Arts & Events

Berkeley's Jesus Jungle to Host "Prime-Time" Jane

By Ted Friedman
Wednesday August 17, 2011 - 11:58:00 AM

Jane Fonda, 73, always was "bigger than Jesus" to her fans and now that she's big with Jesus, she's bigger—than ever. Fonda "converted" to Christianity in 2002. Fonda followers speculate this conversion led to her divorce from Ted Turner.

Fonda Breezes (she copped a '74 Oscar for Bree Daniels in Klute) into Berkeley Wednesday evening to plug her new book, Prime Time, at the 1st Congregational Church in the heart of South side's Jesus Jungle, a neighborhood of two blocks and five block-hogging churches bounded on the North by Bancroft Way and on the South by Haste Street—West of Telegraph Avenue.

Fonda will be sermonizing on aging, exercise, and self-reflection. Her last book promo at Cody's, Telegraph, five years ago, although standing-room-only, was less churchly. But it was free. At First Congregational—sponsored by KPFA—it is $15, for those even fortunate enough to get in. -more-

Theater Review: Reduction of Force--Central Works at the Berkeley City Club

By Ken Bullock
Tuesday August 16, 2011 - 09:15:00 PM

"My name is Anita, and I am an executive secretary. Hi everybody!" Jan Zvaifler opens Central Works' collaborative premiere of Patricia Milton's Reduction in Force, with Anita's avowal of her devotion to her career in the personal financials industry--and though she agrees the system is corrupt, she "could never join" critics of it "in any actionable way.' But the crunch is on in the world of finance--and the fun, at least for us spectators, is just beginning ... -more-

Eye from the Aisle:THE FINAL SCENE at Thick House promises much, delivers less

By John A. McMullen II
Tuesday August 16, 2011 - 01:38:00 PM
Jennifer Weil as “Gretchen Manning”

Gene Abravaya has written, directed, and even plays a minor role in a play about the last days on camera of a famous soap opera star. THE FINAL SCENE, now playing at Thick House in SF, starts with a serious monologue played with easy realism by one of my favorites, Michael Ray Wisely. It then builds with good natured quips, the kind of banter that in good comedies builds to some big laugh lines. Those big laugh lines never materialize, and after a while the audience grows less responsive. The actors start out with believable behavioral acting, but even that starts to slip late in the first act, when they begin to push as the material grows thin. There is some physical comedy—one of those farcical chase scenes with mayhem in mind—that is staged so lamely as to pop the bubble of credulity and make you want to look away. The climax of the first act—a punch—is phony, and everything sags after that. Into the second act, the tone grows bickeringly contentious, resolves into recriminations, then wanes into a soliloquy of maudlin reverie. -more-

Hot Tip for This Weekend

By John McMullen
Tuesday August 16, 2011 - 01:47:00 PM

Earlier this year I saw BattleStache Studio perform truly witty sketch comedy interwoven with very polished short films. Their madness is inspired, and when they perform, I’m there. -more-

Around & About Theater: 'Mrs. Pat's House'--Jovelyn Richards at La Pena

By Ken Bullock
Tuesday August 16, 2011 - 09:13:00 PM

Jovelyn Richards, storyteller extraordinaire, who first brought her original style of performance with live music to the East Bay with Come Home, her tale of of African-American World War II vets and their families in Arkansas a couple years back, will be staging Mrs. Pat's House, her story about a black bordello in the Midwest during the Depression, the women it housed and how they made their way to it, its patrons and hangers-on who sought refuge of different sorts, the conversations and encounters that went on there and the community around it helped by the madam and her ladies, at La Pena Cultural Center in Berkeley Thursday through Sunday nights this weekend. -more-

Around & About: Poetry ... Benefit for S. Clay Wilson with poets Luis Garcia, Richard Krech, Clive Matson & A. D. Winans at Art House gallery

By Ken Bullock
Tuesday August 16, 2011 - 09:10:00 PM

Poets Luis Garcia, Richard Krech, Clive Matson and A. D. Winans will read from their poetry at a benefit for underground comic book artist and writer S. Clay Wilson, a familiar presence on the Bay Area scene since the 60s, who suffered severe brain damage from a catastrophic fall—this Sunday, 7-10 p. m., at Art House Gallery, 2905 Shattuck. Donations requested. Signed copies of S. Clay Wilson's art available. 472-3170, & -more-

clamoring whateverest haiku

By Arnie Passman
Wednesday August 17, 2011 - 12:44:00 PM

people who cannot stop

saying whatever are

dumbed to repeat it -more-