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

Russian chorus
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KING LEAR You might think summer theater in the park is a time for light-hearted romps. Think again. Inferno Theatre, together with the Actors Ensemble of Berkeley, will be performing Shakespeare’s “King Lear” for free in John Hinkel Park, opening on Saturday, Aug. 22. The production is adapted and directed by Guilio Cesare Perrone. Inferno Theatre says the production “condenses and intensifies this seminal family tragedy with striking visuals, physicality and live music. Gender is fluid with many male roles presented as female.” The amphitheater opens at 3 p.m. for picnicking and the performance begins at 4 p.m. Runs Saturdays and Sundays, with a special Labor Day performance on Sept. 7 to close the run. John Hinkel Park, 41 Somerset Place.  … Continue reading »

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

Photo: Berkeley Juneteenth
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EATS, BEATS & BREWS The food, drink and dancing street party returns to Berkeley this Sunday, June 21, from 12-6 p.m. on Center Street in downtown Berkeley. Eats, Beats & Brews is held the third Sunday of the month throughout the summer, with this first event featuring Fito Reinoso y su Ritmo y Armonia. Ruth Caspary of Latin Connection Dance will be teaching a basic salsa lesson. Food trucks with a variety of cuisines will line the streets, and a beer garden courtesy of Drake’s Brewing Company will spring up along the sidewalk. Center Street’s Restaurant Row will showcase over 15 different international cuisines and even more options from food trucks such as Kenny’s Heart & Soul food truck. The spacious outdoor beer garden will feature Bay Area favorite Drakes Brewing Company, transforming the street into a pedestrian promenade in the heart of downtown. … Continue reading »

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

Student volunteers serve low-income and homeless residents at the 2013 Holiday Meal. Photo courtesy of BUSD
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HOLIDAY MEAL Each year, dozens — and sometimes hundreds — of student volunteers come to school on a Saturday to serve the community’s homeless and low-income families a hot meal. With Bay Area housing in crisis, plenty of people could use the extra plate of food and holiday cheer this year. The annual Berkeley High Holiday Meal is Saturday, Dec. 13, and there’s still time to help. The event depends on donations — of food, funds, clothes, books, and toys. In past years they’ve collected thousands of pounds of canned goods. Fresh food donations will also be happily accepted on Friday, 4 p.m.-7 p.m. and Saturday 8 a.m.-1 p.m. at the main entrance to BHS on Milvia and Allston. Tax-deductible monetary donations are accepted in cash or as checks written to “BHS Student Activities” with “Holiday Meal” in the memo line. Email John Villavicencio johnvillavicencio@berkeley.net or (510) 644-8990 with questions. … Continue reading »

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

Shrek The Musical continues at Berkeley Playhouse through Aug. x. photo Ken Levin
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SHREK THE MUSICAL Shrek the Musical continues at Berkeley Playhouse through Aug. 3, including several performances on Saturday July 12 and Sunday July 13. This “silly, modern-day fairytale,” described as “a visual adventure” and “highly entertaining” by local reviewers, tells the story of everyone’s favorite ogre who goes on a life-changing adventure. Joined by a wise-cracking donkey, this unlikely hero fights a fearsome dragon, rescues a feisty princess and learns that friendship and love aren’t only found in fairy tales. The large adult and youth cast is directed and choreographed by Matthew McCoy with music direction by Rachel Robinson. Visit Berkeley Playhouse for dates and times, including several “pay what you can” performances. … Continue reading »

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

Tom Franco
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ART HAPPENING  It may not be the size of Oakland’s Art Murmur, but Berkeley has its own evening art outing called Second Friday Art Walk. Two cooperative art galleries and a host of cafés and shops will stay open late Friday April 12 and offer artist receptions and food and wine specials. The Firehouse North Gallery, at 1790 Shattuck, will hold a reception from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m, to present “33 years of being Tom Franco” (above).  The ACCI Gallery, at 1652 Shattuck, will host a party from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. for the opening of its 6th Annual Printmaking Exhibition. Nearby, the Vintage Berkeley Wine Shop at 2113 Vine Street will have a wine tasting and art show from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. The Time Out Quartet will perform at Oggi Restaurant, 1801 Shattuck, from 8 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. … Continue reading »

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Live Oak Theatre plan calls for “true community facility”

A recent production of Richard III by the Actor's Ensemble of Berkeley at Live Oak Theatre. Photo: Anna Kaminska
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TheatreFIRST, which is to lease Live Oak Theatre at 1301 Shattuck Avenue, plans for a greatly increased community involvement at the venue in North Berkeley.

“We’re looking forward to a cross-pollinating, really lively environment,” said Michael Storm, artistic director of TheatreFIRST. “One of our goals is to make this space a true facility for the community.”

But Actors Ensemble of Berkeley remains concerned about the transition to TheatreFIRST. Actors Ensemble has managed Live Oak for 34 years and performed there for 48, but it has been on a month-by-month agreement with the city since 1986. In 2011, the city started a competitive Request for Proposal process for the Live Oak Theatre lease. A panel of two independent theater professionals and three city staff determined that TheatreFIRST’s proposal was preferred. … Continue reading »

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