Picks of the Week: Baby elephants, uplifting outdoor walks and spicy musicals to get back into the semester

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Happy Monday, Berkeley!

This week, I’ll be taking over for Kate so that she can celebrate her birthday, which happened to be this past weekend! Be sure to send her your best wishes.

Ease back into the school week after spring break with a trip to the movies on Monday. “Dumbo,” which our very own film beat Jackson Murphy deemed one of Tim Burton’s “best of the decade,” will be playing at Landmark’s Shattuck Cinemas throughout the afternoon and evening. In general, I’m a bit wary of Disney’s recent frenzy of revamping its animated classics as live-action, CGI-filled spectacles (“Aladdin,” “The Hunchback of Notre Dame” and “The Lion King” are a few set to come out soon) — but the trailer for“Dumbo” looks genuinely heart-wrenching and, I expect, ultimately heartwarming.

On Tuesday, take advantage of some of the exhibitions put on by UC Berkeley’s very own libraries. Currently on view is “Whose University?: The 50th Anniversary of the UC Berkeley Third World Liberation Front Strike.” Showing in Doe Library, the collection shines a light on UC Berkeley’s Third World Liberation Front Strike in 1969. The uprising was part of a broader social movement, in which students at college campuses across California demanded integration of dialogue about race and identity into academia. These strikes proved instrumental to the birth of the ethnic studies department — here and elsewhere. “Whose University” promises to be a rich collection of photos and archives, and should provide interesting food for thought about the campus’ strides toward, and missteps with regards to, inclusion.

Get over hump day by spending some time appreciating some of the beautiful natural wonders constantly at our fingertips as Berkeley students. Wednesday isn’t supposed to be as rainy as the rest of the week, so appreciate it while you can! Take an early-morning hike up to Tilden Park to watch the sunrise (or just to see the goats), hit the Fire Trails for a refreshing jog or brisk walk, or even just wander around Northside and find a quaint little park to sit in for a while. It sounds trite, but oftentimes getting outside and moving around a bit can do a world of good for your physical and mental well-being — it’s a wonderful and wholesome way to recharge without breaking the bank. And while you’re at it, take some time to check out a new podcast or even to just catch up on one of your favorites. Personally, I especially enjoy “On Being,” in which host Krista Tippett chats with influential spiritual and artistic thinkers. I also adore The New York Times’ “Still Processing,” which consists of insights on contemporary media from culture writers Wesley Morris and Jenna Wortham.

Stop by BAMPFA for a new exhibition from its Five Tables Series, which the museum displays on the first Thursday of the month with a different theme. This week, the collection revolves around fashion photography, featuring works from artists both past (such as Andy Warhol) and present (including Catherine Opie and Zoe Leonard). And on Friday, continue the visual arts appreciation momentum with a trip to the David Brower Center, a conservation-oriented organization located in Downtown Berkeley. Currently on view at the Center is “Art/Act: Local — Sea Change,” in which Bay Area artists reflect on the effects of climate change on the world’s oceans and hopes for future improvement.

Saturday is opening night of “Pippin” at Berkeley Playhouse. As a bit of a musical theater geek, I find this news very exciting. While I’ve never seen a live production of the show, I’ve listened to the soundtrack extensively and feel relatively confident that it’s the type of musical that even self-proclaimed musical haters can enjoy. It’s a circus-themed show (check out this highlights reel from when the show was on Broadway), so I expect (hope for?) a Cirque-du-Soleil feel to the performance. It’s also a rather spicy production from what I understand — some of the songs from the original cast recording include whipping sounds, so who knows how that might translate visually onstage?

Wind up your weekend on Sunday with an afternoon trip to the UC Theatre for the (free!) Music + Art Pop-Up. Local band Small Crush, whom I saw live this summer, will be performing at the event. They’re definitely worth checking out, if only for the fact that they have a song about chicken noodle soup, “Chicken Noodle,” to which I think most of us college students could relate.

And, of course, don’t forget to spend some time this week catching up on some of our wonderful arts content! Anagha Komaragiri and (your very own) Kate Tinney kept the arts March Madness flame burning with picks devoted to sitcom characters and sports movies, respectively. And with their reviews of “Transit” and “The Aftermath,” Jackson Murphy and David Newman provided compelling arguments to help us decide which of the two WWII-related movies is worth our time.

Cheers,

Ryan

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Ryan Tuozzolo is the assistant arts & entertainment editor. Contact her at [email protected].