THREESOME: ARTISTS FOR SOCIAL CHANGE The eye-catching title refers to an artistic trifecta — performance, visual, and literary. All three modes of expression will be squeezed onto one bill at the Subterranean Arthouse on Saturday, August 30. Berkeley based singer/songwriter Austin Willacy will perform, as will performance poet Graham Hackett, who goes by LoosiD. East Bay artist Laura VanDuren’s sculptures will be on view. The show begins at 8 p.m. at 2179 Bancroft Ave. Tickets are $15-20.
JUST DESERTS Those Women is a new theater troupe founded with the goal of telling classic tales from new angles. Namely, those that reveal the gender and power dynamics in familiar stories. “Just Deserts,” written by Carol Lashof and directed by Elizabeth Vega, opens this weekend. It’s a play about a young man who — against the advice of the three Furies — kills his mother to avenge the death of his father. Moral chaos ensues. The preview production begins at 8 p.m. on Friday, August 29 at Willard’s Metal Shop Theater at 2702 Regent St. Opening night is Saturday, and performances continue on Sunday and the following weekend. A $30 donation is suggested.
DINNER AT MZ. PAT’S HOUSE For two nights this weekend, La Peña will turn into Mz. Pat’s house, a Cleveland brothel in the 1930s and 40s. And everyone’s invited to dinner. Writer/performer Jovelyn Richards tells the stories of four characters who battle bigotry, get entangled in mystery and murder, and fall in love. It’s all set to a soundtrack of jazz and blues. Tickets cost $12 in advance and $15 at the door, and for $20, audience members can sit and eat at Mz. Pat’s front-row table (food costs extra). Shows begin at 8 p.m. on Friday, August 29 and Saturday, August 30 at 3105 Shattuck Ave.
QUATTUOR ELEPHANTIS & JOHN BISCHOFF If Quattuor Elephantis brings half of what they promise — a “brew of primeval energy,” an accumulation of “psychic debris,” an “intelligible entirety” — it’ll be a show worth seeing. Hosted by the Berkeley Arts Festival, the experimental electronic quartet plays at 2133 University Ave. this Sunday, August 31. Opening for the band is John Bischoff, solo electronic musician who marries analog sounds with digital. The show starts at 8 p.m. and Quattuor Elephantis plays at 9 p.m.
RAPTURE, BLISTER, BURN It’s a weekend packed with female-led theater productions. But Just Deserts and Rapture, Blister, Burn have little in common beyond that. While there’s no matricide in the latter, the jokes and existential crises should be enough to capture audience attention. The Pulitzer Prize finalist follows former grad school friends Gwen and Catherine, who take different paths after graduation. Gwen is a mother and Catherine is a professional. Each envies the other. The comedy opens at 8 p.m. on Friday, August 29 and runs through the end of September at the Aurora Theatre at 2081 Addison St. Several shows are nearly sold out. Tickets are $32-$50.
Also happening in Berkeley this weekend: Washing the blues away with Lavagem in Berkeley
Check out Berkeleyside’s event calendar for many more events, and make sure to post your own community happenings.