Arts & Events

An Indy Weekend at East Bay Media Center

Ken Bullock
Friday May 03, 2019 - 04:16:00 PM

Three days of independent video and film screenings from all over at East Bay Media Center span this weekend, Friday and Saturday nights through Sunday afternoon, in the Center's events room in at 1939 Addison (between Milvia & MLK Way) in the downtown Berkeley Arts District, featuring student films from the USC (University of Southern California) Cinematic Arts Program, long the top hands-on film program nationally, and documentary, dramatic, animation and music videos and films from everywhere on Saturday and Sunday, as the Center splashes its decades-old festival onto the screen. -more-

Alisa Weilerstein Takes On the Bach Suites for Solo Cello

Reviewed by James Roy MacBean
Friday May 03, 2019 - 03:13:00 PM

In program notes, Alisa Weilerstein paid tribute to Pablo Casals, who single-handedly resurrected from oblivion the Bach Cello Suites, and she also fondly recalled her own family’s roots in Berkeley. With these two things in mind, Alisa Weilerstein spoke of how honored and humbled she felt to be bringing Bach’s complete Cello Suites to this Berkeley audience in one evening’s concert. For those of us in attendance at Berkeley’s First Congregational Church on Wednesday, May 1, Alisa Weilerstein’s performance was a thing of beauty. -more-

Not Shakespeare’s JULIUS CAESAR but Zellerbach’s

Reviewed by James Roy MacBean
Saturday May 04, 2019 - 04:16:00 PM

Théâtre National de Bretagne came to Berkeley’s Zellerbach Hall on April 27-8 with Arthur Nauzyciel’s staging of Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar. This French théâtre troupe performed Shakespeare’s text, or most of it, in English. However, in the cavernous expanse of Zellerbach Hall, Shakespeare’s immortal text was, for the most part, gone with the wind. Even from my seat in center orchestra, the spoken text was only partly audible. One caught a word or two here and there, though rarely a whole sentence. I can’t imagine how little of Shakespeare’s text was heard at the back of the house or up in the balconies. If one thing is perfectly clear, it is that Zellerbach Hall is simply too cavernous a space for presenting Shakespeare’s plays. Had these performances been given in either the much smaller Playhouse or in Hertz Hall, I’m sure the expérience would have been far more fulfilling and enjoyable. Instead, we got not Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar but Zellerbach’s. What a shame ! -more-

Deborah Voigt in Recital at Herbst Theatre

Reviewed by James Roy MacBean
Sunday May 05, 2019 - 04:50:00 PM

Although I’ve heard Deborah Voigt quite a few times in live operas, I’ve never been overly impressed with her voice. I found her a capable but not outstanding Wagnerian soprano, and a so-so heroine in several operas of Richard Strauss. Yet I welcomed the opportunity to hear Deborah Voigt sing in the more intimate setting of a recital in Herbst Theatre accompanied by pianist Steven Bailey under the aegis of San Francisco Performances. Thus I went to Herbst Theatre Thursday evening, May 2, with an open and curious mind. -more-

The Berkeley Activist's Calendar, May 5-12

Kelly Hammargren, Sustainable Berkeley Coalition
Saturday May 04, 2019 - 04:14:00 PM

Worth Noting:

Budget: May 1 and 3 in two all day meetings the City Departments presented their budget requests for Fiscal Year 2020 and 2021 with a total of $13 million in budget request increases.

The proposed budget is being presented Tuesday at 6 pm. The first Public Hearing is May 14. The City Council vote to adopt the budget is June 25.

Monday – 10:30 am – The Berkeley City Council Public Safety Committee is meeting on Police Stop Data collection and analysis

Thursday – 6 pm – There is a City Council Special meeting at Longfellow Auditorium on Housing Development at North Berkeley BART

Saturday McGee Spaulding Neighbors in Action is sponsoring a Town Hall with Kate Harrison

Sunday, May 5, 2019

Bay Area Book Festival -more-