Friday, September 2, 2011

Weekender: The Top Things to Do Over the Next Three Days in the East Bay

Fri, Sep 2, 2011 at 6:00 AM

Three-Day weekend! Here's what you're doing:

East Bay Pride Festival
When Oakland Pride returned in 2010 after a six-year hiatus, the response was overwhelming: Organizers estimate that 30,000 people gathered downtown for last year's resurrection of the former East Bay Pride Festival, which ran from 1997 to 2003; some media reports put the attendance figure closer to 50,000. The high turnout was indicative of East Bay residents' demand for a large and cohesive LGBT celebration of their own, and so far, it's looking like that momentum will carry over to the second Oakland Pride, on Sunday, September 4. Though it's similar in scope and scale to last year's event — featuring a similarly varied musical bill, with singer and Dreamgirls star Jennifer Holliday, soul diva Thelma Houston, locals LaToya London and Martin Luther, and a host of other genre-spanning acts — this year, Pride has nearly doubled its vendor list and drawn more than $21,000 in donations and sponsorships. This year's theme is "We Are Family," which came about largely because last year's gathering drew a large number of families with children. (Consequently, a parking lot at 20th and Franklin streets will be designated this year as a supervised children's area, with face painting, snacks, and other kid-friendly activities.) Centered at 19th and Franklin Streets, 11 a.m.-7 p.m., $5-$10. 510-465-7433 or OaklandPride.org. — Casisie Harwood

International Cannabis and Hemp Expo
Expect tens of thousands of cannabis fans to flood into Frank H. Ogawa Plaza on September 3-4 for the International Cannabis and Hemp Expo 2011, which is expected to include three hundred to four hundred industry vendors; dozens of food trucks; and appearances by guest celebrities, experts, and politicians from the movement. According to IntCHE's government relations coordinator Salwa Ibrahim, this weekend marks the first time a city has closed streets for such an event: "It's a big deal for Oakland," she said. Indeed, the event, which was previously held at the Cow Palace in Daly City, will likely attract massive foot traffic to places like Cafe Van Kleef and Flora, not to mention an estimated 30,000 attendees. The expo will feature an open-air "215" area for medical marijuana patients (though city officials were adamant that no smoking could occur on the plaza grass itself, and the event is alcohol-free). Proceeds go to Americans for Safe Access, California NORML and the Marijuana Policy Project. — David Downs

Brainwash Movie Festival
If you count yourself among the carless crowd and lament your inability to enjoy drive-in movies, don't fret. Head to the Brainwash Drive-in Bike-in Walk-in Movie Festival, where pedestrians and drivers alike can tune in their FM dials and take in big-screen flicks. Now in its seventeenth iteration, this year's festival features a pre-show food truck feast and a live Burning Man video feed, not to mention a slew of independent films over three evenings. If you plan to walk or bike it, bring a chair and a blanket. At MandelaVillageArtsCenter (1357 5th St., Oakland) on Saturday, Sept. 3, at 8 p.m., and Friday and Saturday, Sept. 9-10, at 7 p.m. $10-$12. 415-273-1545 or BrainwashM.com
$10-$12. — Cassie Harwood

A century-old feminist play deserves a credible female lead, particularly if it has as much staying power as George Bernard Shaw's Candida. Julie Eccles is certainly up to the task. She cuts a striking figure in California Shakespeare Theater's new production, directed by Jonathan Moscone. In the play, Eccles plays a clever, dishy, somewhat manipulative, but genuinely kind-hearted Victorian woman torn between her Christian-Socialist husband and the young poet who is competing for her affections. As the husband, Anthony Fusco plays an apt straight man to the foppish poet Eugene (Nick Gabriel). The three occupy a period set conceived by Annie Smart, complete with Virgin Mary paintings and paraffin lamps. Shaw's script is droll, the comedy split evenly between the lead characters and several minor parts. Provocative for its time, it remains relevant today — even as Moscone stays faithful to the source material. Through Sept. 4 at Bruns Amphitheatre (100 California Shakespeare Way, Orinda). $35-$66. 510-548-9666 or CalShakes.org. — Rachel Swan

Mission Creek Oakland
Now in its third year, the Oakland music fest — an offshoot of the fifteen-year-running San Francisco-based Mission Creek Music and Arts Festival — has expanded to its most ambitious event yet, with more than two dozen shows throughout September featuring some fifty bands plus assorted DJs, two art shows, and a film night spread out over fourteen venues. True to Mission Creek's original goal, it's a mishmash of genres and styles, all focusing on underground and independent music. Mission Creek Oakland's kickoff party happens Friday, Sept. 2, at Uptown (1928 Telegraph Ave., Oakland), featuring Horns of Happiness, White Cloud, Mwah Ha Ha, and Field Trips. 9 p.m., free. Click here for the full schedule of events. — Kathleen Richards


Get Your Cheapskate On: This is how much we love you guys: Here are our searchable listings of every single free event happening in the East Bay this weekend.

Catch a Movie: The Interrupters, playing now at Landmark Shattuck, winningly puts as a face on urban street violence, according to our film critic. Sooo, probably not a feel-good summer flick, but definitely still worth seeing.

Eat Up: ...At Cosecha, the new farm-to-table Mexican restaurant that opened inside Swan's market in July and which, according to our intrepid food critic, serves dishes that "have a simplicity that seems to glow from the inside."

Get Buzzed: Oliveto's happy hour is both wonderful and soon to be discontinued — the perfect storm of you-should-go-right-now-ness.

Waste Some Time: One of the greatest pleasures of living on the West Coast is the weather the inalienable right to make fun of New York mercilessly and often. To wit: The Top 10 Dumbest Ways New Yorkers "Prepared" for Irene, courtesy of Buzzfeed.

Friend and Follow Us: Here we are on Facebook and Twitter.

Feed Us: Got any East Bay news, events, video, or miscellany we should know about? Holler at us at Ellen.Cushing@EastBayExpress.com.

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