Dancing Your Religion

    Meet Seibel Lee, dancer of the classical North Indian tradition, kathak (kuh-thuk). She discovered the form in 1991, but the practice goes back five centuries and incorporates stories in its moves. Intricate pirouettes and precise footwork are also aspects of the aesthetic, and Lee says she enjoys its “rhythmical mathematics.” Her mentor, Chitresh Das, prompted one reviewer to describe kathak as “not just a dance style, but a physical religion.” A member of the internationally traveled Chitresh Das Dance Company and a kathak teacher in Berkeley for nearly a decade, Lee performs 7 p.m.–9 p.m. Nov. 9, $15–$18, Oakland Asian Cultural Center, 388 Ninth St., Suite 290, (510) 637-0455,

—By Patsy K. Eagan


Election Day (Nov. 4) Head to your local polling place to vote. Polls are open 7 a.m.–8 p.m. For more information and polling place locations, call the Alameda County Registrar of Voters, (510) 663-8683,

Bay Area Bead Extravaganza! (Nov. 8–9) The 10th annual Bay Area Bead Extravaganza! is the largest two-day show on the West Coast with more than 140 vendors and four days of classes taught by artists at the top of their craft. Check online for class times. $25 per course. Oakland Convention Center, 10th Avenue and Broadway,

A Meatless Thanksgiving (Nov. 15) Compassionate Cooks presents Thanksgiving for the Birds, a cooking class where students learn how to make a delicious and healthy vegetarian holiday dinner. Serve up acorn squash, mashed potatoes with caramelized onions and apple cobbler, among other savory dishes. 10 a.m.–1 p.m., $50 per person plus a $5 food/materials fee (due on day of class). Register by Nov. 8. First Unitarian Church of Oakland, 685 14th St., (510) 531-2665,

Boy Scout Food Drive (Nov. 15) The Boy Scouts of America Scouting for Food drive organizes more than 40,000 Boy Scouts, Cub Scouts, Venturers and Explorers throughout the Bay Area in an effort to feed the hungry. On Nov. 15, your local scout troop members will collect food donations from your doorstep. Simply bag your nonperishables and set them outside before 9 a.m. so that they can be routed to food banks, or drop donations into the red food-drive bins at any Safeway. Call to receive a bag. (510) 635-3663,

From Constantinople to Tbilisi (Nov. 21–23) Armenian classical music is the core repertoire for this three-concert series. Artin Der Minassians conducts soprano Beverly Nalbandian and the BACH String Quartet in a program influenced by the Ottoman era and Caucasus Mountains. Before the program moves to San Francisco and Silicon Valley, it opens in Oakland. 7:30 p.m., $15–$35. St. Vartan Armenian Church, 650 Spruce St., (510) 868-0695,


The Arabian Nights (Nov. 14–Jan. 4) Director Mary Zimmerman returns to the Berkeley Repertory Theatre with her interpretation of A Thousand and One Nights. Perhaps best known for her Tony Award–winning play Metamorphoses, Zimmerman’s transposes mythology into the sublime onstage. 8 p.m. Tue., Thu.; 7 p.m. Wed., Sun.; 2 p.m. Thu., Sat., Sun. $13.50–$71, Thrust Stage, 2025 Addison St., Berkeley, (510) 647-2949,

Wild, Wooly Fickle Finger
Three decades into an experiment in living-room theater that has irregularly enthralled and enraged unwitting and informed audiences alike at the Finger Palace, absurdist impresario Woody Woodman hosts four more weekends of music, exhibitions, demonstrations and performance art under the rubric XXXTH WoodTennial: Into the Maelstrom. Woodman and Igor Finger debut The Unauthorized Biography of Woody Woodman Nov. 1; Greg Goodman (piano parts) goes head to head with John Gruntfest (refingered saxophone) Nov. 7; Another Fine Mess features Goodman (objets d’interieur), George Cremaschi (contrabass and cantilevered chopsticks) and Kjell Nordeson (silent repercussions) Nov. 8; Roham Shaikhani, Ali Dadgar and Targol Mesbah perform The Two Bald Chicairanians: Taking A Bath, and Hiromi Vardy and Tim Perkis tell The Last Story of the Moon Nov. 14-15; Witold Wolfe, Igor Finger and Vizor/Vizier, aka the Commonists, overthrow reality in Adjust the PeepHole!
Nov. 21-22. 8 p.m., ticket prices vary, 903 Cedar St., Berkeley, (510) 528-1023,

Oakland Poetry Slam (Nov. 20) Spoken word artists battle for best of set every third Thursday and invite you to be the judge. First up is an open mic at 8 p.m., and then at 8:30 the Oakland team—Dahled, Mesej 1, D.dra, nerCity and Jaylee Alde—warms up for next year’s nationals. The scene is always packed and the room’s energy can only be described as electric. Another open-mic session follows after the last vote is counted. Slam fans ages 21 or over may stick around for the after-party, Crosspollination, hosted by Oakland Renaissance. 8 p.m., $10. The Oasis Restaurant & Bar, 135 12th St. (510) 763-0404,

Night/OUT (Nov. 20) Berkeley Repertory Theatre hosts a monthly play-and-mingle event for its LGBT audience members; night/OUT starts with a performance and ends with a post-show party. This month it’s the Rep’s production of The Arabian Nights, directed by Mary Zimmerman, followed by hors d’oeuvres, drinks and DJ music. 8 p.m, $18.50–$55 (discounts available for persons under 30 and groups of 10 or more), Berkeley Repertory Theatre, 2025 Addison St., Berkeley, (510) 647-2949,

The Devil’s Disciple
(Through Dec. 7) The Aurora Theatre Company’s founding Artistic Director Barbara Oliver directs George Bernard Shaw. He writes of an America at war with the British Army that plots to hang the local minister to undermine the town. Richard Dudgeon is a self-proclaimed “Devil’s disciple,” but when the British come for the minister, he pretends to be the wanted man. Is it for love of country or did the Devil make him do it? Peppered with Shaw’s trademark barbed wit, this fictional account of an American “hero” was the playwright’s first popular success and his only full-length play set in America. 8 p.m. Wed.–Sat., 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. Sun., $28–$50, Aurora Theatre, 2081 Addison St., (510) 843-4822,

Joe Turner’s Come and Gone
(Through Dec. 14) The Berkeley Repertory Theatre produces the late August Wilson’s Joe Turner’s Come and Gone, a tale set, like most of Wilson’s plays, in the Hill District of Pittsburgh, Penn. It follows the journey of Harold Loomis from his spot on a chain gang to a boardinghouse in quest of his family during the Great Migration of African Americans from the rural South to the urban North. Directed by Delroy Lindo. $13.50–$71, Roda Theatre, 2025 Addison St., Berkeley, (510) 647-2949,


Madonna (Nov. 1–2) The Material Girl regales audiences with platinum pop and some 30 costumes custom-designed by the likes of Givenchy, Yves St. Laurent and Miu Miu. 8 p.m., $39.50–$55, Oracle Arena, 7000 Coliseum Way. Oracle Arena, 7000 Coliseum Way, (510) 625-8497,

The Tao of Talent (Nov. 2) At age 13, Conrad Tao has come a long way from initially playing songs at one year of age, his first recital at age 4 and his concerto debut with the Utah Chamber Music Festival Orchestra at 9. For his Cal Performances program, Tao will play Beethoven’s Piano Sonata No. 23 in F Minor, Op. 57, Corigliano’s Etude Fantasy for the Left Hand Alone, Rachmaninoff’s Six Moments Musicaux, Op. 16, and Andante Spianato et Grande Polonaise Brilliante, Op. 22 by Frederic Chopin. 3 p.m., $42, Hertz Hall, UC Berkeley Campus, Bancroft Way and College Avenue. (510) 642-9988,

Ray LaMontagne
(Nov. 3) Since launching his career with the folk-rock hit “Trouble,” LaMontagne has recorded three hit albums. He’ll sing tunes from his recent Gossip in the Grain in his signature emotive rasp. 8 p.m., $25–$49.50, Paramount Theatre, 2025 Broadway, (510) 465-6400,

Cool Jazz, Hot Romance
(Nov. 14) The Oakland East Bay Symphony’s opening night performance centers around the themes of love and lust. The orchestra starts the show with suites from Sergei Prokofiev’s Romeo & Juliet, followed by Zippers: A Soapopera. 8 p.m., Paramount Theatre, 2025 Broadway, (510) 465-6400.

k.d. lang (Nov. 15) Those craving the talents of this Grammy Award-winning artist will hear songs from her 2008 release, Watershed, the dramatic Canadian diva’s first album of all-original material in years. 8 p.m., $36.50–$60.50, Paramount Theatre, 2025 Broadway, (510) 465-6400,

Carrie Underwood
(Nov. 15) Despite Simon Cowell’s prediction that Underwood would leave American Idol empty-handed, Underwood won the title and still reigns as a queen of pop country. Little Big Town opens for the “All-American Girl.” 7:30 p.m., $35–$58, Oracle Arena, 7000 Coliseum Way, (510) 625-8497,

String Theory (Nov. 16) One of the Bay Area’s premier jazz bassists, Marcus Shelby threads a deep historical understanding of the music through his compositions. Alongside composing and performing, he says, “Essential to my personal and artistic goals is creating opportunities for audiences to consider the art form of jazz as a distinctly American historical narrative.” The lines of dialogue between past and present are his bass strings, which he’s played for more than 20 years. 2 p.m.–4 p.m., with a reception and tea service to follow. Reservations are required. $10–$15, free for children 12 and under, Chapel of the Chimes, 4499 Piedmont Ave., (510) 836-6772,,

Yoshi’s Jazz Club (Ongoing) Oakland’s premier sushi restaurant also has a world-class jazz lineup: Bettye LaVette (Nov. 1); Tim Ries: The Rolling Stones Project (Nov. 2); Dafnis Prieto Quartet (Nov. 3); D’Wayne Wiggins (Nov. 7–8); Willem Breuker Kollektief (Nov. 10); Cyro Baptista & The Banquet of the Spirits (Nov. 11); Los Cenzontles featuring David Hidalgo (Nov. 12); Jessica Williams (Nov. 13); Kenny Werner Trio (Nov. 14–16); Jazzschool Benefit, featuring Taylor Eigsti and other guest artists (Nov. 17); McCoy Tyner Trio with Marc Ribot (Nov. 18–23); Eric Benet (Nov. 28–30). 8 p.m. and 10 p.m. Tue.–Sat., 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. or 7 p.m. and 9 p.m. Sun., $10–$26, Yoshi’s Jazz House, 510 Embarcadero West, (510) 238-9200,


Alice (Nov. 13) As part of its “Adorably Uncomfortable Cinema” series, The Parkway presents this subversive telling of a Lewis Carroll classic. Live action combined with stop-motion animation create an added layer of surreal to the original tale; director Jan Svankmajer’s white rabbit is not only worried about keeping his appointments, but also has a taste for sawdust. 9:15 p.m., $6, Parkway Theater, 1834 Park Blvd. (510) 814-2400,

Geographies of the Imagination (Oct. 29–Nov. 21) Guided by the stories of Chilean immigrants, artist and anthropologist Lydia Nakashima Degarrod maps their migration to the Bay Area. In the multimedia collage-and-film exhibit, each piece introduces an individual’s journey across physical and emotional boundaries, dwelling in a transitional space between here and there. Opening reception 5:30 p.m.–7:30 p.m. Oct. 29; 8:30 a.m.–noon, 1 p.m.–4:30 p.m., Mon., Tue., Thu.; 1 p.m.–4:30 p.m. Wed., free, Oliver Art Center, California College of the Arts, 5212 Broadway, (510) 594-3757,

The International Latino Film Festival (Nov. 7–23) Created to give a voice to Latino cultural expression through film, this San Francisco Bay Area–festival showcases the best in new international Latino cinema, applauds emerging talent and pays tribute to celebrated Latino actors, directors and producers. The movies represent a rich and varied view of the social, political and economic perspectives of Latinos in the United States and across the continents. For details, call (415) 392-4400, or visit

American Indian Film Festival (Nov. 7–15) The American Indian Film Institute presents the premiere in San Francisco of more than 70 innovative feature films, shorts, documentaries and music videos from First Nation communities in the United States and Canada. Nov. 7–15 at the Landmark Embarcadero Center Cinema, One Embarcadero Center, Promenade Level; Nov. 14 at Theatre 39 on Pier 39, Beach Street at The Embarcadero; Nov. 13–15 at The Palace of Fine Arts, 3301 Lyon St. Call for ticket prices and times, (415) 554-0525,


Artwork Crawl More than 100 East Bay artists fling open their doors for the 18th annual Berkeley Artisans Holiday Open Studios. Crafts people and fine artists of all stripes will be on hand to talk with you about their handmade collections. Art made with an array of media—ceramics, blown glass, textiles, jewelry, prints—are for sale at many of the studios. 11 a.m.–6 p.m. Nov. 29-30. A map of participating studios is available by mail: Send a SASE to Berkeley Artisans Map, 2547 Eighth St., Suite 24 A, Berkeley, 94710. For more information, call (510) 845-2612; to download a map, visit

Evolution of a Sacred Space
(Through Dec. 17) Commemorating the dead is something of a festive cultural rite of passage in the East Bay, where there are major events marking Días de los Muertos, or the Days of the Dead. It’s a big holiday in Mexico, where spirits of deceased ancestors are believed to visit their live relatives, arriving Oct. 31 and departing Nov. 2, and so specially honored. To observe the tradition, the Oakland Museum of California schedules an annual exhibit of exquisite altars, and an artists talk (Nov. 16 at 2 p.m.) with Guillermo Galindo and Mary Andrade. Oakland Museum of California, 1000 Oak St., (510) 238-2200,

Banned Books (Sept. 5–Dec. 31) The result of a collaboration between the African American Museum and Library at Oakland and the San Francisco Center for the Book, the exhibit Banned & Recovered: Artists Respond to Censorship, curated by Hanna Regev, features the work of more than 50 multimedia artists interpreting censored texts. 12 p.m.–5:30 p.m. Tue.–Sat., free, AAMLO, 659 14th St., (510) 637-0200,



Craneway Event (Nov. 9) In an old Ford assembly plant, choreographer Merce Cunningham orchestrates his latest installment just a few months before his 90th birthday. The scenes will be set in multiple stages custom-made for each space, and theatergoers are encouraged to wander between each scene—all set to a live ensemble. The multimedia production alludes to the space’s industrial history and its present identity as a mixed-use facility. 1 p.m. and 3 p.m., $20–$40, Ford Point, 1414 Harbor Way South, Richmond, (510) 642-9988,

Multiple Dimension Celebration Since 1972, under the artistic direction of Deborah Vaughan, Oakland’s Dimensions Dance Theater has spun and leapt its way through the exigencies of arts funding and patronage, not only surviving in hard times but more importantly thriving as a creative cross-cultural force in the community. Marking its 35th anniversary, the company presents Celebration on  Nov. 15. It’s a 20-artist multimedia program of excerpts from its landmark works, including Donald McKayle’s Beneath The Baobab; Between Shores, Mudzimu (in collaboration with choreographer Isais Rojas and African mbira and singing star Stella Chiweshe); Lifted, Sweet Savory Sunday (featuring vocalists Linda Tillery and Terrance Kelly); and Cross Currents (a recent effort jazz composer Anthony Brown). Singer Larry Sampson, pianist Jacqueline Hairston and trumpeter Khalil Shaheed are among the all-star participants. 8 p.m., $25; $20 for students, seniors and groups of 10 or more; $15 for children under 12; tickets must be purchased in advance through or at Marcus Bookstore, (510) 652-2344. Oakland Interstake Center, 4780 Lincoln Blvd., (510) 465-3363,

Dancing: Bold as Love In celebration of its 20 years in Oakland, AXIS Dance Company premieres new works in multimedia performance. Since 1987,
a series of innovative artistic directors—Thais Mazur, Nicole Richter and Judith Smith—have guided the company’s artistic mission to integrate dancers with and without physical disabilities. The results often have the feel of a collage of movement, image and spoken word. Vessel, one of the pieces to make its world debut, features the award-winning poet Carol Snow. 8 p.m. Nov. 14–15; 2 p.m. Nov. 16, $14–$22, Malonga Casquelourd Center for the Arts, 1428 Alice St.,
(925) 798-1300,


Raiders (Nov. 2, 9, 30) Be back in black at the Coliseum to support the Raiders in their face-off with the Atlanta Falcons Nov. 2; vs. Carolina Panthers Nov. 9; and vs. Kansas City Chiefs Nov. 30. Times and ticket prices vary. Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum, 7000 Coliseum Way, (800) RAIDERS,,

Golden State Warriors (Nov. 5, 7, 11, 13, 18, 21) Catch the Warriors at home in action at the Oracle Arena early in their 2008-09 season when they steal a win from the Denver Nuggets Nov. 5. They also throw down against Memphis Grizzlies Nov. 7; vs. Minnesota Timberwolves Nov. 11; vs. Detroit Pistons Nov. 13; vs. Portland Trailblazers Nov. 18; vs. Chicago Bulls Nov. 21. Games start 7:30 p.m., prices vary. Oracle Arena, 7000 Coliseum Way, (888) GSW-HOOP,


The BFG (Nov. 1–23) When Sophie can’t sleep at night, she looks out the window to see “something very tall and very black and very thin” in the moonlight. This figure carrying a suitcase and trumpet, she discovers, is a visitor from Giant Country who delivers homemade dreams to the dormant. And rather than a Jack-and-the-Beanstalk ogre, this creature is funny, not to mention a talented apothecary. As soon as you enter the theater, children young and old are invited to invent their own giant, go on a scavenger hunt or help set the stage. 7 p.m. Thu.-Fri., 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. Sat., 1 p.m. and 5 p.m. Sun. $22-$28, Ashby Stage, 1901 Ashby Ave., Berkeley, (510) 665-5565,

Trashing High Art
(Nov. 8–Dec. 20) Turn discarded materials into artwork at MOCHA. As part of its commitment to reuse, repurposing and recycling, the Museum of Children’s Modern Art offers a free workshop in scrap art. Kids assemble tossed corks, recycled paper and other materials into gallery-ready works. K–12 artists living in Oakland may enter their art into the Re-Create Contest; the winner will be revealed at the exhibition. The workshop is on Nov. 8, noon–4 p.m., 538 Ninth St., Ste. 210. The exhibit is open 10 a.m.–2 p.m. Nov. 15–Dec. 20, 472 Water St., (510) 465-8770,

Tales and Traditions of California Indians (Nov. 16) It may be hard to imagine Ohlones fishing for salmon in Temescal Creek, so to celebrate the California Indians use of natural environment for food, tools and art, the Oakland Museum of California invites you to a Sunday afternoon of creative play. Learn traditional games and craft artwork to take home. Included with museum admission. 1 p.m.–4 p.m. Oakland Museum of California, 1000 Oak St., (510) 238-2200,

Fairy Music Tunnel (Ongoing) New to Fairyland is a maze of interactive music. Late this summer, the park unveiled what was once Thumbelina’s Tunnel. (Remember that cave with a cobweb gate around the corner from Snow White and the Seven Dwarves?) Now the young in spirit can stroll and make music simply by strumming strings, ringing chimes, smashing gongs and more. It is 118 feet of murals and spontaneous tunes—the latest chapter in Oakland’s storybook park. 10 a.m.–5 p.m., $8, no passes or coupons accepted for this event. 699 Bellevue Ave., (510) 452-2259,

 Telescope Viewing
(Ongoing) Since 1883, countless visitors have searched the skies through Chabot telescopes. An exhibit in the observatory domes explores the history of the Chabot observatories and how the historic telescopes are used today. Daytime visitors can virtually operate a telescope and experiment with mirrors and lenses, and peer into a Chabot telescope 1 p.m.–4 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays. Stargazing after sunset takes place 7:30 pm.–10:30 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays. Telescope viewing is free, general admission $13 adults, $10 students and seniors, $9 children under 12, free for children under 3. Closed Mondays and Tuesdays. (510) 336-7300,


Farmers Markets (Ongoing) Fresh, local, organic produce are for the picking at a farmers market near you. Savor good health and slow food at one of these outdoor markets: Wednesdays: East Oakland Senior Center, 10:30 a.m.–2:30 p.m., 9255 Edes Ave. at Jones Avenue, (510) 562-8989. Fridays: Old Oakland, 8 a.m.–2 p.m., Ninth Street between Broadway and Clay Street, (510) 745-7100. Oakland Kaiser, 10 a.m.–2 p.m., 3801 Howe St., (800) 949-FARM. East Oakland Farmers Market, 10 a.m.–2 p.m., Faith Deliverance Church, 73rd Avenue and International Boulevard, (510) 638-1742. Saturdays: Laurel District, 10 a.m.–2 p.m., 4173 MacArthur Blvd., (510) 482-1898, Grand Lake Farmers Market, 10 a.m.–2 p.m., corner of Grand and Lake Park avenues, (800) 897-3276, Mo Better Food Farmers Market, 10 a.m.–4 p.m., Seventh Street and Mandela Parkway, (510) 776-4178. Sundays: Jack London Square, 10 a.m.–2 p.m., Broadway and Embarcadero, (510) 814-6000. Fruitvale Village, 10 a.m.–3 p.m., 34th Avenue and East 12th Street, (510) 535-6926. Montclair Farmers Market, 9 a.m.–1 p.m., La Salle Avenue between Moraga Avenue and Mountain Boulevard, Temescal Farmers Market, 9 a.m.–1 p.m. in the Claremont DMV parking lot, 5300 Claremont Ave., (510) 745-7100.

    To add your event to our calendar, send material (including dates, times, ticket prices, location and a brief description of the event) to Calendar Editor, Oakland Magazine,
7977 Capwell Drive, Suite 200, Oakland, CA 94621 or via e-mail to or visit

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