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Friday, September 30, 2011

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

Fri, Sep 30, 2011 at 7:35 AM

Sure, you could go to Hardly Strictly, but there's also plenty of stuff going on this side of the Bay:

Oaktoberfest in the Dimond
Under ordinary circumstances, strolling down the street with an open beer in hand is considered illegal. But at Oaktoberfest — the fourth annual craft-beer festival that will spill across four blocks in Oakland's Dimond District (MacArthur Boulevard and Fruitvale Avenue) on Saturday, October 1 — stein-wielding beer drinkers can imbibe outdoor brews to their liver's content, consuming offerings from more than twenty Bay Area breweries including Oakland's own Pacific Coast Brewing Co., Linden Street Brewery, and the Oakland Brewing Company. 11 a.m.-6 p.m., free.

S. Clay Wilson Benefit
In 1968, R. Crumb teamed up with S. Clay Wilson and others to create Snatch Comics, whose three issues form only one small part of the body of work that makes Wilson an underground comics and graphic arts legend. On Saturday, Oct. 1, Spain Rodriguez (Zodiac Mindwarp, Zap Comix) and author/historian Dan Fogel sign copies of the newly issued Snatch Comics Treasury at Escapist Comics (3090 Claremont Ave, Berkeley); there will also be a special live auction to benefit Wilson, who, due to a 2008 traumatic brain injury, requires 24-hour care. 8-10 p.m., free. 510-652-6642or EscapistComics.com. — Stefanie Kalem

Oakland Interfaith Gospel Choir
Since its inception in 1986, the Oakland Interfaith Gospel Choir has established itself as one of the Bay Area's most powerful and moving ensembles. The multi-racial, multi-cultural ensemble is known for its stirring performances, uplifting harmonies, and wide-ranging repertoire. The 60-person group has performed for international luminaries like Nelson Mandela and Mikhail Gorbachev and added backing vocals to records by artists as diverse as Peter Gabriel and The Kronos Quartet. The group is making its Freight debut tonight, showcasing songs from its new album, Hear My Prayer. These singers are guaranteed to lift your spirits and bring some amazing grace into your soul, regardless of your belief system. At Freight & Salvage (2020 Addison St.,Berkeley) on Sunday, Oct. 2. 7:30 p.m., $20.50-$22.50. FreightandSalvage.org. — j. poet

A Delicate Balance
Three-time Pulitzer-Prize winning playwright Edward Albee is famous for putting audiences through the emotional wringer. It's not just that he writes about tense domestic situations and sluices all of them with alcohol. It's also the denseness of his language and the utter complexity of his characters, many of whom function better when drunk. For those reasons, Albee's play A Delicate Balance, now in repertory at AuroraTheatre under the auspice of artistic director Tom Ross, is as excruciating as it is extraordinary. What's more, Ross has assembled a fabulous cast to interpret the storyline. Married actors Kimberly King and Ken Grantham play Agnes and Tobias, an elderly couple who become unwitting caretakers for a whole army of needy, unfortunate people, including their recently divorced daughter Julia (Carrie Paff), Agnes' witty boozer sister Claire (Jamie Jones), and a couple of neighbors (Anne Darragh and Charles Dean) who arrive, inexplicably, to save themselves from some unnamed terror. It's all about loss and alienation in post-war America, but the themes are equally relevant today. Through Oct. 9 at Aurora Theatre (2081 Addison St., Berkeley). $15-$48. 510-843-4822 or AuroraTheatre.org. —Rachel Swan

Sake Sunday
Ozumo (2251 Broadway, Oakland) launches a new tradition in Sake Sundays. Every Sunday evening, including Sunday, Oct. 2, diners at the restaurant will be served complimentary sake samples and offered 40 percent discounts on selected bottles. A different sake will be featured every month. Ozumo also offers a sake lounge seven days a week. 5 p.m., free (to restaurant patrons only). 510-286-9866 or Ozumo.com/Oakland. — Anneli Rufus

One Cubic Foot: Miniature Surveys in Biodiversity
The staggeringly diverse ecology of the small is the subject of the renowned nature photographer and conservationist David Liittschwager in One Cubic Foot: Miniature Surveys in Biodiversity. After setting up open-sided metal-framed cubes in New York, Tennessee, South Africa, and French Polynsesia, he made elegant "formal portraits" of the creatures and plants that happened into his benign traps. An inventory of the waters near the Golden GateBridge yielded a similarly photographic bounty — not one we should take for granted, of course: "There is still so much for us to save," says Liittschwager. On Oct. 5, he and Christopher Meyer of the Moorea Biocode Project discuss their database of French Polynesia's tropical life; on Dec. 7, the team that monitored the Golden Gate will discuss that project. One Cubic Foot runs through Jan. 27 at the HazelWolfGallery at DavidBrowerCenter (2150 Allston Way, Berkeley). 510-486-0286 or BrowerCenter.org/ — DeWitt Cheng


Plus...

Get Your Cheapskate On: This is how much we love you guys: Here are our searchable listings of every single free event happening in the East Bay this weekend.

Eat Up: At Chai Noodle, where oir critic recommends the ka moo, "stewed pork leg, which has to rate among the most satisfying meat dishes in all of East Oakland" and the Kao nom tod , or fried roce-ball salad, which is "vivid with chile paste, nicely salty (you roll up spoonfuls in lettuce, with mint, cilantro, and toasted chiles), and tangy with pink, semi-translucent shreds of cured pork, a craggy, bright-tasting northern Thai take on fried rice."

Drink Up: At Make Westing, the best new bar to hit Uptown in quite awhile.

Friend and Follow Us: 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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