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Published October 8th, 2014
Out and About
Cal Performances' Swan Lake

Round up the wagon because it's time for the Ruth Bancroft Garden's fall plant sale on Saturday, Oct. 11. The annual event offers a members only pre-sale from 9 to 11 a.m. and memberships can be purchased at the door. For the mass public, the doors open at 11 a.m. Admission to the garden is free all day until 4 p.m. With the drought spanning three years and showing no sign of abating, a yard filled with drought-tolerant succulents is a no-brainer: it's either that, or asphalt. Plus, it's a great way support Ruth, who celebrated her 106th birthday in September and continues to live on the family property adjacent to the 3.5-acre public garden. Volunteers at the garden dispense advice and help visitors select plants for any budget. The sale ends at 3 p.m.
For complete information and directions, visit http://www.ruthbancroftgarden.org/rbgarden/pages/otherevents.html.
It would be fair to say, after 20-some years as a professional in the field, I've a slight slant for dance. Having fully disclosed the bias, two shows at Cal Performances' Zellerbach Hall provide a two-punch knockout: Australian swans and Sasha Waltz. First up on Oct. 16-19 is "Swan Lake" with the Australian Ballet and the Berkeley Symphony (that's live music!). Company artistic director Graeme Murphy's rendition shakes up Tchaikovsky, slays the black swan before the curtain goes up, and pits the action as a psycho drama. Who says ballet is boring?
"Sasha Waltz and Guests" Oct. 24-25 brings on more live music, serenading the audience with Schubert's sublime piano Impromptus and lieder. Climb out of your box, join the innovative choreographer's investigations and the intimate new work from the company named the European Union's Cultural Ambassador in 2013. Information and tickets at http://calperformances.org.
Finally, if you're seeking Big-Name show-stoppers, head to Oakland's Paramount Theater for Jerry Seinfeld Oct. 17; Bob Dylan Oct. 28-30 (http://www.paramounttheatre.com/tickets.html). And for "miracles in miniature," head to the East Bay Mini Maker Faire at Park Day School, 360 42nd Street in Oakland, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Oct. 19 (http://ebmakerfaire.wordpress.com/about/). I've been to this family-friendly event and there's nothing small about the young imaginations behind the mind-boggling display of robots, rockets, urban farming initiatives, sustainable energy sources, bicycles, hand-made crafts, 3-D fabrication and more.


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