Ramona Kelley in Luna Mexicana. Credit: John Hefti

November is here, and that means the beginning of a busy holiday events season. This week, we already see the classic Christmas tale of the Nutcracker make an appearance on the calendar — and this one is the hip-hop version. 

Also, get ready, because daylight saving time ends this Sunday, Nov. 7, at 2 a.m. At that time, our clocks will “fall back” one hour, giving us more daylight during the winter mornings but less in the evenings.

We’ve rounded up some of the best events going on around Oakland this week. As a reminder, we are now including indoor events where proof of vaccination and mask-wearing are enforced in addition to outdoor events.

If there’s an event you think we should feature, email me at azucena@oaklandside.org, or fill out the form at the bottom of this page.

Luna Mexicana

Back in April when we talked to Graham Lustig, director of the Oakland Ballet Company, he told the Oaklandside that the team was ready and excited to return to the Paramount’s Theatre stage for the upcoming 2021-2022 season. The time has arrived: the Oakland Ballet will greet a live audience this weekend for two presentations of the Oakland Ballet’s Day of the Dead show Luna Mexicana. Now in its fifth year, this popular performance will kick off the ballet company’s season. With choreography by Lustig, the program features additional performances by Aztec dance ensemble Nahui Ehekatl and Co. and Ballet Folklórico de México Danza. This year’s presentation will honor the lives lost to COVID-19. The show will have two dates, with one taking place the same day as First Fridays. All guests 12 and older will need to be fully vaccinated to attend.

Friday, Nov. 5, 7:30 p.m., and Saturday, Nov. 6, 2:30 p.m., $24-$59, Paramount Theatre, 2025 Broadway.

Oakland Vintage Market

Those in search of rare finds for their homes, look no further. The parking lot behind the Jack London Square vintage decor and furniture shop, Narrative, will transform into an outdoor market this weekend that will showcase over 40 merchants. As the holidays approach, this is a good time to find some unique gifts for loved ones. The market is outdoors, and organizers ask that you wear a mask.

Saturday, Nov. 6, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., free to attend, Oakland Vintage Market, 222 Jefferson St. 


Last year, the pandemic forced Hoodslam to halt its popular shows and the celebration of its 10th anniversary. Hoodslam is the underground pro-wrestling phenomenon that has entertained wrestling fans since its inception in 2010. This weekend, the gang of wrestlers will get back on the ring for a night of professional wrestling mixed with dangerous stunts and profanity for those fans who are 21 and up. This is an outdoor event outside of the 16th Street train station in West Oakland.

Friday, Nov. 5, 7 p.m., $20, Hoodslam, 16th Street Train Station, 1601 Wood St.

Weekly shows at the Golden Bull bar

Back in 2019, four friends—Jason Beebout, Bill Schneider, Mark W Lynn, and Billie Joe Armstrong—bought the longstanding Oakland dive, The Golden Bull, on 14th Street. At the time, the new owners didn’t anticipate a pandemic would hinder their plans to revive the bar and turn it into a premier live music stage. After remaining shuttered for months, in June, the bar reopened its indoor operations and has slowly added more shows every month. For the month of November, the bar has a line-up of 14 different performances to check out. And, on the second and fourth Sunday of every month, the bar features karaoke. Head out to a show or shop for merch to support live music and this storied dive joint.

Check the calendar for specific shows and ticket prices, Golden Bull, 412 14th St.

The Hip Hop Nutcracker at Paramount Theatre

Hip Hop Nutcracker Live at Dolby Theatre on November 17, 2017, in Los Angeles, California. Credit: Hip Hop Nutcracker

Hip hop pioneer, Kurtis Walker, known professionally as Kurtis Blow, is back as the MC of this reimagined take on Pyotr Tchaikovsky’s 129-year-old classic ballet. The Hip Hop Nutcracker includes a dozen dancers, an on-stage DJ, and an electric violinist. Just like the classic, in The Hip Hop Nutcracker, Maria-Clara and the Nutcracker prince go on an adventure, but the setting in this tale is New York City. The tour was canceled last year due to the pandemic. Walker also underwent a heart transplant last year, and after recovering, he will once again lead the 31-city tour of the show which kicks off on November 6 in San Diego. 

Wednesday, Nov. 10, 7:30 p.m., $41-$79, Paramount Theatre, 2025 Broadway. 

Azucena Rasilla is a bilingual journalist from East Oakland reporting in Spanish and in English, and a longtime reporter on Oakland arts, culture and community. As an independent local journalist, she has reported for KQED Arts, The Bold Italic, Zora and The San Francisco Chronicle. She was a writer and social media editor for the East Bay Express, helping readers navigate Oakland’s rich artistic and creative landscapes through a wide range of innovative digital approaches.