The It List: Five things to do in Berkeley, weekend of Sept. 27-29

Cal Performances' multidisciplinary work Triptych
Roomful of Teeth with special guests Alicia Hall Moran & Isaiah Robinson perform Cal Performances Co-Commission Triptych (Eyes of One on Another), composed by Bryce Dessner on Saturday in Zellerbach Hall. Photo: AA Baranova

TRIPTYCH Cal Performances presents the Bay Area premiere of a multidisciplinary work inspired by the photography of Robert Mapplethorpe on Saturday. Triptych (Eyes of One on Another), mixes music, words, images and video that “reflects on the impact and artistry of Robert Mapplethorpe’s bold, provocative photography nearly 30 years after it instigated a now-infamous obscenity trial and controversy at the National Endowment for the Arts.” The work has a score composed by Bryce Dessner, libretto by korde arrington tuttle (featuring words by Essex Hemphill and Patti Smith), design by Carlos Soto and irection by Kaneza Schaal. Grammy-winning vocal ensemble Roomful of Teeth performs the music, joined by mezzo soprano Alicia Hall Moran, actor Isaiah Robinson and the San Francisco Contemporary Music Players. Saturday, Sept. 28, 8 p.m., Zellerbach Hall.

CHEESEMAKING WORKSHOP A free workshop for all ages led by Preserved at the Tarea Hall Pittman South Branch Library on Saturday lets you learn to make your own fresh, organic cheese and butter from scratch. The class includes a discussion on the history and principles of cheesemaking, then gets hands-on as you churn your own butter and make a fresh batch of cheese. Saturday, Sept. 28, 1 p.m., Tarea Hall Pittman South Branch, 1901 Russell St.

FALL PLANT SALE If you have a green thumb (not guilty), your heart probably races at these words: “your source for exceptional plants!” Sunday is the UC Botanical Garden’s fall plant sale. Members (you know who you are) have exclusive access from 9-10:30 a.m. Hoi polloi are admitted from 10:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Another member benefit: The Room of Rares, “a boutique sale of plants carefully selected by Garden horticulturists,” is only open during the members’ sale. But there’s plenty on offer besides those rare plants, including cycads and palms, carnivorous plants, succulents, subtropicals, houseplants and a wide selection of drought-tolerant plants. Bring your own box. Sunday, Sept. 29, members only from 9 a.m., public opening 10:30 a.m., UC Berkeley Botanical Garden, 200 Centennial Dr.

AIREENE ESPIRITU & MAURICE TANI Here’s a genre I haven’t heard before: supercalifornigraphic (apparently short for supercalifornographicexpealidocious). According to The Back Room, it’s the term singer-songwriter Maurice Tani uses to describe his particular flavor of Americana. Or, as Tani explains, “Short musical narratives of life on the left coast.” Tani will be appearing on Saturday with singer-songwriter Aireene Espiritu, who one poetic critic described as “a rare breed of artist, a soul singer, a folk troubadour, a blues artist, a busk show princess, a skiffle tear-stained street singer.” Saturday, Sept. 28, 8 p.m., The Back Room, 1984 Bonita Ave.


KATE MCGARRY & KEITH GANZ It’s always rewarding to hear music in intimate venues (see The Back Room, above). On Saturday, 2019 Grammy nominees Kate McGarry and Keith Ganz play in the cosy confines of the Rendon Hall/Fiddlers Annex at the California Jazz Conservatory. Here’s the Conservatory’s blurb: More concerned with the essence of a song than idiomatic limitations, vocalist Kate McGarry and guitarist Keith Ganz have managed to attract the attention of tomorrow’s jazz fans. Beyond their obvious affinity for swing, their eclectic repertoire ranging from Irving Berlin to The Cars, and her signature contralto convey a message with a crystal clarity that precludes the need for gimmick or effect.” They were nominated this year for the best jazz vocal CD Grammy. McGarry and Ganz will be performing with Julie Wolf on keyboards and accordion. Saturday, Sept. 28, 8 p.m., Rendon Hall, 2040 Addison St.

Don’t miss these other events covered on Berkeleyside:

American premiere of ‘The Great Wave’ founders at Berkeley Rep
Big Screen Berkeley: ‘End of the Century’ and ‘Britt-Marie was Here’
Exciting ‘Macbeth’ successfully ends Cal Shakes’ season
Freight Fest Berkeley – taking it to the streets