Notes on Camp

Impact Theatre takes its gay comedy Queer Theory across the bridge.

For some reason, there’s not enough gay theater over here. Unfortunately, Impact Theatre’s new show — John Fisher’s funny, audacious Queer Theory — does nothing to change that. It’s playing in San Francisco at the Exit, far from Impact’s usual Berkeley stamping ground. Which is a shame: We could use a bracing dose of Fisher’s trademark high jinks (i.e., Medea: The Musical!). East Bayers hoping to catch a couple of quite nude Impact regulars, as well as the justly celebrated drag performer Matthew Martin (best gams in the business) as a smart, sassy male-to-female transsexual, will need to brave the westward journey between now and May 17.

Queer Theory examines the plight of arrogant, hot-shit Berkeley queer studies professor Jeff Webster. Jeff’s theory, his academic meal ticket, is that the Elizabethans thought a woman was an uncooked man, “an unheated biscuit,” and that people could switch gender without warning when subjected to enough heat. It’s a cute idea in the abstract, but when it starts happening to Jeff (played by Matt Weimer and Valerie Weak in breathtaking alternation) all hell breaks loose. S/he has to reconcile with sister Renee (Martin), impress a visiting scout from Harvard, and figure out which students to boff now that his/her equipment is in flux. Not everyone’s cup-of-tea dance, but a hilariously un-PC vivisection of gender identity that maintains a breakneck pace throughout. 156 Eddy St., San Francisco. 510-464-4468 or [email protected] for reservations.

Back across the bay, oversexed teachers confused about their plumbing give way to overeducated ones confused about humility as Stagebridge and the Berkeley Adult School present James Keller’s comedy, Senior Moments. Keller, an Australian playwright, was inspired to write Senior Moments by his experience teaching theater and film courses at the Berkeley Adult School and the Orinda Community Center. It seems his elders were giving him a run for the money. So he developed a very funny script about a lifelong learning class studying Greek literature and populated it with interesting characters and a thoroughly modern Greek chorus.

Stagebridge is best known for its work in uniting elders and kids in storytelling settings; it’s a nice change to see them doing a play for adults with a little bite to it (“What happened to Gloria?” one characters asks. “Accidental Zen,” answers another, referring to Alzheimer’s). The last two performances are Saturday at the Berkeley Adult School and Sunday at the Hillside Clubhouse in Rossmoor. 510-444-4755.


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