Picks of the Week: From musicals to midnight skies, events to fill your post-Labor Day week


Related Posts

Happy Tuesday, Berkeley.

Wasn’t that extra day off fun? Take that long-weekend energy with you into Tuesday. Labor Day is all about celebrating workers, of course, so check out a documentary about unusual professions. “Jiro Dreams of Sushi” stars acclaimed sushi chef Jiro Ono, while “Ballet 422” follows ballet choreographer Justin Peck — both are available to stream on Amazon for about $4. If your attention span can’t handle a full feature-length film and you have a Netflix subscription, take a look at “Tales by Light,” which provides a behind-the-scenes look at professional photography in episodes of just 20 minutes.

On Wednesday, take some time between classes or work to visit the Magnes Collection of Jewish Art and Life. Open from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., this UC Berkeley-affiliated museum houses a vast collection of items related to Judaism and Jewish people. Its two newest exhibitions — “Pièces de Résistance” and “Project ‘Holy Land’ ” — explore heritage through postcards, photographs and ancient coins. Round out the day with dinner at Saul’s Restaurant & Delicatessen, which aims to create food that represents “the timeline of Jewish food” — its latkes are a must.

Now, scoring tickets to “Hamilton” is still as hard as ever, but fear not, Lin-Manuel Miranda fans: You can easily watch his 2008 show “In the Heights” on Thursday at the Woodminster Amphitheatre in Oakland’s Joaquin Miller Park. The musical, for which Miranda composed music and lyrics, spans three days in the lives of members of a close-knit community in the New York neighborhood of Washington Heights. As an added bonus, the book was written by Quiara Alegría Hudes — her Pulitzer Prize-winning “Water by the Spoonful,” which I saw at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival back in high school, is one of my all-time favorites. Tickets for the Woodminster Summer Musical production of “In the Heights” start at $32, but if you’re 30 years old or younger, you can buy a “Millennial ticket” for half-price at the box office on the night of the performance.

Then on Friday, stay in Berkeley — there’s plenty to keep you engaged. If you have tickets, Leon Bridges will be offering up his classic R&B sounds in concert at the Greek Theatre at 8 p.m. Another classic will be starting at 7:45 p.m. in San Pablo Park: “The Lion King,” courtesy of the city’s free “Movies in the Park” series. And if the tactile arts are more your style, head to Wurster Hall at 4 p.m., where the Environmental Design Library will be hosting a “Hands On” event centering around artists’ books and debris.

Saturday looks like it’ll be bright and sunny all across the Bay, so take the day to get outside and enjoy the sun — but don’t forget your sunscreen. Once the sun has gone down, take advantage of the new moon, which creates the perfect conditions for stargazing. Make your own star chart and borrow a telescope from the Berkeley Public Library system, then sit out and watch the sky. For a more guided experience, head to the Presidio in San Francisco at 7:30 p.m., where rangers will host “Road Map to the Night Sky,” a 1 1/2-hour event where you can learn about and observe stars, planets and more.

Don’t worry if you stay up too late Saturday — you can sleep in Sunday. Whenever you do wake up, hit play on your favorite soundtrack from a musical: maybe “Wicked,” maybe “Mean Girls,” maybe something I’ve never heard of. Let that carry you into the evening, when the Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive will be screening “West Side Story” for free.

And if you haven’t yet experienced the dark brilliance that is the HBO miniseries “Sharp Objects,” watch it immediately. Then read Sahana Rangarajan’s review of the show — she says the filmography creates “one of the most evocative atmospheres currently on television.”

If you want to discuss what exactly happened in the “Sharp Objects” finale, or if you have any other comments, hit me up: [email protected]. I’ll be as quick to reply as an opossum is to nap.

Until next time.

Contact Ketki Samel at [email protected]. Tweet her at @ketkisamel.