Arts & Events

AROUND AND ABOUT THEATER AND MUSIC: Theater & Music Classes at Northbrae Community Church

By Ken Bullock
Friday March 23, 2012 - 01:08:00 PM

Marion Fay, whose classes in theater and music have garnered a wide reputation, will be leading groups again this spring at Berkeley's Northbrae Community Church, near the tunnel from Berkeley to Solano Avenue. Theater Explorations, a three section class, and Music Appreciation, which meets Thursday mornings, will be offered. Theater Explorations participants will hear actors and directors speak, and see such productions as Arthur Schnitzler's 'Anatol' at Aurora Theatre, plus plays at the Berkeley Rep and Ashby Stage at discounted prices. Music Appreciation features meetings with composers, conductors and musicians from Berkeley and San Francisco Symphonies, who will discuss their work and perform, as well as trips to musical performances. No background in music is required. Both sponsored by Albany Adult Education. For information and to register online:

Book Review: 'A Coward's Guide to Self-Defense--Combat Tactics for the Thinking Person,' by David I. Marshall

By Ken Bullock
Friday March 23, 2012 - 01:08:00 PM

"Intensive martial arts training had gradually led me to a point of deep and painful recognition, pulling me toward the unexpected but undeniable: All the styles, systems, concepts, techniques, mindsets, myths, opinions, raging debates, and dear God, let's not forget secrets, don't necessarily work. At least not the way they've been advertised." -more-

EYE FROM THE AISLE: Octopus’s Garden in SF—A Tale of Two Mommies—great acting, lesser writing.

BY John A. McMullen II
Monday March 19, 2012 - 10:27:00 PM
Gabrielle Patacsil, Nandi Drayton and Leah Shesky.

Produced by PianoFight, OCTOPUS’S GARDEN by Scott Herman premiered Saturday at 414 Mason Street near Geary.

It is a domestic drama of the conflicts of a lesbian couple in choosing the sperm donor for their planned pregnancy. Told in reverse chronology, it has some very talented actors. However, the writing is mundane; it contains a few amusing moments of situational tension that evoke laughter, but it is the actors who carry the show by the easy believability of their performance and the emotional connections between them. -more-