Performance

'Wanted Man': resurrecting Johnny Cash's San Quentin concert

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What did it mean for Johnny Cash to “Walk the Line”? At First Person Singular's one night only (May 28) performance of Wanted Man: Johnny Cash at San Quentin at Berkeley's Ashby Stage, star Josh Pollock argued that we can all relate to the fine line that Cash walked his entire life.
 
He was never jailed for his drinking or drug problems, but as he performed at San Quentin prison — recorded for his now-classic 1969 album At San Quentin, the follow-up to 1968's At Folsom Prison — he is said to have looked out at the inmates and thought how close he had been, so many days and nights, to tipping over a precarious edge. June Carter, God, and his guitar kept him on the right side of the law (rock 'n' roll fun fact: he was arrested, once, for picking flowers).

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Pre-boarding call: Jorge De Hoyos’s “Departing Things”

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In the last few years, Los Angeles–born and San Francisco–based dancer-choreographer Jorge De Hoyos has worked with Sara Shelton Mann and Meg Stuart, traveled with Keith Hennessy’s Turbulence project, performed in Laura Arrington’s supersized SQUART marathon at Headlands Center for the Arts, and much, much more — including projects by Christine Bonansea, Sommer Ulrickson, Erika Chong Shuch Performance Project, Jesse Hewit/Strong Behavior, Pearl Marill/Pump Dance Theater, Naked Empire Bouffon Company, and Jenny McAllister. You may also have been one of the 25 or so lucky souls who traipsed after him in Golden Gate Park when he and Macklin Kowal went about in delirious Euro-drag for Bonjour le matin.

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"Cat Lady" unites pick-up artists and elastic waistband pants

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“Women my age are disappearing. My Facebook friends are no longer my friends, their toddlers are my friends.”

This sulk comes courtesy of a Kristina Wong character: a single, child-free woman in her late 20s, the titular Cat Lady in Wong's show (performed last weekend at ODC Theater). With a glint in her eye, Wong tells the story of adopting Oliver the cat from a cat lady, who emerged from her cat lady-ness by getting married and having children. Wong, in a red blouse dress, kneepads, and white sneakers, maintains that as a solo theater artist her plays are her children, and she is doing important work ending suicide, depression, and racism with theater, the subject matter of these shows.

With a direct and devious style, Wong immediately has the audience in stitches during an opening monologue, in which she rocks a baby doll and fantasizes about the string connecting her to her soul mate that gets shorter and shorter until they are so close. She’s not the only lonely one. Feline costar Oliver, played by the grand Miss Barbie-Q in a black crushed velvet jumpsuit, also aches for affection, having been abandoned by his previous owner. Sequences of Wong chasing a laser pointer light, along with theater improvisation games and dance interludes, keep the talk of loneliness light and surreal, with a fugue here and a quartet of dancing elastic waistband pants there. Read more »