“I don’t have my brain completely wrapped around what they are doing, but I think they’re doing a whole lot of good,” he said. The collectives’ monthly rent comes out to nearly $15,000, which Keenan said is below market. More importantly, Keenan said, Givens gave the collectives an exclusive three-year window to buy the building for $1.95 million, which is also below market and makes it easier for them to raise money for needed infrastructure improvements. Keenan said the collectives got no-interest loans from supporters to pay for move-in costs and set up a cash reserve. So far they have been able to pool together membership fees and donations to pay rent. They are in the midst of an $80,000 fundraising drive to pay for needed work on the building such as making it wheelchair accessible. If they can buy the building, Keenan added, the collectives would team up with a land trust to keep it public in perpetuity.
Berkeley Ballet Theater: Presents its long-running family production of “The Nutcracker;” Dec, 14-16; Holy Names University’s Regents’ Theatre, Oakland; $35; berkeleyballet.org, Menlowe Ballet : Choreographer Michael Lowe’s “It’s a Wonderful Nutcracker” is inspired by Frank Capra’s beloved 1946 film; Dec, 14-16; Menlo-Atherton Performing Arts Center, Atherton; $29-$62; 800-595-4849, www.menloweballet.org, Berkeley Ballet Theater: Presents a delightful student-centric “Nutcracker” production with some professionals; 1 and 5 personalised embroidered ballet drawstring gym/shoe bag - kids pe school bc2 p.m, Dec, 15-16; Ohlone College’s Smith Center, Fremont; $22-$30; 510-659-6031; berkeleycityballet.org/news/events..
Black Label Society, “Unblackened” (eOne): Zakk Wylde and company are softer but no less potent on this mostly live collection of previously electrified material. Cher, “Closer to the Truth” (Warner Bros.): The ageless pop diva returns with her first new album in 12 years, collaborating with P!nk, Timbaland, Paul Oakenfold and the Scissor Sisters’ Jake Shears. Chvrches, “Bones of What You Believe” (Glassnote): The debut album from the buzzed-about Australian synth-pop trio.
Saratoga’s Got Talent: An opportunity for all Saratogans to share their talent and have a good time, Live personalised embroidered ballet drawstring gym/shoe bag - kids pe school bc2 musical performances, dance, karaoke, stand-up comedy and more–just about anything goes, Kids perform the first hour, and adults after, Every month has a different theme, anchored by a Saratoga High School team, Third Friday of each month, 7-10:30 p.m, Blue Rock Shoot, 14523 Big Basin Way, Saratoga, Check for event updates at facebook.com/ValleyTalent or subscribe to the email group, groups.google.com/group/ValleyTalent, saratogatalent.com..
Speaking of playing, Cole isn’t exactly retiring. He still works behind the scenes on music projects with his wife, Susan Muscarella, who is president of the California Jazz Conservatory. He’s also enjoyed a long career as a conductor – local audiences will remember him on the Zellerbach Hall podium, leading Tchaikovsky’s complete “Nutcracker” score for performances of Mark Morris’ “The Hard Nut.”. These days, though, he’s focusing on playing music rather than presenting it. He’s returned to his first instrument, clarinet, and is also playing viola. “I’m playing string quartets, clarinet quintets,” Cole said. “I didn’t play for many years – during the time I was a conductor and a manager, I didn’t really have time to practice. Now I’m really into it and actually enjoying it more than I did when I was young.”.
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