The It List: Five things to do in Berkeley this weekend, July 27-29

The annual Berkeley Kite Festival will be held at Cesar Chavez Park on Saturday and Sunday. Photo: Sylvia Rubin

KITE FESTIVAL You’ll come to gawp at the “Octopile,” where the Berkeley Kite Wranglers – the premier giant creature kite team in the world (how many are there?) – fly more than a dozen vast octopus kites. But there’s much, much more to see and do at the free annual Berkeley Kite Festival. Among the highlights: kite competitions choreographed to music, candy drops for the kids, rokkaku kite battles, and traditional kite making from the Sode-cho Kite-Flying Society of Hammamatsu, Japan. And if kites in the sky aren’t enough for you, there are pony rides, a petting zoo, bungee jumps, water balls, bounce houses, craft booths and food trucks galore. Saturday, July 28 and Sunday, July 29, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Cesar Chavez Park, Berkeley Marina.

MOZART MASH-UP If you’re an opera traditionalist, look away now. But if you’re not, Canadian mezzo soprano Signa Love and UC Berkeley PhD student Gabrielle Lochard have put together a #Mozart Mash-Up, a collection of scenes from Mozart’s operas, “strung together to make a new story of betrayal, infidelity and passion!” (I think Wolfgang Amadeus would have been a hashtag kind of guy.) UC Berkeley grad student Jonathan Liu accompanies on piano. Saturday, July 28, 8 p.m., Hertz Hall.

QUEER SPIRIT MURAL On Saturday, Youth Spirit Artworks will unveil its Queer Spirit mural. Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence will be blessing the mural. It’s part of YSA’s developing Alcatraz Alley Mural Park, which will eventually include as many as 20 South Berkeley murals. Youth members of YSA’s Queer Spirit Artspace team organized the project as part of LGBTQI education efforts in the East Bay, in part as a response to the “57 bus incident” five years ago, involving a gender questioning young person who was set on fire on the bus coming home from school. Saturday, July 28, 5-8 p.m., 3324 Adeline St.

CHAMBER MUSIC On Friday night, there’s a free concert of chamber music, including works by Telemann, Mozart and Arvo Part – and some traditional klezmer music – at the South Berkeley Community Church. Tracy Randolph, oboe, Masha Albrecht, violin, Sarah Willner, viola, Dan Plonsey, saxophone, and Tako Oda, countertenor, will perform. Donations are encouraged, which will go to support the East Bay Community Law Center. Friday, July 27, 7:30 p.m., South Berkeley Community Church, 1802 Fairview St.


HAT’S OFF When we last wrote about pianist Ethan Ostrow, he was about to hold a benefit concert for cancer charities last year, following his own successful treatment for Stage 4 Burkitt’s lymphoma. Ostrow, a Berkeley High grad and an up-and-coming jazz musician, sold out the Freight & Salvage and raised over $22,000 for cancer research. He’s planning on bettering that total this coming Monday night, back at the Freight for the second annual Hat’s Off benefit concert. Ostrow will be playing with fellow Berkeley High grads Max Schwartz, bass, and drummer Pele Greenberg. Monday, July 30, 7:30 p.m., Freight & Salvage, 2020 Addison St.

Don’t miss these other events covered on Berkeleyside:

Dreams of old Cuba in Central Works’ ‘King of Cuba’
Big Screen Berkeley: The films of Alain Tanner
The bells will be ringing in concert this weekend at UC Berkeley
Cal Shakes’ ‘Everybody’ is a modernized morality play