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Weekend Top 10: Lamplighters returns with more Gilbert & Sullivan silliness

August 1, 2013

YellowBrix

Aug. 01--1 "IOLANTHE": Lamplighters Music Theatre presents this 19th-century Gilbert & Sullivan comical light opera that many feel boasts the finest score Sullivan ever created. The story centers on a showdown between a band of immortal fairies and Britain's House of Lords over the laws of love.

Details: Aug. 2-4 at Walnut Creek's Lesher Center; Aug. 10-11 at Mountain View Center for the Performing Arts; Aug., 16-18 at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts; Aug. 24-25 at Bankhead Theater; $15-$59; www.lamplighters.org

2 LADY: The much-buzzed-about group fronted by talented soul singer Nicole

Wray headlines Aug. 1 at Oakland's New Parish nightclub. Lady is touring behind a self-titled album released earlier this year that merges Wray's sublime retro-soul vocal stylings with hip-hop-style production, and the result is addicting.

Details: 9 p.m.; $10; www.thenewparish.com

3 POETS PICNIC: Poet laureates and former laureates from around California will read at this outdoor potluck-style celebration of verse and food Aug. 4 in Benicia. Participating poets include Mary Rudge of Alameda; Juanita Martin of Fairfield; Gary Silva of Napa; and Joel Fallon, Robert Shelby and Lois Requist of Benicia, among others. Bring a picnic lunch to share, a folding chair and a poem of your own (selected entries will be read during the affair).

Details: Noon to 3:30 p.m., Benicia City Park Gazebo at First and Military West streets; free; www.benicialibrary.org

4 "PITCH PERFECT": Martin Edwards' biting new comedy about the advertising business -- inspired by his own years in the rough-and-tumble trade -- focuses on a young hotshot executive forcing two ex-lovers to work together to land a big contract. Dark hilarity ensues. The Central Works production plays through Aug. 18 at the Berkeley City Club.

Details: 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, 5 p.m. Sundays; $15-$28; 510-558-1381, www.centralworks.org

5 "SEA OF REEDS": Monologuist Jeff Kornbluth's latest comedic show blends religion, music and Kornbluth's time-honored sense of curiosity, mirth and irreverence. The 100-minute show commissioned by Shotgun Players runs through Aug. 18 at Ashby Stage in Berkeley. Note: Aug. 2-3 performances are sold out.

Details: 7 p.m. Wednesdays and Thursdays, 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays; 5 p.m. Sundays; $25-$38; 510-841-6500, www.shotgunplayers.org

6 SAMANTHA SAMUELS' KABARET FOR KIDS: Samuels is an acclaimed cabaret performer, but she might be best known around these parts for her kids' show that includes music, magic and comedy.

Details: 2 p.m. Aug. 2, Firehouse Arts Center, Pleasanton; $8-$12; 925-931-4848, www.firehousearts.org

7 "KEITH MOON: THE REAL ME": Drummer/actor Mick Berry's solo show with music about the legendarily talented and self-destructive drummer for the Who is on a (drum) roll. Its run at San Francisco's Eureka Theatre has been extended again, through Aug. 18.

Details: 8 p.m. Thursdays through Saturdays, 7 p.m. Sundays; $40; 800-838-3006, www.brownpapertickets.com

8 RANCID: Fans are eagerly awaiting the release later this year of the iconic East Bay punk band's eighth studio CD. And with two San Francisco concerts slated for this weekend, it's a good bet that Tim Armstrong and crew will unveil some of the new material.

Details: With the Transplants; 7:30 p.m. Aug. 2-3; Warfield, San Francisco; $31-$35; www.axs.com

9 JEFF BRIDGES AND THE ABIDERS: Anyone who watched Bridges' Oscar-winning portrayal of a down-and-out country singer in "Crazy Heart" knows the dude can sing. The actor, backed with a crack band and T Bone Burnett as producer, released an Americana-fueled, self-titled album in 2011. On Aug. 2, Bridges and band come to the Uptown Theatre in Napa for what's described as an "intimate" concert showcasing the recording and songs from "Crazy Heart."

Details: 8 p.m.; $70; www.uptowntheatrenapa.com

10 THE SMITHEREENS: This British-invasion-inspired New Jersey band doesn't do anything flashy, it just delivers great hooks, meaty guitar riffs and brooding songs about love gone bad. And after 30-plus years together, these musicians are tight. Hear for yourself when the Smithereens headlines at the Great American Musical Hall in San Francisco Aug. 2.

Details: 9 p.m.; $26; www.slimspresents.com

Contact Randy McMullen at rmcmullen@bayareanewsgroup.com. Follow him on Twitter.com/randymac57.

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(c)2013 Contra Costa Times (Walnut Creek, Calif.)

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