BARTable This Weekend: May 3-5
The news is in: it's looking like a good weekend to ride BART, folks. First Fridays in Oakland is finally back on after being canceled since January so you know it's going to be turnt. On Saturday, there are large Cinco De Mayo festivals in San Francisco and Oakland. And on Sunday, wind down your weekend by getting strange in the streets at the How Weird Street Faire.
Oakland First Fridays returns on May 3.
Oakland First Fridays at 19th St/Oakland
After being canceled due to rain in February, March and April, First Fridays is finally back and better than ever! Every First Friday of the month from 5–9:30 pm, Oakland’s KONO district (Koreatown Northgate) springs to life with galleries, artist collectives, street artists, local culinary artisans, performers, musicians, dancers, DJs, and poets. Ride BART to 19th St/Oakland and walk ten minutes north on Telegraph Ave. to the free event.
Alice in Wonderland (May 3-4) at Walnut Creek
Alice in Wonderland is a story you’re probably familiar with — but have you seen it with puppets? DLUX Puppets involves handcrafted, intricately detailed puppets — some that take 250 hours to design — ranging in size from two feet to seven. They have life-like features and an array of personalities that portray Alice in Wonderland’s classic characters. Along with the actors and puppets are an animated, digital video backdrop, recognized tunes to fit the story and an inspiring social-emotional learning message. DLUX Puppets will be moving to Las Vegas this summer, so catch a performance before the company leaves the Bay Area. Tickets are $17 and can be bought online. Take BART to Walnut Creek and walk 10 minutes to the Lesher Center for the Arts.
Dance Series 02 (ends May 5) at Montgomery St
Master dance maker and former Smuin Choreographer-in-Residence Amy Seiwert is returning for a quarter-century celebration featuring her signature choreography. Seiwert has pushed the boundaries of dance by collaborating with artists of other disciplines and experimenting with all of its various forms and expressions from a classical base. Tickets are $34-$81 and can be bought online. Take BART to Montgomery St and walk five minutes to Yerba Buena Center for the Arts.
Kimono Refashioned (ends May 5) at Civic Center/UN Plaza
Kimono Refashioned takes a look at kimonos — their materials, forms, techniques and decorative motifs — and how they have inspired designers for more than 150 years. The Asian Art Museum, in partnership with the Kyoto Costume Institute, present this exhibition which focuses on the ways that kimono structure, fabric and concept have influenced Western garments. The exhibition features over 35 garments that show how kimono continue to be an inspiration for contemporary designers in Japan and beyond. Tickets are $20-$25 and can be bought online. Children under 12 and members have free admission. Take BART to Civic Center/UN Plaza and walk five minutes to the Asian Art Museum.
The Importance of Being Earnest (ends May 12) at Downtown Berkeley
Oscar Wilde’s most popular play has been entertaining theatre-goers for over a century, and it’s coming to the stage at Aurora Theatre Company. Ernest is the irresistible bad boy of London society, and everyone is in love with him. The problem is — Ernest doesn’t exist. He and his lover are tangled in a web of lies, and Wilde fills the story with delicious bon mots and unlikely situations. The London Telegraph described the story as “the most perfect comedy in the English language.” Tickets can be bought online. Take BART to Downtown Berkeley and walk two minutes to Aurora Theatre.
110 in the Shade (ends May 12) at Embarcadero
At turns introspective, romantic, and joyously hopeful, 42nd Street Moon's "110 in the Shade" is a poignant look at romance in a drought-stricken Depression-era town. This beautiful show boasts a book by N. Richard Nash (based on his acclaimed play "The Rainmaker") and a score by Harvey Schmidt and Tom Jones (best known for the longest-running musical in history, "The Fantasticks"). Tickets are $30-$75 and can be bought online. Take BART to Embarcadero station and walk nine minutes to Gateway Theatre at 215 Jackson Street.
Far, Far Better Things (ends May 19) at North Berkeley
Geetha Reddy’s new play is inspired by Dickens’ “A Tale of Two Cities,” and tells the story of two women — a Latina domestic worker and a young South Asian doctor — separated by class, race and the unspoken rules of modern womanhood. “Far, Far Better Things” shows these two women as they strive to balance their responsibilities to their children, to themselves and to each other. Tickets range from $10-$30 and can be bought online. Take BART to North Berkeley and walk 28 minutes to Live Oak Theater, or take a bus, cab or rideshare.
The Jungle (ends May 19) at Powell St
The Jungle is a short-lived, self-governing society that emerged within a refugee camp in Calais, France. The residents there are resilient, hopeful — they enjoy freshly-baked naan and milky chai together and have created a world with warm hospitality, amidst squalor and danger. This intimate and critically acclaimed production puts the audience directly into the subject matter of those who have inhabited this desolate patch of land in France. To accommodate the performance’s unique staging, the Curran will be transformed and reduced to an intimate 600 seats. Tickets can be bought online. Take BART to Powell St and walk seven minutes to the Curran.
Celebrate Cinco De Mayo in the Mission on Saturday.
Cinco de Mayo at 24th St Mission
Mexican and Latino foods, music, dance and artistry for the entire family will be found at the 15th annual Cinco de Mayo festival. There will be artists performing throughout the day — featuring Mexican songs as well as salsa, latin jazz, latin rock, pop and other latin rhythms — along with vendors providing diverse foods and crafts. Admission is free. Take BART to 24th St Mission and walk six minutes to 1142 Valencia St.
Cinco de Mayo Urban Dance Festival at 12th St Oakland/City Center
Come out to the 2nd annual Cinco de Mayo Festival in Jack London Square from 12-7pm. This free event features turf battles, bmx stunts, lowrider cars, local vendors and eats and more right along the Oakland waterfront. Take BART to 12th St/Oakland City Center and walk 13 minutes down Broadway.
Yerba Buena Gardens Festival at Powell St
Kick off six months of admission-free music, dance and theater performances on on Saturday at 1pm with a tribute to Charlie Palmieri by the Uprising All-Stars in San Francisco. The production combines New York’s finest purveyors of Latin dance music with world-class Bay Area talent. Take BART to Powell St and walk four minutes to the Esplanade.
Bay Area Book Festival (May 4-5) at Downtown Berkeley
Authors and book lovers will get to unite at the fifth anniversary Bay Area Book Festival, where downtown Berkeley will transform into a literary extravaganza. There will be over 250 authors attending the festival — from national book award winners, New York Times top 10 authors, and international writers — along with keynote speaker Anand Giridharadas (Winners Take All) in conversation with Robert Reich. The outdoor fair will feature booksellers, independent authors, reading lounges, local eats and entertainment for all. Admission to the fair is free; tickets to programs are $5-$15 and can be bought online. Take BART to Downtown Berkeley and the festival welcome center will be at the BART plaza.
The annual 10-day festival features over 400 hundred free events throughout the Bay Area. Take dance classes and watch free performances in a wide range of styles including Argentine tango, classical Indian, jazz, hip hop, ballet, traditional hula, fire dance, Samba, modern, Chinese classical, belly dance, aerial dance, West African, contact improvisation, and more. See where BART can take you with the full list of events.
Press Here, The Musical (ends May 12) at Downtown Berkeley
Audience members will get to take an ever-changing, magical journey with actors in this original production of "Press Here, the Musical," inspired by Hervé Tullet's award-winning picture book, "Press Here." Colorful dots will cavort and juggle onstage and the power of imagination and interactivity will be shared. Recommended for ages 3 to 103. Tickets range from $17 to $28 and can be bought online. Take BART to Downtown Berkeley and walk two minutes to the BACT Berkeley Center, The Osher Studio.
Gold: The Midas Musical (ends May 12) at Downtown Berkeley
Princess Lydia is motherless, and turns to her father for love. Instead of treating her kindly, King Midas grows meaner, more distant, and greedier by the day. However, he learns a valuable lesson about family when the gods grant him the power to turn everything into gold. The Bay Area Children’s Theatre is offering a modern musical re-telling of the Greek legend of King Midas, recommended for ages 8 and up. Tickets are $17 to $28 and can be bought online. Take BART to Downtown Berkeley and walk two minutes to the BACT Berkeley Center, The Osher Studio.
The How Weird Streeet Faire returns on Sunday.
How Weird Street Faire at Montgomery St
Thousands from across the world will gather in downtown San Francisco to celebrate peace, creativity and weirdness. Nine stages of electronic music will provide beats to dance to, and there will also be performances, food, unique vendors and visionary art. This year’s theme is “Time Warp: A Love Story” and attendees are expected to come in costumes inspired by the 1880s and 1980s. Magic passes are $15 online or $20 at the faire. Take BART to Montgomery St and walk six minutes to Howard and 2nd Streets.
Hans Hofmann: The Nature of Abstraction (ends July 21) at Downtown Berkeley
Hans Hofmann was one of the most significant figures of postwar American art, and played a pivotal role in the development of Abstract Expressionism. This exhibition presents a fresh, eye-opening look at Hofmann’s prolific and innovative artistic practice. Admission tickets range from $11 to $13. Admission is free for BAMPFA members; UC Berkeley students, faculty, staff; 18 and under; one adult per child 13 and under; and artists in the BAMPFA collection/MATRIX. Take BART to Downtown Berkeley and walk two minutes to the museum.
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