BASSEM YOUSSEF The “Jon Stewart of Egypt,” political satirist Bassem Youssef, performs at Zellerbach Hall as part of Cal Performances on Tuesday, April 4 (OK, we stretched the weekend). Named one of the “100 Most Influential People in the World” by Time, the cardiac surgeon-turned television personality created the hilarious, controversial, and wildly popular Egyptian television program Al Bernameg (The Show), the first political satire show in the Middle East. Of course, it’s a bit riskier being Jon Stewart in Egypt than in the US: Youssef ended in show in 2014 because he felt the political climate in Egypt was too dangerous. “Satire brings awareness and breaks down taboos,” Youssef told Rolling Stone magazine, and in his talk, he riffs on propaganda, politics, and the media, in both the Middle East and in his adopted home, the US. Tuesday, April 4, 8 p.m., Zellerbach Hall.
SPRING SCIENCE DAYS The Lawrence Hall of Science’s Spring Science Days kick off on Saturday, which a gush of activities about Earth’s oceans, lakes, rivers, and other waterways. Visit the deepest parts of the ocean during special screenings of James Cameron’s Deepsea Challenge 3D; learn how water has helped create the San Francisco Bay Area in the outdoor exhibit, Forces That Shape the Bay; and take on a giant, water-cycle themed maze in the featured exhibit, Water’s Extreme Journey. Special weekend activities will be available all week. Lawrence Hall of Science, 1 Centennial Dr., open 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
HIPPIE HOLISM Berkeley author Michael Pollan and architectural and urban historian Simon Sadler will be in conversation about the history and new use of psychedelics for therapeutic purposes at BAMPFA on Saturday. Greg Castillo, guest curator of BAMPFA’s current show, “Hippie Modernism,” will moderate the discussion. Pollan’s forthcoming book is about psychedelics and Sadler has investigated the philosophy he calls “hippie holism.” The two also plan to touch on the counterculture pursuit of “evolved consciousness” and cultural outcomes ranging from the San Francisco Summer of Love to Bay Area ecology and ecopsychology movements. Saturday, April 1, 1 p.m, BAMPFA, 2155 Center St.
CASCADA DE FLORES Doesn’t this sound intriguing? “Cascada de Flores specializes in achingly beautiful songs from Latin America’s golden age, including bolero to fill your heart to bursting, rancheras to break it, and guarachas that make you want to jump up and dance.” Singer Arwen Lawrence and guitarist Jorge Liceaga are at the Freight & Salvage to recreate the early days of Latin American radio, “when songs were king and a melody grabbed your heart for a lifetime.” The songs are set in an old-time radio show format, including jingles and radio drama. Joining Lawrence and Liceaga on Saturday are Saúl Sierra-Alonso on leoncita and double bass, Marco Díaz on trumpet and piano, Brian Rice on percussion, and Kyla Danysh on violin. They’ll also be joined by special guest percussionist Carlos Caro. Saturday, April 1, 8 p.m., Freight & Salvage Coffeehouse, 2020 Addison St.
CAL TENNIS If you’re reading this, you probably won’t be flying out for the finals of the Miami Masters. You don’t have to! Watch fantastic tennis for free in Berkeley when the Cal Bears men’s team takes on Utah on Friday at 5 p.m. and Arizona on Saturday at 1 p.m. to open their Pac-12 conference play. The men’s team is ranked ninth nationally with a 13-4 record so far this season. Top players for the Bears: seniors Florian Lakat and Andre Goransson. The doubles pairing of Lakat and Filip Bergevi is ranked fourth nationally. Friday, March 31, 5 p.m. against Utah and Saturday, April 1, 1 p.m. against Arizona, Hellman Tennis Complex.
Don’t miss these other events featured on Berkeleyside:
Shotgun Players does ‘Nora’: Ibsen’s ‘A Doll’s House’ as revised by Ingmar Bergman
Big Screen Berkeley: ‘Mandabi’
Dengue Fever, Tinariwen, Sun Ra, and the sound of displacement