After years of neglect, Berkeley has begun requiring nonprofit organizations renting buildings from the city to undertake and pay for long-deferred maintenance and capital improvements. About one dozen nonprofits have entered into lease negotiations with the Parks, Recreation and Waterfront department over the past few years. While a few of those leases have been signed, many have dragged on for two to four years and are still unsigned.
“I think my weird might be weirder than yours,” sings Hannah Miller in Don’t Stop Me, Youth Musical Theater Company’s (YMTC) first original musical. The song, like the show itself, explores the high-school experience: the insecurity, powerlessness and pressure that can come with being a teenager in the generation that is coming of age today.
What is Fiddler on the Roof? A charming love story (several love stories, really)? A family drama? A tale of religious/ethnic persecution?
If you want to see one of the liveliest, most vibrant and engaging musical productions to hit the East Bay in a while, head to the El Cerrito Performing Arts Theater this weekend.
UPDATE, March 27: The Berkeley City Council voted unanimously Tuesday to approve the move by the Youth Musical Theater Company to two buildings at West Berkeley’s Aquatic Park. Jennifer Boesing, the company’s artistic director, said she was “brimming with excitement.” Writing to the company’s community via email she said: “With the generous sponsorship of Berkeley-based Sogno Design Group and the Parks and Recreation Department, we will be renovating our new home over the spring and summer, with our 2014-2015 season programming and rehearsals beginning there in the fall. The result will be the creation of an exciting and vital artistic hub that serves YTMC and the larger Berkeley community.”
[Editor’s note: This story was updated at 1:15 p.m. with additional information from Councilman Laurie Capitelli.]
The possible transformation into a performance space of the shuttered Oaks Theatre on Solano Avenue remains uncertain, but the final word on the deal could come sometime in November, according to several people involved with the transaction.
The Oaks Theatre on Solano Avenue may be getting another lease at life.
By Sam Knobel
PREPARE TO BE BEWITCHED Thaisa Frank’s short fiction has been captivating readers for decades, even before the publication of her highly regarded and widely translated novel Heidegger’s Glasses. Now Frank has collected 61 old and new stories in Enchantment: New and Selected Stories, published this week by Berkeley’s Counterpoint Press. As Booklist puts it:”The title of this collection hints at its contents — delectable stories with touches of the surreal as well as many plot twists and surprises. From short-short story to novella, each narrative demonstrates mastery of the genre.” Frank will be reading from Enchantment at Mrs. Dalloway’s on College Avenue at 7:30 pm on Friday, July 13.
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