This Week’s Day-by-Day Picks

WED 26

Pardon our obviousness, but: Quitting smoking ain’t easy. Everyone has her own patterns, justifications, and stumbling blocks, so the more personal the approach, the better. That’s why the Progressive Research and Training for Action’s Creating a Quit Plan workshop is so cool. The consulting firm has put together a workshop to help lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender smokers begin their smoking cessation by identifying support systems, forecasting hurdles, learning about treatment options, nutrition and exercise components, and clarifying misperceptions. Plus the program aims to strengthen participants’ resolve, and support even the teensiest bit of progress. It happens this evening from 7 to 9 p.m.,at PRTA central, 360 22nd St., Oakland. Call India Alexis at 510-444-6288 ex. 24 for information and sign-up. — Stefanie Kalem

THU 27

Dancer, singer, and percussionist Keith Terry — who hits both the skins and his own skin — counts among his influences Japanese taiko and Balinese gamelan, tap dancing, and Ethiopian armpit music, and he has collaborated with Robin Williams and the Pickle Family Circus. So was anyone surprised when he began calling himself “Professor” and started Professor Terry’s Circus Band Extraordinaire? Probably not. The group begins a two-night stand tonight at the Freight & Salvage, performing “feats of sonic prognostication.” Terry is the ringmaster, and the octet’s other players — spanning a wide range of world and jazz styles — include vocalist and percussionist Linda Tillery, West African percussion specialist Evie Ladin, and Turtle Island String Quartet violinist David Balakrishnan. (Wethinks this week’s Billboard is a family affair — see Saturday.) The show starts at 8 p.m., tickets cost $16.50 in advance, $17.50 at the door, and that door can be found at 1111 Addison St. in Berkeley. Info: TheFreight.orgStefanie Kalem

FRI 28

Wattstax is not available on home video or DVD, so tonight’s screening at the East Side Arts Alliance (2587 International Blvd., Oakland, 7 p.m.) is one of the rare chances you’ll have to see this uproarious, electrifying documentary, director Mel Stuart’s record of the 1972 Stax Records soul-music concert outdoors at the LA Coliseum, “the black Woodstock.” Thrill to such performers as Isaac Hayes, the Staple Singers, Rufus Thomas (check his hot-pink outfit), Carla Thomas, Luther Ingram, Albert King, Johnnie Taylor, and Little Milton, with comic relief by Richard Pryor and inspirational hoo-hah by Rev. Jesse Jackson. Hayes’ entrance (he was riding high on “Shaft” at the time) is something to behold. The screening is part of the Malcolm X Jazz Arts Festival. For more info: or 510-533-6629. — Kelly Vance

SAT 29

The colorful paintings, prints, and multimedia art of Josephine Balakrishnan have been labeled “Tropical Pop” for their combination of traditional East Indian motifs with modern Western style, and her recent show, “Sufi Chocolate,” was seen from Sri Lanka to Palo Alto. Balakrishnan’s works get a local outlet beginning today at Berkeley’s Pharmaca (1744 Solano Ave.). There’s a reception with the artist from 2 to 4 p.m., and the exhibition continues until June 20. As a benefit for Amrita Nidhi, a program to help poor women in India, signed limited edition prints are on sale during the reception. or 510-524-6754 (Pharmaca). — Kelly Vance

SUN 30

Normally, the “dance of emotions” is something we’d steer clear of. We prefer our emotions to progress in straight, semisensible lines, rather than doing some kind of St. Vitus two-step. But for Manawa — The Dance of Emotions, we’ll make an exception. Today at 2 p.m. at the Chabot College Performing Arts Center (25555 Hesperian Blvd., Hayward), the Danville-based dance academy Na Hula ‘O Moku’aina a me Motu’aina hosts a Polynesian dance show featuring special guests, Hawaiian music group the Lim Family, winner of several Na Hoku Hanohano awards. (They’re kind of like the Hawaiian Grammys.) It’s all part of a two-day festival of arts, crafts, and food that started yesterday, and continues today from 11 a.m. till 5 p.m. $30-$35 at And don’t choke on that school name — “Na Hula ‘O Moku’aina” is its Hawaiian name, while “Motu’aina” is its Tahitian handle. Info: or 800-341-7515. — Stefanie Kalem

MON 31

It’s Memorial Day, a great day for the 2004 Footbag Green Cup. Huh? The renowned lo-tech hippie game perhaps better known as Hacky Sack desperately wants to be known as footbag these days. In this incarnation, net footbag, the two-inch-diameter doohickey is played over a five-foot-high net, volleyball-style but using only the feet, by skilled footbaggers hurling their bodies through the air with reckless abandon. Organizers of today’s Green Cup at Memorial Park in Albany (Carmel Ave. at Portland Ave., 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.) want us to believe that soccer-football legend Pelé is an admirer of the sport. He probably won’t be there, but some of the world’s best footbaggers will be. Admission is free. Info: 510-917-5880 or, official Web site of the Chaos Footbag Club. — Kelly Vance


How about taking the kids (or your own inner child) on a trip to Madagascar this summer? Tickets to the independent kingdom off the coast of South Africa ain’t cheap these days, but you can get a jump on the crowd if you head to “Exploring Madagascar,” a brand-new exhibit opening today in the Oakland Zoo’s children’s zoo. It’s an “armchair adventure” with photographs and hands-on activities, and is around through August. The zoo is at 9777 Golf Links Rd., and regular admission costs $8.50 for adults, $5 for kids two to fourteen and seniors 55 and older, and free for little ones under two. Open 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. or 510-632-9525. — Stefanie Kalem

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