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Josh Kornbluth: ‘Citizen Brain’ - ‘Shoot Me When…’ @ SF Playhouse - West Edge Opera ‘Snapshot’

Kornbluth Citizen Brain
The Marsh SF

This week on Open Air, KALW’s weekly radio magazine for the Bay Area Performing Arts in Times of Corona, host David Latulippe lifts the virtual curtain of the Corona Radio Theater for writer/performer Josh Kornbluth and an excerpt of his special Mother’s Day Solo Performer Spotlight presentation of Citizen Brain, upcoming on MarshStream; we talk with general director Mark Streshinsky and composer Nathaniel Stookey about Snapshot, West Edge Opera’s festival of new opera in development; plus, a conversation with lead actress Lorri Holt and playwright Ruben Grijalva from the production of Shoot me When…, at San Francisco Playhouse.

A mainstay at The Marsh, Josh Kornbluth has developed and premiered his shows there for decades. Citizen Brain is his engaging and enlightening autobiographical monologue about the story of a son, watching his mother struggle with her husband’s signs of dementia, and how he learned to help. In his inimitable and forthright style, Kornbluth follows how the Alzheimer's diagnosis of his beloved stepfather and the election of Donald Trump changed his life in surprisingly positive ways.

Kornbluth regularly appears on MarshStream hosting a weekly Friday Game Night, which has turned an online community playing virtual BINGO into a tight knit support system. Citizen Brain will be streamed on May 8 and 9.

From San Francisco Playhouse, we talk with lead actress Lorri Holt and playwright Ruben Grijalva about the new play Shoot me When, commissioned and produced by SF Playhouse and directed by Susi Damilano. Streaming May 1 through May 22, Shoot Me When… is a heartfelt and humorous exploration of love, responsibility, and finding joy in life’s challenges.

Lorri Holt plays Jackie, who has dementia. She also has a pact, carefully crafted with her two daughters, for how to depart on her own terms when the time comes. When the night arrives, the girls have gathered, the plan is in motion — but Jackie forgot the pact.

Plus, from West Edge Opera, we talk with general director Mark Streshinsky and composer Nathaniel Stookey, about Snapshot 2021, their festival of new opera in development, which will be held on May 15 and 16 — outdoors, socially distanced and live, at The Bruns Amphitheater in Orinda.

Snapshot will give audiences a first look at six new, developing opera’s from West Coast composers and librettists. Nathaniel Stookey returns to Snapshot with an excerpt of a new opera based on Eisa Davis's Pulitzer Prize nominated play Bulrusher. Davis and Stookey are collaborating on the libretto. It is a coming-of-age story about an African-American girl growing up in Northern California’s remote Anderson Valley in 1955.

Also included in Snapshot are This Lingering Life by Mark Campbell and Anne LeBaron; The Glass Cage, a rock infused musical theater piece by Noah Fram, set during the Afghanistan conflict; Invisible, by composer Guang Yang and librettist Paula Cizmar; Ten Minutes in the Life or Death Of..., a collage of memories from a dying man as he recalls the major moments of his life, by librettist Marella Martin Koch and composer Tyler J. Rubin; and The Promise, a family drama by George Pfirrmann and Peter B. Allen, about an inheritance, a wife's dying wish, and the call of the ocean.

Open Air, with host David Latulippe, can be heard live on Thursday, May 6 at 1pm, to be archived at this location afterwards. Listen now or anytime…

Niels Swinkels is a freelance journalist, musicologist, sound engineer, and radio producer. Born and raised in the Netherlands, he studied English and Musicology at the University of Nijmegen. Before moving to San Francisco, he was the Arts Editor, and Senior Classical Music & Opera critic for Brabants Dagblad, a Dutch daily newspaper. In addition to producing KALW’s Open Air, a weekly radio magazine for the Bay Area Performing Arts, he is also a wine guy at Trader Joe’s Nob Hill in San Francisco...