Arts & Events

Around & About Theater: Last Minute Announcement, One Night Only--Dan Carbone in 'Kingdom of Not' & 'Up From the Ground'--Tonight Only

By Ken Bullock
Friday October 26, 2012 - 02:16:00 PM

Performance artist Dan Carbone will stage a rare performance of his 'Kingdom of Not' & 'Up From the Ground,' weird pieces he describes as "employing live projection by Bulk Foodveyor, puppets, monologues, French Lessons, songs about demon children, demon blackbirds, demon dogs, demon Eskimos and most other popular demon themes, beloved by all peoples." At 'Crack,' 1823 Ninth Street at Hearst, Berkeley (side building to Good Shepherd Church). 8:30. $10/sliding scale. -more-

Around & About Music: Nancarrow At 100--remarkable Celebration of Composer, November 2-4, UC Berkeley Venues

By Ken Bullock
Friday October 26, 2012 - 02:15:00 PM

"Every time Conlon punched a hole, the world got more interesting." - Robert Willey

Composer Conlon Nancarrow, praised in the most extravagant terms by figures in music as diverse as Gyorgi Ligeti ("the greatest discovery since Webern and Ives!"), John Cage ("Conlon's music has such an outrageous, original character, it's literally shocking") and Frank Zappa ("fabulous ... It'll kill you!"), would be 100 this year--and Other Minds, in conjunction with Cal Performances and the Berkeley Art Museum/Pacific Film Archive, is celebrating in style. Nancarrow, who fought for the Republican cause in the Spanish Civil War, later moving to Mexico City to escape political harassment, spent decades composing primarily for pianola--player piano--inspired by Henry Cowell. His works are dense, diverse, beyond the capabilities of even four-handed human playing ... His pianolas and piano rolls themselves the realia of his works of art. His music was seldom heard, only recorded once, until Other Minds founder (and former KPFA programmer) Charles Amirkhanian produced several records on the 1740 Arch label in Berkeley over 30 years ago. -more-

Theater Review: 'Richard the First,' a Trilogy of Plays by Gary Graves--Central Works at the Berkeley City Club

By Ken Bullock
Monday October 29, 2012 - 03:35:00 PM

"I need to pray in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, where all sins are forgiven!"

Richard Coeur de Lion, The Lionheart ... Richard the First of England, Duke of Aquitaine, of Normandy and Gascony, Lord of Cyprus, Count of Anjou, of Maine and Nantes, Overlord of Brittany ... Malek al-Inkitar to Arabic speakers ...

So many titles and monickers, so many legends, from the 12th century, on, legends of his courage and subtlety--and ruthlessness--in war, of his mission as crusader, his capture for ransom on return and supposed discovery by the troubadour Blondel. These legends were taken up again--and added to--by Sir Walter Scott in 'Ivanhoe' and 'The Talisman,' the first linking him with Robin Hood, the second bringing up the old legend of the Ismaili "Assassins" during the Crusades. He's a major player in William Goldman's witty play 'The Lion on Winter,' as one of the scheming sons of Henry II and Eleanor of Aquitaine, played in the film by Antony Hopkins ...

Now Gary Graves, co-director of Central Works, has written an ambitious trilogy on Richard, staged with equal ambition--and great verve--by Jan Zvaifler, the troupe's other director. A kind of intimate epic is unfolding in the confines of the City Club where Central Works has been in residence for years, taking its audiences on whirlwind tours of medieval Britain, Europe, the Mediterranean and the Levant, as absorbing an entertainment as any offered by bigger theaters with greater budgets--indeed, more so--or many cinema blockbusters. -more-

Around & About Theater: Ragged Wing Ensemble's 'Within the Wheel'--Free Performances in Live Oak Park Installations

By Ken Bullock
Monday October 29, 2012 - 03:23:00 PM

"How does death look, taste, smell, feel? What's it like on the other side of the wheel?"

For Hallowe'en, Ragged Wing Ensemble, our local physical theater troupe, is staging their third annual Fall show--again for free--in six interactive art/performance installations in Live Oak Park, continuous performances from 6-8 p. m. (last entry: 7:30) Thursdays through Saturdays until November 3, with a special Hallowe'en show this coming Wednesday the 31. A half dozen more dates left for their innovative, Ensemble-created experience, directed by co-founder Anna Shneiderman, inspired by the Tibetan book of the Dead, using hospice interviews ... Live music, visual design and the immediate physicality of Ragged Wing's dedicated performers. Info at: including a Virtual Site that expands on the production in process. Live Oak Park, Shattuck at Berryman, a block north of the North Berkeley business district and Gourmet Ghetto. -more-

Nureyev: A Life in Dance

By Dorothy Snodgrass
Thursday October 25, 2012 - 05:36:00 PM

Over the past several years I've attended many outstanding art exhibits at the deYoung Museum in Golden Gate Park. But none have been as exhilarating as the current show, "Rudolph Nureyev: A Life in Dance." Beautifully staged by Brad Rosenstein, the Museum's curator, walking through the exhibit is an absolute, if exhausting, joy! -more-