The Listener: Charlie Varon's Comic, Poignant Story Cycle
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The last date listed for Charlie Varon's The Listener was Sunday January 27, 2013 / 7:00pm (Part 2).
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In this hilarious and heartwarming prequel to his hit show Not a Genuine Black Man, beloved actor-playwright Brian Copeland recounts three memorable weeks in his youth when he took to the "mean streets" of Oakland to buy his mom the perfect Christmas gift. Rife with references to 1970s Oakland, The Jewelry Box: A Genuine Christmas Story follows six-year-old Brian's adventures as he scours the help wanted ads, applies for jobs and collects bottles, inching his way toward the coveted present, a jewelry box at the local White Front store. Not a Genuine Black Man broke records as the longest running solo show in San Francisco history and brought Copeland critical acclaim as one of the city's most talented and engaging solo performers. Learn More
Reviews & Ratings
Featured review from cathy
view more less of this review
The stories are a work in progress. I saw Part 1, and enjoyed that more than Part 2. Part 1 has 3 stories, Part 2 has two stories which should possibly be shortened. Part 2 doesn't benefit from the increased length of each story. With a little more work, I think it will improve. Varon is worth seeing.
Quotes & Highlights
- Read an excerpt from "Company," one of the stories presented in The Listener.
A cycle of 5 comic stories presented in 2 parts
The Listener Part 1 - Jan 5 - 13
The Listener Part 2 - Jan 20- 26
The Listener Parts 1 & 2 in succession:
Sun Jan 27 at 3pm & 7pm
Note: It is not necessary to see part 1 before seeing part 2 though it is recommended. Either part of “The Listener” also works on its own.
Award-winning playwright and performer Charlie Varon returns to The Marsh to read a cycle of five original short stories.
The stories in The Listener are comic, poignant, and brimming with ideas. The cycle follows half a dozen residents of a retirement home in San Francisco. Selma Cohen wonders whether there is a next life and, if so, what should she pack for it? Bernie Schein asks himself why, after all the Nazis did, he still wants to seduce that German teenager. And Ben Rosenau, who’s 91, regularly upsets his daughter by telling her, “No one should live past eighty.”
Varon is best known for his hit solo shows, including Rush Limbaugh in Night School and Rabbi Sam, but he has also had work published over the years in The New Yorker, The Atlantic and Salon. The Listener brings together the dramatic and literary strands of Varon’s work, as he reads the short stories with a solo performer’s craft and gusto.
“These short stories are my love letter to my parents’ generation,” Varon says, “and an exploration of what they’ve lived through. They came of age when radio was the hot new technology and now they have to figure out how to use cell phones.”
Running time: 90 minutes, no intermission.
This performance is a staged reading, performer may have a script in hand. Recommended for ages 14 and up. Please, no infants.