Arts & Entertainment

Best Bets for the Weekend (11/29-12/1)

By November 27, 2019 No Comments
Dorcas Leung, center, stars as the heroic titular mouse in PigPen Theatre's adaptation of "The Tale of Despereaux," playing at Berkeley Rep through Jan. 5. (Photo by Kevin Berne/Berkeley Rep)

The Bay Area is a hub of artistic expression, attracting artists, writers and musicians from around the globe to live, work and create. We highlight some of the offerings here.

 

• Who ya gonna call? Well, the “Ghostbusters” for sure. The fearsome foursome with the heavy-duty spook-shooting equipment on their backs show up at Davies Hall courtesy of the San Francisco Symphony this weekend, as the orchestra plays the live score accompanying their cinematic shenanigans on the big screen above. As an added enhancement, the conductor is Peter Bernstein, son of the soundtrack composer Elmer Bernstein (although Ray Parker Jr. wrote the catchy title tune.) And both Bernstein and Ivan Reitman, director of the 1984 hit movie, will be on hand an hour before showtime for an audience discussion. It’s set for 7:30 p.m. Nov. 29-30; Davies Symphony Hall, San Francisco; $50-$160; 415-864-6000; www.sfsymphony.org.

• A mighty popular mouse: Berkeley Repertory Theatre is presenting as its holiday show this year a brand new adaptation of the award-winning children’s book “The Tale of Despereaux,” about a courageous mouse who overcomes haters and danger to save the day. It’s performed by the band/stage troupe known as PigPen Theatre and it’s said to be 95 minutes of fun, music and energy. The show runs through Jan. 5 at Berkeley Rep; tickets are $35-$100; 510-647-2949; www.berkeleyrep.org.

• Flamenco stars: Some of the Bay Area’s best flamenco artists are gathering this weekend for an all-star show of sorts, titled “Abanico.” Choreographers and dancers, including Yaelisa, La Tania, Carola Zertuche, Melissa Cruz, Roberto Zamora, Aldo Ruiz and La Fibi are contributing to the show, which represents a rare get-together of flamenco artists from across the Bay Area. The show is at 8 p.m. Nov. 29 at the Cowell Theater in the Fort Mason complex. Tickets are $35-$125; 510-444-2820; www.bayareaflamencofestival.org.

The acclaimed Peking Acrobats will hit the stage at UC Berkeley’s Zellerbach Hall this weekend. (Photo by Brittany App/Peking Acrobats)

• High-flying visitors: Here’s a fun family outing. China’s Peking Acrobats, a talented troupe of tumblers, contortionists, jugglers, and gymnasts and more, is returning to the Bay Area for a weekend run, presented by Cal Performances. Blending 2,000-year-old folkloric flavor, including traditional costumes, with state-of-the-art athleticism, the Acrobats are a feast for the eyes. Performances are at 2 p.m. Nov. 29-30 and 3 p.m. Dec. 1 at UC Berkeley’s Zellerbach Hall. Tickets are $15-$72; 510-642-9988; calperformances.org.

• Blasts from the past: The young ’uns might not believe it, but there was a time when radios were a vital source of home entertainment. Two theater companies are reliving those days by staging radio-live productions of holiday classics, featuring actors performing the show on stage like radio actors did in the studios during the 1940s, complete with manufactured sound effects. Los Altos Stage Company is mounting “Miracle on 34th Street: A Live Musical Radio Play” based on the classic 1947 Christmas movie, through Dec. 22 at Bus Barn Theater in Los Altos ($20-$38; www.losaltosstage.org). And Contra Costa Civic Theatre is doing the same thing with “It’s a Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play,” running Nov. 29-Dec. 15 in El Cerrito ($11-$32; www.ccct.org).