A ROCK OPERA THRILLER This weekend, First Look Sonoma and ROCKIT Opera is presenting three performances of the world premiere of composer/librettist (and Berkeley local) Sheli Nan’s SAGA of the 21st Century Girl: A Rock Opera Thriller. The new opera stars Crystal Philippi as a disturbed young girl struggling to cope with her self-absorbed mother (Valentina Osinski) and gutless father (Jo Vincent Parks) and their dysfunctional home. Portraying various aspects of the predatory impulse are the Shadows, both hilarious and genuinely frightening, portrayed by Alexis Lane Jensen and John Duykers. The company says the show, with its “completely original narrative with haunting musical themes is dynamic, captivating, and humorous at times.” SAGA is recommended for mature audiences. SAGA opens tonight and there are performances Saturday and Sunday. The show is at the Osher Studio, 2055 Center St. in downtown Berkeley. Visit First Look Sonoma online for details.

Screen shot 2014-04-04 at 11.47.10 AM

ACUPUNCTURE OPEN HOUSE WELLNESS FAIR Berkeley’s Acupuncture & Integrative Medicine College is holding a public Open House & Wellness Fair on Saturday, April 5, 11am-3pm at 2550 Shattuck Ave. The event is free and open to the public, as well as to prospective students of the college’s Master of Science in Oriental Medicine (MSOM) program. AIMC says demand for acupuncture services is growing in California. Events at the fair include: complimentary mini treatments; shiatsu and tui na massages; medical qigong sessions; tongue and pulse diagnoses; ear acupressure; blood pressure readings; $5 vitamin B12 shots; demonstrations, Chinese- and Japanese-style acupuncture; Qigong exercise; cupping & moxibustion; and tea brewing. For details, visit AIMC online.

LOUNGE RUMBA AT LA PENA The Sunday Lounge Rumba at La Peña, which has been going for an impressive 12 years, is a community participatory event that happens every first and third Sundays. Rumba is the word used for a group of related, community-oriented, music and dance styles in Cuba. Although rumba developed in rural Cuba, it has strong influences from African drumming and Spanish poetry and singing. Join the fun on Sunday April 6, 3-5:30pm at La Peňa, 3105 Shattuck Ave. Free, but donations encouraged.


TODD PARR AT CENTRAL LIBRARY Todd Parr has written such fun and colorful picture books as The Peace Book, It’s Okay to Be Different, and Reading Makes You Feel Good. On Saturday April 5 at 10:30 a.m, Parr will talk about being an author and illustrator, read from his books and answer questions at the Children’s Room on the fourth floor of the Berkeley Central Library at 2090 Kittredge Street. For ages 4-7. The event is part of Branch Out!, a whole series of free events and activities at Berkeley’s Public Libraries to inspire all ages. Branch Out! includes after-hour musical events, author talks, art shows, and much more. (Berkeleyside is a media sponsor of Branch out!)

SICK PLANT CLINIC Join Dr. Robert Raabe for his first-Saturday-of-the month Sick Plant Clinic at the UC Botanical Garden and find out which diseases ail your plants. Entomologists are also available to identify the pests that are living on your plants. Please cover plants and disease samples in containers or bags before entering the Garden. Saturday April 5, 9am-12pm. Free. UC Botanical Garden at Berkeley, 200 Centennial Drive, Berkeley.

Don’t miss this other event recently featured on Berkeleyside:

Lost and found: Nathan Clevenger Group and the Lost Trio
Not to be missed: Shotgun Players’ ‘The Coast of Utopia’
Big Screen Berkeley: The Missing Picture
A journalist uncovered, under-covered: Vivian Maier

Check out Berkeleyside’s event calendar for many more events, and make sure to post your own community happenings.

Tracey Taylor is co-founder of Berkeleyside and co-founder and editorial director of Cityside, the nonprofit parent to Berkeleyside and The Oaklandside. Before launching Berkeleyside, Tracey wrote for...