Arts & Events

Arts Calendar

Thursday May 01, 2008 - 10:32:00 AM

THURSDAY, MAY 1 -more-

First Person: The Critic Takes the Stage

By Ken Bullock, Special to The Planet
Thursday May 01, 2008 - 10:29:00 AM

The scene should have been a familiar one to a theater reviewer: rows of seats, the seatholders with an air of anticipation, focused on the spectacle to commence before them. -more-

Oakland East Bay Symphony Performs Sondheim’s ‘Follies’

By Ken Bullock, Special to The Planet
Thursday May 01, 2008 - 10:27:00 AM

Follies is one of Sondheim’s greatest works,” said Michael Morgan, Oakland East Bay Symphony director and conductor, of the concert version of the Stephen Sondheim-James Goldman Tony-winning musical the symphony will stage at Oakland’s Paramount Theatre May 16 and 18, with Academy Award-Tony-Grammy winner Rita Moreno, Val Diamond (Beach Blanket Babylon) and cabaret diva Sharon McKnight as guest stars. “[It’s] the timeless story of aging, learning from past mistakes and passing wisdom down from generation to generation.” -more-

Zilbersmith Set to Play Several East Bay Venues

Thursday May 01, 2008 - 10:31:00 AM

Carla Zilbersmith of Albany is a dynamic performer—jazz singer, impressionist, comic, actor—who has also been influential as teacher and director. Her original show, Wedding Singer Blues, was a critical success here and in Los Angeles. Diagnosed with ALS (Lou Gehrig’s Disease), she’s retiring from teaching, but will continue to perform—at the JazzSchool, June 14 and Anna’s Jazz Island on July 11, and also at 8 and 10 p.m. this coming Tuesday, May 6, at Yoshi’s Jack London Square in a benefit for her, with 30 musicians, including musical satirist Roy Zimmerman as well as the JazzSchool Composers Collective Big Band. Carla will sing standards from her new CD Extraordinary Renditions. 238-9200, or -more-

Divakaruni, I-House Alumna of the Year, Returns to Berkeley

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Thursday May 01, 2008 - 10:32:00 AM
Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni at the I-House fete.

Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni climbed up the red-tiled stairs of the International House at UC Berkeley on a recent April afternoon with the familiar gait of someone who has done it a thousand times before. -more-

Moving Pictures: The Artistic Restraint of Yasujiro Ozu

By Justin DeFreitas
Thursday May 01, 2008 - 10:35:00 AM

Almost from the beginning of the medium, filmmakers sought to exploit cinema’s unique properties. From the moment they could, directors were eager to transcend the limits of traditional theater by putting the camera in motion, by sending it racing, swooping and soaring; by using a variety of lenses to shape the image, to magnify, distort and exaggerate; and by using the editing process to suggest, startle and surprise. -more-

East Bay, Then and Now: Westenberg House: The Grande Dame of Benvenue Avenue

By Daniella Thompson
Thursday May 01, 2008 - 10:38:00 AM
The Westenberg House in it early years. The Claremont Hotel is visible in the distance.

Old Berkeley may have been solidly Republican, but it never lacked for colorful and even eccentric characters. How else to explain the flights of fancy some early Berkeleyans commissioned when building their homes a century ago? -more-

Wild Neighbors: UC and Strawberry Canyon: The Harvestman Paradox

By Joe Eaton
Thursday May 01, 2008 - 10:43:00 AM

My two previous columns provided background on planned major construction by the University of California and the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL) in undeveloped areas of Strawberry Canyon, and discussed a state and federally listed species, the Alameda whipsnake, which very likely inhabits the area to be developed. (Since last week I’ve received a credible report of a whipsnake sighting in the UC Botanical Garden, near the proposed site of the Helios Facility.) -more-

About the House: ‘But It’s Still Working!’

By Matt Cantor
Thursday May 01, 2008 - 10:45:00 AM

Some days I feel like I’m juggling so may balls that I ought to be on the Ed Sullivan show (this is an age test, folks). You remember that guy who had a dozen plates all spinning high in the air on little wooden dowels? Perhaps that’s a better analogy, since I’m quite sure that, if I were to rest for a minute or two, I’d be surrounded by shattered china. I’m sure you know the feeling? -more-

Community Calendar

Thursday May 01, 2008 - 09:49:00 AM

THURSDAY, MAY 1 -more-

Arts Calendar

Friday April 25, 2008 - 10:07:00 AM

FRIDAY, APRIL 25 -more-

Actors Ensemble Stages ‘Uncle Vanya’

By Ken Bullock, Special to The Planet
Friday April 25, 2008 - 10:03:00 AM

If I’d had a normal life, I could’ve been a Schopenhauer or a Dostoyevsky!” Funny, awkward explosions like that are rare but significant moments in Chekhov’s plays, which—as one spectator at the Actors Ensemble of Berkeley production of Uncle Vanya put it—seem to run on the rhythms of “the comedy of everyday life.” -more-

John Schott Join’s Moe’s Poetry Reading

By Ken Bullock, Special to The Planet
Friday April 25, 2008 - 10:05:00 AM

Guitarist John Schott will join poet Steve Dickison in an unusual “back and forth, call and response” poetry and music improvisation as part of this coming Monday At Moe’s reading series, 7:30 p.m. at Moe’s Books on Telegraph Ave. Admission is free. -more-

Understanding the Virtual World of Home Price Fluctuations

By Jane Powell
Friday April 25, 2008 - 10:11:00 AM

If your house disappears from, does that mean it no longer exists? Because that’s exactly what happened last month. -more-

Garden Variety: Flowers on Display, Plants For Sale in Sunol Now

By Ron Sullivan
Friday April 25, 2008 - 10:13:00 AM
Dunsinane: Thataway. Lisa Arnold, a hands-on owner, totes Japanese maples to a new display.

I’m sure there’s a reasonable rationale behind it but to a posyhugger, the stretch of road leading into Sunol-Ohlone Regional Park is an instrument of torture. All along the roadcut on your right, if you’re on time for it, you’ll see a fine display of paintbrush, the occasional blue dicks and bindweed, and the first flush of Calochortus albus, the subtly gorgeous white fairy-lantern, much of it conveniently near eye-level as you pass. -more-

About the House: X-Ray Vision and the Developed Basement

By Matt Cantor
Friday April 25, 2008 - 10:16:00 AM

If you get to know anyone well enough, you’ll eventually find out which super-power they have. Most super-powers are fairly innocuous while a few are more apparent and seemingly heroic. My ex-girlfriend could find a parking place in front of coliseum Rock & Roll events. Right smack in front. Stunning. Clearly a super-power. Some people know just when to buy the 24 pack of toilet paper and never run out. For some, this is inconceivable. Some can find the screw they dropped in the grass, while I’ve been forced to leave many behind. Next time you pass some little balding guy on the street, remember, he has a super power. See if you can guess which one he has. It might be a doozy. -more-

Berkeley This Week

Friday April 25, 2008 - 09:36:00 AM

FRIDAY, APRIL 25 -more-