the Aurora Theatre
Movies: “Two Trains Running” and “Sins of the Fleshapoids”