After a week of chilly San Francisco weather, it was amazing to get off BART in Berkeley this morning & experience hot, sunny weather during Cal Performance's Fall Free for All, a day of free performances on the UC Berkeley campus. When I arrived, an energetic jazz set was going on under a big tent set up in front of Zellerbach Hall. I had fun seeing some of the student vocal groups performing in various locations outdoors, especially since I now have a family member in one of them.
Performances go on continuously all over the campus, so it's only possible to take in a fraction of the offerings. I saw the Shotgun Players perform a good portion of their up-coming production of Stephen Sondheim's Assassins, accompanied by a fine band of musicians who play multiple instruments. The show looks completed twisted, & the cast performed with a scary intensity. Susannah Martin, the show's director, assured us beforehand that the casts' guns were not loaded, but she urged us to see the actual show if we wanted to see them fired. The couple sitting next to me had come from Santa Rosa for the Free for All.
Later in the day I saw Gamelan Sekar Jaya, who presented 2 gamalan ensembles plus dancers. I enjoyed the joyfully synchronized playing & resonant sound of the bamboo ensemble. Many families attended. Once the music started, kids ran from their seats to sit on the floor in front of the stage. I was in line a half hour early to get a good seat, but the venue easily accommodated everyone. The line for the Kronos Quartet in Zellerbach went around 3 sides of the building, but I assume that everyone got in.
§ Fall Free for All
Open House at Cal Performances
Sun, Sept 30, 2012
A Full Day of Free Performances
UC Berkeley Campus