Working on the sets for the new production of Fortinbras, opening this weekend. Photo: Actor's Ensemble of Berkeley
Working on the sets for the new production of Fortinbras, opening this weekend. Photo: Actor’s Ensemble of Berkeley

FORTINBRAS Let’s be honest. Fortinbras is one of the more forgettable figures in Hamlet. He shows up just as Hamlet is dying and utters some unremarkable lines, marking him as the kind of upstanding, dull Norwegian prince that would never be fit subject for drama. But wait! Writer Lee Blessing took that unpromising kernel and crafted a work that the LA Times hailed as a “pungent political satire” with “dialogue as scathing as it is hilarious.” The Actors Ensemble of Berkeley has brought Fortinbras to the beautiful amphitheater in John Hinkel Park for five free performances, starting on Saturday, Aug. 24 at 4 p.m. Seats in the first three rows can be reserved by calling (510) 649-5999. Fortinbras will also be performed at 4 p.m. on Sunday, Aug. 25, Saturday, Aug. 31, Sunday, Sept. 1 and Monday, Sept. 2. John Hinkel Park Amphitheatre, 41 Somerset Ave. Further information on the Actors Ensemble website

CELEBRATING CONCRETE When it opened in 1970, Berkeley’s University Art Museum was lauded in the press and admired by visitors, who were stunned by its a multi-leveled interior with bravely cantilevered ramps leading from open gallery to open gallery. Today architect Mario Ciampi’s building faces an unknown fate, as concerns for its seismic stability have convinced the university to replace it with a new museum a few blocks away.  Ciampi’s building will remain open for several more years. The building may be repurposed and reused. In an effort to draw attention to the building and its future, architect and author Pierluigi Serraino will discuss “Mario Ciampi: A Concrete Architect” on Saturday, Aug. 24, at 3 p.m. inside the museum. “The museum should be preserved. It’s very much a part of the history of the Bay Area, ” Serraino says. The talk is sponsored by the modernist preservation group Docomomo and tickets are $7 for non-members. Berkeley Art Museum, 2626 Bancroft Way.

REMOTE-CONTROL CAR RACE ON TELEGRAPH Will worlds collide if we bring remote-controlled cars to Moe’s Books? Race to Telegraph and bring the kids for this inaugural event to find out. On Sunday, Aug. 25, Moe’s Books will host the first-ever remote-control car race on Telegraph Avenue. The free event, sponsored by Boss Robot Hobby and Kids In Motion, will run from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. in the “People Zone” in front of Moe’s at 2476 Telegraph Ave. Racers must be under 13 to participate. Johnny Williams from Boss Robot Hobby on College Avenue will be on hand to answer technical questions and make sure that there are enough batteries for everyone.

FREIGHT & SALVAGE AT 45 For 45 years, the Freight has hosted some of the finest musicians from around the world and the Bay Area. On Saturday, Aug. 24, it presents Generations, featuring a lineup that reflects both the cultural diversity within traditional music, and the generations of family members that have made their mark at the Freight. Generations features Mike and Leah Wollenberg, Alan and Aya Davidson, Eric and Suzy and Allegra Thompson, La Familia Peña-Govea, and more. Read Berkeleyside’s story preview story on the Freight at 45. 8 p.m., Saturday, Aug. 24, Freight & Salvage Coffeehouse, 2020 Addison St. Tickets are $18.50 in advance and $20.50 at the door.

BENCHMARKING WORKSHOP Find out how much energy your building uses, compare it with other similar buildings in similar climates, and sign-up to have your building be recognized in the Annual Energy Smart Awards Program. The City of Berkeley and the City of Emeryville want to honor building owners, managers, and tenants for benchmarking their buildings. California’s AB 1103 will soon require the disclosure of an energy performance benchmarking score prior to selling, refinancing or leasing certain whole buildings. The free workshop will run from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Sunday Monday, Aug. 26 at Skydeck Berkeley, 2150 Shattuck Ave. Register on the website.

Don’t miss these other events featured on Berkeleyside:
Berkeley High all-class picnic
Praise for amazing women: Venissa Santi, Tiffany Austin
The Freight at 45: teach your children well

The hottest ticket this fall in Berkeley: Uncharted: The Berkeley Festival of Ideas. Uncharted is two days of provocative thinking, inspiring speakers, workshops, and a big party — all in downtown Berkeley in October. Read all about it, be part of it. Register on the Uncharted website.

Lance Knobel (Berkeleyside co-founder) has been a journalist for nearly 40 years. Much of his career was in business journalism. He was editor-in-chief of both Management Today, the leading business magazine...