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Arts & Culture

Camaraderie Overcomes Ego

Duchess brings jazz vocal royalty to Oakland.

Lorraine Lawson Explores Memory and Material

Scratching the Surface runs through June 25 at Manna Gallery.

Much Ado About Gender Bending

Best known for the clever, barbed repartee of the battling lovers Beatrice and Benedick, Much Ado About Nothing is one of the few Shakespeare comedies that doesn’t involve cross-dressing, but it certainly does in this version.

From Page to Screen

“Auteur, Author: Film & Literature” runs June 1-5 at the Pacific Film Archive.

Alameda Music Project Succeeds

A successful afterschool musical education program in Alameda expands to reach more underserved students.

The Flight Deck Takes Off

While San Jose Repertory Theatre and Shakespeare Santa Cruz topple under crippling financial difficulties, small theater groups in Oakland are taking off at The Flight Deck. Designed and operated by Ragged Wing Ensemble (www.RaggedWing.org), the new co-work space and performance venue opened in June at 1540 Broadway with seven previously nomadic resident companies and two arts organizations under one roof. Together they’re redefining what it takes to be a successful theater company while bringing a dramatic boost to downtown Oakland.

Marshawn Lynch Makes HIs Own Movie

Marshawn Lynch wants to tell his own story. Many have tried as the Oakland native has become an NFL star. Many more will want to now that he’s a Super Bowl champion. But Lynch believes, more times than not, the media is too caught up on his dreadlocks and gold teeth and inner-city mannerisms to tell his story accurately. His mistakes get more attention than his good deeds.

Tweaking Art and Soul

When downtown Oakland’s first Art + Soul festival debuted in the summer of 2001, it had one sponsor, one stage, and one small crowd. Yet the weekend festival steadily grew each year after. By its 10th anniversary, Art + Soul encompassed 10 city blocks around Frank H. Ogawa Plaza and City Center, and MC Hammer, En Vogue, and CAKE headlined in honor of the special occasion. More than 25,000 people came—Art + Soul’s largest crowd.

New Susan Sontag Documentary

It was a day much like any other in her Berkeley office in the Zaentz Media Center when Nancy Kates was struck with the idea of making a documentary about the late essayist and novelist Susan Sontag. “I went home and I had seven of the 16 books she published while she was alive,” Kates recalls. “That said something to me.”

Markings of Milestone

You know a gallery is a nexus of civilization when the Minister of Culture himself exhibits there. In June, Joyce Gordon Gallery hosted the prints of graphic artist Emory Douglas, who held that title in the Black Panthers and was responsible for the artwork in its newspaper in the 60s and 70s.