The It List: Five things to do this weekend, Feb. 15-16

MEMPHIS THE MUSICAL The four-time Tony Award-winning musical, Memphis, makes
its Berkeley Playhouse debut this weekend. When Huey Calhoun, a white disk jockey, meets Felicia Farrell, a talented black woman with a voice that won’t quit, they embark on a passionate journey through the trials and tribulations of love and fame in a prejudiced society. Featuring music and lyrics by David Bryan of Bon Jovi fame, this witty tale of desire, celebrity and rock ’n’ roll is packed to the brim with irresistible songs and poignant moments. Memphis, Berkeley Playhouse, 2640 College Ave., Feb. 14 through March 15.

MUSICA PACIFICA The San Francisco Early Music Society’s 2019-2020 concert season continues with Musica Pacifica. One of the Bay Area’s most venerable early music ensembles, Musica Pacifica will — on Friday Feb. 14 and Saturday Feb. 15 at John’s Presbyterian Church in Berkeley— perform a program of 18th-century Scottish music, blurring distinctions between classical and folk music. The concert is a follow-up to the group’s most popular CD, Dancing in the Isles. Musica Pacifica, John’s Presbyterian Church, 2727 College Ave., Saturday, Feb. 15, 7:30 p.m. 

GARUDA BLUE AT THE BACK ROOM Garuda Blue is a local, up-and-coming jazz band from the Bay Area that prides itself on delivering high-quality and sophisticated original arrangements of well-known jazz tunes. The friends’ repertoire is rooted in the rich tradition of jazz, but infused with new arrangements to well-known jazz classics. Garuda Blue, Sunday, Feb. 15, 7 p.m., The Back Room, 1984 Bonita Ave. 

SHAKESPEARE TRIAL Shylock, the Jewish moneylender at the center of The Merchant of Venice, is one of Shakespeare’s most historically fraught villains. As writer Andrew Gilbert put it, “he long ago escaped the Elizabethan text, finding a swampy home amid the dark menagerie of anti-Semitic tropes rattling around the Western id.” On Sunday afternoon, Berkeley Law takes over Freight & Salvage to give the old usurer another shot at justice with The Shylock Appeal. Gilbert reported on this intriguing proposition for Berkeleyside this week, so we’ll simply point you to his story for details.The Shylock Appeal,’ Sunday Feb. 16, 12 noon, Freight & Salvage, Tickets: $20.

THE HUMAN OUNCE Central Works’ 30th season begins Feb. 15 and features four new world premiere plays. The first is The Human Ounce by Nicole Parizeau, from the Central Works’ Writers Workshop, a new play about art and scandal. A fine old painting on the gallery wall is holding pride of place in the museum. The painter? An old master in his own right, admired worldwide, historically important, and an inspiration to thousands. And revealed as a monster. What now? The art is not the artist; should it pay for the sins of he who painted it? ‘The Human Ounce’ by Central Works, through May 15 at the Berkeley City Club, 2315 Durant Ave. 

Tracey Taylor is co-founder and managing editor at Berkeleyside. Email: tracey@berkeleyside.com.