Arts & Events

Around and About in the Performing Arts

By Ken Bullock
Wednesday January 19, 2011 - 09:35:00 AM

--Berkeley Symphony produces Landscapes of Sound, this Thursday's concert at 8, Zellerbach Hall on the UC campus, featuring the world premiere of Du Yu's orchestral piece Mantichora, celebrating the Manticore, fabulous beast with the body of a red lion and a very toothy human head, as well as Olivier Messaien's Oiseaux exotiques, featuring pianist Natasha Paremski (Berkeley Symphony has a long relationship with Messaien's groundbreaking music, Kent Nagano having worked with the composer decades ago) and Beethoven'sSymphony no. 6 in F major, The Pastoral Symphony, all under the baton of musical director Joana Carneiro. Pre-concert talk at 7. Tickets: $20-$60. 841-2800;  


--Thingamajigs Performance Group, an East Bay music ensemble "combining Eastern sensibilities with Western technology and performance practices," utilizing instruments from made, found and recycled objects, plus Asian wind instruments and homemade electronics, performs their music, realized "more as a theater or dance group works" (and its members have worked extensively with troupes such as San Francisco's Theatre of Yugen classical Japanese theater company), plays this Saturday at 8 at Meridian Gallery, 535 Powell Street in San Francisco, featuring Dylan Bolles, Suki O'Kane, Edward Schocker and Zachary Watkins, with special guests Keith Evens and Kanoko Nishi. $5-$10. 444-1322;


--Actors Ensemble of Berkeley will present Bernard Shaw's Heartbreak House, directed by Robert Estes, opening this friday at 8, through February 19, Fridays-Saturdays at 8, some Thurday evenings and Sunday matinees, at live Oak Thater on Shattuck, just north of the North Berkeley business district in Live Oak Park. $12-$15. 649-5999;

--Altarena Playhouse presents Steinbeck's Of Mice & Men, adapted by George Kaufman, directed by Gene Kahane, this Friday at 8 through February 20, Fridays-Saturdays at 8, Sundays at 2 (and Thursday February 17 at 8), at Altarena Playhouse on High Street, Alameda. Tickets: $19-$22 (plus $5 student tickets). 523-1553;

(There's something of a Steinbeck fest in this part of the East Bay ... TheatreFirst will open their production of Frank Galati's adaptation of Grapes of Wrath next week--more of that, then ... )