The weekend is almost here! Time to celebrate by reading our list of the five best ways to spend your time today through Sunday:
Berkeley Gay Comedy Festival
When Marga Gomez organized the first Berkeley Gay Comedy Festival in 2011, she and her fellow comedians performed to sold-out crowds for four nights. She was excited by the warm reception, but then got busy with other projects and wasn't able to host the event for the next couple of years. But this Friday at Freight and Salvage
, the pioneering Bay Area lesbian comic is bringing the festival back, and she hopes to make it a regular affair. "I wanted to create an event bringing gay comedy to the East Bay," said Gomez, pointing out that so many events for Pride Month happen in San Francisco. She will be headlining the festival along with Oakland-based comedians Micia Mosely and Sampson McCormick, whose style she described as being intelligent without being highbrow and snooty. Friday, June 20. TheFreight.org
— Zaineb Mohammed
As a kid growing up in Southern California, Destiny Muhammad was inspired to play the harp after watching Harpo Marx on TV, though Dorothy Ashby, who had emerged in the 1950s as the most prominent and accomplished harpist in the history of jazz, eventually became her heroine. Also in the ’50s, Count Basie saxophonist Frank Wess was among the first players to popularize the use of flute in jazz, and in 1958, he recorded two albums — Hip Harp and In a Minor Groove — with Ashby for the Prestige and New Jazz labels. On Saturday, Muhammad and flutist Melvin Butts, with bassist Ken Noriyuki Okada and drummer Leon Joyce Jr., will pay tribute to the two late musicians at Musically Minded Academy
in a concert titled “On the Corner of Wess and Ashby.” Saturday, June 21. 8 p.m., $12, $15. MusicallyMinded.org
— Lee Hildebrand
What the Truck!
Little Ju Ju
Food trucks have been ubiquitous in the Bay Area for a while now, but recently, more and more non-culinary businesses are offering their own takes on the mobile trend. Event organizers at Jack London Square
decided to celebrate the expansion of the mobile business movement with a new event, What the Truck!, which happens this weekend at Broadway and Embarcadero. Participating businesses include the clothing truck Classy Closet, mobile gadget retailer Man Cave America, pinball arcade Little Ju Ju, virtual-reality experience OuterBody Labs, and Digital Arts Lab’s bus, in which people can create projects using laser cutters and 3D printers. Food trucks in attendance will include grilled-cheese truck The Melt, empanada-focused El Sur, and Japanese crêperie J-Schack. Saturday, June 21. 11 a.m.-5 p.m., free. JackLondonSquare.com
Daylighting: The Berkeley Stories Project
Daylighting: The Berkeley Stories Project
is the result of “story circles” and interviews that writer Dan Wolf, director Rebecca Novick, and Shotgun Players Artistic Director Patrick Dooley conducted with three hundred of the city’s residents. The tales are woven through the story of the play’s protagonist, Bee, a recently graduated high schooler who travels from dusk till dawn, from the Berkeley Hills to the marina, trying to figure out if she should leave her hometown for the bright lights of New York City, or stick around and try to make a life in the only place she’s ever known. The ensemble cast is diverse and spirited, and the stories are deeply felt. Certainly anyone who has spent time in or has an affinity for “Berzerkeley” will appreciate the references to Berkeley Bowl, Cheese Board, the Bubble Lady, Hate Man, etc. And while it’s fun to ruminate on Berkeley’s histories, liberal stereotypes, and iconic locales (with a few Emeryville jabs thrown in for good measure), Daylighting
is also a bit too fairy-tale for its own good. Through June 22. $20-$35. ShotgunPlayers.org
— Anna Pulley
If you think cold beer and raw, citrus-cured fish are a classic summertime combination, this is the pop-up for you. For one afternoon only, Alfonso Dominguez, co-owner of Old Oakland’s Tamarindo, will hit The Trappist Provisions
with three kinds of Mexican ceviche ($9-$14), and possibly some oysters as well. The beer mavens at the Rockridge bar and bottle shop will be on hand to drop some beer-pairing knowledge, and they’ve selected a few brews — both bottles and drafts — that should pair especially well with Dominguez’s ceviches. They’ll also be pouring several others that might not pair but are nevertheless “damn fine,” as Trappist co-owner Aaron Porter put it. Sunday, June 22. 1-5 p.m. TheTrappist.com/Provisions
— Luke Tsai
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.
Feed Us: Got any East Bay news, events, video, or miscellany we should know about? Holler at us at Zaineb.Mohammed@EastBayExpress.com.