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Friday, February 17, 2012

Weekender: This Weekend's Top Five Events

Fri, Feb 17, 2012 at 6:57 AM

Long weekend!!! Here's what you're doing.

Rogue Cafe
Last year a group of food-loving Oakland friends, including the owner of One Ninety Seven Coffee roasters, created a weekly donation-based backyard brunch. Soon word spread, friends of friends wanted in, and a bigger backyard was commandeered. Rogue Café (3204 Ellis Street, Berkeley) now runs every Saturday from 10 am to 1 pm, serving items like sourdough waffles with coffee whipped cream and house-made sausage and arugula on an English muffin (not to mention One Ninety Seven coffee and espresso). It’s all prepped in a tiny shed of corrugated tin and glass, and the eating area is a jumble of mismatched patio furniture and a treehouse for VIPs. Perfect place to linger on a sunny East Bay morning. Facebook.com/RogueCafeJesse Hirsch

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Circle Rules Football
In 2006, when the Oakland-bred New York actor Greg Manley was tasked with creating an original theater piece for a senior project, he was bit by the athletic equivalent of the acting bug. He decided to incorporate athletics into theater — and he seems to have succeeded. Circle Rules Football — named for the circular field on which it's played — is a "theatrical," though certainly still competitive, team sport that combines elements of soccer, volleyball, and wrestling, with opponents aiming a large rubber "stability ball" at a single, central goal. And it's garnered such a vast following that it could just be Manley's magnum opus. Now organized under an official federation, it's been featured in The New York Times and on Good Morning America and played across the country and as far away as England. With a five-team league that convenes regularly at the sport's birthplace in Brooklyn's Prospect Park, New York is inarguably the game's epicenter. But with the league in its off-season, Manley returned to Oakland in January to start an East Bay faction that could eventually compete with the East Coast originators. He's been holding free, informal games every Saturday from noon to 4 p.m. in Astro Park (550 El Embarcadero, Oakland), where games will continue after he eventually returns to New York. Manley plans to check on the progress of the fledgling team this summer. — Cassie Harwood

Police Teeth at Vitus
As album titles go, Awesomer Than the Devil, the name of the latest release from Seattle-Bellingham Police Teeth is not only, well, awesome, it's also a crystal-clear example of truth in advertising. Because this three-piece is, indeed, awesomer than the devil (whatever that means) as well as just about anything else it may be put up against, with a fearlessly loud psych- and pop- inflected post-punk sound that contains shades of Les SavyFav, Superchunk, and The Thermals, but better. In Seattle, these guys are as well known for their punishing riffs as they are for their tendency to force audiences to finish a fifth of whiskey before they'll start playing. Though you may come with liver and eardrums intact when they play Vitus (201 Broadway, Oakland) on Sunday, Feb. 19, you'll likely leave with neither. In an awesome way. 9 p.m., free. VitusOakland.com. — Ellen Cushing

Body Awareness
Sharp, snappy dialogue and contemporary themes make Annie Baker's new play a refreshing addition to Aurora's 2012 calendar. Body Awareness was incubated through the company's Global Age Project, which promotes forward-thinking work from young playwrights. It's easy to see why the play ultimately earned a professional run. For one thing, it offers a serious, albeit humorous treatment of a lesbian relationship — which is progressive even by today's standards — and of Asperger's Syndrome, a disease that's new enough in the pop-culture domain to warrant its own definition in the program notes. Baker and director Joy Carlin constructed this production to be as fast-paced and riveting as a sitcom; the set design, by Kent Dorsey, is endlessly mutable, and many scenes wrap up with a punch line. Best of all is the acting. Amy Resnick plays the mordant feminist psychology professor Phyllis, Jeri Lynn Cohen is her somewhat guileless girlfriend, Patrick Russell is uncomfortably hilarious as the Asperger's-afflicted son, and Howard Swain steals the show as a smarmy traveling artist who comes in and tries to wreck everything. Through March 4 at Aurora Theatre (2081 Addison St., Berkeley). $30-$48. 510-843-4822 or AuroraTheatre.org. — Rachel Swan

Art Beat Bazaar
As if The Starry Plough (3101 Shattuck Ave., Berkeley) — the South Berkeley pub and restaurant known for its Irish beer and cider and traditional Irish dance and jam sessions — didn't already provide its patrons with enough craic(Gaelic for "fun"), the Plough has added a new event to its already robust schedule. The Art Beat Bazaar, presented by the new nonprofit Art Beat Foundation, is a monthly showcase of music, poetry, and arts and crafts. The premiere bazaar, on Sunday, Feb. 19, includes music by indie folk band Upstairs Downstairs, poetry and spoken word by Tom Galbraith, a pop-up indie craft sale, and more. Every third Sunday of the month. 3-7 p.m., free. 510-841-2082 or StarryPloughPub.com. — Cassie Harwood


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.

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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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