SAN FRANCISCO MIME TROUPE It’s summer. It’s park time, which means it’s time for the annual production of the Tony-award winning San Francisco Mime Troupe. This time, the acting ensemble takes on the question of education in its 57th production, “Schooled.” Who is it for and who pays for it? From their program notes: “Education. It’s like the weather: everyone has an opinion but nobody does anything about it. That’s how Lavinia Jones feels about her son Thomas’ new school, Eleanor Roosevelt High. Decades of funding cuts have resulted in old textbooks, crumbling classrooms, and underpaid teachers, making Roosevelt exactly the sort of public school that has failed students time and time again. Isn’t it time for something… efficient? And efficient is exactly what Fredersen Babbit, from Learning Academy for Virtual Achievement (LAVA Corp.), promises to bring to the district. New Technology, remote learning, computer-generated teachers –LAVA promises to put the “virtual” in achievement! ” The Mime Troupe opens its 2016 season Saturday, July 2 at 2:00 p.m. at Cedar Rose Park at 1300 Rose St., near Chestnut. Music begins at 1:30 p.m. There will be a second performance, same time, same place on July 3. It will also play in Live Oak Park on July 9 and 10th at 2:00 p.m.and at Willard Park Aug. 20 and 21st. (more…)
QUIRKY ‘SCULPTURE AND METALWORK’ BERKELEY WALK Tom Dalzell, who, if you’re a regular Berkeleyside reader, you may know better as Mr. Quirky Berkeley, is leading a walk on Sunday April 3, starting at 10 a.m. The three-mile tour of the Ashby corridor will focus on its “trove of sculptural quirk,” including Mark Bulwinkle’s installations on Shattuck and his fence-post ornaments, a collaborative project with students from Malcolm X School; Eni Green’s all-things-dachshund house; and Marcia Donahue’s indescribable Wheeler Street garden. Participants will also visit the Slingshot Collective’s cell-phone gate, Mark Olivier’s beach detritus creations, Julie Partos Clark’s creatures on Webster and Mike and Becky O’Malley’s fence of doors, with Mike’s ceramic figures peeping out the windows. Dalzell’s family will provide snacks, drinks, and an optional shuttle service back to the Ashby BART station. Meet at the south-east corner of Emerson and Adeline Streets on the Flacos lot. Details on the Berkeley Path Wanderers’ website. (more…)
Berkeley Playhouse has built a solid, inspiring bridge — a bridge that may point toward its future — in its first commissioned new musical, Bridges: A New Musical, running through March 6 at the Julia Morgan Center for the Arts.
EATS BEATS & BREWS The Eats Beats & Brews salsa party returns to downtown Berkeley on Sunday, Sept. 20, noon to 6 p.m., with a packed program of fun events for all ages. Rumbaché will shake up the warm afternoon with live music and dancing, there’s an outdoor beer garden from Drakes Brewing, food from local restaurants, and fun games for all ages. Center Street’s Restaurant Row will showcase over 15 different international cuisines with special deals just for the event and combos perfect for al fresco eating. Games of Berkeley will be taking over part of the street for a Locally Grown Games Day where everyone can come meet game developers, try out new games and celebrate modern gaming. (more…)
Fiddler on the Roof, running through Aug. 2 at Berkeley Playhouse, is the 1964 Broadway classic about Tevye, the poor milkman of the village of Anatevka, and his five daughters. Adapted from the late 1800s writings of Sholem Aleichem, a Russian Jew and advocate of Yiddish as a Jewish national language, Fiddler is as much a play as a musical, filled with witty banter, wry comedy, and compelling story.
PUBLIC HEALTH BLOCK PARTY The city hopes to address “health inequities and improve outcomes” at its public health block party on Saturday, 10am-2pm near the entrance to the Frances Albrier Community Center, 2800 Park St. in South Berkeley. Come receive information and resources, such as screenings for blood pressure, glucose, bone density, and Hepatitis C. People can also get assistance with applications for Covered California, the state health insurance exchange created by the Affordable Care Act that provides federally subsidized rates. Not only that, there is free food, courtesy of Acme Bread and Phat Beets Produce, and delicious smoothies created by a “Smoothie Bike,” as well as a Kid Zone and free haircuts courtesy of stylists from South Berkeley barber shop DnD Cuts. (more…)
YOU’RE A GOOD MAN, CHARLIE BROWN Charlie Brown is coming to town with the opening on Saturday of Berkeley Playhouse’s production of the two-time Tony Award-winning musical You’re a Good Man Charlie Brown at the Julia Morgan Theater. The play, which is, of course, based on the famous comic strip “Peanuts,” by Charles M. Schulz, is directed and choreographed by Christina Lazo and music and lyrics are by Clark Gesner. In an innovative move, the theater group is partnering with Berkeley Humane with onsite pet adoptions during the production. “Snoopy was rescued from the puppy farm by Charlie Brown and we know that a number of puppies will be saved during the run of the show. We think Charlie Brown, Snoopy and all the Peanuts gang would be proud of that,” said Berkeley Playhouse Producing Artistic Director Daren A.C. Carollo. The show runs from Feb. 21 to March 15. Tickets are available through the by calling (510) 845-8542 Ext: 351, or visiting berkeleyplayhouse.org. Select “Pay What You Can” nights will be announced where tickets are sold on a sliding scale from $5-$20. (more…)
HALF MARATHON Running out of ideas for things to do this weekend? Spend Sunday, Nov. 9, in your sneakers. It’s the second annual Berkeley Half Marathon, which takes racers through the Cal campus, Gourmet Ghetto, Fourth Street shopping area, and along the beautiful Bay Trail. If the 13.1-mile journey sounds daunting, participant can opt to run a more reasonable 5 kilometers instead. The race starts (8 a.m.) and ends (12:30 p.m.) at Civic Center Park at 2151 Martin Luther King Jr. Way. Registration costs $25-$115, and supports Cal Athletics and the Berkeley Public Schools Fund; last year’s event brought in $30,000. Non-runners may want to check out the list of street closures. (more…)
TEEN SHREK This weekend, TeenStage will be performing “Shrek The Musical” at the Julia Morgan Theatre, 2640 College Avenue. Based on the popular 2001 kids movie, the musical follows an ogre and talking donkey on their adventure to save a princess from a fiery dragon. TeenStage is Berkeley Playhouse’s educational program, which features kids aged 12-18. The play lasts two and a half hours and will be shown four times this weekend: 7 p.m. on Friday, 1 p.m. and 6 p.m. on Saturday and 2 p.m. on Sunday. Tickets are $20 for general admission and $15 for youth general admission and can be bought at the Berkeley Playhouse website. (more…)
KITE FESTIVAL The 29th annual Berkeley Kite Fest will take place Saturday and Sunday in César Chavez Park. The free festival will feature kite making and flying lessons, as well as food and craft activities. A traditional Japanese kite-flying team will also be there to showcase their technique. The festival begins at 10 a.m. each day and continues until 6 p.m. Parking in the Berkeley Marina will cost $15. Parking space is limited and the Berkeley Police Department encourages you to take public transit to the event. (more…)
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. (more…)
If you only see one musical this year… you don’t go to enough musicals, my friend. But you’re in luck: Berkeley Playhouse has opened a one-month run of the Tony-award-winning The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee. The show is a winner on its merits — with a sweet, funny, rollicking story — but also provides a great opportunity to appreciate how theater works to create place, mood and emotion out of seemingly thin air.
DESIGNED OBSOLESCENCE They’ve performed in nudist colonies and on Prairie Home Companion. They issued a series of 10-inch 78rpm recordings long after the format had vanished. And they count R. Crumb as a co-founder. The Cheap Suit Serenaders bring their “unapologetically outmoded tastes” to the Freight & Salvage Coffeehouse on Friday, Jan. 10 at 8 p.m. On ukuleles, Hawaiian steel guitars, fiddles, cellos, banjos, mandolins, accordions and musical saws, Robert Armstrong, Allan Dodge, Rick Elmore and Tony Marcus serve up a “giddy blend of up-tempo Hawaiian stomps, ragtime, Italian polkas and more.” Tickets are $26.50 in advance, $28.50 on the door. Freight & Salvage Coffeehouse, 2020 Addison St.
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