Picks of the Week: Local performances, cultural extravangazas and artistic showcases

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This week, numerous Bay Area events will enrich your understanding of different cultures, providing the opportunity to explore art, food and shows from around the Bay and around the globe. Whether you’re catching making your own sound puppet at the East Bay Depot for Creative Reuse, catching a fashion show put on by campus organization Fashion and Student Trends, or FAST, or perusing various booths at the Northern California Cherry Blossom Festival, you’re sure to have memorable experiences in the arts world.

Monday, April 10 | San Francisco International Film Festival

From now until April 17, the Bay Area plays host to the San Francisco International Film Festival. For the longest-running film festival in the Americas, a number of features, shorts and documentaries are screened across the Bay. Some highlights include the feature debut of Oakland-based Boots Riley with the surreal comedy “Sorry to Bother You,” and the most important superhero film of 2018 — Julie Cohen and Betsy West’s documentary on Ruth Bader Ginsburg, “RBG.”

Wednesday, April 11 | Sound Marionettes by East Bay Depot for Creative Reuse

Ever wanted to make your own unique musical instrument? Bay Area artist and instrument inventor Bryan Day is hosting  a workshop where participants receive the opportunity to create “sonic marionettes”— musical puppets —under his guidance. Hosted by the East Bay Depot for Creative Reuse, the workshop will center around the repurposing of old materials and simple electronics in order to create new devices. Creative types are sure to enjoy the open-ended nature of the workshop.

Thursday, April 12 | The Oakland Poetry Slam & Wide Open Mic featuring Lucky Dollazz

Come support local poets — or showcase your own work for a discounted ticket – at the Oakland Poetry Slam & Wide Open Mic this Thursday. This open mic night will be hosted at Awaken Cafe on Broadway in Oakland. Headlining the event is stand-up comedian and Oakland’s own Lucky Dollazz — so come for the poetry, but stay for the laughs!

Thursday, April 12 | Pearlman / Sherry at The Back Room

The piano and saxophone duo Pearlman / Sherry will be presenting their unique combination of jazz and Celtic music at Berkeley’s The Back Room on Thursday. Pianist Neil Pearlman’s background in Celtic music and dancing seamlessly combines with saxophonist Dylan Sherry’s avant garde jazz style, promising a night of melodies steeped in tradition and emotion.

Friday, April 13 | Friday the 13th at San Francisco Botanical Garden

This coming Friday the 13th, celebrate the day dedicated to the occult by spending your evening the San Francisco Botanical Garden’s hair-raising nighttime event. Attend a Toxic Plant Tour and explore the creepier side of the vast world of plants. Be witness to a musical seance conducted by San Francisco musician Jill Tracy, who will discuss the more frightening aspects of plants between songs.

Saturday, April 14 | Northern California Cherry Blossom Festival

San Francisco’s iconic Cherry Blossom Festival returns this coming weekend. It’s a vast cultural showcase of Japanese culture in many different forms. Visitors to the Japantown street festival can watch traditional dance performances, participate in tea ceremonies or a ramen-eating competition, attend concerts and shop around at various Japanese food and art vendors. Entry is free, and the festival runs through this weekend and next.

Saturday, April 14 | Frankie Cosmos at the UC Theatre

Indie singer-songwriter Frankie Cosmos — the stage name and band of frontwoman Greta Kline — will bring her trademark airy vocals to the UC Theatre on Saturday. She will be playing songs from her latest album, Vessel, which includes tunes like “Caramelize,” with its thumping beat and ballerina-twirling harmonies, and “As Often as I Can,” which sounds like it would be right at home in a Greta Gerwig mumblecore comedy.

Sunday, April 15 | FAST Spring Fashion Show: “Intersection”

Want to get away from the bustle of everyday student life without leaving campus? Look no further than the Pauley Ballroom on Sunday. Support campus organization Fashion and Student Trends, or FAST, by attending its spring fashion show, “Intersection.” This event will be centered around the mélange of culture, identity and social issues faced by members of the campus and Berkeley community. This visual showcase of thought-provoking fashion is a black-tie event that will be preceded by a mocktail party.

Contact The Daily Californian’s arts & entertainment staff at [email protected].