It’s a very busy Oakland weekend, and there’s got to be something in this mix to get you excited about living here — the best of Oakland, jazz and wine, urban agriculture, stage shows, elephants, music from Zimbabwe, the Greek festival, mystery writers, documentary screenings, the Symphony’s closing show and so much more.
FRIDAY, May 14
The annual celebration of all things Oakland and indie moves to Jack London Square this year. The Oakland Indies will be held in the Pavillion (You know it as the old Barnes and Noble) Friday night to bestow its awards: Pillar, Newbie, Greenie, Neighborhood Dynamo, and our favorite, Oakland Soul (we won two years ago).
What: Oakland Indie Awards
When: Friday, May 14, 5:30 p.m. – 9 p.m.
Where: 98 Broadway, Jack London Square
How Much: $20
Rockridge Jazz and Wine Stroll
Merchants along College Avenue are having a jazz and wine stroll Friday evening, which will be pretty much what it sounds like along with nice discounts at some of your favorite stores like Jan Christensen Heller Gallery and Fit.
What: Rockridge Jazz and Wine Stroll
When: Friday, May 14 May 5 p.m. – 9 p.m.
Where: College Avenue between Claremont and Broadway
City Slicker Farms Fundraiser
Care about urban agriculture? Care about West Oakland? If you answered yes to either of these, then you’ve probably heard about City Slicker Farms, a community-driven group in West Oakland that grows fresh produce for the area’s residents. Friday night, they’re doing some fund-raising at an event where you can learn more about — and celebrate — their work. There will be a potluck, live music, demonstrations and fermented product tasting. Let them know what fermented treats you’re taking at firstname.lastname@example.org.
What: Ferment Change 2010 – Fermented Food Feast and Celebration of Urban Agriculture
When: Friday, May 14, 7 p.m.– 10 p.m.
Where: 390 27th Street
How Much: $10-$30, sliding scale, No one turned away for lack of funds. Email email@example.com to find out about work-trade.
For more info, cityslickerfarms.org
Into the Woods at Mills College
Curtain Call Performing Arts, an outfit committed to keeping ticket prices low and performance quality high, brings its production of Steven Sondheim’s Into the Woods to Mills College’s Lisser Theatre this month. Directed by Catherine Heck, the musical debuts Friday night. It’s a spooky retelling of the Grimm Brothers, but it’s still safe for kids.
What: Into the Woods
When: Friday and Saturday May 14 and 15, 8 p.m.
Where: The Lisser Theatre, Mills College, 5000 MacArthur Boulevard
How Much: $12
Chinyakare and the KTO Project play UTunes Coffeehouse
The Chinyakare Ensemble & the KTO Project celebrate the music of Zimbabwe with mbira (a wooden musical instrument) player Musekiwa Chingodza from Harare, Zimbabwe.
Under the direction of Julia Tsitsi Chigamba, the Chinyakare Ensemble will perform traditional dance, mbira, drums, marimba and songs from tribal groups from around Zimbabwe.
The KTO Project, led by Kelly Takunda Orphan Martinez, is a blend of music with ethnic sensibilities from Africa, the Middle East and the Americas.
What: UTunes Coffeehouse, a concert series (with coffee)
When: Friday, May 14, 8 p.m.- 10 p.m.
Where: First Unitarian Church of Oakland, 685 14th Street
How Much: $18 for Adults, $5 for Children ages 6-15 (kids under age 6 are free).
SATURDAY, May 15
While you’re in Jack London Square, stop by our gallery to check out the second iPhontography show. Art@TheOakBook will be showing the winners from the art of the iPhone contest, a subgenre of photography that is perhaps best summed up in two quotes (The second quote is from iPhontography’s founding father): “Aim well, shoot fast, and scram.”—Henri Cartier-Bresson. “Aim well, shoot until you get it, and app that bitch until it sings.” —Knox Bronson.
What: Pixels at an exhibition
When: Saturday, May 15, 4 PM – 8 PM
Where: 423 Water Street, JLS
How Much: Free
Learn How to make Buttons
If you think buttons make great small gifts and promotional materials, this all-level class is for you. This is your chance to use a professional grade button maker and circle cutter to make 30 buttons of your design. Take clippings, photos, drawings, reused paper, and other images to make your original art. Saskia, who is passionate about creative reuse, will be teaching the class.
What: Button making class
When: Saturday, May 15, Noon to 3 p.m.
Where: Rock Paper Scissors Collective, 2278 Telegraph Avenue @ 23rd Street
How much: $5 class fee to cover materials
Register online rpscollective.com
Seven women mystery writers of the Bay Area will be discussing their work at the Oakland Public Library Main Branch. Meet and listen to authors Rhys Bowen, Diana Chambers, Lucha Corpi, Susan Dunlap, Priscilla Royal, Susan Sherrell, and Kelli Stanley talk about why and how they do what they do.
What: Panel of Women Mystery Writers at the Oakland Library
When: Saturday May 15, 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.
Where: Main Library, 125 14th St.
Contact: Main Library Reference Services, 510-238-3138
How Much: Free
Elephants at the Zoo
The Zoo’s got a busy Saturday mapped out for you. Circus Finelli, an animal –free circus will have acrobats and clowns performing at 12 p.m. and 2 p.m.
The zoo’s hosting an elephant day. There will be elephant information stations throughout the zoo, teaching fascinating things about the zoo’s pachyderms. Pick up your binocular and data sheet and become an elephant researcher at Oakland Zoo’s elephant research camp. The elephant keepers will be taking people for a behind-the-scenes tour of the elephant barn for a $5 donation. All proceeds go to the Amboseli Elephant Research Project.
Saturday, May 15th 10 a.m.- 3 p.m.
The Oakland Zoo, 9777 Golf Links Rd. oaklandzoo.org
Oakland Underground Film Festival/ Jack London Square Summer Film Series
The Oakland Underground Film Festival will presentRemembering Playland at 7:30 p.m. and Special When Lit at 9:15 p.m. for the May installment of the Jack London Square Summer Film Series.
Director Tom Wyrsch has resurrected San Francisco’s now-extinct Playland at the Beach, a 10-acre amusement park located next to Ocean Beach, in Remembering Playland.Playland at the Beach was established in the 1880s and dismantled in 1972.
Co-presented by Pacific Pinball Machine of Alameda, Special When Lit is the definitive story of the rise and fall of pinball as told by hardcore fans, collectors, designers, and champion players from across the globe. A product of the mechanical and electrical age, this American invention swept the world and defined cool. A game, a sport, a lifestyle, pinball made more money than the entire American movie industry through the 50s and 60s. Brett Sullivan’s film retraces the passion of pinball followers, and also revealing the demise of pinball to the new era of video games. Rediscover the lure of the lost pop icon-Pinball.
What: Summer Movies
When: Saturday, May 15, 7.30 p.m. onwards
Where: Jack London Square Pavilion Theater, 98 Broadway (inside Jack London Square)
How Much: $10, no one turned away for lack of funds. Tickets at brownpapertickets.com.
SUNDAY, May 16
The Koreatown-Northgate neighborhood is holding a party Sunday, which promises to be worthy of the diversity along that stretch of Telegraph Avenue. Called Culture Fest the event will have food (look for gyros from the folks at Oasis), music (on three stages), martial arts demos, and a neighborhood swap meet.
What: Culture Fest
When: Sunday May 16, 11 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Where: Telegraph Avenue between 23rd and 25th Streets
How Much: Free
The Oakland Greek Festival has been treating the town to Hellenic hospitality, food, and music each spring for nearly 40 years. This weekend, visit the Greek Orthodox Cathedral of the Acension for spinach pie, lamb, and other treats from the cradle of Democracy. The weekend-long event will feature all sorts of Greek music and dancing from pop to classical. Visit the website for a coupon that brings the admission down to $5.
What: Oakland Greek Festival
When: Friday-Sunday, May 14-16, 10 a.m. – 11 p.m. (Fri & Sat) 11 a.m. – 9 p.m. (Sun)
Where: Greek Orthodox Cathedral of the Ascension, 4700
How Much: $6
Ode to Joy
The Oakland East Bay Symphony ends its season with Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony. It’s been more than a decade since the OEBS performed the “Choral” symphony. This time Maestro Michael Morgan will lead tenor Thomas Glenn on Friday and Adam Flowers on Sunday. Baritone Bojan Knezevic will lead off with one of the most amazing moments in classical music, “Freude, schoner Gotterfunken…” John Kendall Bailey will lead pre-concert talks before both performances.
What: Ode to Joy
When: Friday and Sunday, May 14 and 16, 8 p.m. and 2 p.m.
Where: Paramount Theatre,
How Much: $20 to $65