MC Hammer aside, Will “The Thrill” Viharo might be one of the closest things we have to an East Bay cultural hero, one of those people who’s seemingly everywhere, all the time, probably with a smile on his face. He used to run a regular B-movie night at Alameda’s Forbidden Island, helps out with programming at The New Parkway, was one of the public faces of the theater’s old iteration, blogs occasionally, and, oh, has a prolific fiction-writing career on the side. Viharo — who was actually named for none other than William Shakespeare, believe it or not — has published more than twenty novels at this point, each larded with the kind of sparkling wit, eye for satire, and love of all things campy that you might expect from someone who’s devoted a professional life to unearthing such cinematic masterpieces as Dracula vs. Frankenstein. Join Viharo as he celebrates the re-release of his wry 1995 cult classic, Love Stories Are Too Violent for Me — currently in the early stages of production as a film starring Christian Slater — at Books Inc. Alameda. Friday, Oct. 11. 7 p.m., free. BooksInc.net/Alameda — Ellen Cushing
Life Is Living Festival
Spoken-word nonprofit Youth Speaks will bring the party to West Oakland’s DeFremery Park during the sixth annual Life Is Living Festival. Drawing a crowd of more than 6,000 people each year, the festival aims to promote social change through hip-hop and urban arts in an often-neglected part of the city. Activities will include a youth mural competition, stencil and ’zine workshops, and Estria Foundation’s graffiti battle, in which sixteen artists from across the country will compete to see who can best use the form as a way to empower communities. If the visual arts aren’t your scene, the festival will also feature skateboarding demonstrations, a dance stage, and performances by Oakland Youth Poet Laureate Obasi Davis, Grammy nominee John Santos, classical hip-hop outfit Ensemble Mik Nawooj, and singer Kimiko Joy. Saturday, Oct. 12. 10 a.m.-6 p.m., free. YouthSpeaks.org/LifeIsLiving — Z.M.
Pedestrians will replace cars on one of Berkeley’s most trafficked avenues during the city’s second annual Sunday Streets. Part of a nationwide movement that transforms urban streets into car-free zones, the event will shut down Shattuck Avenue to automobiles from Rose Street to Haste Street for five hours. Attendees are encouraged to use the space creatively, and activities will include bike rodeos, dance performances, yoga classes, and more. Among the highlights are a pop-up parklet installed by Livable Berkeley, pedal-powered beat-boxing by Cello Joe, and libations courtesy of Drake’s Brewing Company. For the nerds among you, there will be hands-on science activities hosted by Berkeley Lab and Science@Cal, as well as a giant chess game set up by the Berkeley Chess School. Last year, more than 40,000 people turned out, so be prepared for a crowd. Sunday, Oct. 13. 11 a.m.-4 p.m., free. SundayStreetsBerkeley.com — Z.M.
Plus... 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.
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