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Top May Events in the East Bay

Groove to the dreamy alt-rock of Florence and the Machine; celebrate Mother’s Day at Todos Santos Plaza in Concord; and more.


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Florence Welch of Florence and the Machine.

Photo by Vincent Haycock

Dance

Axis Dance Company Open Rehearsal

5/1 Celebrate the 21st annual Bay Area Dance Week by watching one of the country’s leading disability-​inclusive movement-art groups rehearse selections from their most recent pieces at Oakland’s Malonga Casquelourd Center for the Arts. axisdance.org.

 

Film

Free Movie Night

5/9 The second Thursday of each month, Diablo hosts a free movie night at the Orinda Theatre. This month, Paul Newman and Elizabeth Taylor shine in the steamy Cat on a Hot Tin Roof. lamorindatheatres.com.

 

Festival

MomDay in the Park and All Area Music Festival

5/11 Over Mother’s Day weekend, bring your favorite maternal figure to Todos Santos Plaza in Concord to enjoy lunch at one of the area’s many restaurants and an afternoon of free concerts by young Bay Area virtuosos in support of local music education. visit​concordca.com.

 

Music

Florence and the Machine: The High as Hope Tour

5/15 The Concord Pavilion becomes a whirl of light and color as Florence and the Machine transport audiences with their dreamy alt-rock soundscape. The show—one of the venue’s first of the year—will likely feature such hits as “Dog Days Are Over,” “Cosmic Love,” and “Sky Full of Song.” livenation.com.

 

Music

Berkeley Bluegrass Festival

5/16–5/19 Kick off festival season by watching the biggest names in bluegrass, as well as the genre’s emerging stars, perform and jam at the Freight and Salvage in Berkeley. String-instrument fans can also participate in workshops. thefreight.org.

 

Art

Around and About Diablo

5/18–6/29 From writer Alexandre Dumas to photographer Ansel Adams, artists of every medium have found inspiration in Mount Diablo. This new exhibition at Walnut Creek’s Valley Art Gallery focuses on local visual artists’ renderings of the iconic mountain and the life that surrounds it. valleyartgallery.org.

 

Pets

ARF’s Animals on Broadway

5/19 Tony La Russa’s Animal Rescue Foundation presents a family-​friendly festival at Broadway Plaza in Walnut Creek. Walk a mile with your pup to raise funds for the lifesaving organization; other highlights include raffles, a Pet Wellness Fair, and even the opportunity to adopt a new furry friend. arflife.org.

 

Theater

A Midsummer Night’s Dream

5/22–6/9 Orinda’s California Shakespeare Theater opens its season at Bruns Amphitheater with the tale of four interconnected young lovers. This magical comedy features some of the Bard’s most iconic characters, from the mischievous Puck, to the ethereal Titania, to the brash Nick Bottom. calshakes.org.

 

Lecture

Conservation Icons: Dr. Gordon Frankie

5/25 For Lindsay Wildlife Experience’s final lecture event of the season, UC Berkeley bee expert Gordon Frankie discusses his buzz-worthy work in Walnut Creek. lindsaywildlife.org.

 

Comedy

Paula Poundstone

5/31 The veteran comedian and regular panelist on NPR’s Wait Wait … Don’t Tell Me! takes the stage at Walnut Creek’s Lesher Center for the Arts for a night of laugh-out-loud stand-up. lesherarts​center​.org.

 

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