(With apologies to Pavarotti): "O Solo Mio!
You're eight years old;
And stories told.
This year there's Beal and Dael and Dunn
So many solos -- for everyyyyone."
Okay, so we're waxing bizarrely lyrical, but the eighth annual "Solo Mio" Festival of monologues in San Francisco, CA has quite a line-up this year. Held at three SF venues, "Solo Mio" is dedicated "to presenting startling and original writer-performers." This year's choices include Dunn; Sherry Glaser previewing her first post-Family Secrets work; and Harvey Fierstein with his popular cabaret act, This Is Not Going To Be Pretty.
Here's the full line-up:
Sept. 19-20: This Is NOT Going To Be Pretty, with Harvey Fierstein. "I really have no choice / I really have no voice!" croons Fierstein in this comedy solo, in which he cruises the audience, jokes about gay and political issues, sings ditties, and reenacts passages from plays by Robert Patrick. Fierstein wrote and starred in Torch Song Trilogy -- and won Tonys for doing both.
Sept. 21: On Faith -- An Evening With Anne Lamott. Lamott is a Bay Area self-help author (Bird By Bird) and humorist. Sept. 25-28: The Ramona Roses, with Janet Borrus. Borrus' true life experiences teaching gym, sex education and leadership to teen mothers in East L.A.
Sept. 26-27: The Wedding Banned, with David Mills. A spoofy look at gay marriage, including a vignette about a (fantasized) TV-movie about same sex-weddings "starring Meredith Baxter-Birney and Lee Majors -- both played by Mills."
Sept. 27-28: NightLife -- Never In Your Wildest Dreams with Tandy Beal. Artistic director of the New Pickle Circus, dancer/choreographer Beal looks at dreams and insomnia.
Oct. 1-5: Family Secrets, with Sherry Glaser. The Off-Broadway hit about a dysfunctional Jewish family returns. Glaser herself returns, ten days later, to workshop Oh My Goddess (Oct. 15-17), about the ultimate rise of "a Jewish mother for the ages."
Oct. 1: The Talking Cure, with Suzy Berger. Comedienne Berger portrays a woman befriending her gay neighbor, who has AIDS.
Oct. 1, 8: Tornedo, with Bokara Legendre. By the author/performer of Howling Bo and Monkey Bones, Tornedo follows a "house party from hell" on a Caribbean island.
Oct. 2-5: Venus Herself And Other Stories, with Michelle Spencer, who's also a choreographer.
Oct. 3-4: Little Ricky (They Don't Call Him Little For Nothing), with Ricky Najera. A satire of "the world of Latin lovers and wannabes."
Oct. 6-12: In Performance with Dael Orlandersmith. Orlandersmith's previous solos, Monster and Beauty's Daughter both won OBIE Awards -- this is a blend of the two.
Oct. 8: The Return Of Mark Eitzel. A concert by the increasingly recognized folk-pop artist.
Oct. 9-12: Exiting I-59 -- On The Back Roads With Some Edgy Southern Women with Charlotte Higgins. Alabama women at the crossroads of their lives, by the author of the novel, Blue Monday. Mary Forcade directs; Anne Galjour (Alligator Tales) serves as dramaturg.
Oct. 9-12: This Is Not What I Ordered, with Robert Arriola. "Is it possible for a bald man of color with an eating disorder, abandonment issues, and the only child of a Jewish mother to find happiness?"
Oct. 10: An Extraordinary Evening With Susie Bright. Bright, a counter-cultural "sexpert," calls for a freer understanding of "sexuality, gender, desire, love and power."
Oct. 11-12: Sick But True with Paul Zaloom. Before TV's "Beakman," Zaloom was an avant-garde Off-Broadway presence (1988's The House Of Horror), utilizing "hand and rod puppets, overhead projections, eccentric drawings, body parts, shaving cream and Jell-o."
Oct. 13-14: The Best Of Writers Who Act, a program, designed by Climate Theatre, dedicated to budding performers and playwrights.
Oct. 18-19: Solo Pieces Of The Quilt, with Sean San Jose. A living memorial to San Jose's parents, both of whom died of AIDS. The piece contains material from writings by Migdalia Cruz, Danny Hoch, Philip Kan Gotanda, Erin Cressida Wilson and Octavio Solis. All proceeds from the event will benefit the Alma Delfina Group, which donates money to AIDS service organizations.
For tickets ($10-$24.50) and information on the Solo Mio Festival, Sept. 17-Oct. 19, call (415) 392-4400.
--By David Lefkowitz