The It List: Five things to do in Berkeley, weekend of July 26-28

Progressive bluegrass group The Seldom Scene
The Seldom Scene will be performing at the Freight & Salvage on Sunday night. Photo: Courtesy of Freight & Salvage

THE SELDOM SCENE The Seldom Scene (good name!) were formed nearly 50 years ago in the roots music hotbed of Bethesda, Maryland (not). From that unlikely start, the group has been at the forefront of the progressive bluegrass movement, with shows that include bluegrass versions of country music, rock and pop. The quintet is playing at the Freight & Salvage on Sunday. Here’s what the Freight has to say: “What does it take for a bluegrass band to remain popular for more than four decades? For The Seldom Scene, it’s taken not only talented musicians, a signature sound, and a solid repertoire, but also a sheer sense of fun.” Sunday, July 28, 7 p.m., Freight & Salvage, 2020 Addison St.

BIG BAND IN THE PARK The first of the city’s summer series of music in the parks is this Saturday, with a big band concert at Civic Center Park. The concert features Morchestra, a 17-piece band lead by Tony Corman. Expect some swing, funk and Brazilian grooves. If you’re inspired to dance, go for it. The concerts are family friendly events, with kids’ activities and food, as well as the music. And you could also enjoy the farmers’ market adjacent to the park. Saturday, July 27, noon to 3 p.m., Civic Center Park.

ARCHITECTURE WALKING TOUR Berkeley Architectural Heritage Association is running a series of Sunday walking tours this summer. This Sunday, Conrad Brenneman and Cole Phelps, two current UC Berkeley students, will lead a tour around the campus, focusing on the varied architecture that dots the eastern half of the campus. The tour will be informed by Brenneman and Phelps’ work in History of Art 190G in the last academic year, which was an intensive study of the campus. At time of writing, 15 places on the tour were still available. Sunday, July 28, 1 p.m., UC Berkeley campus.

LES MIS Do you hear the people sing? Well, you can hear 39 teenagers and young adults, accompanied by a 25-piece orchestra in Youth Musical Theater Company’s production of Les Misérables at El Cerrito High’s auditorium this weekend. It’s your chance to demand justice for Jean Valjean. Friday, July 26 and Saturday, July 27, 7 p.m., Sunday, July 28, 2 p.m., El Cerrito High School, 540 Ashbury Ave., El Cerrito.


THAT DON REED SHOW Here’s an origin story: Saturday Night Live told Don Reed he was “too white” and an executive for In Living Color told him he wasn’t “black enough.” Reed had shunned roles that didn’t show the full scope of urban characters, and never put obvious black stereotypes in any of his work. “So, Don’s doing his own damn sketch variety show.” He describes it as a mix of SNL, In Living Color and The Carol Burnett Show. It’s just been extended through to Sept. 1 at The Marsh. Saturdays at 8:30 p.m., Sundays at 5:30 p.m., The Marsh, 2120 Allston Way.

Also, don’t miss the annual Berkeley Kite Festival at Cesar Chavez Park this Saturday and Sunday.