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Top February Events in the East Bay

Take a baking class; have lunch at Orinda Books; enjoy a hip-hop festival; and more.


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A Rosie Lee Tompkins quilt from BAMPFA’s extensive collection.

Photo by Ben Blackwell/Courtesy of Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive

Music

Brahms Fest

2/1–2/2 The California Symphony rejoices in the compositions of Johannes Brahms at the Lesher Center for the Arts in Walnut Creek. Soloists Alina Kobialka and Oliver Herbert reunite with their youth symphony director, Donato Cabrera, in renditions of Hungarian Dance No. 5, Symphony No. 3, and Concerto for Violin and Cello. californiasymphony.org.

 

Family

The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe

2/1–3/15 Join Lucy and her siblings on a magical journey to Narnia, a land of eternal winter and fantastical creatures. In this Bay Area Children’s Theatre production at the BACT Berkeley Center, young audiences will meet memorable characters like Aslan the lion. bactheatre.org.

 

Food

Valentine’s Treat-Making Workshops

2/5, 2/6, 2/8 Draeger’s Cooking School in Blackhawk enlists pastry professionals to instruct a series of Valentine’s Day–themed classes. Bake decadent French macarons, whip up restaurant-worthy desserts, or decorate Valentine’s cookies. Chefs of all ages are welcome to participate regardless of experience level. draegerscookingschool.com.

 

Dance

Balanchine and Beyond

2/7–2/8 Bask in the joy of choreographer George Balanchine’s most upbeat ballet, Who Cares?, set to the lively tunes of George Gershwin. This Diablo Ballet performance at Walnut Creek’s Del Valle Theatre also features excerpts from other notable ballets. diabloballet.org.

 

Performance

Cirque Mechanics: 42 Ft—A Menagerie of Mechanical Marvels

2/9 Head to the Bankhead Theater in Livermore to witness a modern re-creation of a favorite American pastime: the circus. Cirque Mechanics pairs acrobats and other circus performers with mechanical feats to tell stories of industrial brilliance. Come for the wonders, stay for the theatrics. lvpac.org.

 

Movie

Free Movie Night

2/13 The second Thursday of each month, Diablo hosts a free movie night at the Orinda Theatre. This month, get in the mood for Valentine’s Day by seeing Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan in You’ve Got Mail. orindamovies.com.

 

Art

Rosie Lee Tompkins: A Retrospective

2/19–7/19 Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive (BAMPFA) celebrates the late Richmond-based quilt artist Rosie Lee Tompkins. The show—the first in a series highlighting the museum’s collection of 3,000 African American quilts—is the final exhibition curated by BAMPFA’s outgoing director, Larry Rinder. bampfa.org.

 

Music

EMBA Fest 2020

2/21 New York rapper Nas—whose seminal album Illmatic just turned 25—headlines this hip-hop festival at the Oakland Arena. Members of the Wu-Tang Clan and Oakland’s own Too Short are also scheduled to appear. theoaklandarena.com.

 

Literature

Barbara Rose Brooker: Love, Sometimes

2/27 Enjoy a luncheon at Orinda Books, as National Library Award recipient Barbara Rose Brooker discusses her newest novel. Love, Sometimes follows a 68-year-old author on her quest to fight ageism in Hollywood. orindabooks.com.

 

Theater

The Cherry Orchard

2/27–3/21 Susan Evans, the artistic director of Lafayette’s Town Hall Theatre, directs Anton Chekhov’s classic play, in which a young Russian aristocrat returns to her family’s estate, only to find it—and its beautiful cherry orchard—on the brink of loss, amid greater social upheaval. townhall​theatre.com.

 

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