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.

In the years since I started the blog (August 1, 2006 to be exact), I have become the proud parent of a theater dog. She would from time to time accompany me to work at Berkeley Repertory Theatre, so she qualifies as a theater dog. Her name is Fanny, named for Fanny Brice. She’s a chocolate lab mix rescue from the San Francisco SPCA, and she is now officially the Theater Dog. Herewith are gratuitous photos of Fanny, the Theater Dog.

This is me and Fanny at Fort Funston (note the phantom tail behind us):
Fanny the Theater Dog

And this is Fanny in her element:
Fanny the Theater Dog