Arts & Events

New: THEATER REVIEW: Strindberg's 'Miss Julie' & Two Short Plays

By Ken Bullock
Sunday February 23, 2014 - 10:18:00 AM

Marin Onstage, which put on a remarkable version of Ibsen's modern classic, 'Doll House,' reviewed here in November—and all the more remarkable as a small, independent company taking on such a work and giving it a fresh, compelling staging—continues their season of plays about women with three very different short plays, including the great—and not so short—'Miss Julie,' one of the salvos Strindberg directed in part at Ibsen, a decade after 'Doll House,' one of the first truly modern plays, displaying in rare, exciting dramatic form with a small cast both the war of the sexes and the class struggle. -more-

New: Two Plays: 'Gidion's Knot' at the Aurora & Cutting ball's 'Ubu Roi'--Problems in Theatricality

By Ken Bullock
Sunday February 23, 2014 - 10:15:00 AM

After seeing a couple of local productions, I was surprised, in going over notes, to realize that my feelings of dissatisfaction with both came from a complaint of something the two very different plays and productions had in common—or didn't have—a certain downplaying of theatricality, more from the staging in the case of Cutting Ball's 'Ubu Roi,' an old (maybe the original) chestnut of the Avant-Garde (there's an oxymoron!); in the case of the brand-new 'Gidion's Knot' at the Aurora, more from something in the conception of the play itself. -more-

Theater Review: Marcus Gardley's The House That Will Not Stand at Berkeley Rep

By Ken Bullock
Thursday February 20, 2014 - 08:26:00 PM

What's most striking about 'The House That Will Not Stand,' the premiere of the Marcus Gardley play commissioned by Berkeley Rep and produced in collaboration with Yale Repertory, now playing at the Rep's Thrust Stage in an extended run through March 23, is the progression Gardley seems to be making from the seemingly Southern Gothic romance-style plays he was writing a half dozen years back (“évery tongue must confess,” reviewed in the Planet July 31, 2008, comes to mind) bringing out more of the lyric element, always present, but tied more and more to the action of the characters in ensemble. -more-

AROUND AND ABOUT MUSIC: Lafayette String Quartet at the Berkeley City Club Play Music by Schubert, Dvorak & Berkeley Composer David Jaffe

Thursday February 20, 2014 - 08:43:00 PM

The Lafayette String Quartet--the only all-female musical ensemble still comprised of its founding members--will play Schubert's String Quartet No. 13 in A minor, "Rosamunde;" Dvorak's viola quintet, op. 97, the "Ämerican;" and the US premiere of Berkeley composer David Jaffe's "Fox Hollow" for Berkeley Chamber Performances at the Berkeley City Club, Tuesday, February 25 at 8 p. m. A complimentary wine and cheese reception with the musicians will follow the concert. -more-

Around & About Theater: The Lion and the Fox at Central Works

By Ken Bullock
Thursday February 20, 2014 - 08:25:00 PM

This weekend, Central Works opens a prequel to one of their most popular shows, 'The Lion and the Fox,' concerning Niccolo Machiavelli's fascination with tyrant Cesare Borgia, the strongman he thinks might unite Italy, and Macchiavelli's loyalty to the independence of the Florentine Republic. Written by Gary Graves, directed by Jan Zvaifler. Thursdays through Saturdays at 8, Sundays at 5 through March at the Berkeley City Club, 2315 Durant Avenue between Ellsworth and Dana, $28 advance (Brown Paper Tickets: 800-838-3006), sliding scale of $28-$15 at the door; previews and Thursdays, pay what you can. 558-1381; -more-

A Celebration of International Women's Day, March 8

Thursday February 20, 2014 - 08:54:00 PM

Berkeley Copwatch invites you to “In Love and Struggle” a celebration of International Women’s Day. It's all happening on March 8th at 7:30pm at La Pena Cultural Center in Berkeley. This night will feature dance and spoken word performances by our own MC Kaila Love , Students for Hip Hop and surprise dramatic performances. There will also be a special guest appearance by hip hop diva Vixen Noir, and at beginning at 9pm The Average Dyke Band will have you on your feet and dancing to old school funk, R &B, modern and more. -more-