NOVELLA CARPENTER AT THE LIBRARY Today, Friday, local writer, urban farmer, educator and activist Novella Carpenter will take part in a free author chat at the Claremont branch of the Berkeley Public Library. The talk coincides with the paperback release of Carpenter’s memoir, Gone Feral: Tracking My Dad Through the Wild. Claremont Branch Library, 2940 Benvenue Ave., 4-5 p.m. Call 510-981-6280 for more information or visit the library’s website.
IN PLAIN SIGHT Those Women Productions offer In Plain Sight, an evening of six short plays exploring “what lies beyond the margins of your favorite classic tales.” There are two different versions of the Cinderella story (a whimsical comedy by Kat Meads and a darkly realistic take by Patricia Reynoso), two portrayals of notorious mothers (Lee Brady’s “Mississippi Medea,” where a modern Medea appears on a TV talk show, and Mimu Tsujimura’s drama “My Name is Mother,” based on the legend of La Llorona), and two short plays by Carol Lashof (“When Briseis Met Chryseis,” a romance set against the backdrop of the Trojan War, and “After the Prologue,” where Chaucer’s Wife of Bath explains what women really want). Tickets are pay what you want, available through Brown Paper Tickets. Previews Friday, Sept. 4, 8 p.m., opens Saturday, Sept. 5, with performances continuing on weekends through Sept. 20. Metal Shop Theater, enter via Willard Middle School, 2425 Stuart St.
CAL FOOTBALL SEASON OPENER Whether you relish the return of college football on Saturdays or dread traffic and parking problems, you should probably know that Cal’s season opener against storied Grambling State is at 2 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 5. (BTW: BART’s Transbay Tube is shut down this weekend, which will probably increase the number arriving by car.) The opener marks Cal’s first-ever game against Grambling, probably the best-known historically black university football program. Cal will hope to get off to a good start after last year’s offense-filled, defense-challenged 5-7 season. Tickets from $20. Cal Memorial Stadium, 210 Stadium Rim Way.
CASCADA DE FLORES “Achingly beautiful” songs from Latin America’s golden age are the focus of Cascade de Flores, who perform on Saturday, Sept. 5 at the Freight & Salvage Coffeehouse. “Cuban canciones de bolero to fill your heart to bursting, Mexican rancheras to break it, and Cuban guarachasthat make you want to jump up and dance.” Vocals from Arwen Lawrence (who also dances and plays rhythm guitar) and Jorge Liceaga on guitar will be joined by Saúl Sierra-Alonso on leoncita and double bass, Marco Díaz on trumpet and piano, Brian Rice on percussion and Kyla Danysh on violin. Tickets $25 in advance, $27 on the door. Saturday, Sept. 5, 8 p.m., Freight & Salvage Coffeehouse, 2020 Addison St.
LABOR DAY OPEN HOUSE The Tilden Nature Area is hosting an open house on Labor Day from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. The nature area includes the Little Farm, built in 1955, with its cows, sheep, goats, rabbits, chickens and pigs (you can bring lettuce or celery — but nothing else — to feed the animals). But the nature area extends well beyond the Little Farm, covering 740 acres. Enjoy crafts, games, farm activities and more. No registration is required.
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