Bell Tolls For Thee

What is “solo performance,” exactly? At Solo Performance Workshop Festival, this thing gets its own festival, and it costs money to go see, so it better be something. Basically, about 75 years ago in the 1990s, the Bay Area was full to bursting with opinionated standup comedians, activist actors, totally normal performance artists, and dancers who could not shut up. They were all friends and slept together — metaphorically, but who knows — producing one big baby called the Solo Performance Workshop, whose babysitter is W. Kamau Bell. You know Bell, whose wildly popular solo performances led to his recently being signed with the William Morris talent agency, which also manages Denzel Washington and all other important people who are talented. And Bell, through teaching and directing and maybe he brings a magic ego-miniaturizing ray gun to those Workshop classes, has raised up an army of solo performers who mix theater, politics, technology, spoken word, dance, and more. Tonight, Martha Rynberg does Lady Parts and Bruce Pachtman does Solo Show #2, but we have to emphasize that it doesn’t matter which one of these shows you see because they are all excellent. Bell himself debuts a new show called AAAAAAAAAARGH!: A Solo Comedy About How Frustrating Frustration Can Be on Aug. 28.
Aug. 26-29, 2010

 
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