Arts & Events

Arts Calendar

Friday March 21, 2008

FRIDAY, MARCH 21 -more-


Berkeley Opera Stages Donizetti’s ‘L’Elisir D’Amore’

By Ken Bullock, Special to The Planet
Friday March 21, 2008

The village flirt tosses aside the book of the romance of Tristan and Isolde she has been reading aloud, flippantly singing, “If only I knew that recipe” for the famous love potion, as the chorus of peasants idling in the piazza picks up the refrain—and her forlorn, would-be suitor Nemorino, who’s caught the storybook as if it was the garter flung after a wedding, finds himself in the same predicament. -more-


Fonts, Facades, And Frolicking Femme Fatales

Friday March 21, 2008

Helvetica—a Greek tragedy? No, a typeface. Who would think of making a documentary film about a typeface? And who would attribute political significance to a font? Well, the writers of this 80-minute film did. -more-


Moving Pictures: The Shakespeare Films of Orson Welles

By Justin DeFreitas
Friday March 21, 2008
Orson Welles in the title role in his 1948 adaptation of Macbeth.

With just a few exceptions, when we talk about an Orson Welles film we talk about a tangled mess of topics all at once. We talk about the film as it exists and the film as it might have been; we talk about intentions and motivations, disagreements and compromises, edits and changes; we talk about artistic integrity versus commercial considerations, about the rights of the artist contrasted with the rights of studios, stockholders, producers and distributors. -more-


Working With Welles on ‘Macbeth’

By Ken Bullock, Special to The Planet
Friday March 21, 2008

"What Orson always said about his career,” Richard Connema reminisced about working on Macbeth with Orson Welles at Republic Studios in 1946, “was that when he came out with Citizen Kane, he was a big shot and everybody gave him Christmas presents. During the making of The Magnificent Ambersons, they still gave him presents. But the next year, after he got back from Brazil and with all the problems with the release of Ambersons, nobody gave him presents.” -more-


East Bay Then and Now: Allenoke Manor Was a Scene of Hospitality for 5 Decades

By Daniella Thompson
Friday March 21, 2008
The south elevation of Allenoke Manor faces the gardens and Ridge Road.

When Berkeley boosters publicized the city circa 1905, they invariably pointed to the 1700 block of Le Roy Avenue as their shining example. Situated one block to the north of the UC campus, the short stretch between Le Conte Avenue and Ridge Road boasted two of Berkeley’s most opulent and ballyhooed residences: the Volney D. Moody house, known as “Weltevreden,” and the Allen G. Freeman house, “Allenoke.” Each was designed by a fashionable architect (A.C. Schweinfurth and Ernest Coxhead, respectively) and was clad in clinker brick-a material popular with Arts and Crafts builders. -more-


Garden Variety: The Accidental Gardener Confesses, or Brags

By Ron Sullivan
Friday March 21, 2008
Salsify—“oyster plant”—is a common local weed with an edible root.

I do have a modest talent for growing things. The catch is that what grows isn’t always what I had in mind. -more-


About the House: Who’s Buried in the Yard?

By Matt Cantor
Friday March 21, 2008

I crawled out from underneath someone’s house the other day and placed in the hands of a brow-knit homeowner, a pithy black rock. Before she could form the words for what she could not quite specify, I said “Coal … Anthracite, I think” (as though I know anything about coal). Since she continued to bear that befuddled look, I explained that I’d been under the house and that there, near the furnace, I’d found a few of these black shiny artifacts of geophysics. -more-


Berkeley This Week

Friday March 21, 2008

FRIDAY, MARCH 21 -more-


Arts Calendar

Tuesday March 18, 2008

TUESDAY, MARCH 18 -more-


‘Jazz Explosion VII’ Spotlights Young Musicians

By Zelda Bronstein, Special to the Planet
Tuesday March 18, 2008
Portola Middle School Music Director Tiffany Carrico (right) leads the school jazz band at the El Cerrito BART Station in preparation for its upcoming concert. Left to right: Aidan Brorsen, trumpet; Caroline Umali, tenor sax; Roschelle Hood, baritone sax; Dan Marsh, tenor sax; Freeman Schlesinger, percussion.

Coming down the escalator at El Cerrito BART last Wednesday afternoon, I heard jazz. It sounded live, but musicians were nowhere in sight. Had BART started piping music into its stations along with its public safety and elevator messages? Out in front of the station, the surprising source of the music appeared: Five young people—three saxophonists, a trumpeter and a drummer—were swinging away. -more-


Remembering Malvina Reynolds

By Michael Rossman, Special to the Planet
Tuesday March 18, 2008

Since she died in 1978, if people now know of Malvina Reynolds at all it’s mostly as the writer of “Little Boxes” and “What Have They Done to the Rain,” among many memorable progressive and children’s songs. Even here, during her lifetime, she was known mainly from afar as The Singing Grandmother of Berkeley, a screechy fountain of song for noble, poorly funded causes. Few looked beneath this action-costume of a quirky, homegrown Superhero to recognize the astute sociologist and cornucopia of life-affirming spirit at work within. -more-


Green Neighbors: The Brave Little Quince

By Ron Sullivan
Tuesday March 18, 2008
Fruit, flowers, and lots of thorns on the Brave Little Quince under the BART tracks on Martin Luther King, Jr. Way.

On the median strip under the BART tracks along Martin Luther King Jr. Way, just a few blocks past the city line and into Oakland, there lives a flowering quince I’ve always thought of as The Brave Little Toaster. Aside from the fact that it’s nothing like a toaster at all, I find the name apt. -more-


Berkeley This Week

Tuesday March 18, 2008

TUESDAY, MARCH 18 -more-