The It List: Five things to do in Berkeley, weekend of July 6-8

Actors Ensemble’s outdoor production of Hamlet in John Hinkel Park, playing for the next three weekends. Photo: Courtesy of Actors Ensemble of Berkeley

HAMLET Actors Ensemble celebrates its 61st season and its sixth year of free summer productions in the John Hinkel Park amphitheater with its new production of Hamlet. The group is doing a 105-minute, two-act version adapted and directed by Stanley Spenger (based on a version first produced for the BBC). The central role of Hamlet will be shared by all the cast members, at times singly, at times as part of a chorus. The production will run for the next three weekends, until July 22. Saturday, July 7 and Sunday, July 8, 4 p.m., John Hinkel Park, 41 Somerset Place.

THE RED SHOES If you’ve seen The Red Shoes before, you don’t need my encouragement to go. If you haven’t, make sure you grab your place at BAMPFA’s magnificent outdoor screen on Sunday afternoon. The Powell and Pressburger classic, based on a Hans Christian Andersen tale, was named the ninth greatest British film of all time by the British Film Institute. And for fellow journalists there’s a heartening tale: shortly after the film’s release in 1948, crusading reporter Ludovic Kennedy (largely responsible for the abolition of the death penalty in the UK) was reluctantly persuaded to go to a dance where star Moira Shearer was giving out a prize. Kennedy asked her to dance and reader, she married him. The Red Shoes is the second film in BAMPFA’s free summer outdoor screenings, all on the theme of “Dance, Dance, Dance – Dancing in the Streets.” Sunday, July 8, 4 p.m., BAMPFA outdoor screen, corner of Addison and Oxford.

GINA YASHERE You might have seen Gina Yashere (left) on Netflix’s The Standups, or in her role as British Correspondent on Comedy Central’s The Daily Show with Trevor Noah. Yashere was born to Nigerian parents and raised in London and previously worked as an elevator engineer. She was a stand up and TV star in the UK for many years. Yashere broke onto the American comedy scene with her appearances on Last Comic Standing, where she made it to the final 10, and then never went home. On Sunday, she’ll be performing at the Freight & Salvage, along with opening acts Shea Suga and Karinda Dobbins. Kung Pao Kosher Comedy’s Lisa Geduldig will MC. Sunday, July 8, 7 p.m., Freight & Salvage, 2020 Addison.

SICK PLANT CLINIC Have a struggling ficus or a tree that isn’t thriving? If you’re deeply into horticulture, you probably already knew that the UC Berkeley Botanical Garden does a monthly sick plant clinic. But I suspect it’s more useful for those with less of a green thumb. The Botanical Garden has plant pathologists and entomologists on hand to identify diseases and pests. You should cover plants and disease samples in containers or bags before entering the garden. Saturday, July 7, 9 a.m. to noon, UC Berkeley Botanical Garden, 200 Centennial Dr.


BLACK DAHLIA MURDER If you’re even slightly squeamish, I don’t advise Googling Black Dahlia Murder. Or, if you do, make sure you click on the death metal band, and not on the FBI page about the 1947 killing. (Regular readers probably know I’m more Death and Transfiguration than death metal, but we try to cater to all tastes here at The It List.) Death metal veterans Black Dahlia Murder will be playing their complete recent album, Nightbringers on Saturday at the UC Theatre. Here’s what you’ll get: “explosive live performance,” “searing melodic death metal,” “riveting listening.” Saturday, July 7, 6:30 p.m., UC Theatre, 2036 University Ave.

Don’t miss these other events covered on Berkeleyside:

‘Dry Powder’ at Aurora is a creative critique of capitalism
Big Screen Berkeley: ‘The King’ and ‘Three Identical Strangers’