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Friday, May 6, 2011

Weekender: The Top Five Things to Do Over the Next Three Days in the East Bay

Fri, May 6, 2011 at 6:00 AM

Still trying to figure out what to do this weekend? Don't trip; our critics have your back.

Sequoia Trail Race
To run amongst the redwoods, one can travel seventy miles to the Santa Cruz Mountains, or hundreds more to the North Coast or the southern Sierra. But East Bay residents may be better off driving, biking, or riding public transportation to Oakland’s Joaquin Miller Park and adjacent Redwood Regional Park — squint your eyes a bit and you’ll hardly tell the difference. On Sunday, May 8, the two parks host Pacific Coast Trail Runs’ Sequoia Trail Race, which is actually four races in one. Participants are welcome to try their hand — err, feet — at 10K, 20K, 30K, or 50K courses; all four travel through both parks, but only the longer three visit the picturesque French Trail. 8:30 a.m., $40-$85. PCTrailRuns.com — Nate Seltenrich

Drive the Herd
If American culture’s dominating metaphor is, as one cultural historian posited, the penetration of space (To boldly go where no one has gone before!), then Shawn HibmaCronan’s mechanically enhanced mobile chairs — wheelchair (“Lois Frost”), recliner (“Air Ride Chair”), lifeguard seat (“Perch”) fisherman’s seat (“Angler”), and classroom chair (“Escape Desk”) — examine our hurry-up-and-wait mindset with absurdist wit and immaculate workmanship. The artist: “No material is disguised and no mechanism is hidden. My work is meant to be picked up, poked at, sat in, and rolled around … physical interaction with the work is absolutely necessary.” Taking the pieces for a spin may not be feasible here, but your mind will still race. See the documentation on “PRESS,” a printing apparatus dedicated to one word: Freedom. Which way to the frontier? Follow the crowds. Drive the Herd, curated by Anja Ulfeldt, runs through May 7 at Basement Gallery (1027 3rd St., Oakland). 510-917-2230 or BasementGallery.mosaicglobe.com — DeWitt Cheng

ahdanco
East Bay choreographer Abigail Hosein commands a powerful dance vocabulary, which she uses to shape compelling stories in movement. But she branched well beyond dance to create two premieres to be performed by her six-year-old company, ahdanco, Friday through Sunday, May 6-8. Hosein collaborated with San Francisco ambient quartet Entamoeba on a layered and looped live score, and she invited Poetry Slam artists Nazelah Jamison, Dre Johnson, Patrick Ohslund, and Dusty Shrum to share the Ashby Stage (1901 Ashby Ave., Berkeley) with her exceptional contemporary dancers. The result is a stirring dialogue between rhythm, words, and motion, and an evocative kaleidoscope of perspectives on the human experience in a chaotic world. Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m.; Sun., 6 p.m.; $20. 510-837-0776 or Ahdanco.org — Claudia Bauer

even more entertaining than the Kardashians
  • even more entertaining than the Kardashians
Three Sisters
Playwright Sarah Ruhl may be known for odd, jagged storylines and elliptical language. But given the chance to adapt a well-known canonical play by Anton Chekhov, she made surprisingly few adulterations. Using a translation by Elise Thoron as her point of departure, Ruhl kept the plot of Chekhov’s Three Sisters largely intact, though she endeavored to make the language more colloquial and less mannered. She injected enough humor into the first act to render it a lighthearted comedy, which makes the tragedy of the second half seem all the more serious and grave. And she added a few winking bits to illuminate character differences. The production, under the direction of Les Waters, manages to be smart without being glib, save for some too-literal costume choices by Ilona Somogyi, who dressed the three sisters in monochrome. Natalia Payne is superb as the vampy, deadpan Masha. Annie Smart’s enormously detailed set speaks volumes. Through May 22 at Berkeley Repertory Theatre (2025 Addison St., Berkeley). $17-$73. 510-647-2949 or BerkeleyRep.org — Rachel Swan

Atmosphere
Though he never quite achieved mainstream popularity, Slug, of the hip-hop duo Atmosphere, has enjoyed phenomenal success — and staying power — in the indie hip-hop scene. As co-founder of the record label Rhymesayers Entertainment, he helped launch the careers of Eyedea, Evidence, and Brother Ali, among others. After dropping more than twenty albums — both under the Atmosphere moniker and with his main side project, Felt — the 38-year-old emcee has a big-enough draw to headline the Greek Theatre in Berkeley, where he'll appear this Saturday, May 7, with co-frontman Spawn and other members of the Rhymsayers family. Aesop Rock, Rob Sonic, Budo, Grieves, DJ Big Wiz, Sab the Artist, and DJ Abilities will round out the bill. — Rachel Swan


Plus...

Catch a Movie: Our critic recommends Meek's Cutoff and These Amazing Shadows, both opening this weekend in the east Bay.

Eat Up: Get your glutton on at Pepe's Pizza Buffet, where seven bucks buys you all the pizza you can possibly eat.

Get Buzzed: Check out new, cute Rockridge wine bar Toast, highlighted in this week's installment of our drinking column, Last Call.

Waste Some Time: Just in case the post OBL patriotic glow hasn't quite worn off for you yet, here's something to make you embarrassed to be an American all over again: 40 incredibly stupid Facebook reactions to Osama Bin Laden's death, via Buzzfeed.

Friend and Follow Us: Hello! Here we are on Facebook and Twitter.

Feed Us: Got any East Bay news, events, video, or miscellany we should know about? Holler at us at Ellen.Cushing@EastBayExpress.com.

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