Weekender: This Weekend's Top Five Events


Here's what you're doing this weekend:

State of Mind
The most ambitiously curated show in the East Bay right now is also the most enigmatic. To fully appreciate State of Mind, New California Art circa 1970, at the Berkeley Art Museum (2626 Bancroft Way, Berkeley), set aside a couple of hours and come ready to work — work at grasping the amount of art (more than 150 works by 60 artists), encyclopedically presented, all of it wonderfully strange. Consider not only the greats of California conceptualism (e.g., Baldesarri, Nauman, Ruscha, and Burden), but also the army of lesser giants, who are often more interested in documenting the satirizing of the process of art-making as an art itself. It gets complicated pretty quickly, but hang on, the journey is worth it. The show itself emulsifies all these disparate, intellectual game-things into one, beautiful, museum experience — arguably more of a work of art than any of the pieces are individually. Show runs through June 17. 510-642-0808 or BAMPFA.Berkeley.edu. — Obi Kaufmann

Firkin Fest!
  • Firkin Fest!
Firkin Fest
Firkin: "A traditional vessel, 10.2 gallons in volume, made for holding and serving Real Ale" — Real Ale being beer that's cask-conditioned, gravity-poured, and purportedly quite smooth in taste. Firkin Fest, Triple Rock Brewery & Alehouse's (1920 Shattuck Ave., Berkeley) tenth-annual celebration of said cask-conditioned ales, offers ale aficionados and appreciators an opportunity to imbibe in copious quantities on Saturday, April 6. In addition to Triple Rock's own ales, patrons will find batches from breweries like 21st Amendment, Oakland Brewing Company, and many more. Ages 21 and up. 11:30 a.m.; $20 for a commemorative glass and four pours, $4 for additional pours. 510-843-2739 or TripleRock.com. — Cassie Harwood

Religious Girls
Let's just get this out of the way: the people behind Religious Girls are neither girls nor particularly religious. They are, however, one of the more promising bands in Oakland at the moment, with an inventive, unapologetic sort of Battles-meets-Animal Collective sound that's best illustrated by the unofficial motto "Shred til We Ded." And now, after an all-too-long hiatus, the band is back in a major way, having just released a new album and embarked on an ambitious mini-tour, which includes the Uptown (1928 Telegraph Ave., Oakland) on Friday, April 6. Bring earplugs. 9 p.m., free. UptownNightclub.com — Ellen Cushing

John Logan's two-hander about the artist Mark Rothko enjoyed mammoth popularity this year, not only because it's taut and easy to stage, but also because it's a supremely visceral play. The script is a ninety-minute discussion of art and commercialism — two subjects that lend themselves to heated debate — yet it also devolves into word play. Colors are a muse in Rothko's studio — which is entirely red, white, and black in Berkeley Rep's current production — but they're also a way of understanding the world at large. He sees red as vibrancy, life, blood, violence, and sex; black, in contrast, is death and the absence of color. In Logan's play, Rothko is fixated on the idea that red will eventually be overtaken by black. (Translation: We're all gonna die or become obsolete). That conceit propels the play forward. Les Waters' staging at Berkeley Rep has the two characters, Rothko (David Chandler) and his apprentice Ken (John Brummer), constantly jockeying for position. They're child and father, or predator and prey, but Waters makes the roles deliberately murky. Through April 29 at Berkeley Repertory Theatre (2025 Addison St., Berkeley). $14.50-$83. 510-647-2949 or BerkeleyRep.org. — Rachel Swan

Easter Brunch at Joshu-Ya
Where better to celebrate the season of the resurrection than at a critically acclaimed sushi restaurant specializing in sustainable seafood from around the world? Joshu-Ya Brasserie (2441 Dwight Way, Berkeley) serves a special Easter Sunday Brunch on Sunday, Apr. 8; owner-chef Jason Kwon's a la carte offerings include eggs Benedict, California omelets, pulled-pork sandwiches, custard French toast, bistro-burgers, and cranberry-almond spinach salad. 9:30 a.m.-3 p.m., prices vary. 510-848-5260 or Joshu-Ya.com — Anneli Rufus

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