Category Archives: Events

Katrina Krimsky: A piano legend in Berkeley

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For a pianist who’s been at the center of several musical revolutions, Katrina Krimsky keeps a pretty low profile. Since returning to San Francisco in 2001 after two decades in Zurich she’s performed at house concerts and benefits, often collaborating with her former Mills College student Barbara Higbie. But considering her near-legendary status as an interpreter and muse for disparate composers such as Karlheinz Stockhausen, Terry Riley, and Woody Shaw, Krimsky has mostly avoided the spotlight. This makes her rare public recital Sunday at R. Kassman Fine Pianos on Gilman Street a particularly welcome development.

The concert kicks off a new monthly piano recital series presented by Higbie, Sunday at the 88’s. Each hour-long performance is followed by an artist’s reception. Given Higbie’s vast stylistic reach, it’s not surprising that the schedule announced so far features a varied cast of piano masters, including a 75th birthday celebration for composer Mary Watkins (Dec. 7), ace accompanist/producer Frank Martin (Jan. 11), and Tammy Hall (Feb. 8), a powerfully compelling improviser usually heard accompanying top-notch vocalists like Kim Nalley, Denise Perrier, Linda Tillery, and Rhonda Benin. … Continue reading »

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An ideas festival in Berkeley unfolds over social media

Tanya Holland and Twilight Greenaway by Pete Rosos
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[View the story "Uncharted The Berkeley Festival of Ideas 2014: As it happened" on Storify]

Note: the Storify above does not necessarily reflect the chronological order of the festival program.

Uncharted: The Berkeley Festival of Ideas, which launched in 2013, is organized by Berkeleyside as a community event to expand horizons, bring Berkeley to the fore, and help sustain Berkeleyside in the long run. If you were at Uncharted 2014, take a quick survey so we have your … Continue reading »

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The It List: Five things to do in Berkeley this weekend

"The Magic Shoes," about an Iranian boy and his Air Jordans, is one of several USC student films showing this weekend at the Berkeley Video & Film Festival. Berkeley High students can see the student films for free. Photo courtesy of BVFF
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FILM FESTIVAL The Berkeley Video & Film Festival is a two-weekend feast of independent film, and it starts tonight, Oct. 30. Each year the East Bay Media Center narrows down(but not by much!) more than 100 submissions to a spectacular and international selection of shorts, animations, documentaries, and feature films. From a global dance documentary to animated sexual organs, there’s something for everyone. It all starts with a Student Film Marathon this weekend, and Berkeley High students get in free with ID. Otherwise, tickets for each film cost $10, or $5 for students and seniors, and they’re available at the door or by calling (510) 843-3699. A $25 pass gets you access to the whole festival. All films are screened at 1939 Addison Street. … Continue reading »

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UC Berkeley Chancellor: Bill Maher must speak

More than 2,500 people have singed a petition protesting Bill Maher's appearance at Cal's December commencement. Photo: Bill Maher
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Hours after a student group uninvited Bill Maher to speak at UC Berkeley’s December commencement, Chancellor Nicholas B. Dirks invited him back, citing his constitutionally protected right to free speech.

“The UC Berkeley administration cannot and will not accept this decision, which appears to have been based solely on Mr. Maher’s opinions and beliefs, which he conveyed through constitutionally protected speech,” the university said in a prepared statement. Continue reading »

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More than 2,500 protest Bill Maher’s speech at Cal

More than 2,500 people have singed a petition protesting Bill Maher's appearance at Cal's December commencement. Photo: Bill Maher
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Update: Oct. 30. The Chancellor has determined Maher will speak. See our update here.

The selection of TV host Bill Maher to deliver a December commencement address at UC Berkeley has come under fire from people who believe his views on Islam are racist.

More than 2,500 people have signed a petition on Change.org asking that the university withdraw its offer. The petition also suggests people boycott the address, now scheduled for Dec. 20 at 3 p.m. in Haas Pavilion. … Continue reading »

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‘The Activist': Locally sourced treasure of a movie

The Activist
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Briefly released to theaters in late 1969 and since largely forgotten, this was director/writer/producer Art Napoleon’s final film. Napoleon – whose previous work, including the 1950s TV series ‘Whirlybirds’ and the Fabian vehicle Ride the Wild Surf (1964), displayed next to no political consciousness — immediately gave up cinema for psychotherapy and relocated to Europe in the wake of The Activist‘s poor critical and box-office reception.

The film’s title refers to main character Mike Corbett, a Berkeley senior suspended nine units short of his degree because of his dedication to radical politics. Played by real-life activist Mike Smith (one of the Oakland Seven put on trial for ‘conspiracy to commit two misdemeanors’ stemming from October 1967’s Stop the Draft Week demonstrations), Corbett is a true believer who earned his stripes as a Mississippi Freedom Rider. … Continue reading »

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Shotgun’s ‘Harry Thaw Hates Everybody’ is sparkling

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The entertaining, creative and comical Harry Thaw Hates Everybody by Shotgun Players at the Ashby Stage in Berkeley is based on a scandal that is still intriguing after more than 100 years.

Playwright Laurel Meade, winner of the L.A. Drama Critics Award for Best Writing for an earlier version of the play, placed this compelling triangle of human behavior in a fresh new light. Using the technique made famous in the 1950 Japanese film Rashomon, the tale is told from the perspective of each of the four main participants. But instead of a sobering re-telling of a tragedy, the production regales us with music, dance, naughtiness and a slide show of newspaper headlines and turn-of-the-century pornography. … Continue reading »

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The It List: Five things to do in Berkeley this weekend

Jessica Prentice
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UNCHARTED Wake up tomorrow morning and mingle with some of the most prominent and captivating thinkers across the disciplines. Berkeleyside presents the second annual Uncharted, a two-day festival jam-packed with  stimulating discussion and debate. On Friday, Oct. 24 and Saturday, Oct. 25, festival speakers and participants will gather at Berkeley Rep and Freight & Salvage to engage with big, daring, and dangerous ideas. This year’s exciting program includes musings on robotics, new energy, stereotyping, marriage equality, and 3D printing. A few one and two-day passes are still available for the extravaganza, which lasts 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day, with workshops, coffee breaks, and a party on Friday evening. Find out more. … Continue reading »

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Uncharted Ideas festival: You’ve heard enough from us

View from the University Club where the Uncharted Party will take place on the evening of October 24, 2014. Photo: UCB
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Uncharted: The Berkeley Festival of Ideas kicks off tomorrow, Friday, at 9:00 a.m. in downtown Berkeley. If you haven’t got your ticket yet, there is still time to do so.

Berkeleyside is organizing Uncharted for the second year running. Not only is the festival going to be an amazing two days — ask anyone who attended last year — it’s also one way Berkeleyside, which delivers oodles of free, original news reporting every day to the Berkeley community, aims to become a sustainable business in the long term.

But you’ve probably heard enough from Berkeleyside about Uncharted. Here’s a sample of what others are saying:

San Francisco Magazine: Go Do This: Berkeleyside’s Festival of Ideas

Thinking is — how do we put this? — hard. So you can imagine the difficulty in pulling off something billed as a “Festival of Ideas,” especially in a place like Berkeley, where every day is kind of a festival of deep thoughts. But that’s just what Berkeleyside is attempting with its second annual Uncharted festival this weekend. “A dinner party is a good metaphor,” says Lance Knobel, the site’s co-founder. “There’s no science to it — it’s an art” … Unlike TED talks — Uncharted is programmed as a series of conversations, rather than lectures. Read the full story at San Francisco Magazine. … Continue reading »

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Audrey Martin: A dream fulfilled, plus more Berkeley gigs

Audrey Gilbert. Photo:  Irene Young
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On her 40th birthday Audrey Martin decided to sing. As a marriage and family therapist, she had spent years helping other people work through traumas, resolve deep-seated conflicts, and discover their true selves. Along the way she had set aside her adolescent ambition for a life in music, a sublimated dream that resurfaced with her midlife milestone. Martin’s long and winding creative journey resulted in the captivating debut album Living Room (full disclosure: I wrote the liner notes). She celebrates the CD’s release Sunday afternoon at Berkeley’s California Jazz Conservatory, which played an essential role in her musical education.

“This is the culmination of 17 years of planning and effort at learning the art of jazz and bringing together music that I‘ve wanted to perform and record,” says Martin, a Berkeley resident since 1998. “It also represents an integration of my musical self and my life as a psychotherapist.” … Continue reading »

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Berkeley author Elizabeth Rosner’s “Electric City” is a lyrical coming-of-age story

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When Elizabeth Rosner was growing up near Schenectady New York, a company town dominated by the General Electric Corporation, she couldn’t wait to leave. Her parents, who were Holocaust survivors, had moved there after the end of the war and did not mind the provincial atmosphere. But Rosner found the town confining.

When Rosner was 16, she won a scholarship to study in the Philippines. “I got as far away from home as I could without leaving the planet,” she likes to say. She never really went back. She graduated from Stanford and moved to Berkeley in 1986.

See Elizabeth Rosner at Pegasus bookstore, 1855 Solano Ave., tonight at 7:30 p.m.

Rosner’s first two highly acclaimed, award-winning novels, The Speed of Light and Blue Nude, were set in Northern California. She didn’t think she had anything to say about Schenectady. … Continue reading »

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‘Diplomacy': A confident statement from one of Germany’s greatest living filmmakers

« DIPLOMATIE » Un film de Volker SCHLÖNDORFF
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I spent a good portion of my teens and 20s playing the World War I-set board game ‘Diplomacy’. Though marketed to the war games crowd, ‘Diplomacy’ was much more than an opportunity to play ‘armchair general’: players had to negotiate agreements with other participants (each representing one of the European powers) in order to strategize, gain the upper hand, and win the game. Designed for two to seven players, ‘Diplomacy’ was always more fun with a larger crew, and was frequently an all-day affair.

In Volker Schlöndorff’s new film Diplomatie (Diplomacy, opening at Landmark’s Shattuck Cinemas on Friday, Oct. 24) there are only two players — but that doesn’t mean it’s by any means boring or uneventful. Set in 1944 Paris, the film details a fascinating cat and mouse mind game played out between a German general and a Swedish consul. … Continue reading »

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Uncharted Ideas: Do something different this weekend

View from the University Club where the Uncharted Party will take place on the evening of October 24, 2014. Photo: UCB
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We’re expecting a host of surprises at this week’s Uncharted: The Berkeley Festival of Ideas.

The festival is on Friday and Saturday at the Berkeley Rep, the Freight & Salvage and the University Club high atop Memorial Stadium. Dangerous ideas, challenging questions, laughter and amazing creativity, from both speakers and participants, fascinating people to meet and to share a glass with at the Friday evening party.

As a Berkeleyside or East Bay Nosh reader you are eligible for a discount on attendance. Just use the code BerkeleysideFriend when you register. You can buy tickets for the full two days, or for Friday or Saturday only (everyone gets to go to the party!).

What are the highlights? You’ll have to come to find out.

We’re excited about everything, from Tanya Holland on cooking with soul, to Nobel prizewinner Randy Schekman on the frontiers of medicine, to gay rights pioneers Kris Perry and Sandy Stier on the inside story of the Supreme Court case, to composer John Adams on opera and controversy, to Ken Goldberg on robotics in the cloud, to Jeff Chang on multiculturalism, to Steve Coll on the Islamic State, to Saru Jayaraman on how we treat restaurant workers, to Carl Bass on our 3-D future, to… well, you get the idea. You can scan the whole program on the Uncharted website. … Continue reading »

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