Arts & Events

New: Berkeley Community Chorus & Orchestra Concerts Feature “The Power of Music”

By Elaine Hooker
Tuesday November 19, 2013 - 02:27:00 PM

The Berkeley Community Chorus & Orchestra (BCCO) will present a program of “music about the power of music” in its fall concert series in November. Under the direction of BCCO Music Director Ming Luke, the chorus will perform Charles Gounod’s elegant Messe Solennelle (St. Cecilia Mass), a paean to the patron saint of music; Ralph Vaughan Williams’ ethereal Serenade to Music; and Franz Schubert’s poignant An die Musik in a new arrangement written especially for BCCO by composer Loretta Notareschi. -more-

New: “The Dining Room” Opens This Thursday in Piedmont/Oakland

Tuesday November 19, 2013 - 02:26:00 PM
John Hale, Karly Shea, Aaron Vanderbeek, SusannahWood, Brett Mermer,and Jamie Harkin

Piedmont Avenue Repertory Theatre—a new theatre company-- this Friday Nov 22 opens with “The Dining Room” by A. R. Gurney at the Piedmont Center for the Arts, 801 Magnolia, Piedmont, for six performances with a reduced price preview on Thursday Nov 21. -more-

Theater Review: 'Emmett Till, A River'--Theatre of Yugen at NOHspace--This Weekend Only

By Ken Bullock
Friday November 15, 2013 - 09:37:00 AM

"What is blame when it is spread out so thin Across fields and rivers, miles and roads?"

Theatre of Yugen, the Bay Area's troupe practicing the rigors of classical Japanese theater, Noh and Kyogen, is celebrating its 35th season with something profoundly different, unusually successful ...

'Emmett Till, A River,' a new play following the outline of a Noh tragedy, by Kevin Simmonds and Judy Halebsky, incorporates the infamous story from 1955 of the murder of a 14 year old African American from Chicago, visiting relatives in Mississippi, and his mother, Mamie Till Mobley, whose efforts to expose the hushed-up crime made her dead son a symbol of the Civil Rights Movement. -more-

Two Theater Reviews: Ibsen's 'A Doll House' in Marin, SubShakes' Burlesque of 'Shakespeare Night at the Blackfriars'

By Ken Bullock
Friday November 15, 2013 - 09:43:00 AM

--A Brilliant Version of Ibsen's 'A Doll House' in Marin

Driving past St. Vincent's School, on the bayside of 101 north of San Rafael, south of Novato, there's a glimpse, as maestro Kent Nagano once put it, of an older, bucolic California, a tableau that could've appeared anywhere along the coast or a few inland waterways in the not-so-distant past. The fields of the Silveira Ranch run to old eucalyptus in the background, with the spire of a Mission-style church visible through them, a former orphanage from Gold Rush days, now a home for abused young people.

There's an auditorium opposite the church, often used by local performing arts groups, where something unusual's being staged right now: a remarkable production of Ibsen's most famous play--one of the most famous plays in the modern repertory--'A Doll House,' 1878, which anatomizes the plight of the housewife with a tightly-wound plot and brilliant, ironic dialogue. Strindberg wrote another masterpiece to answer it, 'Miss Julie,' and 'A Doll House' has served as touchstone for both modern theater (and modern writing in general--for several generations, Ibsen was venerated as a stylist in the manner usually confined to poets and novelists) and awareness of the movement for women's equality ever since. -more-