BLOCK PARTY William Byron Rumford was the first African American elected to state public office in northern California and he authored legislation banning discrimination in employment and housing. On Sunday, July 17, Rumford will be celebrated with a block party on Sacramento Street, between Ashby and Julia. At 3 p.m., a sculpture memorializing Rumford will be unveiled. In addition, there will be music, a barbecue, kids’ zone, presentations on neighborhood history, and two screenings of a documentary on Rumford. Sunday, July 17, noon to 5 p.m.
COLETTE UNCENSORED The French author Colette has faded from view in the last several decades, but in the mid-twentieth century she had worldwide fame through her novel Gigi (made into a smash-hit stage show and then an Oscar-winning film). Actress Lorri Holt’s solo show, “Colette Uncensored,” recently transferred from San Francisco to The Marsh Berkeley for a run through August. The play, about Colette’s life and work, was written by Holt and Zack Rogow, and evolved from bookstore readings of a collection of Colette’s writings, Shipwrecked on a Traffic Island and Other Previously Untranslated Gems, translated by Rogow and Renée Morel. Performances are on Thursdays at 8 p.m. and Saturdays at 8:30 p.m. Here’s what the San Francisco Chronicle had to say about the play: “Stunning. A passionate, fascinating and artful life brought full circle by a performer about whom you could say the same.”
MOVIES, CONCERTS IN PARKS This weekend sees the kickoff of free movies and concerts in Berkeley’s parks. The first movie will be “Finding Nemo” on Friday night in Willard Park (starts at 8:45 p.m.). Leave strollers and high-back chairs at home so you don’t block the view. On Saturday, Willard Park will host ’80s New Wave show The Spazmatics (photo, right) and local band Downtown Rhythm from noon to 4 p.m. Food and family activities will also be available. Future music in the park events will be at James Kenney Park, Grove Park and Cedar Rose Park.
SOUTH ASIAN RADICAL HISTORY WALKING TOUR South Asians have been living in California since at least 1850, but their stories are still little known. Join community historians Barnali Ghosh and Anirvan Chatterjee as South Asian American history comes to life on a two-mile walking tour (wheelchair/stroller accessible). You’ll visit original sites, hear stories, and come away inspired by secret histories of immigrant freedom fighters, feminists, and more. After 105 (!) runs of the tour for over 1,000 people, here’s some of what people say: “One of the most amazing experiences ever,” “I found it really moving,” “I really felt a sense of belonging.” Tours are at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. on Saturday, July 16. Register online as the tours sell out. (Read our 2012 feature story about the tour.)
HEATHERS: THE MUSICAL Are you a fan of the 1988 cult classic film “Heathers”? Then you’ll want to go to Live Oak Theatre this weekend for performances of Heathers: The Musical. The musical is being staged by the entirely teen-run Bay Area Zeta Players. BAZP cast and crew are veterans of many Bay Area theater training programs and are now in the third year of building a community of next-generation theater leaders. Starring Grace Dolezal-Ng as Veronica Sawyer (the Winona Ryder role) and Abram Blitz as JD (Christian Slater’s role). Tickets only available online. Performances on Friday, July 15 and Saturday, July 16 at 8 p.m., Live Oak Theatre, 1301 Shattuck Ave.
Don’t miss these other events featured on Berkeleyside:
Big Screen Berkeley: ‘Microbe and Gasoline’
Kalil Wilson and Love in Berkeley; other recommended gigs
To find out what is going on in Berkeley and nearby, be sure to check out Berkeleyside’s Events Calendar. And submit your own events: it’s self-serve and free.