Venue Details

170 Star Starred
The Marsh Berkeley
Between Shattuck and Oxford 2120 Allston Way Berkeley, CA 94704
Venue website Get directions
The weather was A little chilly in the theater. I wore formal attire (slacks, sweater, wool coat, patent leather heels), because I was prepared for a traditional theater setting, but I felt way overdressed. This is a community theater with individual plastic chairs on risers and not a formal theatre. I didn't feel uncomfortable, but would have been fine in jeans and a sweater. Also, there was a slight draft or cool fan blowing throughout show, so I needed my coat. .
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Reviews & Ratings

63 ratings
4.7 average rating
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131 events
89 reviews
17 stars
attended Mar 24 2011

Not all of it was understandable even in the 2nd row as Brian kind of veered this way and that way but otherwise well done. Too bad the seats in the Berkeley Marsh are flat hard and not raised row by row!

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7 events
2 reviews
0 stars
attended Apr 07 2011

This is a very moving account of growing up in a racist community, seen through the eyes of the performer as a young child as he gradually grows up and learns to make his way through the maze of constraints and obstacles he is faced with. It was...continued

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3 events
2 reviews
1 stars
attended Feb 18 2011

great show a must see for all ethnicities. The theatre however was very cold & the metal seats were very noisy.

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More Information


Quotes & Highlights

Not a Genuine Black Man has been a hit at venues around the Bay Area and beyond. See Goldstar reviews of the show’s run at the Marsh San Francisco.
“A beautiful mix of wry humor and heartbreak, indignation and inspiration, a singular story of extreme isolation that speaks to anyone who’s ever felt out of place.” —San Francisco Chronicle
“Engaging… Copeland knows how to spin a dramatic yarn.” —The New York Times
“Copeland’s ability to captivate an audience rivals many a celebrated solo predecessor, from Ruth Draper to Spalding Gray to Whoopi Goldberg.” —Los Angeles Times


Brian Copeland’s hit show visits his home turf in the East Bay. The longest running solo show in San Francisco history, the play reveals a little-known chapter of Bay Area history. In 1971, San Leandro was named one of the most racist suburbs in America. Congressional hearings were held. The next year, the then eight-year-old Brian Copeland and his African-American family moved to San Leandro. In a monologue that’s both funny and poignant, Brian explores how surroundings make us who we are.