Arts & Events

Architecture, Dance, Music in Berkeley This Weekend

By Steven Finacom
Friday September 23, 2011 - 10:38:00 AM

Dance, music, historic architecture and culture in general are on tap in Berkeley for this weekend, September 24-25, 2011.

On Saturday evening there’s a special chance to see the interior of the National Landmark First Church of Christ, Scientist, and hear from an author with a new book about the architect, Bernard Maybeck. Maybeck’s granddaughter will also be there to share family stories.

Sunday, the creative impulses of Cal Performances scatter and sparkle around the UC Berkeley campus in the second annual “Free for All,” with a day of gratis performances in several indoor and outdoor venues. 

Maybeck Talk 

Saturday evening, September 24, at 7:30 p.m., Mark A. Wilson will speak about Bernard Maybeck, and show slides from his new book about Berkeley’s most famous designer, with photographs by Joel Puliatti. Bernard Maybeck: Architect of Elegance (Gibbs Smith, 2011) is an extensively illustrated, large format, volume of Maybeck history and heritage. 

The central star of the show, of course, is Maybeck’s church building, where the lecture will be held. It’s a century old, and the evening light should be glowing through the mauve windows of the main sanctuary. 

There will be a reception and book signing after the event. Copies of the Wilson will be for sale, along with other local architectural tomes. Tickets are $15 at the door, 2619 Dwight Way at Bowditch. 

The event is co-sponsored by the Friends of First Church and the Berkeley Architectural Heritage Association. 

Cal Campus Performance “Free for All” 

The UC Berkeley campus looks like it will be bursting with vocal and instrumental music and dance on Sunday. The second annual edition of this event, organized by the performing arts program spreads both University and community performing arts groups around the campus in Zellerbach Hall, Pauley Ballroom, Lower Sproul Plaza, Wheeler Auditorium, Hertz Hall, Sather Gate, Faculty Glade, and the Eucalyptus Grove. 

The program starts at 11 am and continues until 6:00, and the Cal Performances website promises, along with the performances, “instrument petting zoo, demonstrations, CD signings with the artists, and plenty of good things to eat.” 

You can see the detailed schedule on the Cal Performances website at this address. 

Some of the highlights.  

At 10:30 the California Marching Band performs an opening fanfare on Lower Sproul Plaza. The Wayne Wallace Latin Jazz Quintet plays there later, at 2:00.  

Five student-singing groups give consecutive performances, on the hour, at Sather Gate, while the UC Jazz Ensembles perform at noon in Wheeler Auditorium. Hertz Hall has the American Bach Soloists, as well as East Bay pianist Sarah Cahill.  

The Department of Music stages a Balinese Gamelan performance in Faculty Glade at noon, and the Department of Theater, Dance, and Performance Studies debuts various performances in the Eucalyptus Grove at 10:50, 12:50, 3:50, and 5:20. 

There’s the New Century Chamber Orchestra in Zellerbach Hall, along with the Berkeley Symphony Wind Ensemble and the AXIS Dance Company. 

All for free, and all open to both the campus community and the general public. 

(Steven Finacom is the Vice-President of the Berkeley Architectural Heritage Association.)