Danishes With a Dictator, Mushrooms in Mendo, and more

Highlights from our November calendar.


Breakfast with Mugabe, Aurora Theatre, Nov. 13–Dec. 7

A gripping theatrical experience that pits two manipulative, power-hungry forces—a Zimbabwean dictator and a psychiatrist—against one another in a study of the corrupting, corrosive influences of absolute power.

Aurora Theatre continues its 23rd season with the West Coast premiere of Fraser Grace’s emotionally charged story, in which Robert Mugabe (L. Peter Callender) is haunted by his bloody past both for the dictator’s decisions and by the ghost of a fallen comrade.

Grace’s play, which first premiered in London, is inspired from newspaper stories of the dictator’s alleged treatment from a white psychiatrist and the story overflows with an exploration of race, politics, the human condition, and the evil within us all.

Dates and times vary, $32–$60. Aurora Theatre, 2081 Addison St., Berkeley, www.AuroraTheatre.org.

Field Trip

Mendo Mushroom Fest

A splendid excuse to visit the Northern California coast.

Stretching from Gualala to Piercy, Mendocino County is home to a variety of ecosystems and small towns overflowing with laid-back artists. It’s also home to one of the most underrated wine and food festivals in California. Previously called Mendocino Wine and Mushroom Festival, the new moniker, Mendocino County Mushroom, Wine, and Beer Festival (Nov. 7–16, www.MendocinoFestival.com) keeps the vino and fungi while adding the all-important beer. At hotels, wineries, and breweries up and down the coast—and creeping inland—enjoy special menus, tastings, live music, and art exhibits. The festival also includes opportunities to meet chefs and brewmasters, mushroom hunts via bike and horseback, cooking demos, parades, and workshops. Even if you can’t make it to Mendocino, Anderson Valley—a few short hours from Oakland—offers plenty of events to satisfy your culinary cravings.

Take Two

Fermentation Fun

Workshops to put kombucha and kimchi on your table.

Fermenting is all the rage right now, possibly a byproduct of the homebrew scene that’s left its bubbly trail across the country. However, as with homebrewing, fermenting can be a daunting and stinky adventure for those unaccustomed to the practice. This fall, fear no more with two fermenting classes in the East Bay. Grab a knife and cutting board and drop in on BioFuel Oasis’ Ferment the Fall (Nov. 2, www.BioFuelOasis.com) workshop where novices and pros will learn about basic wild fermentation and fermenting with a culture while sampling sauerkraut, kombucha, wine vinegar, and fruit shrubs. At Homestead Apothecary, Sarah Kersten teaches The Art of Vegetable Fermentation (Nov. 16, www.HomesteadApothecary.com) using her specially designed ceramic pottery fermentation jars that utilize water seals for a longer fermentation. Plus, Kersten will cover fermenting practices using basic home equipment. Soon enough, jars of kimchi will fill your entire home.


Ticket Time

Highlights of the sporting season.

Golden State Warriors vs. Los Angeles Lakers. Nov. 1, Oracle Arena, Oakland, www.NBA.com/Warriors.

Oakland Raiders vs. Denver Broncos. Nov. 9, O.co Coliseum, Oakland, www.Raiders.com.

Cal Men’s Soccer vs. Stanford. Nov. 16, UC-Berkeley, Edwards Stadium, Berkeley, www.CALBears.com.

Oakland Raiders vs. Kansas City Chiefs. Nov. 20, O.co Coliseum, Oakland, www.Raiders.com.

Golden State Warriors vs. Utah Jazz. Nov. 21, Oracle Arena, Oakland, www.NBA.com/Warriors.

Cal Classic! Cal Women’s Basketball. Nov. 28–29, UC-Berkeley, Haas Pavilion, Berkeley, www.CALBears.com.


Peachy-Keen Choices

Enjoy theater and the farmer’s market on the same day.

Bay Area Children’s Theatre presents James and the Giant Peach (Nov. 16–Dec. 14, www.BACTheatre.org), a travelling theatrical performance inspired by Roald Dahl’s story of a young boy who’s whisked away from his horrible home life via a gigantic peach and its rather large, creepy-crawly residents. The musical adaptation is suitable for children ages 4 and up, and it’s a great excuse, preceding or following a Saturday performance, to walk down the street to the Downtown Berkeley’s Farmers’ Market (Saturdays, www.EcologyCenter.org). There, introduce the kids to a variety of fruits and vegetables—even if peaches aren’t in season—and get them excited about local, sustainable food practices. Who knows, you may even spot James or Miss Spider lurking around the vendor booths.

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