What’s a Theater Dog?

When I was told to begin blogging by a friendly editor at the Bay Area News Group, I knew a couple of things:
– I would write about the joys of the (mostly) vibrant Bay Area theater scene.
– I would have to come up with a name.

Paul RudnickIt so happened that the fabulous New York playwright Paul Rudnick (seen at right) had a play in San Francisco around that time (Valhalla), and I mentioned in passing that I was starting a blog and was searching desperately for a name. At the time, I had a regular Friday column called Jones for Theater, so Paul immediately came up with what he thought was the perfect name.

“Oh, that’s easy,” Paul said. “You call your blog Jonestown.”

Oy. For many reasons, I told him, not the least of which was a mass grave in the Oakland Hills for victims of the Jonestown massacre, I could not use that name. Besides, I added, that name didn’t have anything to do with theater.

So Paul thought for another moment.

“OK. You call it Cherry Jonestown.”

We both laughed, and he added: “I’m so glad you’re laughing. There are some jokes only theater dogs can hear.”

Isn’t that the truth. Welcome to Theater Dogs, and thank you, Paul Rudnick.

Here is the late, great Fanny, my original theater dog, thinking about Paul Rudnick:


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