Arts & Events

Arts Calendar

Thursday September 04, 2008 - 09:37:00 AM

THURSDAY, SEPT. 4 -more-

Rough and Tumble Stages ‘Candide’ at City Club

By Ken Bullock Special to the Planet
Thursday September 04, 2008 - 09:34:00 AM

“This is Candide. He’s just like you ... Get out!” The Everyman hero of Voltaire’s tale outlives all the considerable horror of his age. He has a happy childhood as student of an optimistic philosopher in Westphalia (“the best of countries in the best of all possible worlds” in the garden of “the best of all possible castles”), then is ejected from this self-proclaimed paradise into the disasters of war, earthquake and tempest. He survives the Inquisition’s auto-da-fe as well as just plain, low-down deception, the turmoil of love and complexities of friendship, while moving across Europe, the high seas, to the New World and back again—and finally, down on the farm, quietly insists, “We must cultivate our garden.” -more-

‘The Best Man’ Comes to the Aurora

By Ken Bullock Special to the Planet
Thursday September 04, 2008 - 09:36:00 AM

From the first entrance of a candidate and his “entourage” into a tacky hotel room (Richard Olmstead’s set), surrounded by reporters, with the sound of a crowd outside the quickly shut door, to the final cliffhanger of an instruction phoned in to a delegation that changes the voting of a deadlocked convention, the Aurora’s timely revival of The Best Man, Gore Vidal’s 1960 play about politicians, their wives, their flacks and operatives—and their pasts, their secrets—is played out with clockwork timing that emphasizes Vidal’s wit and the inexorable grinding of the great public machine in the convention hall outside the private little rooms, where the decisions and their stakes are mulled, joshed at—and sparred over. -more-

Tayo Aluko Performs ‘Call Mr. Robeson’ in San Francisco

By Ken Bullock Special to the Planet
Thursday September 04, 2008 - 09:38:00 AM

“Take ‘Old Man River,’” said Tayo Aluko, talking about the signature tune of the great singer, actor and activist for human rights, Paul Robeson, whom he portrays in his one man show, Call Mr. Robeson, at downtown San Francisco’s Phoenix Theatre this weekend. “The lyrics in that song are very profound in terms of Robeson himself. ‘He just keeps rollin’ along,’ yes; his memory survives. Then after saying Old Man River doesn’t plant the crops, ‘them that plants them is soon forgotten.’ ... Paul Robeson can still inspire people to shout out his name and the names of the forgotten, to know they’re not alone.” -more-


Thursday September 04, 2008 - 09:37:00 AM

mugwumpin, the innovative physical theater troupe, is trying to take their super: anti: -more-


Thursday September 04, 2008 - 09:36:00 AM

After months of fascinating staged readings at local libraries and other venues, Oakland Public Theater celebrates the centennial of great black novelist Richard Wright (Native Son, Black Boy) and its own 10th anniversary with Richard Talavera’s original play (a distillate, in part, of the readings), Before the Dream: The Mysterious Death (and Life) of Richard Wright, directed by Norman Gee, at the Noodle Factory’s new theater, 1255 26th St., corner of Union, in Oakland, off West Grand and Mandela. $20–9, sliding scale. 8 pm, Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays; 5 p.m. Sundays through Oct. 5. Reservations: 534-9529. Opens Saturday, Sept. 6. First preview tonight (Thursday, Sept. 4), Wright’s actual centennial. -more-

East Bay: Then and Now—Zimri Brewer Heywood: Separating Fact From Myth

By Daniella Thompson
Thursday September 04, 2008 - 09:40:00 AM
1808 Fifth St., an elegant Italianate Victorian built in 1878 for Zimri Heywood’s son Charles.

As Planet Berkeley hurtles away from its past, the figures who dominated its early days, having accumulated a comet-like tail of stories and quasi-histories, take on the burnish of legend. Enshrined in books and articles, these stories have been repeated long enough to be taken for fact. -more-

About the House: Walking on a Roof

By Matt Cantor
Thursday September 04, 2008 - 09:41:00 AM

Now, straight off, I want to say that climbing ladders and walking on roofs is not for everyone. In fact, it’s not for me. I have to do it for my job and, frankly, I hate it. Well, not all the time, but there are days when I dread it and I’ll tell you some stories of occasions that either validated my dread or exacerbated it. -more-

Community Calendar

Thursday September 04, 2008 - 09:28:00 AM

THURSDAY, SEPT. 4 -more-