Camille A. Brown and Dancers, a whole lotta “Nutcrackers” and a holiday show by a Bay Area rock suerFor those keeping score at home, this edition of Weekend Top 10 has but 5 items, to accommodate the crowded holiday arts season.
1 Camille A. Brown: The award-winning choreographer brings her New York company to Berkeley this weekend to perform the second part of a trilogy of her works exploring the intersection of race, culture, rituals and identity. “Black Girl: Linguistic Play” employs traditional African-American girls’ dances and games — from double dutch to ring shouts — to tell a story of how our cultural essence empowers us. Described by the New York Times as “by turns, clever and tender,” “Black Girl” gets three performances, presented by Cal Performances.
Details: 8 p.m. Dec. 8-9, 3 p.m. Dec. 10; Zellerbach Playhouse, UC Berkeley; $49-$54; 510-642-9988, calperformances.org.
2 Nutcrackers: Many and varied versions of the famed holiday ballet are spreading like tinsel in a tornado throughout the Bay Area this weekend (and beyond). Here are a few, and to see our full holiday arts and entertainment calendar, go here.
Menlowe Ballet: “It’s a Wonderful Nutcracker” is inspired by Frank Capra’s beloved 1946 film; Dec. 8-17; Menlo-Atherton Performing Arts Center, Atherton; $20-$55; 800-595-4849; www.menloweballet.org.
Black Diamond Ballet Theatre: The company’s full-length production is created by Sharon Sobel Idul; 7 p.m. Dec. 9; 2 p.m. Dec. 10; Creative Arts Building at Pittsburg High School; $10-$20; 925-754-9833, www.blackdiamondballet.org.
Valley Dance Theatre: This full-length production has been a Tri-Valley tradition for more than 35 years. The troupe is accompanied by the Valley Dance Theatre Pit Orchestra; Dec. 9-17; Bankhead Theater, Livermore; $33-$42; www.valleydancetheatre.com.
Mark Foehringer Dance Project|SF: “Nutcracker Sweets” is a family-friendly 50-minute production; Dec. 9-23; Cowell Theater at Fort Mason Center, San Francisco; $20.50-$42.50; 415-345-7575; nutcrackersweets.org.
Dance-Along Nutcracker: You can strut your stuff with the performers in the silly “Nutcrackers of the Caribbean”; Dec. 9-10; Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, San Francisco; $18-$30; sflgfb.townalive.com.
San Francisco Ballet: Presents Helgi Tomasson’s adaptation is one of the most heralded “Nutcrackers” in the country; Dec. 13-30; War Memorial Opera House, San Francisco; $25-$445; 415-865-2000, www.sfballet.org.
“The Hard Nut”: This acclaimed “Nutcracker” parody is presented by Mark Morris Dance Group; presented by Cal Performances; Dec. 15-24; Zellerbach Hall, UC Berkeley; $40-$135; 510-642-9988, calperformances.org.
Berkeley Ballet Theater: The company’s “Nutcracker” is a long-running family-friendly production; Dec. 15-17; Holy Names University’s Regents’ Theatre, Oakland; $35; berkeleyballet.org.
Berkeley City Ballet: The long-running “Nutcracker” production matches students with some professionals; 1 and 5 p.m. Dec. 16-17; Ohlone College’s Smith Center, Fremont; $30; 510-659-6031; berkeleycityballet.org
Symphony Silicon Valley: The orchestra delivers “The Nutcracker” with the Ballet Stars of Moscow Company; Dec. 16-24; San Jose Center for the Performing Arts; $38-$100; 408-286-2600, www.symphonysiliconvalley.org.
Moscow Ballet: The esteemed company presents “Great Russian Nutcracker,” featuring a large Russian cast; 3 and 7 p.m. Dec. 17; Flint Center, Cupertino; $30-91; nutcracker.com.
3 Oakland Winter Live: A wide variety of cutting-edge dancers, musicians, videographers, filmmakers and performance artists join forces in this two-day festival of the kind of works you won’t find anywhere else. Emceed by East Bay comedian Dhaya Lakshminarayanan, the event includes Tony Miambo performing a racism-themed work inspired by Kafka’s short story “Red Peter” (about a gorilla who learns to act like a human); an immersive music/video improvisation titled “Terminal Beach Video Savant,” featuring several Bay Area artists; and “Buscarte,” a site-specific art/movement work by Nakadance.
Details: 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday; Oakland Asian Cultural Center; $17-$26; www.brownpapertickets.com.
4 “Christmas Carols”: Dickens’ tale of a lonely man’s evolution from terrifying tightwad to total Teddy bear never fails to get me. There are two long-running and terrific annual productions in the Bay Area, at American Conservatory Theater (through Dec. 24; Geary Theater, San Francisco; $30-$115; 415-749-2228, www.act-sf.org) and at Center Repertory Company (today through Dec. 17; Lesher Center for the Arts, Walnut Creek; $28-$42; 925-943-7469, www.centerrep.org.)
Meanwhile, if you’re the sort who’d rather have his fingernails extracted by an inebriated sloth with rusty tweezers than see another earnest production of Dickens’ classic, perhaps you should head to Mountain View’s Pear Theatre, which is presenting James Kopp’s new comedy, “The Millionth Production of a Christmas Carol.” It’s about a high-falutin theat-uh troupe staging “A Christmas Carol” just for the ducats, when something happens … (through Dec. 17; $15-$35; 650-254-1148, www.thepear.org).
5 December People: This Bay Area supergroup featuring members of Boston, the Greg Kihn Band, The Tubes and other outfits assembles every holiday season to deliver good cheer and family-friendly classic rock concerts. God bless them, every one. Music fans are asked to bring a canned-food item to benefit area good banks.
Details: 7:30 p.m. Saturday at Rio Theatre, Santa Cruz; 8 p.m. Dec. 14 at Heritage Theatre, Campbell; 8 p.m. Dec. 15-16 at Firehouse Arts Center, Pleasanton; $28-$40; www.decemberpeople.com.
Contact Randy McMullen at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter.com/randymac57.