Nurse your St. Pat's hangover Get ready for the weekend by checking out our critics' choices.
It's perfectly natural to feel some apprehension upon hearing the premise of Ruined, Lynn Nottage's Pulitzer Prize-winning play about rape and genital mutilation in war-ravaged Congo. But don't dismiss it on those grounds alone.
Richmond's Finest is the name of the pugilistic competition happening Saturday, Mar. 19, at the Richmond Auditorium (403 Civic Center Plaza, Richmond). Part of the USA Boxing competition for Northern California, it'll feature a number of weight divisions competing for the right to move on to the Golden Gloves tournament being held in Indiana later this spring. The fight card is a deep one, with seven hours of boxing on the slate. The event is co-sponsored by the Richmond Police Activities League, which offers an after-school program where young fighters are trained in the sweet science; this weekend, they can show off what they learned in lab. Noon, $10-$15; kids under fifteen must be accompanied by a parent. USABoxingNorCal.org. $10-$15. — Kibby Kleiman
Independent Theater Projects
All things considered, it'd be pretty easy to think that today's youth are more or less doomed, what with the existence of Teen Mom/sexting/Willow Smith. But anyone worried about kids these days might do well to hit up the Hillside Club (2286 Cedar St., Berkeley) tonight and tomorrow, Mar. 18-19, for the latest iteration of Independent Theater Projects. For more than two decades, a small group of annually-rotating Berkeley high school students has been funding, directing, producing, and staging a yearly show of three one-acts, completely independent of school drama programs or private youth theater programs. The lack of adult supervision allows the students to consistently put on plays that feature dark themes, absurdist humor, and preternaturally good acting — and that are much more interesting than what you might typically expect from a high-school production. Each year's selections are kept largely under wraps until show time, but previous shows have featured plays about characters like a foulmouthed hooker on the brink of suicide; a psychologically abusive nun confronted by the kids she hurt; and a doomed, down-on-his-luck accused rapist who befriends an equally downtrodden dishwasher before being unceremoniously gunned down by a vindictive mob. Crackle-voiced Grease reheats, this ain't. 7:30 p.m. both nights; suggested donation $7 students, $14 general. HillsideClub.org — Ellen Cushing
Flogging Molly's blistering mash up of traditional Irish music and punk thrash wrings every bit of energy and emotion out of a crowd. Bandleader and main songwriter Dave King composes his incendiary lyrics on a typewriter that was made in 1916, the year of the Easter Rising. Thus, it's no accident that the spirit of Irish pride and rebellion resonates throughout the band's sweat-inducing repertoire. Its blend of acoustic and electric instruments keeps the music rooted in tradition while giving it a contemporary twist. The band's annual monthlong celebration of Saint Patrick's Day will provide an evening of rowdy rebel rousing for all. At The Fox Theater (1807 Telegraph, Oakland) Saturday, Mar.19, 7:30 p.m. $29.50 TheFoxOakland.com. — j. poet
It’s called dance anywhere, but “dance everywhere” is more like it. For this everybody-dance-now event — which goes down today, March 18 — people around the world get up and shake it at the same moment, uniting across time zones, continents, and political boundaries to create a global guerilla dance-in. Over the past six years, schools streets, bridges, subway platforms, art galleries, and parks have doubled as dance floors for participants from Slovenia to Namibia, and across all fifty states. Locally, you can freeform it by standing up and getting your groove on wherever you are or, if you’d prefer to dance somewhere, by joining an ensemble at the Berkeley Art Museum (2626 Bancroft Way, Berkeley), the Oakland Museum (1000 Oak St., Oakland), or Frank Ogawa Plaza (14th St. near Broadway, Oakland). The only officially choreographed element is the starting time. Noon, free. www.DanceAnywhere.org — Claudia Bauer
Catch a Movie: Our intrepid movie reviewer recommends Paul, opening this weekend in the East Bay.