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UC Berkeley Web Feature

 Van Morrison will play the Greek Theatre, Yoko Ono (with John Lennon) has an art exhibit at BAM, Savio Glover will stomp Zellerbach Hall, and George Soros returns for a terrorism conference. (Photo credits)

Coming attractions for fall 2006:
War on terrorism, Katrina, the '60s, and lots of lighter fare

Next page:
Brief listings of additional lectures, films, performances, exhibits and conferences

The '60s still matter


Paul Simon (Warner Bros.)
 

Looking on the bright side of the road, legendary singer-songwriter Van Morrison will be playing the Greek Theatre next week in a sold-out, much-anticipated performance. Need to get healed, but ticketless? Craigslist.org has plenty for sale. Tuesday, Sept. 12, 7:30 p.m., Greek Theater | Ticketmaster At press time, seats were still available for another old-timer, Paul Simon, in town to support his latest album, "Surprise," his critically well-received collaboration with Brian Eno. Friday, Oct. 6, 7:30 p.m., Greek Theatre | Ticketmaster

Other chances to revisit the '60s include an exhibition of Yoko Ono's instruction paintings selected from her groundbreaking 1966 publication, "Grapefruit" — the inspiration for future husband John Lennon's powerful song "Imagine." Wednesday, Oct. 18-Mar. 28, Berkeley Art Museum | More info


Clockwise from top:
Tom Hayden, Jeff Chang, and Aya de Leon
 

Another familiar '60s figure, Tom Hayden — a leader of the student, anti-poverty and peace movements and a California state legislator for 18 years — will headline a special Mario Savio Memorial Lecture program commemorating the 10th anniversary of the death of Savio, a leader of UC Berkeley's Free Speech Movement. Hip-hop journalist/author Jeff Chang will discuss youth activism yesterday and today, and hip-hop artist Aya de Leon, newly appointed director of Poetry for the People at UC Berkeley, will perform. The evening includes a presentation of the Mario Savio Young Activist Award. Thursday, Nov. 2, 7:30 p.m., the Pauley Ballroom, Martin Luther King, Jr. Student Center


Arianna Huffington  

Several experts in law, journalism, and public policy will discuss the current state of the movement that Savio started in the '60s. The First Amendment Assembly speakers include Arianna Huffington, founder of the Huffington Post; Daniel Ellsberg, leaker of the Pentagon Papers; Judith Miller, former New York Times reporter; Gabriel Schoenfeld, Commentary Magazine essayist; and Dan Weintraub, political columnist for the Sacramento Bee. Friday, Sept. 29 (3:15-8:45 p.m.) & Saturday, Sept. 30 (8:30 a.m.-5:45 p.m.), North Gate Library | Registration

Solo superstars


Sufjan Stevens (Denny Renshaw)
 

Current Berkeley students — and open-minded oldsters — can look forward to Sufjan Stevens playing back-to-back nights on campus. Stevens is a soft-voiced musician, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist from Detroit who's planning to record an album about each of the 50 U.S. states, starting with "Michigan" (2003) and "Illinois" (2005). Tuesday & Wednesday, Oct. 10-11, 8 p.m., Zellerbach Hall | Tickets


Dame Kiri Te Kanawa (John Swannell)
 

An eclectic bunch of superstars in their fields are coming to Cal Performances this semester, starting with soprano Kiri Te Kanawa and mezzo-soprano Frederica von Stade. Two legendary operatic divas, one of them a Dame, sharing a stage? Classical music buffs are salivating. Thursday, Sept. 21, 8 p.m., Zellerbach Hall | Tickets


Paula Poundstone (George Lang)
 

The following night, tap-dancing genius Savion Glover, backed by a string ensemble and jazz combo, will apply his consummate musicality and theatrical skills to works by Bach, Vivaldi, Mozart, Mendelssohn, Dvorák, and Bartók. Friday, Sept. 22, 8 p.m., Zellerbach Hall | Tickets And stand-up comedian Paula Poundstone, a veteran of many television appearances and specials, will improvise like a great jazz musician with Cal Performances' Strictly Speaking audience. Sunday, Oct. 15, 7 p.m., Zellerbach Hall | Tickets


Cory Arcangel
 

Two lectures eagerly awaited by insiders are Cory Arcangel's talk for the Art, Technology & Culture Colloquium series and J. Bradford DeLong's lecture for the Center for Latin American Studies. Arcangel, a digital artist whose work explores the relationship between technology and culture, is best known for hacking Nintendo game cartridges into artwork and his subversive reworking of obsolete computer systems. He will discuss "Recent Experiments in Modern Composition, Software, and Stand-Up Comedy." Monday, Oct. 16, 7:30 p.m., 160 Kroeber Hall Brad DeLong, professor of economics and chair of the political economy major at UC Berkeley, is a widely read economics blogger, a research associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research, and the former deputy assistant secretary of the treasury for economic policy under Bill Clinton. He will offer some "Afta Thoughts on NAFTA." Monday, Oct. 16, noon, location to be announced

Stage delights


The Peony Pavilion (Hsu Pei-Hung)
 

Theater fans have much to look forward to this fall. Cal Performances is staging a monster production of The Peony Pavilion — three hours each over three consecutive days. The original Peony Pavilion was written in 1598 by one of China's greatest playwrights, Tang Xianzu, a contemporary of William Shakespeare, and is considered China's "Romeo and Juliet." This nine-hour, 27-scene production boasts more than two dozen actors, singers, and dancers, 20 musicians playing traditional Chinese instruments, and 12 acrobats — all wearing exquisite handmade and embroidered costumes. Several lectures, a three-day symposium, and a master class will be held in conjunction with the production; see the event website for details. Friday-Sunday, Sept. 15 (7 p.m.), 16 (7 p.m.), and 17 (3 p.m.), Zellerbach Hall | Tickets


Mark Morris (Amber Darragh)
 

And just a few weeks later, Cal Performances will host what is sure to be another landmark event of the international arts season: Mark Morris's U.S. premiere of Henry Purcell's King Arthur. Fusing opera, early English music, and dance, this not-to-be-missed production brings together the inventive Mark Morris Dance Group; award-winning soloists; designers Adrianne Lobel, Isaac Mizrahi, and James F. Ingalls; the Bay Area's Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra; and the UC Chamber Chorus. Five performances from Sept. 30-Oct. 7, 8 p.m., Zellerbach Hall | Tickets

Not to be outdone, Berkeley's theater, dance, and performance studies department is putting on its own blockbuster series, a festival of one-act plays by Canadian playwright George F. Walker. Set in a rundown motel room, Suburban Motel is a series of six dark and comic plays with edgy, rapid-fire dialogue delivered by individuals who have fallen through the cracks of society. Sept. 29 through Nov. 19, times vary, Zellerbach Playhouse | Schedule and ticket info

Current-events confabs

Back to the serious stuff. Boalt Hall launches the terrorism trifecta with its conference Governing and Living in a Time of Terror: Law Beyond 9/11, which also kicks off a long-term project on that topic. Boalt Hall Dean Christopher Edley, Jr. and law-school luminaries Jesse Choper and John Yoo will be joined by scholars from around campus and the nation. Friday-Saturday, Sept. 8 & 9, Boalt Hall | More info

Close behind is the Institute of Governmental Studies' forum, National Security, the War on Terror, and the Constitution, held in honor of both Constitution Day and the 5th anniversary of September 11. Lowell Bergman - Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, PBS Frontline correspondent, and a professor of investigative reporting at UC Berkeley - former congressman Pete McCloskey, along with constitutional scholars, historians and political scientists, will look at recent public-policy positions on electronic surveillance, the status of combatants, interrogation techniques, and more. Monday, Sept. 11, 3 p.m., Lipman Room, 8th Floor Barrows Hall


Orville Schell and George Soros in a previous conversation (Bart Nagel)
 

And last but decidedly not least comes Consequences of the War on Terrorism, an evening discussion introduced by Chancellor Robert J. Birgeneau and headlined by George Soros, philanthropist and author of "The Age of Fallibility: The Consequences of the War on Terrorism." The other discussants are Mark Danner, MacArthur Fellow, UC Berkeley journalism professor, and author of "The Secret Way to War" and "Torture and Truth," and Lowell Bergman and Christopher Edley (see above). Orville Schell, dean of the Graduate School of Journalism, will moderate. Tuesday, Sept. 19, 7 p.m., Zellerbach Hall | Ticket info

Another set of timely events examines the catastrophic effects of Hurricane Katrina from three different angles. The first, One Year Later, Reflections on Hurricane Katrina: Response and Responsibilities, takes a sociological perspective, drawing on one of the first scholarly works to be published post-Katrina. A short documentary film chronicling grassroots organizing in New Orleans after the hurricane will also be screened. Thursday, Sept. 7, noon, Goldberg Room, Boalt Hall | More info


Aerial view of New Orleans post-Katrina (NASA)
 

In his lecture New Orleans and Hurricane Katrina: Lessons for California's Levees, Ray Seed, a professor of civil and environmental engineering at UC Berkeley, will take a more technical and local approach. Seed, who has studied New Orleans' failed levee system extensively, will discuss what California can learn from New Orleans and how to prevent a similar catastrophe from happening to the state's levee systems. Tuesday, Sept. 12, 5:30 p.m., Room 250, Goldman School of Public Policy.

The most humanistic approach is taken by the three UC Berkeley faculty and a dozen students who spent this summer in New Orleans archiving the voices and stories of Katrina survivors. (Read the Berkeleyan's article about the project.) An event tentatively titled We're Still Here: Voices of New Orleans will showcase their work to date, as well as share plans for ongoing connection with displaced residents as they struggle to rebuild their lives and their city. Thursday, Nov. 30, 4 p.m., check website for location

Details are not yet final, but the long-anticipated New Yorker College Tour is at last making a stop at UC Berkeley, hosted by the Graduate School of Journalism. Expect to see staff writers like Hendrik Hertzberg and George Packer, along with Berkeley's own Mark Danner, as well as cartoonists, fiction writers, and humorists. Monday-Wednesday, Nov. 13- 15, check Journalism School events website later for details

Next page: More events to watch >

Photo credits for images at top: Yoko Ono (Simon & Schuster), Savion Glover (Len Irish), George Soros (Bart Nagel)