This Week's Day-by-Day Picks 

WED 31

In the irreverent late '60s, cinematic convention dictated that anyone crazy enough to be president of the United States definitely needed to talk to a psychiatrist. That's the setup for The President's Analyst, a topical comedy about a New York psychiatrist (a post-Our Man Flint James Coburn), summoned to the White House to help the chief executive (Pat Harrington, frothing all the way), who soon finds himself pursued by Russian spies and American spooks. The 1967 Paramount release by director Theodore J. Flicker -- complete with a laughable music track -- ranks with antiauthoritarian classics Dr. Strangelove and Putney Swope and plays tonight only, 7:30 p.m. at the Pacific Film Archive, 2575 Bancroft Way on the UC Berkeley campus. -- Kelly Vance


The year was 1781. Six years after the Declaration of Independence, the future of American democracy was far from assured. War was in the air, and unlike most of the nation's subsequent military engagements, the battles raged on our own soil. The upstart American bluecoats were entrenched in a fight against the British redcoats, and intrigue and subterfuge were as common as Tory loyalists, Cherokee scouts, and Southern tobacco plantations. In Charleston, historical novelist John Jakes (North and South Trilogy; Kent Family Chronicles) tells the story of the Bell family against the backdrop of the Revolutionary and Civil wars -- which defined, and continue to define, America even to this day. Share your thoughts on war, patriotism, and history with other literary-minded folks tonight at 7 p.m. in the El Sobrante Library (4191 Appian Way), when the Remainders Book Group meets to discuss Jakes' epic novel. For info, call 510-374-3991 or e-mail -- Eric K. Arnold


If Iraq is the new Vietnam, as numerous historians, politicians, and social commentators have observed, then we would all be wise to learn from history before it repeats itself. Back in 1967, when the Southeast Asian conflict was just beginning to create a rift between the hearts and minds of the American people, playwright Arthur Miller wrote The Price, which, although set in the aftermath of the Great Depression, was clearly meant to address the situation in Vietnam by deconstructing the myth and the reality of the American Dream, and illustrating the consequences of the choices we make. This opening-night production, which kicks off the Aurora Theatre's fourteenth season, features actors Charles Dean, Judith Marx, Ray Reinhardt, and Michael Santo under the direction of Joy Carlin. The show runs until October 9. or 510-843-4822. -- Eric K. Arnold


If you find yourself hanging around downtown Oakland after the Art & Soul Festival, and you want to keep the party going after the sun goes down, head on over to Luka's, the tippity-top taproom at West Grand and Broadway, and check out 75 Colt -- who are basically a stripped-down version of 75 Degrees, consisting of 75 members Rick Bond, DJ Malachi, and MC Marc Stretch, plus singer Will Hammond Jr. The four, who describe their sound as not only leaner, but more polished than the Family Stone-esque antics of their parent ensemble, jokingly refer to themselves as the three black (and one brown) Beatles, and have even taken on appropriate nicknames: John Jagger, Paul Padron, Will Ringo, and George Parker. DJs Wisdom and Jamo will also be in the house, so the groove will not be disturbed as you sip a cold Maredsous. For more info, call 510-451-4677. -- Eric K. Arnold


We predict the Miramonte '59-'65 group of the three-day All Orinda Reunion will be listening to Bobby Rydell and talking about their grandkids at today's grand finale picnic at Pine Grove from noon to three. The '66-'71 groups from Miramonte and Campolindo high schools are another story entirely: lotsa SUVs, loud shirts and summery dresses, memories of Jim Morrison and Moby Grape, and plenty of South Beach Diet testimonies. The annual reunion, staffed by one hundred volunteers and donors, expects to draw a crowd with its database of more than eight thousand names. If you're one of them, you'd be a fool not to go. Info: -- Kelly Vance


As local poet Money B. once observed: "Weekends were made for Michelob, but it's a Monday, so let me hit it, yo." The diminutive Digital Underground MC was undoubtedly referring to the 24th Annual Wine Harvest Celebration, which commemorates the yearly reaping of the Livermore Valley grape crop. Thirty bucks gets you an all-day pass into Wente Vineyards and 27 other local vintners' estates today, where you can taste, meander, and make disparaging remarks about merlot or enthusiastic appraisals of Pinot Grigio to your heart's content. Wente's Estate Tasting Room, for one, features food, music, and fine art in addition to plenty o' vino, and you can expect similar red-carpet treatment from the other Livermore wineries that are, after all, trying to top Napa as the Bay Area's premier wine-growing region. For tickets and transportation info, visit,, or call 925-447-9463. -- Eric K. Arnold


Local filmmakers come in all shapes, sizes, and genders. This evening at the Parkway Speakeasy Theater, catch up with two new movies about Asian-American sexual "struggles for acceptance." In Transitions by Vnai Tachavirat and Alfred Kaye, the filmmakers interview transgendered people, including Vnai himself, "or, at times, herself." Preceding that is the short I'm a Homosexual, in which director Hoang Ho travels back to his native Saigon and discusses his sexuality with his relatives for the first time. The evening also features live performances by Lisa Hayle, Kurtis Betz, and Clark Meremeyer. As usual at the Parkway (1834 Park Blvd., Oakland,, you must be 21 to join the party. Showtime is 8:30. -- Kelly Vance


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