Get down for the rise-up

SAT 8/30

August is freighted with meaning in black revolutionary thought: Nat Turner launched his rebellion in August of 1831, less than a half-century after Haiti's 1803 revolution -- which was the first time Africans took up arms to liberate themselves from slavery. Righteous brothers and sisters were still rattling their chains in August of 1970, the year George Jackson and his compadres the Soledad Brothers led a resistance movement behind prison walls. At the Black August International 2003 Benefit for Haiti, conscious folk will commemorate yesterday's freedom fighters by getting down with today's funkiest, crunkest, most famously pissed-off artists, including the Coup, Company of Prophets, and bilingual rappers Prophets of Rage. On a slightly mellower tip, African Roots of Jazz Performing Academy (featuring EW Wainwright), the drummers of Loco Bloco, and reggae group Amandla Poets will also perform. Speakers include Marcus Books co-founder Dr. Raye Richardson, UC Berkeley professor Hatem Bazian, KPOO radio host Kiilu Nyasha, and Kumasi -- who was one of the original Soledad Brothers. Moving, shaking, and fist-waving aside, this Black August bears nothin' but love, as proceeds will benefit the Haiti literacy campaign. 6:30 p.m., Berkeley Community Theater, 1930 Allston Way. Tickets cost $10 and are available at, Marcus Books in Oakland, or 1712 Fillmore St. in San Francisco. -- Rachel Swan

FRI 8/29


No place like the Creek

There may not be a depressed stagehand swinging from a tree in the background of any of the scenes, but the Diablo Light Opera Company's production of The Wizard of Oz draws all the rest of its inspiration from the MGM musical (as opposed to L. Frank Baum's book series). All your favorite words and music by Harold Arlen and E.Y. Harburg, visual illusions, flying effects, and a cast of 44 await you when you follow the yellow-brick, er, um, 24 road to the Dean Lesher Regional Center for the Arts (1601 Civic Dr., Walnut Creek) from Friday through Sept. 27. The show runs Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays at 8 p.m., and Saturdays and Sundays at 2 p.m. Tickets cost $28-$32, with discounts available for kids and seniors. Call 925-943-7469 for further details. -- Stefanie Kalem


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