Deborah Giattina

Raiding Long Haul

Police investigating animal rights threats used heavy-handed tactics against a lefty collective
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deborah@sfbg.com

Previously sealed documents related to the Aug. 27 police raid at the Long Haul Infoshop in Berkeley now reveal what the UC Berkeley Police Department was after, even if questions remain about its tactics.

The Statement of Probable Cause refers to e-mail threats against UC Berkeley researchers made by animal rights activists, sent from Long Haul's IP address. Read more »

"Getting in on the Ground Floor and Staying There"

A local female comedy duo who combine a powerful sexual magnetism with down-in-the-dirt, clit-tickling humor
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PREVIEW I read those articles in Vanity Fair blathering on about a woman's ability to be funny. First, Christopher Hitchens says women can be witty, but since they issue children, ours is a dignified, cerebral kind of humor. Unless we're fat or gay. Then along comes Alessandra Stanley's article, which fixates on how all the new funny ladies are smokin' hot, and if you're not, you won't ever get on MTV, or something. Read more »

2008 Bay Area Playwrights Festival

Celebration of the scripts
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PREVIEW Even 32 years after the Playwrights Foundation chose a young Sam Shepard for its first Bay Area Playwrights Festival in 1976, the annual celebration of the script still runs below the radar of the larger local theater-going audience. Perhaps that's because most fans of the stage want to see a full production — with costumes, sets, and lighting design — rather than the bare-bones staged readings at the festival. Read more »

The Hot Pink List 2008

The Queer Issue: A lovely mess of queer up-and-comers we adore
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>>ALLAN AND LEO HERRERA

Yes, they're gay brothers, which is, like, totally hot. But even if they weren't related, their individual artistic creations would have us on the hook. Heads of HomoChic (www.homochic.com), the new gay mafia collective that combines gallery shows, fashion design, and nightlife craziness into mind boggling events, they're inspiring the latest generation to revel in its scandalous past. Leo's photography mixes porn with historical reference to dizzying, stimuutf8g effect. Read more »

Small Business Awards 2008: Community Spirit Award

El Rio
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El Rio is the kind of place that makes your head spin. So much happens in this neighborhood bar and venue, affectionately referred to as "your dive." On any given night, DJs play an eclectic mix of music while neighborhood locals shoot pool. Every Sunday night, revelers dance salsa and enjoy BBQ on one of the most spacious back patios in the city. Local bands rock out old-school punk and metal in the adjoining live music space several times a week. Once a month, women of color meet for a Saturday afternoon salsa event, Mango. Read more »

Scenesters

All four actors deliver pitch-perfect performances. But guess which one steals the whole Scene?
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New York playwright Theresa Rebeck has made a name for herself railing against the shallow, self-absorbed depravity of people. Read more »

The Fisher queen

Carrie, solo, in Berkeley Rep's Wishful Drinking
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deborah@sfbg.com

There are two questions that can really get on Carrie Fisher's nerves: What was it like playing Princess Leia? And what's it like having Debbie Reynolds for a mom? Read more »

Queen's density

Julie Queen goes from boldly careless to overly careful in "Ten Dollar Destiny"
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Over the past two decades Julie Queen has earned her ballsy-woman stripes. She's played truck-driver killer Aileen Wuornos in Carla Lucero's opera Wuornos and the lead in Robert Rodríguez's Frida, based on the life of painter Kahlo. In the '90s, as a member of the Qube Chix, the avant-garde singing trio lead by Pamela Z, she belted out heady Karlheinz Stockhausen atonality and defiant riot-grrrl lyrics at the same time. Read more »

What a bash!

Patton Oswalt ain't no annoying hipster douchebag
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GEEK CHIC Seems like hipster bashing has replaced trailer-trash cracks as the new way to get laughs. By now we've all watched the Hipster Olympics, "brought to you by Pabst Blue Ribbon," on YouTube and chuckled vindictively as a clique of Williamsburg, NY, brats in tight pants posed for MySpace photos as part of the competition.

It was bound to happen sooner or later. Read more »

Shop like a Scrooge

Last-minute shopping strategies for humbugs experiencing a change of heart
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deborah@sfbg.com

As soon as Black Friday came, you reflexively started rocking back and forth, chanting, "No, no, no," in order to drown out the concert of ho, ho, hos blaring from malls and gift shops across town. The shopping frenzy that occurs between Thanksgiving and Christmas brings you down faster than a kid-wet Santa. Until, in a moment of weakness, at the 11th hour, you decide it's a wonderful life after all and you want to partake in the joy of giving. Read more »