Catching up with Colette & Cyrano

Apr 21

Catching up with Colette & Cyrano

So many shows, so little time!

Herewith, a petite voyage to France, first to check in with the writer Colette and then to catch up with the swashbuckling Cyrano de Bergerac. I reviewed both Colette Uncensored at The Marsh, a solo show starring and co-written by Lorri Holt (with Zack Rogow, and Cyrano, a new adaptation of Rostand's tale at TheatreWorks Silicon Valley for the San Francisco Chronicle.

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Brian Copeland enters a compelling Period

Feb 28

Brian Copeland enters a compelling <i>Period</i>

There's nothing unusual about the following statement: Brian Copeland is a funny, funny man. He has proved that time and time again over the course of his stand-up career and his TV work. We started to see more of Copeland in his extraordinarily successful solo show Not a Genuine Black Man, which ran for more than 700 performances then became a book. Though about something serious – the extreme racism of San Leandro in the 1970s – the show offered abundant laughter and gave audiences the unique experience of dealing with real-world problems in a funny and theatrical way.

Copeland takes that notion a step further with his new solo work, The Waiting Period. Like his previous show, this one is co-developed and directed by David Ford, and it has sprung to life at The Marsh in San Francisco. But unlike his previous outing, this is no comedy. Far from it.

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Don Reed checks into The Kipling Hotel

Jan 05

Don Reed checks into <i>The Kipling Hotel</i>

I interviewed Don Reed about his new autobiographical solo show The Kipling Hotel, which opens this weekend at The Marsh Berkeley.

You can read the article here.

This is the second chapter in what will likely be a trilogy of solo shows about the Oakland native's life. The first was the phenomenally successful East 14th, which ran at The Marsh for 2 1/2 years – no mean feat for a guy who lives in Los Angeles and works as the warmup comedian for "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno."

Here's what didn't make the newspaper...

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Marga Gomez: So old, so funny

Sep 17

Marga Gomez: So old, so funny

Though hardly a senior citizen, Marga Gomez needs to talk about her age. That doesn't mean she'll tell you her age, but it does mean she'll regale you with her thoughts on the aging process for 80 minutes in her new solo theatrical venture, Not Getting Any Younger at The Marsh in San Francisco.

Probably best known as a stand-up comic, Gomez says she's considered a pioneer for being one of the first out lesbian comics. But she hates being called a pioneer because it makes her sound old – like she traveled to gigs in a covered wagon. But Gomez is a theatrical force as well. This is her ninth solo show, and if you've seen any of her previous theater work (especially the shows about her show-biz parents), you know how artfully she blends the high entertainment value of stand-up comedy with the more deeply felt levels of autobiographical storytelling.

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Weight and see: Don’t miss 40 Pounds

Feb 27

Weight and see: Don’t miss <i>40 Pounds</i>

They say you should never ask a lady about her weight. Well, Pidge Meade is a lady who freely talks about her weight – in fact she's written an entire solo show about it.

40 Pounds in 12 Weeks: A Love Story, now at The Marsh in San Francisco, is Meade's intimate, not to mention funny, moving and generally marvelous, account of being a formerly fat lady. One of her recurring characters is a carnival barker who keeps directing our attention to the exhibit of the formerly fat lady trying to navigate her way through difficult life situations such as basking in (too much?) attention at 20-year college reunion or going the metaphysical, from-the-inside-out route toward weight loss.

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Holidays on edge: Alternatives to `Carol’

Dec 08

“God bless us, everyone!” doesn’t warm the cockles of every holiday heart. Traditional holiday theatrical fare is great, but sometimes you need an alternative. Thankfully, here in the Bay Area, we can do holiday entertainment with edge. Here’s a handy guide to some Carol alternatives (not that there’s anything wrong with A Christmas...

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