Art of Glass

TAL host visits Berkeley

WED 4/23

So far, there are just five dates confirmed on This American Life‘s “Lost in America” tour — and the only one within hitchhiking distance of us is in Portland. But fans of the award-winning, thought-provoking, and cockle-warming radio program can get a little live fix by attending a speaking engagement by TAL creator, host, and producer Ira Glass this evening at UC Berkeley’s Zellerbach Hall at 8 p.m. (510-642-9988 or got his start in public radio at the age of nineteen, interning at NPR’s Washington headquarters, and moved on to work as tape-cutter, writer, editor, reporter, and substitute host for just about every news show there was. He cut his reporting teeth on several documentary series about public schools, including one on race relations. By the time TAL went on in 1995, Glass had set himself apart as a storyteller with a genuine voice, flawless timing, and an ear for compelling, human stories. The perpetually boyish-sounding fortysomething has anchored programs about absentee parents, Frank Sinatra, monogamy, prison, Valentine’s Day, and virtually everything else, conducting his cohorts — Sarah Vowell and David Sedaris among them — like a finely tuned narrative orchestra.— Stefanie Kalem

FRI 4/25


Comedy clicks in Pinole

“I just got recognized on the street in Pinole,” beams East Bay Improv director Dave Patterson. He knew he was venturing into unknown territory when he moved to the Contra Costa bedroom community from Albany, where the improv troupe has been performing and holding classes the past several years, but Patterson was so impressed with the nearby Pinole Community Playhouse at 601 Tennent Ave. that he soon managed to line up the space for a series of East Bay Improv shows, two of which take place this Friday and Saturday (8 p.m., $5). Patterson and the troupe now divide their performances and improv comedy classes between Albany and Pinole, using the same four senior players and five alternates. And the wacky, anything-goes improv comic style seems to be catching on. Pinole improv classes take place Wednesdays at 7:30 p.m. at the playhouse. Phone 510-964-0571 for more information.— Kelly Vance

FRI-SUN 4/25-27

Skedaddle, Varmint!

Ever wonder what it was like when the normally isolated mountain men of a hundred years ago would get together with others of their ilk? Well, no need to build a way-back machine — just drive to Carson City, Nevada this weekend and check out the Eagle Valley Muzzle Loaders Spring Rendezvous. Skilled role-players will swap yarns, compete in distance and black powder shooting, trapping, and tomahawk- and knife-throwing, all in an authentic encampment on the edge of town. — Stefanie Kalem

FRI 4/25

Extreme Measures

Thriller deals with rape

What happens when a woman gets the upper hand on an intruder who attempts to rape her? Playwright William Mastrosimone serves up one startling scenario in Extremities. He describes the play as an examination of “the breaking point we all have, the extremity in all of us over which, when pushed hard enough, we tumble into violence.” Peppered with strong adult language and partial nudity, Extremities — the first production of the Diablo Actors’ Ensemble since 1987 — opens Friday at the Dean Lesher Regional Center for the Arts (1601 Civic Dr., Walnut Creek) and runs through May 17. Fridays, 8:15 p.m. and Saturdays, 2:15 and 8:15. $18, $16 students/seniors. Box office: 925-943-7469.— Joy White

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