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Holiday Favorites

Thu., Dec. 18, 8 p.m.
w/ New Century Chamber Orchestra and SF Girls Chorus: $29-$61
First Congregational Church of Berkeley 2345 Channing Way, Berkeley (map)

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The Long Breath

Thu., Dec. 18, 8 p.m.
w/ Thingamajigs Performance Group, Gelsey Bell, and Ann Dyer $10, $15
Subterranean Arthouse 2179 Bancroft Way, Berkeley (map)

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Sound&Gather

Thu., Dec. 18, 8-10 p.m.
510-486-0264
An evening of yoga and sound immersion in support of both weSound and The Daana Days. Free
YogaKula 1700 Shattuck Ave., 2nd Floor, Berkeley (map)

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The Legacy of the Bartrams with Carol Woodin, ASBA Exhibitions Director

Fri., Dec. 19, 10-11:30 a.m.
510-643-2755
Who were John and William Bartram? Come learn about this fascinating father-son duo and the legacy they've had on American botany, horticulture and botanical art. Free with garden admission
University of California Botanical Garden 200 Centennial Dr., Berkeley (map)

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Karate Mountain

Fri., Dec. 19, 7 p.m.
$7
Acheson Building 2133 University Ave., Berkeley (map)

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100% Organic Chick

Through Dec. 19, 12-7 p.m.
Burnt Oak Gallery, along with partners and local contemporary artists, will work to contribute to the growing Oakland Art community, by creating shared spaces, facilitating a rich exchange of ideas, and forging connections across traditional boundaries. Free
Burnt Oak Gallery 306 15th Street, Oakland (map)

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Lip Service West: 1,500-Word True Stories

Saturdays, 7:30 p.m. Continues through Dec. 20
510-649-1320
Featuring participants: Cassandra Dallet, Jackie Davis Martin, Jamie DeWolf, Bryce Landis, Teri Skultety. Pairing gritty, real, and raw writing with live performance, Lip Service offers audiences the rare glimpse into the personal lives of the artist. Free
Pegasus Books Downtown 2349 Shattuck Ave., Berkeley & Oakland (map)

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Fool La La!

Dec. 20-Jan. 4
510-704-8291
Bay Area’s beloved clown Unique Derique in his zany holiday extravaganza FOOL LA LA! This fun-filled show for all ages will leave audiences laughing and dancing into the New Year. FOOL LA LA! is a playful celebration for the whole family, encouraging kids from 1 to 92 to let their imaginations take flight this holiday season. $15-$100
The Marsh Arts Center 2120 Allston Way, Berkeley (map)

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Annual Crafts Market

Through Dec. 20, 10 a.m.-3 p.m.
510-981-5150
A selection of local, handmade, and sustainable work from the Bay Area’s artists, crafters, and makers. Free
Martin Luther King Jr. Civic Center Park 2151 Martin Luther King Jr. Way, Berkeley (map)

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A Christmas Carol

Through Dec. 21
415-871-1493

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A Christmas Carol
Say what you will about Christmas productions — that they’re overly sentimental, moralistic, and repetitive — but there must be a reason that we continue to buy tickets each year for shows like The Nutcracker and A Christmas Carol. For those who’ve been trapped under a boulder for the last 150 years, A Christmas Carol is Charles Dickens’ classic tale of the curmudgeonly old miser Ebenezer Scrooge and his transformation into a generous, benevolent man after he gets the dickens (pardon the pun) scared out of him by a bunch of ghosts. Call it nostalgia perhaps, or escapism, but there’s something infinitely enjoyable about watching Scrooge get his wake-up call, and even more so when all of Dickens’ 31 characters are performed by one spritely man, Jeff Garrett. “With this show, more than any other I’ve ever worked on, you really get to watch the audiences’ eyes light up,” said Garrett. “It’s as if the ritual of seeing Dickens’ classic masterwork on stage is a chance for people to reinvigorate their passion for the season and remember that kindness and giving are at the heart of the holiday.” Garrett embodies each character with exemplary personality and force. As the fettered apparition of Marley, Garrett was palpably terrifying, not just to Scrooge, but to audience members as well (all right, fine, maybe it was just me). And his rendition of the martyred, yet relentlessly optimistic Tiny Tim was sweet and touching. That Garrett can do so much with so little is a testament to his skill and enthusiasm. And though it may be cheesy, in these trying times, the message of goodwill-toward-all is nothing to “bah humbug” about. $20-$28
Berkeley City Club 2315 Durant Ave., Berkeley (map)

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Let’s Go! A Farewell Revel

Sun., Dec. 21, 11 a.m.-5 p.m.
510-642-0808
A free day-long celebration to commemorate BAM's last day of programming in its current building. Let’s Go! A Farewell Revel will feature dance battles by TURFinc; a concert by Kitka; a performance by Dohee Lee; sound art by Chris Kallmyer; art-making with Veronica Graham; and a performance of György Ligeti’s 1962 composition Poème symphonique for one hundred metronomes, led by pianist/composer Sarah Cahill. Free
BAM/PFA 2626 Bancroft Way, Berkeley (map)

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Winter Solstice Benefit Concert Potluck & Party

Sun., Dec. 21, 2 p.m.
510-472-3170
w/ Stevie Barsotti & Robbie Dunbar, Roger Brown, Sam Rudin, LaWanda and Greg, Will Scarlett, William "Truckaway" Seivers, Brian Kilcourse & Friends, Hali Hammer & Randy Berge, David Gans, Jeff & Desiree Jolly, Esteban Bello, and more $10-$50
Art House Gallery & Cultural Center 2905 Shattuck Ave., Berkeley (map)

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American Wonder: Folk Art From the Collection

Wednesdays-Sundays. Continues through Dec. 21
510-642-0808
American folk art from the Declaration of Independence in 1776 to the onset of the Civil War in 1861. $0-$10
BAM/PFA 2626 Bancroft Way, Berkeley (map)

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John Zurier / Matrix 255

Wednesdays-Sundays. Continues through Dec. 21
510-642-0808
Berkeley-based artist John Zurier’s luminous, abstract canvases capture qualities of light and the changing effects of the atmosphere. $0-$10
BAM/PFA 2626 Bancroft Way, Berkeley (map)

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Joseph Holtzman / MATRIX 256

Wednesdays-Sundays. Continues through Dec. 21
510-642-0808
Joseph Holtzman paintings on marble that achieve chromatic and tonal effects by exploiting the transparency of oil paint and the unusual capacity of the stone surface to absorb and reflect light. $0-$10
BAM/PFA 2626 Bancroft Way, Berkeley (map)

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This Week's Feature

West Oakland Councilmember Involved in House-Flipping Scheme

FEATURE

West Oakland Councilmember Involved in House-Flipping Scheme

Public records show that city Councilmember Lynette Gibson McElhaney, who represents a district impacted by gentrification, used her social justice nonprofit to finance for-profit house-flipping deals in Oakland.


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