So What's Nu? 

Jewish storytellers

Sun 10/10

This Sunday, the Berkeley Richmond Jewish Community Center serves up Kol Sippur, which is not in fact Hebrew for unheated leftovers but a festival of Jewish storytelling. In addition to Berkeley yarn-spinners Joel ben Izzy and Jane Golbert, BRJCC has assembled a minyan of traveling tale-tellers to do what they do and talk about it too. (Storytellers like to talk? Go figure.) "Shtetl Tales: Telling and Teaching" will be taught and told by Roslyn Bresnick-Perry, author of Leaving for America, a children's book about her emigration from a Russian shtetl at age seven. Steve Sanfield, founder of the Sierra Storytelling Festival, walks you through "The Aleph Bet of Storytelling: How to Become a Storyteller," and Soquel storyteller Erica Lann-Clark leads a workshop on "Women's Voices, Women's Tales." Local beatbox mystic Tim Barsky, whose play The Bright River comes to A Traveling Jewish Theater this December, rocks the mic on hip-hop storytelling.

Other workshops include Daniel Lev on Hasidic mystical tales, Mark Cohen on Sephardic stories, and the Center for Digital Storytelling on (who knew?) digital storytelling. Tickets are $25, with family and half-day rates available. From 10:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday at 1414 Walnut St., Berkeley. Information: 510-848-0237, ext. 110. We're told details are also available at, but at press time that was just a tall tale. -- Sam Hurwitt

Fri 10/8


Famous flamenco in memoriam

Grupo Andanza kicks off its second season at the Julia Morgan Center for the Arts with a bang, straight from Spain. Friday night's program of Spanish dance and opera, Pinceladas ("brushstrokes") honors the memory of the late flamenco dancer José Greco with the help of his daughter, special guest artist and choreographer Carmela Greco. The younger Greco began her dance career at age eleven, founding her own company in 1980 and rising to renown as a flamenco dancer, choreographer, and company director. In 2001 and 2002, Carmela, her sister Lola, and brother José II paid tribute to their father with the Japanese production Climax. Now Carmela Greco joins forces with the Bay Area company Grupo Andanza to do it again, this time with two world premieres and original music by guitarist and composer Fernando Egozcue. Tickets: $28-$30, available at or 510-845-8542. 8 p.m. showtime. -- Stefanie Kalem


Birds on a Wire

Some folks feel that The Birdcage, Mike Nichols' 1996 adaptation of the French film La Cage aux Folles, went too far in stereotyping gays and their milieu. See how Diablo Light Opera treads the line between comedy and parody when they put on the musical theater adaptation for the second time, beating a Broadway revival by a month. The show opens at Dean Lesher this Friday and plays Thursdays through Saturdays at 8 p.m., and selected Sundays at 2 p.m., through Nov. 6. Tickets: $24-$32., 925-943-7469. -- Stefanie Kalem


He's Against It

Town Hall Marx it up

As with most famous funny persons, life with -- or as -- Groucho Marx probably wasn't all quips and chuckles. And who better to explain that than Arthur Marx, son of the late legend? In Groucho: A Life in Revue, previewing Thursday night and opening Friday at Lafayette Town Hall Theatre, the younger Marx covers his dad's life from vaudeville to fame, Humor Risk to You Bet Your Life and beyond. Jerry Motta stars as Groucho, and Sarah Andrews Reynolds portrays the various women in his life. Which women? Does it really matter when you're talking about the man who said, "A man's only as old as the woman he feels"? 925-283-1557, Stefanie Kalem


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