Island Arts

Altarena Playhouse lights up the East End with its latest offering, Ring of Fire, a musical revue of Johnny Cash tunes that also tells his life story in broad strokes. The show uses a cast of two men and two women, each singing in turn, representing Cash’s father, brother, mother, wife and self, plus backup singers, as the song demands. With a repertoire ranging from light and cheerful to dark and brooding, the show captures the essential points of Cash’s career.

Courteous. Warm. Kind. Respectful. 

These are the words Cheryl Kettell and Linda Benson used to describe the people they met in October at the Parliament of the World’s Religions in Salt Lake City. 

Two eighth-grade Lincoln Middle School musicians — Jack Pace on trumpet and Nick Yajko on alto saxophone — represented Lincoln on Jan. 8 and 9 at the California Music Educators Association (CMEA), Winter Conference and Honor Band Concert. These two students are members of Lincoln’s Advanced Band.

Lincoln was one of 85 middle schools in the Bay Area and Central Valley with students participating in this honor band. The student musicians attended rehearsal all day Friday, Jan. 8, and again on Saturday morning, Jan. 9, at Chabot College in Hayward. 

Alameda’s own Island City Opera is currently presenting five performances of Giuseppe Verdi’s finest operatic masterpiece Rigoletto.

The opera epitomizes the very zenith of what scholars call Verdi’s Middle Period: that brief span when Verdi exercised his greatest creative genius and was granted the broadest artistic freedom by his patronage and censors.

The Alameda Free Library will welcome New York Times bestselling author Tess Gerritsen via a live video stream on Wednesday, Jan. 20, at 6:30 p.m. at the Main library, 1550 Oak St. Gerritsen will converse with the audience from her home in Maine about her bestselling novels, including her thrilling Rizzoli & Isles series, which inspired TNT’s popular television show. The event is a part of the Library Talks project.

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