The It List: Five things to do in Berkeley, weekend of May 18-20

Grace Ng (Ester) and Martha Brigham (Amy) in Shotgun Players’ new production of Dry Land. Photo: Ben Krantz Studio

DRY LAND Shotgun Players’ latest production, Ruby Rae Spiegel’s Dry Land, is in previews before its opening next Friday. The premise: Amy and Ester are teammates on a suburban Florida high school swim team. Ester is aiming for a scholarship. Amy just wants to get through an unwanted pregnancy. According to The New York Times, it’s “tender, caustic, funny and harrowing… Ms. Spiegel demonstrates an uncanny gift for presenting the unavoidable messiness of being young.” Performances this weekend on Friday, May 18, 8 p.m. and Sunday, May 20, 5 p.m. During the run, performances are on Wednesday through Sunday. Shotgun Players, 1901 Ashby Ave.

LHS GOLDEN ANNIVERSARY Remember 1968? The Lawrence Hall of Science sure does, and it will celebrate the 50th anniversary of its opening in May 1968 with a free day of science on Sunday. All of your favorite Hall activities, from the Animal Discovery Room to the Ingenuity Lab, will be open and free to the public (additional charges may apply for experiences such as the National Geographic 3D Theater). You’ll also have a chance to record your memories of the Hall for posterity. If you can’t make it on Sunday, let everyone know on social media using the hashtag #50YearsofLHS. Sunday, May 20, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Lawrence Hall of Science, 1 Centennial Dr.

COMMUNITY SEED BANK Who knew that there was a neighborhood farm hiding in the North Berkeley hills? On Sunday, Marilark is launching its Community Seed Bank. “This little red barn and its adjoining farm aim to change the seed saving movement and build community one seed at a time.” says founder Charlie Costello. The idea is to provide an example of what can be done in an urban environment by saving seeds and regenerating the soil. Sunday, May 20, 1 p.m., 515 Woodmont Ave.

BIG BAND JAZZ NIGHT It’s Big Band Jazz Night at La Peña on Saturday. The Morchestra is a Berkeley-based jazz orchestra that plays big band jazz filtered through the mind of arranger and composer Tony Corman. On Saturday, it will be appearing with vocalist Nicolas Bearde. All About Jazz magazine says about Bearde: “Bearde’s soulful and affecting baritone sits atop these impeccably tailored arrangements of sterling standards, the results are absolutely stunning.” Saturday, May 19, 8 p.m., La Peña Cultural Center, 3105 Shattuck Ave. 


YOLANDRA RHODES, ROD JAMES Yolandra Rhodes is a jazz songstress, interpreting works by Sarah Vaughn, Ella Fitzgerald, Nancy Wilson and Rachelle Farrell among others. Among the people she has performed with are Harold Melvin & the Blue Notes. She’ll be appearing at The Back Room on Saturday with San Francisco native Rod James. Here’s what The Back Room has to say: “If you like the smooth baritone of Johnny Hartman, Gregory Porter and Will Downing, you’re going to love RodJ’s style!” Saturday, May 19, 8 p.m., The Back Room, 1984 Bonita.

Don’t miss these other events covered on Berkeleyside:

On the shoulder of classics, ‘Palace Works’ by Central Works is absorbing
Big Screen Berkeley: ‘Beast’