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Top September Events in the East Bay

Unravel a mystery at the Lesher Center; engage in Pride celebrations; explore an art and wine festival; and more.


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Revelers celebrate LGBTQ+ Pride in Oakland.

Photo by Daniel Miramontes

Theater

Murder for Two

8/30–10/6 With just two actors playing 13 roles for 90 minutes, this Center Repertory Company show—which The New York Times hailed as “ingenious”—interweaves murder mystery with musical comedy at Walnut Creek’s Lesher Center for the Arts. lesherartscenter.org.

 

Music

Heart: Love Alive Tour

9/6 Reunited after a prolonged musical estrangement, the sister-centric band Heart—known for such hits as “Barracuda” and “Crazy on You”—takes the stage at the Concord Pavilion for a night of female-powered rock ’n’ roll. The tour also includes the legendary Joan Jett and the Blackhearts and Grammy nominee Elle King of “Ex’s and Oh’s” fame. livenation.com.

 

LGBTQ+

Oakland Pride Parade and Festival

9/8 With a parade, four stages, and festival extending across Webster, Franklin, and Broadway, Oakland’s Pride celebration honors the East Bay’s various LGBTQ+ communities. The event is family-friendly, too, with a petting zoo and pony rides, a carnival, fire engine, and more kids’ attractions. oaklandpride.org.

 

Art

Countersteer: Custom Motorcycles as Self-Portraits

9/10–11/22 The Richmond Art Center’s latest exhibition examines the way the motorcycle can be a medium of creative expression for its owner, presenting classic and custom bikes from the machine’s inception to today, as well as a variety of paintings and sculptures made by riders. richmondartcenter.org.

 

Movie

Free Movie Night

9/12 The second Thursday of each month, Diablo hosts a free movie night at the Orinda Theatre. In September, honor the late Doris Day by watching her 1960 comedy Please Don’t Eat the Daisies. orindamovies.com.

 

Comedy

Tom Segura: Take It Down

9/19 Comedian Tom Segura—famous for his hilarious Netflix specials and appearances on Conan, The Late Show With Stephen Colbert, and Workaholics—brings his stand-up act to the Fox Theater in Oakland. thefoxoakland.com.

 

Food

Eat Real Fest

9/21–9/22 With local wines, artisanal and street foods, and craft beers, the Eat Real Fest in Oakland’s Jack London Square ensures that no one will go home hungry. The event also promises games and cooking demos for kids. eatrealfest.com.

 

Festival

Lafayette Art, Wine, and Music Festival

9/21–9/22 Possibly the biggest annual festival in Contra Costa County, the extrav-aganza in downtown Lafayette attracted more than 85,000 people last year. This year’s event offers close to 20 wine and beer booths, 300-plus arts and crafts stops, four stages, and three areas for kids. lafayettefestival.com.

 

Dance

Smuin Ballet

9/21–9/22 The San Francisco–based Smuin Contemporary Ballet performs two shows at Walnut Creek’s Lesher Center for the Arts. The program includes a country-Western selection paying tribute to Johnny Cash, a Dave Brubeck jazz-infused main-stage premiere, and a ballet set to the celebrated choral work “Carmina Burana.” smuinballet.org.

 

Music

Chanticleer: Trade Winds

9/28 On the heels of a European tour, the Bay Area’s own world-renowned all-​male a cappella ensemble Chanticleer brings a maritime-​themed concert to St. Augustine Church in Pleasanton. chanticleer​.org

 

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