Performing Arts extensive guide to Berkeley and San Francisco area, plus inspiring articles about trips around the world

Berkeley and Beyond


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BERKELEY’s BEST ‚óŹAttractions

Performing Arts

Ashkenaz  1317 San Pablo Ave./Gilman St., West Berkeley. Described as “just a big barn,” but with skylights and stained glass, this upbeat spot books in lesser known musicians. Think zydeco and reggae.  It is also a center for dance, and most events are family friendly.  Refreshments include self-serve coffee, kombucha, and mate. 

Aurora Theatre

Berkeley Repertory Theatre

Berkeley Symphony 
Season runs October through April.

California Jazz Conservatory

Freight & Salvage

Julia Morgan Theater  2640 College Ave.  Designed by architect Julia Morgan and built in 1908 as St. John’s Presbyterian Church, this is considered her finest Craftsman-style building.  The lovely redwood building retains the original redwood paneling inside and outside and features the original exposed beams.  It is known for remarkable acoustics and now hosts theater events and also houses dance studios and a pre-school.  More images.
          Berkeley Playhouse regularly presents family-oriented performances here.  A concession counter sells snacks, drinks, and pizza.  Note that the surrounding residential area only allows for 2 hour parking before 7 p.m., Monday through Saturday.  If you drive to a Saturday matinee, do remember to move your car during intermission.  Sunday parking is usually blessedly free and unlimited, and Sunday is a wonderful day to attend a matinee in this former church--I did this myself for a delightful performance of “Mamma Mia!”  Check at the website for current schedule. 

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Carole Terwilliger Meyers

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