Our friend Phyllis was here for her annual extended weekend with “the boys”. I am sure she left Tuesday morning feeling exhausted. (I know we are!) We went almost non-stop from Thursday evening through Monday night.
Thursday we attended SF Playhouse to see a disappointing "Landscape of the Body" by John Guare. This is the third Guare play we have seen in a year. If we never see another of his plays, it would be too soon. His play “Six Degrees of Separation” was OK. It is one of his best known plays based on a true story. There is a well know film of it too. A few weeks ago we walked out of ACT’s production of Guare’s “Rich and Famous”. “Landscape” was not as bad as “Rich and Famous” but all his plays are dated in a 1970’s NYC humor that comes across today a mean and boarders on anti-semitic, racist and homophobic. However, we did had a wonderful dinner at Cafe Andre in the Rex Hotel on Sutter Street.
Friday night we returned to another fabulous dinner theatre treat at Teatro Zinzanni to celebrate everyone’s birthday! This was our fifth or sixth time attending. The show changes every 3 months. The spiegeltent is turned into a Casablanca style club, where espionage, dirty deals and secret missions take place. Highlights were the couple that performs a sensual and athletic vertical tango. The improvisational performer and comedian Kevin Kent was outstanding too. The five course meal, as always, was excellent as well.
Saturday found us doing another wine tour of Sonoma and Napa valleys. We visited Viansa, Cline Cellers, Grgich Hills, V.Sattui, Hopper Creek wineries. The tour was with Extranomical Tours and we booked it on Goldstar for half price. The tour guide did a wonderful job selecting interesting and enjoyable group of wineries. The four other couples we met on the tour were great fun as well. We ended up purchasing almost 3 cases of wine and joining 2 wine clubs. We recommend and would do another Extranomical Tours.
Sunday was a day of theatre in Berkeley. In the afternoon we saw “In the Next Room (or the vibrator play)” by Sarah Ruhl at Berkeley Rep. Ruhl is one of my favorite new playwrights. She writes in a witty style similar to Paula Vogel. We saw her play “The Clean House” over a year ago. We missed Berkeley Rep’s acclaimed production of “Eurydice” last year. In a few weeks we will see “Dead Man's Cell Phone”. “The Next Room” is a *touching* look at one of the first electrified appliances during the Victorian age. [The photo is a Reynolds's Electric Cable-Operated Vibrator. It was on display with other electric and hand-crank vibrators in the lobby of theatre. It is similar to one used in the performance.] The evening play was "Betrayed" by George Packer at the Aurora Theatre. It was a riveting study of Muslim translators working for US forces in Iraq.
Monday we started off by going to the movies. We attended the early show of the Israeli film “Waltzing with Bashir”. It is nominated for Best Foreign Film. The movie is an amazing and clever piece of cinema. A real documentary but filmed as an animated graphic novel. We finished our weekend by seeing Sally Kellerman at the Rrazz Room in San Francisco. She is best known for playing Major "Hot Lips" O'Houlihan in the film version of MASH. She is also an excellent singer. Unbelievably, she is 72 years young and has a strong, smokey voice. She sang for a solid 90 minutes.