Oakland Metro Operahouse is generally used as a performance space (it's the home of the Oakland Opera Theater), but you'll also find the occasional live metal, indie rock, punk, underground hip-hop, or alt.folk show here, as well as the famed variety show Tourettes Without Regrets, which features slapstick comedy, meat hurling contests, formidable freestyle battles, spoken word poetry, and dirty haiku - usually to sold-out crowds.
Now more than 35 years old, Pro Arts is an all-purpose resource for artists and art fans alike, as a gallery, performance space, and leader of the East Bay Open Studios program.
The latest addition to Oakland's blossoming nightlife scene has set up shop in a turquoise-tiled Art Deco building at 14th and Webster streets. Disco Volante, set to open in late October, is a bar, music venue, and restaurant run by a trio of Oakland arts and entertainment vets, with chef Douglas Bernstein of Bacar, Eccolo, and Farallon fame serving up local and seasonal California cuisine. Musical offerings will range from bluegrass to Afrobeat, with shows at least three nights a week.
The cafe, which replaced the beloved Mama Buzz in February 2012, serves up homemade sausages, pastries, beer, and coffee, all for under $10. Like its predecessor, the space hosts a gallery that features works by local artists.
The artist run and operated cooperative gallery exhibits works by twenty artists, including Julie Alvarado, Mary Curtis Ratcliff, Leah Markos, and Eli Geiser.
Thrashing, crashing, vocal-cord straining, pounding your ears and obliterating your will power: rock. You know you love it. And the Stork Club is where live rock makes its home. Tuesday through Sunday starting around 9:30 p.m., cover is usually just $5. Happy hour DJs spin rock and punk tunes, and special event/BBQ nights feature East Bay Rats motorcycle club, plus showcases of local egghead comedians. The honky-tonk-style bar is decked out with red and yellow tinsel, Christmas lights, rubber-seated booths, a pool table, a jukebox, an extensive Barbie collection, and a tawdry, winter-wonderland atmosphere.
Emanating from the softly upholstered furniture, the richly colored linens, the modern-exotic lighting, and the casual seating, the vibe coaxes patrons to relax, to share, to open up — even with strangers. The drinks are neither low-brow nor high-brow; they exist to lubricate social interaction, not dominate it. Regular events include DJ nights, live music nights (featuring members of Rogue Wave, Crown City Rockers, and more), and Layover Comedy Night, where comedians of various stripes test their mettle before accommodating, though nonetheless real crowds. You'd never know — or maybe you would — from the blank street sign out front, featuring only a glowing neon cocktail glass: This place is the real deal.
The performing arts facility hosts cultural dance classes, performing art workshops, plays, and more. The space features a 350-seat theater, five dance studios, meeting rooms, and rehearsal spaces, which are all available for rental.
Laney College's theater hosts plays, dance performances, and other productions by both students and outside companies.
An upstairs gallery overlooking Broadway.
This gallery, which was founded and directed by Ofra Fisher, Joe Kowalczyk, Michael Steffen, and Peter St. Lawrence, displays dynamic pieces of art sure to please any onlooker. The collection of art studios, located in the emerging Oakland Arts District, display a wide variety of medium, showing the broad spectrum of Bay Area artists and what they produce.
A commercial fine art gallery that exhibits art reflecting the social and cultural diversity of both Bay Area and international artists.
R&B, funk, and classic soul acts perform regularly at this glitzy downtown Oakland club, which features a spacious dance floor, large stage, lounge areas with couches, and a Cajun-style soul food restaurant. The decor is sparse, save for half a dozen thick striped columns painted in what handbag designer Jack Spade would call publicolor style. Weekly events include live R&B Fridays, Saturday's swanky "Club Maxwell's," and Sunday gospel brunch.
This high-ceilinged, spacious, light-filled gallery is not only one of the most attractive spaces on the Art Murmur gauntlet, it's also one of the most consistently impressive, showing ambitious sculpture, installation, painting and more by promising local and national artists.